2022 Philippine Elections

#PHVote Guides: Grounds for disqualifying a candidate

Loreben Tuquero

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#PHVote Guides: Grounds for disqualifying a candidate
A petition for disqualification may be filed any day after the last day for filing of COCs, but not later than the date of proclamation

Months away from the campaign period – when aspirants officially become candidates – false claims against presidential bets are circulating on social media, saying they have been disqualified from the 2022 elections.

Subjects of such claims include Senator Manny Pacquiao and Vice President Leni Robredo. These rumors have since been debunked.

How does a candidate get disqualified? Here are the election rules you need to know.

What are the grounds for disqualification?

Election lawyer Emil Marañon III previously wrote in an explainer that the Omnibus Election Code specifies two remedies that may be filed against bona fide candidates before their election:

Section 12 says a person may be disqualified from becoming a candidate and holding any office if she or he:

  • is “declared by competent authority as insane or incompetent.”
  • has been “sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion” or for any offense with a penalty of over 18 months or for a crime involving moral turpitude.

These will hold unless candidates are given a plenary pardon or granted amnesty.

Section 68 states that any candidate may be disqualified from continuing as a candidate or, if already elected, from holding office, if found guilty by a final decision in an action or protest in which they are involved, or found by the Commission of having:

  • “given money or other material consideration to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions
  • “committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy
  • “spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code
  • “solicited, received or made any contribution prohibited under Sections 89, 95, 96, 97 and 104
  • “violated any of Sections 80, 83, 85, 86 and 261, paragraphs d, e, k, v, and cc, subparagraph 6.”

The specific sections stated in the last two points are provisions that fall under either campaign and election propaganda, electoral contributions and expenditures, or election offenses.

In addition, persons who are permanent residents of, or immigrants to, another country shall not be qualified to run for office in the Philippines, unless they have waived their status as such.

Who may file a petition for disqualification?

According to Rule 25 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure, as amended by Comelec Resolution No. 9523, a petition for disqualification may be filed by any registered voter or any duly registered political party, organization, or coalition of political parties.

When can this petition be filed?

The same rule says it may be filed any day after the last day for filing of COCs, but not later than the date of proclamation. – Rappler.com

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Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.