Even Escudero says Susan Roces can’t run
Since Sen. Grace Poe is running as an independent candidate, her adoptive mother Susan Roces cannot possibly substitute for her in the presidential race should the former be disqualified.
“That is not even an available option. Under the law, an independent candidate cannot be substituted,” Poe’s running mate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said in a text message to the Inquirer.
Both election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sixto Brillantes believe so too.
“The law provides that only those candidates nominated by a registered political party could be substituted for in case of withdrawal, disqualification or death,” Macalintal said.
On Friday, Poe’s lawyer George Garcia said some close supporters of the senator were planning to field Roces as an alternate presidential candidate in the event the Comelec fails to decide on the disqualification case against Poe before the Dec. 10 deadline for candidate substitution.
Poe, a neophyte senator, is running with Escudero who is serving his second six-year term in the Senate. The two, who both ran together under the administration ticket in 2013, have announced they would remain independent.
On several occasions, Escudero, who cut his ties with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in 2010, said it was better to run without the backing of a political party.
Macalintal also explained that the cases filed against Poe in the Comelec were “petitions to deny due course to or cancel her certificate of candidacy (COC).
Thus, if Poe loses these cases, substitution is still not possible because in effect “her COC is denied or cancelled as if there was no COC filed nor was she ever a candidate,” said Macalintal.
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