Time to ditch the ‘deceptive’ substitution program for aspiring candidates – analysts
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5) – Filipinos love the theater, and some politicians know how to perform it.
Existing electoral rules allow last-minute political aspirants to join the race by substitution, so Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte became one of the presidential candidates in 2016.
However, two political analysts said a similar maneuver might not work this time around, adding that the substitution option should now be removed.
“I’m not sure people will buy it again because it’s not fresh anymore. It was used by Duterte in the 2016 election,” said Dr Jean Encinas-Franco, associate professor in the department of political science from the University of the Philippines. , said in an interview. “There is a guessing game behind that pero [but] as to whether that will lead to votes, I don’t know. “
Aspiring candidates in the May 2022 polls have only three days left to submit their nomination papers (COCs) to the Electoral Commission. However, the betting list will not be final until after November 15th due to possible substitutions.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said there are two types of substitution. The first is voluntary substitution, where an aspirant who has previously filed a COC withdraws their intention to run to make way for another party member seeking the post.
Jimenez told reporters on Monday that the alternate candidate must be a member of the same political party and not just a group that is part of an alliance. He added that the electoral body had not received any candidacies from party coalitions for the 2022 elections.
Meanwhile, there is also an involuntary substitution, when a candidate dies or is disqualified from the race before May 9. The rules allow a parent who shares the same last name to speak until noon on election day, and the votes cast will be counted in their favor. .
Lawyer Tony La Viña, former dean of the Ateneo school of government, said another substitution may be underway. He added that Senator Bong Go could simply be a placeholder for the president in the running for vice-president – the same tactic that PDP-Laban member Martin Diño employed for Duterte in 2015.
Duterte said earlier that he intended to run for vice president for maintaining immunity from prosecution, although Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and legal experts said only the president in exercise enjoys such an advantage.
La Viña added that the system is misleading and should already be removed.
“This is already an outdated provision because it is based on the idea that political parties are the way we organize our politics. It just isn’t true in the Philippines now,” he told CNN. Philippines. “It’s an old trick, and an old trick needs to be taken out. We need to have a more mature policy in this country, our policy has been hijacked by personalities and by families.”
For La Viña, the replacements by involuntary withdrawals from the race are “justified”. However, voluntary transitions should not be allowed.
“You are deceiving the people, you are lying to the people,” he added. “From the start you already know what you want to do … so you just pretend you’ve changed your mind.”
Eric Alvia, general secretary of the poll monitoring body, National Movement of Citizens for Free Elections (Namfrel), said separately that substitutions should only be allowed “in the event of death or mental / physical incapacity” of the initial applicant.
“While not illegal, we see it as an opportunistic tactic to extract a competitive advantage from ‘reserving’ or ‘parking’ a candidate’s place for a position,” said Alvia. “Pretending to run or not to run for office reveals how far a candidate or political party will go to gain a victory or an advantage. Unfortunately, that’s part of the game.”
Franco stressed that changing a candidate in the middle of the game gives the impression that aspiring leaders are not really serious about serving the people.
“The fact that we have this (substitution) creates so much uncertainty. How can you even start asking questions on the platforms if they don’t know who is running for what position?” she added.
La Viña said a new law was needed to end the substitution program.