Comelec: No substitution of bets allowed after COC filing deadline

By Ferdinand Patinio

May 15, 2024, 8:10 pm

<p>Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia<em> (PNA file photo by Yancy Lim)</em></p>

Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia (PNA file photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will no longer allow substitution of candidates beyond the deadline of the filing period of certificate of candidacy (COC) for those running in the May 2025 midterm elections. 

In an interview Wednesday, Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia said the poll body en banc has agreed to set on Oct. 1 to 8 the COC filing period for next year's polls.

"It was a unanimous decision by the Commission en banc to our proposal to prohibit substitution after the last day of filing of COCs, which is Oct. 8, if it is on the ground of withdrawal of candidacy," Garcia said. 

The poll body chief said the decision to limit the period for substitute bets is for candidates to immediately declare their intent to run for a public position.

"To the candidates, lay your cards on the table, declare it, face it immediately. Don't rely on substitutions," he added.

Garcia said the substitution of candidates will still be permitted beyond Oct. 8 only on grounds of death or disqualification of candidates.

 At the same time, Garcia said they are finalizing the calendar of activities for next year’s elections.

"We are just finalizing the dates and periods in the resolution. Hopefully, by next week, we can already come out with it," he said.

Meanwhile, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said they expect the number of registered voters in the 2025 polls to be at 71 million.

This is possible once they hit the target of 3 million new voters in addition to the more than 68 million voters logged during the 2022 polls, Laudiangco said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing.

He said they have received 2.8 million voter applications since the start of voter registration activities on Feb. 12. 

“Out of 2.8 million applications we have accepted since February, 1.2 million are new voters. We still have five more months to go and we expect the number of new voters both local and abroad to soar," he added. 

The last day of voter registration is on Sept. 30. (PNA)