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The starting line: Comelec’s power over candidacies


Comelec, voters registration, elections

FILE PHOTO. Voters register for the 2022 elections.

MANILA, Philippines—With over 300 certificates of candidacies (COC) submitted throughout submitting week from Oct. 1 to Oct. 8, all eyes are actually on the ultimate record of candidates for subsequent yr’s elections — which is predicted to be posted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) quickly.

The Comelec stated it hoped to launch its official record of candidates by December. Until then, the ballot physique will display all candidates who filed their COC for president, vice chairman, and senator.

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Graphic by Daniella Marie J. Agacer

How does the Comelec sift by means of the lengthy record of candidates? How does it determine when to reject a candidate’s  COC? How does the Comelec weed out so-called nuisance candidates?

These questions have been answered right here.

Cancelling COCs

Not all 97 candidates for president, 29 vice-presidential aspirants, and 176 senatorial hopefuls would possibly make it to Comelec’s closing record of candidates — which will likely be included within the poll for the 2022 elections.

Under Rule 23 of the Comelec’s Rules of Procedure, the ballot physique has the authority to reject the COC of a person for any elective workplace.

What is the bottom for denial, rejection, or cancellation of COC?

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Graphic by Daniella Marie J. Agacer

Section 1 of the rule said that registered voters and a registered political celebration, group, or coalition of political events could file a verified petition to disclaim due course to or cancel a COC if “any material representation contained therein as required by law is false.”

False materials illustration on a candidate’s COC could also be in regards to the candidate’s:

  • nationality or citizenship standing
  • interval of residency
  • residence
  • delivery date and/or age
  • civil standing

When can such petition be filed?

Section 2 defined that any petition have to be filed inside 5 days from the final day of submitting of COC, “but not later than 25 days from the time of filing of the certificate of candidacy subject of the petition.”

Any petition in opposition to any substitute candidate have to be filed inside 5 days from the time the substitute candidate filed his or her COC.

Where to file petition?

The petition, based on Section 3, have to be filed the place the COC of the disputed candidate was filed. The petition may also be filed on the Office of the Clerk of the Commission.

“In case the petition is filed with the field officer, the field officer concerned shall instantly transmit 10 copies of the petition together with the payment received and duplicate copy of the official receipt issued to the Office of the Clerk of the Commission, Commission on Elections in Manila,” the rule said.

“Petitions filed through mail and/or not in accordance with the herein rules shall not be accepted or docketed,” it added.

The petitioner can nonetheless re-file the petition in accordance with the principles earlier than the interval offered for the submitting of petition.

The ballot physique could designate any of its officers, who’re members of the Philippine Bar, to deal with and listen to the case. In instances involving barangay officers, designated officers could obtain proof.

After the Comelec receives the petition, each events — the petitioner and the candidate who’s the topic of the petition — will bear a set process.

These procedures are additional detailed by Comelec Resolution No. 9523.

READ: COMELEC Resolution No. 9523

Identifying nuisance candidates

Amid rising discussions on substitution of candidates, the ballot physique has clarified final week that candidates—who’ve been declared as placeholders for subsequent yr’s elections—usually are not immediately categorized as nuisance candidates.

“A mere declaration to the contrary wouldn’t, in my opinion, be sufficient to overcome the intention to run which is manifested in the verified COC,” Jimenez informed reporters in a Viber message when requested if the admission of being placeholder candidate could possibly be floor to be declared as a nuisance candidate.

READ: Mere declaration of placeholder not sufficient ground to become nuisance candidate — Comelec spox

Who are thought of nuisance candidates?

Under Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code, the ballot physique could “motu proprio or upon a verified petition of an interested party, refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy” of people who fall below any of three classes:

Those who make a mockery of the election system
Those who search to confuse voters by means of similarity of names between candidates
Those who don’t have any bona fide or good religion in working for workplace.

Who could file petitions in opposition to suspected nuisance candidates?

Under Section 2 of Rule 24 of Comelec’s Rules of Procedures, any registered candidate vying for a similar elective workplace could file with the Law Department of the Commission a petition to declare a candidate as a nuisance candidate.

When can these petitions be filed?

The petitions in opposition to nuisance candidates have to be filed personally or by means of a certified consultant inside 5 days from the final day for the submitting of COC.

Meanwhile, petitions in opposition to a substitute candidate have to be filed inside 5 days from the time the substitute candidate filed his or her COC.

The Comelec, at any time earlier than the elections, can motu proprio declare a candidate as a nuisance candidate, “subject to an opportunity to be heard.”

Disqualification

Under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code, the next people or aspirants are thought of disqualified:

  • Any candidate who has been declared as insane or incompetent by a reliable authority.
  • Any candidate who has been sentenced by closing judgment for subversion, rebel, or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of over 18 months.
  • Any candidate who has dedicated against the law involving ethical turpitude.

These candidates will likely be barred from working for workplace, “unless [they have] been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty.”

“This disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upon the declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been removed or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence, unless within the same period he again becomes disqualified,” the Election Code said.

Candidates who’ve already filed their COC can even get disqualified if they’re discovered responsible of committing any of the election offenses talked about below Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Such election offenses embody:

  • Giving cash or different materials consideration to “influence, induce, or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions.”
  • Committing acts of terrorism to reinforce his or her candidacy.
  • Spending an quantity in extra of that allowed by the Election Code for his or her election marketing campaign.
  • Soliciting, receiving, or making prohibited contributions.
  • Violating different provisions of the Election Code
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