An individual named Silvestre Bello Jr. filed a certificate of candidacy for senator under the ruling party PDP-Laban on Friday, October 7.
But he is a different person from Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III.
The Commission on Elections tweeted that a representative of this Silvestre Jr. was the one who filed his certificate of candidacy.
“A representative of Silvestre ‘Estring’ Bello Jr., files the latter’s COC for Senator, PDP Laban,” read the tweet.
— COMELEC (@COMELEC) October 8, 2021
Based on images of the COC reported by media outlets online, the COC-filer’s full name is: “Silvestre H. Bello Jr.” and he is running under the party-list “PDP-Laban.”
The COC uploaded by reporters also showed a different person.
News organizations that earlier reported Bebot’s supposed filing corrected their reports and apologize for the mistaken identity.
ERRATUM: Silvestre Bello, Jr. was mistakenly referred to as the incumbent labor secretary.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has not filed any COC thus far and is still in office. We apologize for this oversight.
— The GUIDON (@TheGUIDON) October 8, 2021
It is not yet verified if Estring is related to the labor chief.
Bebot, on the other hand, has yet to confirm or formalize his senatorial bid.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who also heads a faction of PDP-Laban, did not mention his name as among the confirmed officials to join the senatorial race in the coming 2022 national elections.
The names Cusi mentioned in an interview with ABS-CBN are:
- Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque
- Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo
- Public Works Secretary Mark Villar
- Anti-corruption commission chairperson Greco Belgica
Bebot and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade were also supposed to run, Cusi stated.
Both officials, however, have yet to finalize their decision on the matter.
Cusi stated that they became doubtful of their senatorial plans after President Rodrigo Duterte announced his decision to retire from politics on October 2.
“Nalaman din ni Secretary Tugade and Secretary Bello ito and they’re now assessing whether they are also going to withdraw, not file their candidacy dahil gusto nila kung tatakbo sila, kasama nila si Pangulo. Paguusapan po namin ngayon,” he said.
Bebot first floated the idea of him running for senator last May after the chief executive himself urged him to. run
“I’m thinking about it because as you know our President (Rodrigo Duterte) wants me to try,” Bello said in a radio interview.