MANILA - The former chairperson of election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on Wednesday called for a total ban on substitution of candidates.
PPCRV chairman emeritus Henrietta de Villa made the remark after an official of Lakas-CMD Party earlier said it fielded "placeholder" candidates.
"Dapat magkaroon ng batas na i-abolish na ang mga substitution na yan. I-abolish na completely," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(A law abolishing substitution should be crafted. It must be abolished completely.)
Political parties are "reserving" slots for future candidates, according to De Villa.
"'Yang substitution na yan tingin ko, tingin ng marami, hindi lang ako, talagang parang nahamak at nililito ang mga botante," she said.
(Substitution, in my and others' opinion, belittles and confuses voters.)
"Ito ay parang panlalait din atsaka parang di binibigyan ng sapat na importansya ang electoral process. Para bang nilalaro nila eh hindi naman dapat ganun ang halalan."
(It's like an insult, it doesn't give importance to the electoral process. It's like they're making a game out of the elections.)
Only candidates from the same party and with the same family name should be allowed to substitute each other, De Villa added.
"Dapat ang papalit parehong family name, kasi nakalagay na yan sa balota, at same party, hindi yung naghahagilap pa kung saan," she said.
(Substituting candidates must have the same family name, as it's already been printed in the ballot, and must be from the same party and not anywhere else.)
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has proposed an absolute ban on substitution to "put an end to the manipulation and mockery of the election process."
"It is lamentable that for the May 2022 elections, certain candidates for the presidency are perceived to be proxies for some personalities, even if they can be considered as serious aspirants," he said.