MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday announced that it will no longer allow substitution of candidates who decide to back out from the 2013 midterm elections after the deadline set by the election body expired on Friday.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. told reporters that the election body would only accept substitutions if a candidate either dies or has been disqualified to participate in the balloting.
“After today (Friday), only candidates who died and those who were disqualified with finality will be allowed to have substitutes,” said Brillantes. “You can still withdraw after today but you cannot be substituted anymore.”
In its Resolution No. 9518, the Comelec en banc has given a party or a candidate only until Friday to make a substitution due to withdrawal.
Evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva was among the buzzer beater, formally filing his certificate of candidacy on Thursday as a substitute to Bangon Pilipinas senatorial bet Israel Virgines.
Virgines, a 46-year-old educator from Cavite, withdrew his candidacy two weeks after he got the Comelec’s approval despite filing his papers beyond the deadline set by the election body.
Elsewhere in the country, Sen. Edgardo Angara has also been substituted by his younger brother Mayor Arthur Angara after the former backed out from the gubernatorial race in Aurora. Pangasinan Rep. Rachel Arenas withdrew her reelection bid Thursday in favor of her mother Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas.
Brillantes said he was expecting the number of withdrawals to reach at least 50 across the country.
He also pointed out that while the Comelec was allowing substitution for deceased or disqualified candidates, there were some conditions.
“The substitute candidate must have the same surname as the one who died or disqualified,” he said.
Comelec rules allow the substitute for a deceased or disqualified candidate to file his or her certificate of candidacy before the Comelec up to noon of election day.