Comelec sets deadline for Batocabe replacement
MANILA, Philippines – The family of slain Ako Bicol party-list representative Rodel Batocabe has until noon of Election Day in May to choose his replacement as candidate for mayor of Daraga, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Monday.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said that it did not matter whether Batocabe’s substitute would come from the same political party or not, as long as the replacement would have the same surname.
“It’s your political party that basically gives you the right to be substituted. The most important here is the rule in the surname,” Jimenez said in an interview with ABS CBN News Channel.
“They don’t even have to be related. It could be just the same last name because the rule says ‘same surname.’ It does not say ‘same family’,” Jimenez said.
According to Jimenez, the family has until the midday of Election Day to choose who would run for mayor of Daraga in behalf of the slain Batocabe.
Comelec Resolution 10420 Section 33 allows substitutes for those who withdraw their candidacies to file their certificates until noon of Election Day.
The resolution also applies to candidates declared disqualified or dead prior to the elections.
Batocabe was killed after getting shot four times while attending a gift-giving activity for senior citizens and persons with disability in Daraga last December 22.
The Philippine National Police has tagged Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the mastermind of the killing.
Following the police recommendation to file murder charges against Baldo, the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats withdrew its nomination of the mayor as the party’s candidate in Daraga in May.
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