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Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III yesterday appealed to the
Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reconsider its decision allowing a certain Vetallano
Acosta to run for president under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) in the coming May

In a motion for intervention and intervention, Aquino's lawyers, Sixto Brillantes, Jr. and
Juanito G. Arcilla, urged the poll body to schedule a hearing on Aquino’s plea on Jan. 18 so
evidence can be presented to “prove that there were numerous deliberate conspiratorial
misrepresentations made to make it appear that Acosta is a legitimate candidate for President
running under the wing of the KBL.”

In their motion, Brillantes and Arcilla said that the factual circumstances and applicable laws
show that the purported KBL bet is a nuisance candidate sponsored by “particular individuals
whose sinister intent is to dislodge (the LP bet) from his original position as first in the name
order of candidates for President.”

They noted that Acosta had filed his certificate of candidacy for president, with no certificate
of nomination from any political party, on same day and time as lawyer Oliver Lozano, a
long-time KBL lawyer and loyalist of the late dictator, had done so as an independent-KBL.

The Comelec’s Law Department declared Acosta and Lozano as nuisance presidential
candidates in its resolution 8713 issued last Dec. 15, 2009. The Comelec en banc however
reversed the decision on Acosta and several other candidates last Jan. 14.

The decision was based on representations made with Comelec on Dec. 21 by KBL officials
that they had “finally nominated” Acosta as the Marcos-era party’s presidential candidate.

The inclusion of Acosta as “a legitimate candidate, despite the questionable and anomalous
circumstances attendant to his nomination, will, under the automated system of voting, result
in petitioner Acosta being now placed in the No. 1 slot in the name order of candidates for
President,” to the prejudice of the LP presidential frontrunner, the counsels for Aquino said.

Various studies “prove that the order in which the candidates’ names are listed on election
ballots has a discernable effect on the vote share that candidates receive,” they said.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Vermont revealed that a candidate
listed first on a ballot would receive, on average, two-and-half percent extra votes than those
listed after. They called this the “ballot order effect”.