Tacloban City (December 6) – A substitute candidate for a politician who withdraws from the 2010 race must file a certificate of candidacy not later than December 14, 2009, or five months before the May 2010 elections.

The Commission on Elections made this clarification considering that in the past, substitute candidates could file a candidacy even up to mid-day of Election Day if the official candidate “dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause.”

With the use of automated voting and counting machines and printed ballots, the Comelec was forced to modify the rules, setting an early deadline to enable the inclusion of the substitute candidate’s name in the ballot.

The Comelec informed that a candidate could withdraw his candidacy anytime, but if he did it after December 14, his substitute would not be able to join the race under the new law.

“No person who has withdrawn his candidacy for a position shall be eligible for any other position after the deadline for filing of certificates of candidacy,” the Comelec Resolution No. 8678, which was promulgated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc last October 6, stated.

Only the substitute for a candidate who died or suffered permanent incapacity or disqualified by a court could file a CoC up to mid-day of May 10, the Election Day.

“If after the last day for the filing of certificate of candidacy, an official candidate of a registered political party dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause, he may be substituted by a candidate belonging to, and nominated by, the same political party,” the Comelec said.

If the unfortunate incident occur, death or permanent disability occurred a day or during election day, the substitute candidate should file the certificate before the local Comelec office.

“The substitute for a candidate who died or suffered permanent incapacity or disqualified by final judgment, may file his certificate of candidacy up to mid-day of elections day,” the resolution added.

But if the substitution candidate will replace an individual who is running for a national position, President, Vice-President or Senator, the certificate should be filed before the Commission’s law department in its main office in Manila .

The Comelec noted that no substitute shall be allowed for any independent candidate. (PIA 8)

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