IN THE KNOW
UNDER election rules, substitution is allowed if a candidate dies, withdraws or is disqualified. But the rules require the substitute candidate must belong to the same party as the candidate being replaced.
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.”
Commission on Elections (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.
The possibility of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s becoming a presidential candidate was kept alive after his party mate, Martin Diño, filed a COC for President, thereby opening up the option of Duterte coming in as a substitute candidate.
PDP-Laban then approved a resolution naming Duterte as Diño’s substitute in case Diño chooses not to continue with his candidacy. And Diño did indeed subsequently withdraw from the race.
Whether Duterte can run for President as a substitute for Diño has to be decided by the Comelec’s legal department, the poll body’s deputy director for Southern Mindanao said.
According to Marlon Casquejo, such a substitution may not be possible because Duterte filed his COC for reelection as mayor as a candidate of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, a local party that Duterte founded several years ago.
Although Duterte is also a member of PDP-Laban, PDP-Laban and Hugpong are two distinct parties, Casquejo said. Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer archives
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