'No extensions, no additional day': Filing for withdrawals and substitutions ends Monday – Comelec

Published November 15, 2021, 10:37 AM

by Dhel Nazario

No more extensions will be given to those who will want to withdraw or switch candidates for the 2022 elections as it ends Monday, Nov. 15.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez answers questions from the media during a press briefing at the Comelec office at Intramuros, Manila.(photo by Ali Vicoy)

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez in an interview on CNN, said that parties have until 5 p.m. to file for withdrawals and substitutions.

“No extensions, no additional day, just today,” he said.

On the other hand, security forces have been scattered within the Comelec building on Monday to avoid the repeat of the scenario that transpired during the second to the last day of filing for withdrawals and substitutions on Saturday, Nov. 13 wherein health protocols were somehow ignored with the arrival of President Duterte along with then vice presidential aspirant Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

“Last Saturday most of our security forces were deployed towards the back of the building where the designated entrance for candidates were but now we’re deploying our security forces pretty much all over the place. Just to make sure if anyone comes today to take advantage of the last day of withdrawals then we’ll be ready for them,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez explained in a press briefing later in the afternoon that what happened on Saturday also happened earlier on Monday. He said that some came in to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) office which is an office under the Office of the President just like Palace del Gobernador and from there people crossed.

“Just like what that other group was trying to do earlier. They went from there and tried to come in through here. That was an unexpected move. And as a result nakapasok sila. So that is what happened,” he added.

“”Remember hindi lang filing ang nagaganap sa building na ito. This is in fact an office building under the Office of the President. And so kapag may pumasok with business with other offices talagang nakakapasok sila and unfortunately that is perhaps our failing on our part na hindi natin sila nacontrol as they came in here and because of that the situation spiraled until what happened transpired,” Jimenez stated.

Jimenez recalled that during the filing of COCs in October, they had an advance party from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) but on Saturday, there was no such thing and that it must have added to the confusion that happened.

As for the health protocols that were violated, he mentioned that their security committee is studying what occurred.

“One of the things that we did see was social distancing really all but evaporated with the crush of people who were coming in. Most of them were masked anyway but still you want to keep a good distance between individuals and that’s what we saw,” he said.