(UPDATED 2:00 p.m.) - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) released on Tuesday the guidelines on the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the May 2013 midterm polls.
“(The resolution) will serve as a guide for all candidates to (avoid making) mistakes in filing their COCs. It levels the playing field to all candidates,” Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento told GMA News Online.
The Comelec said the filing of COCs will be from October 1 to 5 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and that there will be no extension.
Sarmiento said an extension is only possible based “on justifiable grounds.”
”If there are justifiable reasons, baka. But as it is now, October 5 pa rin ang deadline,” he said.
The Comelec will release the final list of candidates on October 6.
The Comelec will not allow COCs submitted in the wrong office. No COCs shall be filed or accepted through mail, electronic mail, telegram or facsimile, the Comelec noted.
According to the guidelines, issued under Resolution No. 9518, appointed officials aspiring for elective positions will be considered resigned from their posts at the start of the filing of COCs.
Elected officials, on the other hand, will not be considered resigned from their posts.
Where to file COCs
For elective positions in the Senate, candidates must submit their COCs to the Comelec law department.
Candidates for House of Representatives districts outside the National Capital Region, which comprise one or more legislative districts, must submit their COCs to the city election officer.
Candidates for legislative districts in Metro Manila must submit their COCs to the regional election director.
Provincial district representative and provincial official candidates, meanwhile, must submit their COCs to the respective provincial election supervisor.
City and municipal hopefuls must file their COCs with the city or municipal election officer.
In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), candidates for governor and vice-governor must report to any of the offices of the ARMM regional election director.
Those aspiring to be part of the ARMM regional legislative assembly must submit their COCs to their respective ARMM provincial election supervisors.
Meanwhile, the Comelec said substitutes of candidates that withdraw their bid must file a Certificate of Candidacy in time for the name of the substitute to be reflected on the official ballots.
“No substitution due to withdrawal shall be allowed after December 21, 2012,” according to the resolution.
The substitute must belong to the same party as the candidate, the resolution noted.
The only exceptions are substitutes for a deceased or disqualified candidate, where the commission has allowed the filing of COCs up to the mid-day of election day.
In these cases, Comelec only allows substitutes having the same surname as the candidate, Sarmiento said, because the ballots for the automated elections shall have already been printed.
“Wala nang time to prepare for new ballots,” he added.
Independent candidates are not allowed to have a substitute.
A candidate backing out from the polls must submit a statement of withdrawal under oath in five copies, according to the Comelec. - VVP/YA, GMA News