Robredo says substitution provision being abused

Vice President Leni Robredo believes the provision of substitution in the election law is being abused by some politicians.

At a press conference in Naga City on Wednesday, Robredo explained that the provision is being abused by putting “placeholders” while waiting for other candidates to decide if they will run for an elective post.

The Vice President underscored that it is not the intention of the substitution provision under the election law.

Article IX, Section 77 of Omnibus Election Code provides that: “If after the last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy, an official candidate of a registered or accredited political party dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause, only a person belonging to, and certified by, the same political party may file a certificate of candidacy to replace the candidate who died, withdrew or was disqualified.”

“Since 2016, parang naaabuso, parang naaabuso itong provision on substitution. Alam natin kung bakit may provision na ganyan kasi kung mayroong hindi inaasahang pangyayari, mayroon dapat provision sa ilalim ng batas na inaallow ‘yung substitution,” Robredo said.

(Since 2016, it seems that it has been abused. We all know that there’s a provision like this so that under unexpected circumstances, substitution will be allowed under the law.)

“Pero nakikita natin ‘yung nangyari noong 2016, nakikita natin ngayon naaabuso siya in the sense na may mga placeholder na nilalagay. Hindi naman ‘yun ang intent ng batas. Ang intent ng batas, siguraduhin na pag may nangyaring hindi inaasahan, mayroong remedy. May hinihintay lang ng ibang magdesisyon, naglalagay ng place holder and ang pakiramdam ko parang mockery siya ng election law natin,” she added.

(However, we saw what happened in 2016, we see what is currently happening… it is being abused in a sense that placeholders are being put first. That’s not the intention of the law. The intention is if something unexpected happens, there will be a remedy. Now, they are just waiting for some candidates to decide so they are putting a placeholder first. For me it’s a mockery of our election law.)

To recall, then-Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte substituted Martin Dino, who filed a certificate of candidacy for president under PDP-Laban, during the 2016 presidential elections. Duterte won the elections.

Recently, PDP-Laban standard bearer in the 2022 polls, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, said he was willing to withdraw his candidacy for president if Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte would run for the post under their party.

The younger Duterte, however, insisted that she would be seeking a third term as Davao City mayor.

Robredo, meanwhile, said the election law should be revisited.

Under the Commission on Elections’ calendar for 2022 polls, substitution for a candidate in a national or local post can be filed from the end of the COC filing period until November 15, 2021. — RSJ, GMA News

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