Cusi-led PDP-Laban says substitution no mockery of elections

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Cusi-led PDP-Laban says substitution no mockery of elections
Sen. Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa files his certificate of candidacy for president under PDP-Laban on October 8, 2021.
Photo by COMELEC on Twitter

MANILA, Philippines — The PDP-Laban faction headed by Energy chief Alfonso Cusi insisted the substitution of candidates is not a mockery of the electoral process.

Political parties have until November 15 to substitute candidates for the 2022 elections.

“If the real intent of the Omnibus Election Code envisioned only those who will die along the way or be disqualified, then why didn’t the lawmakers just state so? It’s that simple. If the law is clear there should be no room for interpretation,” PDP-Laban secretary general Melvin Matibag said in a statement Thursday. 

Lawmakers flagged the use of substitution by political parties, with House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez filing a bill seeking to prohibit the substitution of bets who voluntarily withdraw their candidacies.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a presidential aspirant, also said he is favor of banning candidate substitution due to withdrawal.

“It’s not a mockery of the elections law if the political parties use every available legal option, or time, for them to finally decide the candidates to field,” Matibag said.

“A mockery is when rules are not applied equally. And every party is entitled to employ its own political strategies,” he added, citing the decision of Vice President Leni Robredo to run as an independent candidate and change campaign colors.

Under the Omnibus Election Code of 1985, a political party is allowed to substitute a candidate if its original bet dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause.


The Cusi-led PDP-Laban is fielding Sens. Ronald dela Rosa and Bong Go as its presidential and vice presidential candidates for next year’s poll.

Dela Rosa is seen as a placeholder for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. He said he learned he was the party’s standard bearer two hours before the deadline.

He also said he would be willing to drop out should Duterte-Carpio finally decides to run for the country’s top post.

Although he insisted that Dela Rosa is not a placeholder candidate, Matibag said there is nothing wrong if PDP-Laban decides to have a substitute for the former top cop turned lawmaker.

The party initially endorsed Go as its presidential bet, with President Rodrigo Duterte as his running mate. But in an unexpected move, Duterte announced his “retirement,” while his longtime aide filed his candidacy for vice president.


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