Mere declaration of placeholder not sufficient ground to become nuisance candidate — Comelec spox
MANILA, Philippines — The “mere declaration” of candidates that they are only placeholders in the upcoming elections is not enough to declare them as nuisance candidates, Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez said on Wednesday.
“A mere declaration to the contrary wouldn’t, in my opinion, be sufficient to overcome the intention to run which is manifested in the verified COC (certificate of candidacy),” Jimenez told reporters in a Viber message when asked if the admission of being placeholder candidate could be grounds to become a nuisance candidate.
Under the omnibus election code, a nuisance candidate is someone who demonstrates that he or she “has no bona fide intention to run for the office.”
However, Jimenez said that “the lack of a bona fide intention to run needs to be proven.”
While the filing of COC is only from October 1 to 8, the substitution deadline is until November 15, a leeway which allows politicians to put a placeholder even after the filing of COCs.
Only when the substitution period lapsed could the Comelec finalize the list of candidates.
To avoid this, deputy speaker and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Tuesday proposed the “absolute ban” on the substitution of candidates to “put an end to the manipulation and mockery of the election process.”
Jimenez, when asked for his opinion about Rep. Rodriguez’s proposal, said the Comelec will give its official position on the proposed legislation once they receive a copy of the said proposal.
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