MANILA - The Commission on Elections on Friday said candidates who have filed their certificate of candidacy (COC) under a political party cannot transfer to another party to substitute for a candidate of that alliance after October 8.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez explained that a candidate must withdraw his certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) he initially filed under his old party if he or she wants to switch to another party and replace a candidate of that political alliance.
"Kung nag-file na 'yung tao under one political party now, hindi na siya pwede technically mag-switch ng political parties kasi tapos na 'yung filing ng COC. Magpapalit siya ng CONA. Kailangan niya i-withdraw 'yung original CONA niya, maghain siya ng bagong CONA," Jimenez told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(If the candidate has already filed under a political party, he is not already allowed to technically switch to other political parties since the COC filing has ended. He has to file another CONA. He must withdraw his original CONA and file a new one.)
The period of COC filing ended October 8, Friday.
"Tapos na, so wala na. Mostly 'yung nag-file ng COC na may CONA, ang hinihintay na lang natin diyan 'yung substitution na manggagaling sa ibang tao," Jimenez said.
(It's finished, so it's already over. Now, we are waiting mostly for the substitution of those who filed their COCs with CONA, by other people.)
While the filing of candidacies has closed, substitutions are allowed until Nov. 15.
Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa earlier Friday filed his COC for president in the May 2022 elections under the PDP-Laban wing backed by incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte.
His bid however was quickly surrounded by speculation that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the incumbent President's eldest daughter, will later run for the top post in the senator's place.
Asked about it, Dela Rosa said, "Eh 'di mas maganda." (That will be better.)
He quickly added however that his bid was his "party's decision."
Duterte-Carpio on the same day filed her candidacy for a third consecutive term as mayor of Davao City, a post her father held before the 2016 elections, under her regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).
Dela Rosa was wearing a green Hugpong shirt under a red jacket, the PDP-Laban color when he filed his COC. Asked if he was making a mockery of the elections when he said it would be better for Duterte-Carpio to replace him, Dela Rosa said, "Do I look like a mockery to you?"
"I won as a senator, number 5 po ako last election (I was number 5 last elections.) Is that mockery?" he said.
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said under the law, anyone who files a COC without a bonafide intention to run and only for the purpose of reserving the position for a substitute "shall be treated as a nuisance candidate."
That person's COC shall then be canceled and denied due course "as he is just making a mockery of our election process," he said in a statement.