A congressional leader on Wednesday urged the House of Representatives and the Senate to prioritize bills seeking to ban substitution of candidates in future elections.
“I think there is a consensus that substitution is a bad practice, and that politicians and political parties do it because the law allows it. We should then stop it to promote the integrity of elections after May 9, 2022,” Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said banning substitution and restoring the old rule that required an incumbent to resign if he is seeking an office other than the one he is holding “are important reforms that will purify the electoral process.”
“We, members of the 18th Congress, should put these reforms in place for the sake of future elections. These improvements should be part of the legacy of the current Congress under the leadership of Senate President Vicente Sotto lll and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco,” he said.
He added that the proposed changes would no longer apply to the 2022 polls.
Rodriguez has filed House Bill 10380, which seeks to prohibit a political party from substituting any candidate unless the latter dies or is disqualified.
The Omnibus Election Code allows substitution in case of death, disqualification, or withdrawal of another aspirant.
The Mindanao lawmaker also authored Bill No. 10381, which would restore the old provision in the election law that declared an incumbent elective official as resigned “ipso facto” (by that very fact or act) or automatically upon filing his certificate of candidacy for an office different from the one he is holding.