Press Release
March 10, 2023

Gatchalian to Comelec: Resolve disqualification, nuisance candidates cases before election

So as not to compromise the integrity and safety of the electoral process, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should quickly move to resolve disqualification cases, including cases involving nuisance candidates.

Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No. 1061 or An Act Providing an Additional Ground for Cancelling the Certificate of Candidacy of a Nuisance Candidate and Making the Acts of Nuisance Candidate an Election Offense, Amending Sections 69, 261 (CC) and 264 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines.

The move could also potentially diffuse political tensions and deter bitter political conflicts in the country, said Gatchalian, citing the case of slain Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

Comelec proclaimed Degamo as the new winner of the 2022 Negros Oriental gubernatorial race in October last year after the poll body transferred to him the votes obtained by the candidate "Ruel G. Degamo" who was declared as a nuisance candidate four months after the elections. The Supreme Court upheld Comelec's decision last month.

"The bill seeks to curb the emerging unethical electoral practice of some individuals profiting from the elections by using their names or resources with the end goal of abusing the system, and thus, debasing our constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage and free elections. Such practice must stop and identifying and penalizing these acts are the right steps in protecting our democracy," Gatchalian said.

The proposed measure of Gatchalian provides that those who aim to obtain money, profit, or any other consideration in filing a certificate of candidacy will be considered a nuisance candidate. Under the existing law, candidates that fall under the following circumstances are considered nuisance candidates: those who aim to put the election process in mockery or disrepute, those who cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates, and those who have no bona fide intention to run for public office as demonstrated by any other circumstance or acts.

Meanwhile, Comelec earlier said it will move the filing of certificate of candidacy (CoC) for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) three months before the October 30 polls so it will have enough time to resolve disqualification and nuisance candidates cases.


Dapat resolbahin ng Comelec ang mga kaso ng disqualification, nuisance candidates bago ang halalan --Gatchalian

Upang hindi makompromiso ang integridad at kaligtasan ng eleksyon, dapat mabilis na kumilos ang Commission on Elections (Comelec) para resolbahin ang mga kaso ng disqualification, kabilang ang mga kasong kinasasangkutan ng mga nuisance candidate.

Inihain ni Gatchalian ang Senate Bill No. 1061 o An Act Providing An Additional Ground for Canceling the Certificate of Candidacy of a Nuisance Candidate and Make the Acts of Nuisance Candidate an Election Offense, Amending Sections 69, 261 (CC) and 264 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, o mas kilala bilang Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines.

Sabi ni Gatchalian, kung maagap ang pagresolba ng mga kaso ng disqualification at nuisance candidates ay maiiwasan ang iba't ibang uri ng tensiyon sa pulitika at maaari nitong hadlangan ang hindi maayos na mga salungatan sa pagitan ng mga pulitiko. Binigay halimbawa ng senador ang kaso ng pinaslang na si Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

Inihayag ng Comelec si Degamo bilang bagong nanalo sa 2022 Negros Oriental gubernatorial race noong Oktubre ng nakaraang taon matapos ilipat sa kanya ng poll body ang mga boto na nakuha ng kandidatong "Ruel G. Degamo" na idineklara bilang nuisance candidate apat na buwan pagkatapos ng halalan. Pinagtibay ng Korte Suprema ang desisyon ng Comelec noong nakaraang buwan.

"Layon ng panukalang batas na pigilan ang umuusbong na hindi etikal na electoral practice ng ilang indibidwal na kumikita mula sa halalan sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng kanilang mga pangalan na may layuning abusuhin ang sistema na sumisira sa mithiin ng karapatang pagboto at malayang halalan. Dapat matigil na ang ganitong gawain at ang pagtukoy at pagpaparusa sa mga gawaing ito ay tamang hakbang upang protektahan ang ating demokrasya," sabi ni Gatchalian.

Nakasaad sa panukala ni Gatchalian na ang mga nais lang na makakuha ng pera o anumang kita o kaparehong konsiderasyon sa paghahain ng certificate of candidacy (CoC) ay maituturing na isang nuisance candidate. Sa ilalim ng umiiral na batas, ang mga kandidatong itinuturing na nuisance candidate ay ang mga naglalayong ilagay ang proseso ng halalan sa pangungutya o kasiraan, nagdudulot ng kalituhan sa mga botante dahil sa paggamit ng parehong pangalan ng mga rehistradong kandidato, at wala talagang intensyong tumakbo para sa pampublikong katungkulan batay sa mga ipinapakitang kilos o batay sa sitwasyon.

Samantala, nauna nang sinabi ng Comelec na ililipat nito ang paghahain ng certificate of candidacy (CoC) para sa Barangay at Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) tatlong buwan bago ang botohan sa Oktubre 30 upang magkaroon ito ng sapat na panahon upang malutas ang mga kaso ng disqualification at nuisance candidates.

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