Senator seeks to ban candidacy withdrawal, extend COC filing deadline

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2021 10:49 AM

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian files his certificate of candidacy for reelection in the 2022 elections on October 8, 2021 at the Comelec site at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian files his certificate of candidacy for reelection in the 2022 elections on October 8, 2021 at the Comelec site at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News


MANILA - The Commission on Elections should make November 15 its deadline for filing of certificate of candidacies, a senator said Monday as he pushed for the prohibition of candidacy withdrawal for substitutions.

The Comelec this year set COC filing from Oct. 1 to 8, with candidates allowed to withdraw or file for substitution until Nov. 15.

The poll body should just set the deadline on Nov. 15, according to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.

"My view here is there should only be one...Kung kaya ng Nov. 15, gawing Nov. 15. The logic why Comelec allowed Oct 1 to 8 is because they said they will start printing the ballots already but they cannot print ballots until Nov. 15 after which substitution is completely over," he told ANC's Headstart.

"So let's just make it Nov. 15 and not prolong the agony of guessing who's gonna file, who’s not gonna file."

Gatchalian said he and "a few other senators" would file this week a measure that will remove the withdrawal criteria from the substitution rule.

"We will file a bill to remove that so that there’s only disqualification and probably death that will be allowed for substitution," he said.

"The reason for that is--not only at the national level, all the way in the local level--that’s not the spirit of the law. Once you’ve filed, you’ve filed. You don’t place placeholders in order to prolong the deadline."

At least 2 bills have been filed at the House of Representatives seeking the abolishment of the substitution rule.

The Lakas-CMD Partylist earlier said it fielded "placeholder" candidates as it awaits the decision of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio whether to run for president. She has filed her COC for reelection.

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