By NITZ ARANCON
THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday said candidates may still withdraw their certificates of candidacy but the Commission will be strict on substitutions.
Under normal circumstances, the Comelec will not allow substitutions. But there are three exceptions: the candidate is dead; the candidate is disabled or incapacitated; and the candidate has been disqualified from holding public office in a final court decision.
City elections officer Ramil Acol said this even as he pointed out that the period of substitution ended in December.
Carlito Ravelo, Misamis Oriental’s election officer who has been tasked to oversee the elections in Camiguin, said any candidate may opt to withdraw if he or she wishes to but the Comelec would no longer allow anyone to replace him or her.
“Kon mo-withdraw siya karong panahona, dili na mahimo nga pulihan siya kay voluntary man ang iyang pag-withdraw sa iyang candidacy,” said Ravelo. “Ang rule sa Comelec nga gitogot ang substitution kon dili kagustohan sa kandidato nga polihan siya apan napogos siya nga pulihan kay namatay, o na-disable or incapacitated.”
Still, there are more rules to follow in the event of a substitution. First, Ravelo said, the replacement should have the same surname because the official ballots were already printed.
“Kon la-in nga apilyedo sa kandidato ang mopuli sa namatay o na-incapacitated nga candidates, dili ma-o ang iyang apilyedo sa atong mga balota,” Ravelo explained.
Second, the replacement should be a member of the same political party.
Third, he said, the replacement needs to secure a declaration or certification from a person of authority.
Ravelo said that in case of being incapacitated, an official certification signed by a phyisician is required. But that’s not all — he said the Comelec would have the physician’s certificate checked and validated by the Department of Health (DOH).
“Taas nga proseso ang agian sa candidate kay moagi pa sa series of review ang iyang health condition,” he said.