Comelec says dragging withdrawal issue not conducive to orderly polls

Published December 6, 2021, 6:02 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Although political aspirants are still allowed to withdraw their certiticates of candidacy (COCs), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said dragging the matter is not conducive to orderly elections.

“If the candidate makes an announcement, one would expect that people would react to the announcement and wait for them to make good,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a press briefing on Monday, Dec. 6.

“This (delay) is not conducive to an orderly elections, so we would hope candidates will understand that. There is no good to be done to the system or to the Filipino people in dragging things like that,” he added.

Still, Jimenez said, they cannot force anyone to do anything that they do not want to.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go earlier announced his decision to withdraw from the presidential race but has yet to officially withdraw his COC.

Last month, Jimenez said voluntary withdrawals cannot be substituted.

“Withdrawal is a matter of right. You can withdraw at any time. The issue is whether you can be replaced or substituted,” he said.

The period for substitution due to withdrawal of COCs ended on Nov. 15.

“After this date, you can only be substituted if withdrawal is involuntary, which means death or disqualification. You cannot be substituted if you voluntarily withdrew,” said Jimenez.

Meanwhile, the Comelec has reminded aspirants, political parties who continously gather people during their sorties not to endanger the lives of their supporters amid the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Don’t endanger your supporters… just so you can get your crowds, just so you can get your photo ops. You are endangering the lives of Filipinos who believe in you. Please think twice about doing that,” Jimenez said.