The Philippine Star : Comelec tightens rules for party-list nominees

23 August 2021

By Mayen Jaymalin | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has adopted stricter rules on the nomination, withdrawal and substitution of party-list nominees in an apparent bid to prevent another controversy similar to that of Duterte Youth.

In a resolution, it prohibited the nomination of a losing candidate for any elective office in the May 2019 elections to a party-list post. It also ruled that an individual may only be nominated in one party-list group.

Except when the nominee dies, becomes incapacitated, or there is a valid withdrawal, the Comelec will no longer allow alterations or change of names after the list has already been submitted to the commission.

“In case of withdrawal of nominees, it should be done in writing, under oath, and filed with the Comelec law department not later than Nov. 15, 2021,” the Comelec noted.

A nominee, who withdraws his acceptance to the nomination, shall not be eligible for re-nomination by the same party or nomination by other parties.

According to the Comelec, a substitution will not be valid unless the party files with a list of its substitute nominees, along with their certificates of nomination and acceptance of the substitute nominees, and an affidavit executed by the secretary-general and the chairperson or president of the party to prove that the substitute possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications.

The name of the substitute nominee, it added, shall be placed last in the list and the number of party-list nominees in the new list shall be the same as the number of those previously submitted in the original list.

In case the nominee dies or becomes incapacitated, there can be no valid substitution if filed beyond the Nov. 15 deadline, unless the original submitted list has been exhausted due to death and/or incapacity of the nominees.

The party-list is required to file with the Comelec law department within 10 days the notice and proof of death or incapacity. Substitutions due to the death and/or incapacity of the nominees shall be allowed only up to noon of election day.

The party-list also needs to publish its new and complete list of nominees in two national newspapers of general circulation within five days from filing of the list of substitute nominees, and to submit the proof of publication within three days from its completion.

“No substitution shall be valid without compliance with the requirements on publication and submission of proof,” the Comelec stressed.

In the last May 2019 elections, Duterte Youth was embroiled in controversy after it was able to substitute its nominees at least three times despite going beyond the deadline set by the Comelec.

The administration-allied party-list group secured a seat in the House of Representatives after getting a total of 354,629 votes despite the controversy.