THE number of presidential candidates for the coming May elections is expected to increase as the poll body qualifies two more presidential aspirants.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rene Sarmiento issued this statement Wednesday as he said that the Comelec en banc will issue the final list of candidates today, January 14.

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“I think two might be included,” Sarmiento told reporters in an interview.

In the list issued by the Comelec last December 15, there are only eight presidential candidates who were short listed and eight for vice-president while about 58 for senator.

When asked to name the two additional candidates Sarmiento said: “I would not say. Let’s just wait for tomorrow.”

Among the candidates who were previously disqualified by the poll body includes environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, running for president as an independent candidate, and former Manila congressman Mark Jimenez, also running as independent candidate for the presidential seat.

Also disqualified previously were senatorial bets Brigadier General Danilo Lim and Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Maganto.

Aside from the presidential aspirants, Sarmiento said the number of senatorial candidates might also increase.

According to Sarmiento, the added candidates who were earlier disqualified were able to show evidence that they are backed by political party and they are capable of waging a nationwide campaign.

Sarmiento said the commission is likewise set to release the list of party-list groups that will be allowed to join the elections in May 10, 2010. “We will promulgate the party-list on Friday.”

At least 306 party-list groups lodged its manifestation to run for the party-list elections this year. (MSN/Sunnex)