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Comelec guidelines on filing of candidacies

Reynaldo Santos Jr
Posted on 09/11/2012 3:40 PM  | Updated 05/09/2013 4:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Just like in the 2010 elections, aspirants who will file their candidacies next month, October, for the 2013 elections can be substituted only until Dec 21, 2012.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) retains its ruling on the 2010 elections, which gives limited time for candidates who have filed their certificates of candidacies (COCs) to withdraw and be replaced. The poll body released on Tuesday, September 11, its guidelines for the filing of certificates of candidacies (COCs) for next year's elections.

The filing of COCs for the 2013 elections is from October 1 to 5, 2012.

"The substitute of a candidate who has withdrawn on or before December 21, 2012 may file his Certificate of Candidacy for the office affected not later than December 21, 2012, so that the name of the substitute will be reflected on the ballots," the resolution said.

It is also stated that a candidate may be substituted by someone who belongs to the same political party.

In past elections, candidates were given until mid-day of election day to withdraw and be replaced. But when polls were automated in 2010, withdrawal was only entertained only until December 14, 2009.

The deadline for the withdrawal and substitution was moved to an earlier date due to the need to print the names of official candidates in the ballots.

The guidelines said that substitution for a candidate who died or is disqualified, however, will be given up to mid-day of election day to file his COC, "provided that the substitute and the substituted have the same surnames."

Poll party nominees

The guidelines also advise political parties to submit the names and specimen signatures of its official party nominees on October 1, the first day of filing of COCs.

Political parties are required to submit the Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) of their official candidates to the Law Department. Each candidates should also attach a copy of the CONA in their COC.

Political parties are discouraged "to nominate more than the number of candidates required to be voted for a particular elective position; otherwise, in such a situation, all of the nominations shall be denied in due course by the Commission."

Watchers allowed

The guidelines also state that independent candidates, political parties, and accredited citizen's arms will be allowed to assign a watcher in the filing of COCs.

"The watcher…shall be allowed to stay within the premises of the authorized receiving office and to take note of the proceedings but without interrupting or disturbing official business," the guidelines stated.

In case they spot irregularities in the filing of COCs, the watchers may submit a written report to the poll body. They will also have the privilege of receiving a list of those who filed their COCs and the positions applied for.

Candidates for the senatorial race will be asked to file their COCs at the law department of the Comelec's main office in Intramuros, Manila.

Candidates for other positions will have to file their COCs in their respective regional, provincial, or city/municipal Comelec offices. -

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