THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) updated the list of national candidates posted on its website on Thursday, removing four from the roster of presidential aspirants, including one with a Marcos family name.

This leaves Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., son and namesake of the late Philippine dictator, as the sole contender for the country’s top post with such a family name. 

From the previous 15 names as of Dec. 24, the list for presidential candidates is down to 11. Among those struck out were Maria Aurora Marcos, who has been declared a nuisance candidate.

Another Marcos with first name Tiburcio was earlier removed from the roster.

Marcos Jr., meanwhile, is facing several petitions for disqualification based mainly on his conviction for tax evasion, a crime that is penalized with perpetual disqualification from public office. The first hearing in three of the cases is set Friday.

The final list of election candidates was targeted to be released by Jan. 7, but Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said this could be delayed by a petition filed by a faction of the ruling PDP-Laban party. 

“Our expectation (on the final list) is on Jan. 7, hopefully,” Mr. Jimenez said in an interview with ABS-CBN on Thursday.

However, “If someone files something, and it’s properly filed, we need to address it before we can proceed,” he said in Filipino.

The petition calls for a reopening of the filing of certificates of candidacy, which was concluded in October. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan