MANILA, Philippines ? The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced that a substitute candidate for a politician who withdraws from the 2010 race must file a certificate of candidacy ?not later than Dec. 14, 2009,? or five months before the elections.
In the past, substitute candidates could file a candidacy even up to mid-day of Election Day if the official candidate ?dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause.?
But with the use of automated voting and counting machines and printed ballots, the Comelec was forced to modify the rules, setting an early deadline to enable the inclusion of the substitute candidate?s name in the ballot.
Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino said that a candidate could withdraw his candidacy anytime, but if he did it after December 14, his substitute would not be able to join the race under the new law.
?No person who has withdrawn his candidacy for a position shall be eligible for any other position after the deadline for filing of certificates of candidacy [CoC],? the Comelec said in a resolution issued on Tuesday.
Only the substitute for a candidate who died or suffered permanent incapacity or disqualified by a court could file a CoC up to mid-day of Election Day, the Comelec said.