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Solon proposes ban vs substitution of candidates

/ 02:24 PM October 12, 2021
Deputy speaker and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Tuesday proposed the “absolute ban” of substitution of candidates, as well as restoration of an old rule requiring an official to resign once the certificate of candidacy (COC) is filed.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez. Image from his Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Deputy speaker and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Tuesday proposed the “absolute ban” on the substitution of candidates, as well as restoration of an old rule requiring an official to resign once the certificate of candidacy (COC) is filed.

While the certificate of candidacy (COC) is only from October 1 to 8, the substitution deadline is until November 15. Only when the substitution period lapsed could the Commission on Elections (Comelec) finalize the list of candidates.

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“One reform I am proposing is an almost absolute ban on substitution of candidates by political parties,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

Rodriguez said that since the introduction of the practice that allows substitution, many people did not believe that some aspirants were serious about running even if they already filed their COCs.

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“It is lamentable that for the May 2022 elections, certain candidates for the presidency are perceived to be proxies for some personalities, even if they can be considered as serious aspirants,” he stressed.

Rodriguez also bats for the restoration of the old rule to require officials to resign once their COC are filed.

“Another is the restoration of the old rule requiring incumbent officials to resign or to be deemed automatically resigned upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for other positions,” he added.

He pointed out: “A candidate would not agree to be a proxy for a dawdling, wavering, or indecisive aspirant if he would have to give up his office. The resignation requirement would apply to all levels, national or local, whether aiming for higher or lower positions.”

Rodriguez also stressed that this new proposal would prevent aspirants from using their offices, public funds, and their influence to promote their electoral bid.

He said the candidate substitution ban and the requirement for candidates who are incumbent officials to resign are reforms that would complement each other, which would also “put an end to the manipulation and mockery of the election process.”

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“These would also make more people believe in the integrity of our elections,” he added.

Comelec was reached for comment but is yet to respond as of posting.

JPV

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