Dela Rosa backs calls to amend substitution rule

Published October 19, 2021, 10:31 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Presidential aspirant Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Tuesday said he agrees to proposals that seek to amend the substitution rule under the country’s electoral law.

Dela Rosa, who earlier said he is willing to give way to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, should she decide to run for president in next year’s polls under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban), said he agrees that political parties could use it as a “strategy.”

“Dapat talaga tanggalin ito. I am for it kasi nagagamit ito na strategy ng mga partido (It should be removed. I am for it because political parties use it as a strategy),” Dela Rosa said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart.

“Wala akong problema diyan kung ikakabuti ng (I have no problem with that, if that would improve our) electoral process…I will go for it. I will support it,” he added.

Nevertheless, he said, he believes this particular rule is not being abused as of now.

Dela Rosa also said he sees nothing wrong if the ruling political party itself uses this rule should there be changes in their selection of a standard bearer.

“For me abuse is too much of a term…but it is covered by the law. It is covered by the Omnibus Election Code, so bakit hindi pwedeng gamitin (so why can’t it be used)? It is provided by law,” he stressed.

The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi had earlier reiterated it is not waiting for anyone to replace Dela Rosa as their standard bearer.

They also denied that Dela Rosa is a “last-minute” choice and a “placeholder.”

The Comelec has set November 15 as the last day for the substitution of candidates. Under the election laws, a substitute candidate can file his certificate of candidacy (COC) if the candidate he is replacing with dies, withdraws or is disqualified by final judgment.