Party substitution extends Oct. 8 deadline | Inquirer Opinion
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With Due Respect

Party substitution extends Oct. 8 deadline

Appointive officials are deemed resigned from their posts on the very day they file their certificates of candidacy (COCs) on Oct. 1 to 8. In contrast, elective officials continue to occupy, and to discharge the powers and functions of, their positions until they finish their terms of office.

So held the Supreme Court, voting 10-5, in Quinto v. Comelec (Feb. 22, 2010) penned by CJ Puno and concurred in by JJs Brion, Peralta, Del Castillo, Abad, Villarama, Perez, Mendoza; Carpio and Carpio Morales both with concurring opinions. J Nachura dissented, joined by JJs Corona, Velasco, Leonardo-De Castro, and Bersamin.

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The Puno decision upheld the constitutionality of Section 13 of Republic Act No. 9369 which states that “any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officers and employees in government-owned or -controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.”

Accordingly, Cabinet members are deemed resigned, without need of formally tendering their resignations, on the day they file their COCs for the Senate or any other elective post.

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However, President Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo, Mayor Isko Moreno, Mayor Sara Duterte, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Sen. Ping Lacson, Senate President Tito Sotto, and other elective officials shall keep their respective posts till June 30, 2022 regardless of what position they may vie for. Senator Ping and SP Tito cannot run for reelection because they are finishing their second terms, and are barred by the Constitution from seeking a third consecutive term.

On the other hand, should Senator Manny lose in running for any post other than for reelection to the Senate, he would be jobless after June 30, 2022, unlike Sen. Grace Poe who can continue serving the unexpired portion of her second consecutive term even if she loses in a possible quest for a higher elective post. Likewise, barangay captains can run for any elective position, like councilor, mayor, etc., without being deemed resigned.

The Puno decision is controversial because it completely reversed on reconsideration a decision in the same case rendered less than three months earlier, on Dec. 1, 2009. The Supreme Court, voting 8-6 (with one seat vacant), declared unconstitutional the same provision of RA 9369 because it violated “the equal protection clause of the Constitution and suffer[ed] from overbreadth.”

This earlier decision was penned by J Nachura and concurred in by JJs Corona, Chico-

Nazario, Velasco, Leonardo-De Castro, Brion, Bersamin, and Del Castillo; CJ Puno dissented, joined by JJs Peralta, Abad, and Villarama; both Carpio and Carpio Morales wrote separate dissents.

How did the 8-6 voting on the earlier Nachura decision become 10-5 in the Puno decision? Answer: Within the period from Dec. 1, 2009 to Feb. 22, 2010, J Chico-Nazario retired, thereby decreasing the votes for J Nachura. Moreover, JJs Brion and Del Castillo flipped sides and two new appointees, JJs Perez and Mendoza, voted with CJ Puno.

On substitution of candidates, Comelec Resolution No. 10717 (Aug. 18, 2021) states that an aspirant/official candidate of a registered political party (PP) or coalition who withdraws, dies, or is disqualified for any cause may be substituted by an aspirant/official candidate belonging to or nominated by the same PP or coalition, on or before Nov. 15. Here, the name of the substitute will be included in the printed automated ballots. No substitution is allowed for independent candidates. Neither is substitution allowed for those who withdraw after Nov. 15.Nonetheless, without such inclusion in the automated ballots, the substitute for a candidate who died or was disqualified by a final judgment may file a COC up to the midday of Election Day, provided the substitute and the substituted aspirant/candidate have the same surname.

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Under these rules, a presidential (or vice presidential) bet of, say, the XYZ Party who files his COC on Oct. 8 and who later withdraws may be substituted by any aspirant belonging to or is nominated by the said registered political party up to Nov. 15. In fact, the substitution for those who died or are disqualified could be effected up to the midday of May 9, 2022 provided the substitute bears the same surname as the substituted candidate.

Through substitution, the Oct. 8 deadline for filing COCs is extended to Nov. 15 for candidates of registered political parties.

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TAGS: 2022 elections, appointive officials, Artemio V. Panganiban, elective officials, filing of certificates of candidacy, substitution of candidates, With Due Respect
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