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‘FOOLING THE ELECTORATE’

Outlaw ‘placeholder’ bets, lawmakers urge

/ 05:21 AM October 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Six more members of the House of Representatives joined the call to amend the Omnibus Election Code and bar the substitution of “placeholder” candidates, a practice which has been repeatedly exploited in past elections.

Makabayan lawmakers filed House Bill No. 10387 on Thursday, a day after Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, one of the House of Representatives’ more than 30 deputy speakers, filed two similar, related measures.

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Like Rodriguez’s bill, HB 10387 seeks to prohibit the substitution of candidates by reason of withdrawal, as this has led to the “mockery” of the electoral process and “fooling the electorate.”

In the bill’s explanatory note, the Makabayan bloc said the Philippines was “stunned” by then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s strategy of substituting for “placeholder” Martin Diño in the 2016 presidential race.

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More recently, an incumbent lawmaker declared himself a presidential candidate only to say later that he, with the support of a political party, would support Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte if she decides to throw her hat in the ring.

“These recent developments have shown how scheming politicians would do everything and even circumvent the law to achieve their selfish interests. The use of the said provision as a strategy makes a mockery of the election process and an insult to the intelligence of voters,” the Makabayan bloc said.

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TAGS: Legislation, Makabayan bloc, Omnibus Election Code, placeholder, Politics, substitution candidates
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