Comelec rejects petition to reopen filing of COCs for 2022 polls
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections has denied the petition of the Duterte-led PDP-Laban faction to reopen the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the upcoming elections in May.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body “unanimously” and “resoundingly” dropped the petition, as well as the petition seeking to reschedule this year’s elections to 2025.
“Denied. Basta unanimous,” he said when asked about the petition in a press briefing Wednesday.
“It was denied as well as the petition to reset elections until 2025, both of them, resoundingly denied,” he added.
Jimenez said the petitioners could appeal the Comelec’s decision before the Supreme Court.
Comelec denied the petition to reopen the filing of COCs after it refuted PDP-Laban’s allegation that “there is no reason to set the deadline so early.”
“Obviously the allegation does not take into consideration all of the other preparatory activities that are being conducted by the Comelec,” Jimenez said in a press briefing.
“That, in fact, the setting of the date of the filing of COCs is not arbitrary in any way kaya dineny natin ‘yung kanilang (that’s why we denied their) request,” he added.
The Comelec did not find the grounds of the petition “meritorious,” Jimenez also said.
One of the arguments presented by the PDP-Laban faction was that there are still pending cases against certain aspirants, therefore, the Comelec should not proceed with the printing of the ballot, among other election preparations.
“That is a wrong assertion. This is not the first time that we will be going to print with pending disqualification cases. So the fact that there are pending disqualification cases has never been a reason for suspending the start of the printing of ballots,” Jimenez pointed out.
Last December 31, the PDP-Laban faction filed the petition seeking to reopen the period of COC filing and postpone the printing of the ballots, reasoning that parties should be allowed more time to decide whom to field in the approaching election.
The Duterte-led PDP-Laban bloc has no candidate for president and vice president in this year’s polls after all of its bets revoked their COCs.
Senator Ronald dela Rosa earlier filed a COC for president under PDP-Laban along with Senator Bong Go as his running mate.
Dela Rosa withdrew his COC and also Go after Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Caprio, filed a COC for vice president via substitution.
Go then filed a COC for president as a substitute under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), a party allied with the PDP-Laban, which he also ultimately canceled.
The PDP-Laban currently has two groups fighting over recognition before the Comelec: the Duterte-led wing, which includes Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and the group of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao.
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