Comelec: Estrada can’t replace Binay
AMID reports of the possibility that Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada might replace Vice President Jejomar Binay in the 2016 presidential race, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Wednesday said their existing rules specify that only party mates or those from the same coalition may substitute for one another.
“A substitute candidate must come from the same party or coalition as the one withdrawing,” said Comelec Chair James Jimenez.
Estrada and Binay do not belong to the same party. Estrada heads the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) while Binay leads the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) slate. Prior to its accreditation as a political party, UNA was a political coalition between the vice president’s former party, PDP-Laban, and Estrada’s PMP.
Jimenez explained that the logic behind the said requirement is that the political party that fielded a nominee must not be affected by the withdrawal of one individual.
“That’s why independent candidates do not have substitution because they are not representing anyone but themselves,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez’s statement came after vice presidential aspirant, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV raised the possibility that Estrada would run for president in 2016 in lieu of Binay.
Trillanes reiterated his earlier prediction that Binay would eventually withdraw from the presidential race next year because charges would be filed against him in court and his dwindling ratings in various surveys.
Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that “if after the last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs), an official candidate of a registered or accredited political party dies, withdraws, or is disqualified for any cause, only a person belonging to the same political party may file a certificate of candidacy to replace the candidate.”
Comelec Resolution No. 9984 also provides that substitution of candidates may be done so on or before Dec. 10, 2015.
On the other hand, the substitute for a candidate who died or is disqualified by final judgment may file a COC up to midday of Election Day.
Meanwhile, the Comelec said it is unlikely to extend the five-day period of COC, which is set to end at 5 p.m. on Friday.
“At this point, we see no reason why the COC filing should be extended, said Comelec Chair Andres Bautista.
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