Can Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte substitute for Lakas-CMD's 'placeholders'?

Published November 11, 2021, 6:59 PM

by Dhel Nazario

As the approach of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio into the national election scene looms, it begs the question: can the presidential daughter substitute for the aforementioned “placeholders” of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) last month?

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is sworn as Lakas-CMD member by party president and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez. Wtinessing the event is Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Lakas-CMD chairman. (Photo from the Office of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to the rules of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as explained by Comelec Education and Information Department Director Elaiza Sabile-David, for her to be able to substitute for someone, she has to be party-mate of the one who withdrew his or her filed COC.

On Thursday, Nov. 11, Duterte-Carpio has formally joined the Lakas-CMD party as she took her oath at 6 p.m. at the residence of Sen. Bong Revilla in Cavite.

With this in mind, Duterte-Carpio can either substitute for a certain Anna Capella Velasco who filed a COC for president or Lyle Fernando Uy who filed for vice president under the same party on Oct. 8. House Deputy Speaker and Lakas-CMD secretary general Prospero Pichay Jr. has already confirmed in earlier reports that both are placeholders and they do not have a standard bearer.

Sabile-David has explained it is possible for a person who belongs to a different political party to change their current party affiliation the next day in order to substitute for someone the following day.

“Hindi po problema na ang isang kandidato ay kabilang sa kunyari partido A and then ang gusto niyang isubstitute na kandidato na nag withdraw ay kabilang sa Partido B (It’s not a problem if an aspiring candidate will switch from Party A to Party B to substitute a candidate from that party who withdrew their COC),” Sabile-David explained.

“Hindi po yun hadlang para siya po ay mag substitute ang kailangan lang po magkaroon siya ng nomination from partido B para po masubstitute niya yung kandidatong nag-withdraw doon (It’s not a hindrance for someone to substitute if they belong to Party A for they just need a nomination from Party B to substitute for the aspiring candidate),” she added.

She further mentioned that as long as there is a nomination from a party and that the person was acknowledged such as Duterte-Carpio as a member of the party, she may substitute for the candidate. However, Sabile-David said that an independent candidate, on the other hand, cannot be substituted.

Once these conditions have been met, the aspiring candidate must go in person file on or before the deadline set by the Comelec which is Nov. 15.

Sabile-David reminded that after an aspiring candidate has successfully substituted for someone, it is still not final and that petitions may still be filed against them.

“Maari pa rin po magkaroon ng petition for example is to declare that candidate nuisance, five days from the time na siya ay nagfile ng COC,” she said.