By Robertzon Ramirez | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will resume accepting applications nationwide tomorrow for voters’ registration for the May 2022 national and local elections.
“After the filing of COCs, #VoterReg na naman uli. #MagparehistroKa na,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said on his official Twitter account, @jabjimenez yesterday. The filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) ended on Friday.
Comelec offices will accept applications for voter registration only on weekdays and on Oct. 30, a Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except at satellite
registration centers, which follows the schedule of the designated venues.
After the filing of COC, Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said they are now preparing for the resumption of voters’ registration as he assured the Filipino electorate that they will do their best to ensure clean and honest May 2022 polls.
“We in the Comelec will continue preparations in the coming days to ensure the success of the 2022 elections. We’ve resumed the registration period for voters from Monday Oct. 11 to Oct. 30,” Abas said in Filipino.
In a radio interview, Jimenez said politicians nowadays have different interpretation of the rules on substitution, compared to politicians in the past.
“It’s very different – the way they deal with the idea of substitution. In the past, they would make it clear to the public that they really intended to run. But now they would admit it’s no big deal – and that they merely want to give ‘hidden’ ones the chance to file in the future,” he said in Filipino.
“So I guess it’s different in tone, and in the character of the candidate,” he added.
Jimenez’s statement was in reaction to Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s admission that he would be glad to have Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio take his place as presidential candidate of the administration.
People have been speculating that Dela Rosa will eventually withdraw his candidacy for president to give way to Duterte-Carpio. But he stressed it’s still up to the ruling PDP-Laban to make Duterte-Carpio take his place if the Davao City mayor changes her mind and decides to run for president. The Davao City mayor has said she intends to seek reelection.
Jimenez explained that the Comelec has yet to declare official candidates for the 2022 polls.
He also emphasized that the law protects the right of an aspirant to withdraw his candidacy should he change his mind. He added it’s also the right of a political party to choose a substitute for its candidates if the need arises.
Based on rules, Jimenez reiterated that independent candidates are not entitled to substitution. Only candidates belonging to a political party can withdraw their candidacy.
Political aspirants who wish to withdraw their candidacy and nominate a substitute have until Nov. 15 to do so.
Asked if Duterte-Carpio can still substitute for Dela Rosa, Jimenez said she can if they are in the same political party. Dela Rosa filed his COC for president under the PDP-Laban faction of energy chief Alfonso Cusi.
The Comelec is set to discuss next week the petition filed by Cusi against the faction of the party led by Sens. Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino Pimentel III.