MANILA, Philippines – PDP-Laban, led by party president Alfonso Cusi, filed a petition asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reopen or extend the period for filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the 2022 national and local elections.
In its petition, the party called the October 1 to 8 period for COC filing “unreasonable, unnecessary, and legally impossible.”
It argued that even while the Comelec is empowered to set the deadline for COC filing considering the need for early printing of ballots, the October 1 to 8 period is not necessary or reasonable because the ballots to be used in 2022 “have not been printed and may not be legally printed at the moment,” given pending cases before the commission and even the Supreme Court.
Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., for one, is facing six remaining petitions against his candidacy. (READ: Point by point: Cases vs Bongbong Marcos’ candidacy and his answers so far)
PDP-Laban had initially fielded Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa as its presidential bet. Dela Rosa filed his COC just before the end of the filing period on October 8, but he later withdrew his presidential bid on November 13.
The period for substitution due to withdrawal lapsed on November 15, hence the party said in its petition that it only had two days to “remedy the political vacuum” created by Dela Rosa’s withdrawal.
It cited laws prior to the passage of Republic Act (RA) No. 9369 or the amended automated election law, saying that if these laws had been applied for the 2022 elections, the earliest deadline for COC filing would have been January 9, 2022, and the latest for national positions and local positions would have been February 7 and March 24, 2022, respectively.
The laws PDP-Laban mentioned include Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, and RA 7166, which would have allowed aspirants to file their COCs until the day before the start of the campaign period. It also cited RA 8436, which imposed the COC filing deadline not later than 120 days before the elections.
The start of the 2022 campaign period is on February 8 for national candidates and March 25 for local candidates. – Rappler.com