Comelec mulls further limiting substitution due to withdrawal 

Comelec mulls further limiting substitution due to withdrawal 

DRAWING lessons from previous electoral exercises, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now seeking to further reduce the window for substituting candidates who will withdraw their certificates of candidacy (COCs) ahead of the May 2025 national and local polls.

In a press briefing, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said they are looking to limit the period to become substitute candidates for those who will withdraw during the period to file COCs. 

"We are looking at October 1 to 8 for the filing of COCs. During that period, we will allow withdrawals and have the right to be substituted," said Garcia. 

"But, after October 8, we may no longer allow any substitution in cases of withdrawal," he added. 

The poll chief said this is in order to prevent a repeat of previous instances, wherein substitute candidates came closer to Election Day after the ones that originally filed COCs withdrew. 

"Let us not fool the people. Those who are really looking to run, they should be upfront and file their COCs immediately," said Garcia. 

He, however, said the commission will continue to accept substitution of candidates for those disqualified or have died. 

"We will still allow substitution in cases of death or disqualification of the candidates," said Garcia. 

Back in the May 2022 elections, the Comelec set the filing period for COCs from October 1 to 8, 2021. 

It, however, allowed the substitution due to withdrawal of candidates until November 15, 2021. 

It can be recalled that Vice President Sara Duterte was a substitute candidate in the 2022 polls after replacing Lyle Uy of the Lakas-CMD Party two days before the November 15 deadline. 

Six years earlier, former President Rodrigo Duterte was the substitute candidate for president of PDP-Laban after the withdrawal of Martin Diño. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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