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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Comelec bans substitution of candidates in 2025 polls

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will no longer allow the substitution of candidates beyond the designated period to file certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the 2025 midterm elections.

Chairman George Erwin Garcia said this was unanimously approved by the Comelec en banc during its regular session.

“The decision was unanimous. The Commission en banc approved our proposal that there would be no more substitution after the last day of filing of candidacy, which is October 8 (2024) if the ground is withdrawal,” he added.

Garcia said substitution would only be allowed if the reason was because of death or disqualification of the candidate, provided that the substitute candidate has the same family name and belongs to the same political party.

“We will no longer allow substitution of candidates. Let us not deceive the nation. Whoever is the candidate, he should be open about it, file your [CoCs]. Don’t be a front for someone who is, all along, the one who will be running,” Garcia said.

He clarified that during the period of filing of COCs, withdrawals will still be allowed. The only allowable reason for substitution is when the candidate dies or gets disqualified by the Comelec.

Candidates who died or were disqualified by final judgment may still be substituted up to midday of election day, provided the substitute candidate has the same surname.

In the 2022 elections, Comelec allowed substitution by withdrawal for candidates, including party list nominees, up to Nov. 15, 2021.

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