DUMAGUETE CITY – The names of candidates seeking election in the May 9 polls will still be found in the official ballot of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) despite having pending disqualification cases.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, the Comelec provincial election supervisor-designate of Negros Oriental, told the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday that this is the case of two candidates running for the same position in the province.

“Their names are already printed in the official ballot, the template of which can be found in our website, and in the event a final and executory decision has been made before election day, the votes counted on their behalf shall be deemed stray,” Castillano said in mixed English and Cebuano.

He declined to mention the names of these candidates and the position they are running for in Negros Oriental, saying that the disqualification cases have been filed directly with the Comelec central office and they cannot comment on these.

Castillano’s clarification came amid the disqualification cases involving the two – one of a supposed nuisance candidate, and the other, involving the legality of his term in public office.

“At this point, these individuals can still proceed with their candidacy, participate in the election campaign, and can even be voted into office unless disqualified,” he said.

But the Comelec lawyer said it would take years before a disqualification case can be resolved, based on previous cases filed against candidates.

The ruling of the poll body can also be contested and brought to the Supreme Court for final decision and so that makes the process more tedious, he said.

And if disqualified, a candidate who has been voted into office during the elections can be removed from the same, he added. (PNA)