To run or not to run? Señeres kin, party at odds as they file opposing manifestations
(Updated) The death of OFW Family Club Rep. Roy Señeres Sr. gave rise to a conflict between the family of the late lawmaker and his party.
On Tuesday, Señeres’ party, the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka-Workers and Peasants Party (PMM-WPP), fielded nuisance candidate as Atty. Apolonia Comia-Soguilon as its substitute presidential bet.
Soguilon went to the Comelec main office at the Palacio del Gobernador early Tuesday afternoon with a certificate of nomination from the PMM-WPP.
The lawyer, who filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) last October as an independent presidential aspirant, was declared as a nuisance candidate by Comelec.
However, hours after Soguilon went to Comelec, Señeres’ daughter Hannah filed an urgent manifestation saying that one of the last wishes of the lawmaker is to withdraw his candidacy and not to have anyone substitute him.
The urgent manifestation filed by Señeres daughter contains the following “wishes” from the late lawmaker:
- No substitution for the presidency;
- No endorsement for the presidency;
- To maintain the legacy of his name through the “OFW Family Club Party-list” where Roy Señeres Jr. is the 1st nominee; and
- That the acronym OFW Family Party-list be maintained in the ballots.
Hannah was quoted as saying that PMP-WPP fielded its candidate without the endorsement of the family.
Section 19 of Comelec Resolution No. 9984 states that a substitute of a candidate who died or is disqualified may file a COC up to mid-day of May 9, the day of the elections.
However, the resolution said that the substitute should have the same surname with the candidate being substituted.
Faced with the said circumstances, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that Señeres’ name will remain in the ballot until the poll body is officially notified by the family of the late lawmaker that they will send a substitute on his stead.
“Unless we are told officially na wala talagang balak mag-file (ng substitute), the Comelec is constrained to wait for noon on election day until a substitute is filed. In the meantime, the name of ambassador Señeres will remain on the ballot,” Jimenez said at a televised press briefing.
“On our end, that makes us feel sad. Ambassador Señeres essentially gave his life to the service of OFWs. I think he should be remembered for that rather than as a name in the ballot that cannot be voted for. We are appealing to the family to make it known to us, and for the party to make known to us, their plans about substitution. I hope they can file finalize that,” he added.
Señeres, through his representatives, filed a motion to withdraw his candidacy on Friday, Feb. 5, due to health reasons. The Comelec, however, did not accept the motion because it should be personally filed by the candidate.
Three days later, on Monday, Feb. 8, the lawmaker died from cardiac arrest.
He was 68 years old.
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