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Comelec bans candidate substitution due to withdrawal after Oct. 8, 2024


Comelec bans substitution of candidates due to withdrawal after October 8, 2024

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc on Wednesday banned the substitution of candidates after the last day of filing certificates of candidacy if the substitution will be made due to the withdrawal of the candidate, Comelec chairman George Garcia said.

“Unanimous po, pumayag ang ating Commission En Banc sa naging proposal ng inyong lingkod na wala nang substitution after ng last day ng filing ng candidacy, which is October 8 [2024], kung ang ground ay withdrawal ng candidacy,” Garcia said.

(The Comelec en banc unanimously agreed with my proposal to ban substitution after the last day of COC filing if it will be made on the grounds of withdrawal of candidacy.)

The filing of COC for the May 2025 midterm polls is scheduled from October 1 to 8.

“Substitution is supposed to be allowed until November 15. Now, there is no November 15 deadline to speak of. Ito po ay para hindi nalilinlang ang sambayanan," Garcia said.

(This is so that the voters are not taken for fools.)

Garcia, however, said substitution after COC filing would still be allowed if the candidate died or was disqualified. In such cases, the substitute should share the family name of the disqualified or deceased candidate or belong to the same political party.

“For the candidates, lay your cards on the table. Face the music and substitution won’t be allowed,” Garcia said.

“Kung nagnanais ka talagang magbigay ng iyong serbisyo sa publiko, hindi po ba mas maganda, kung talagang desidido ka, ilatag mo na kaagad. Mag-file ka na ng kandidatura,” Garcia added.

(If you are serious about rendering public service... if your heart is really into it, file your COC within the timeframe given...)

Garcia said allowing substitutes for those who withdrew candidacies hamper the Comelec’s preparation for the conduct of the polls.

“We cannot finalize the list of candidates, the printing of ballots is being delayed. It would be better if we are already done with the list of candidates by December, and we would just resolve the cases of nuisance candidates,” Garcia said. 

"That way, the Comelec can focus on the task at hand rather than waiting for those who will withdraw their candidacy," he added.

Then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in November2015  substituted for PDP-Laban's first presidential candidate for Eleksyon 2016, Martin Diño.

Diño withdrew his presidential candidacy after the Comelec questioned his capacity to launch a national campaign.

Before Diño withdrew his presidential candidacy, the PDP-Laban passed a resolution urging Duterte to run for president as the party's substitute.

Duterte filed a COC for Davao City mayor in October that year. 

His daughter Sara Duterte substituted him and ran for mayor in their home city.

Duterte eventually won the 2016 presidential race via landslide, beating the rest of the field with over 16 million votes.

His closest competitor was then administration bet and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, who finished with over nine million votes.

In 2021, then Davao city Mayor Sara Duterte filed a COC for vice president as a substitute to her then Lakas-CMD party-mate Lyle Uy. 

She has since left the party.

Uy initially filed for COC for vice president during the filing of certificate of candidacy but withdrew his candidacy on November 13, 2021, the same day then mayor Sara Duterte filed her COC for vice president as Uy’s substitute.

Uy did not give any statement after withdrawing his COC for vice president.

Sara Duterte also overwhelmed her rivals in the 2022 vice presidential race with over 32 million votes. 

Then Senator Francis Pangilinan came a very far second with over nine million votes. —NB, GMA Integrated News

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