The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced that its offices will be open today to await the ‘unprecendented’ number of withdrawals and substitutions among aspirants for national positions before the 15 November deadline.
The announcement was prompted by Sara Duterte-Carpio’s withdrawal of her candidacy from running for reelection in Davao City as mayor to bid for a national post.
MANILA, Philippines — As early as Thursday, the Comelec headquarters in Manila has begun live posts on Facebook, apparently in anticipation of the arrival of aspirants who have to personally file their statements of withdrawal.
On the other hand, their substitutes, who are required to be their political party mates, may file their own certificates of candidacy (CoCs) personally or through a representative.
“At the local level this (number of withdrawals and substitutions) is pretty common, but at the national level this is sort of unprecedented,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez noted in a televised interview.
Jimenez explained the decision for its offices to remain open on a Saturday was rooted on averting the crowding among withdrawing aspirants and their substitutes on the last day set next week on Monday.
“We know historically that Filipinos love going on the last day. We are concerned that they may flock to the offices to withdraw since personal appearance is a requirement,” he pointed out.
While the last day of filing of certificates of candidacy was last 08 October, the Comelec allows voluntary withdrawal of CoCs and substitutions among party mates until 15 November.
The Comelec is expected to release the final list of candidates in December. It said earlier that it had initiated petitions to declare as nuisance candidates 82 of 97 presidential aspirants, 15 of 28 vice presidential aspirants and 108 of 174 senatorial aspirants.
The poll body has so far received petitions for the cancellation of the CoCs of 91 prospective national candidates, including presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (TRC/JuanManila)