MANILA, Philippines – The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Friday said it has asked the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to reopen the period for the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2022 national and local elections.
In a statement, the group said it has filed a petition urging the reopening of the COC filing as the poll body cannot yet print official ballots due to pending petitions.
The party filed the petition more than a month after the deadline for the COC filing lapsed on November 15.
“The party believes that the COMELEC should re-open and allow the filing of COC’s for National and Local candidates in view of the fact that it cannot, and should not, proceed with printing of ballots for the 2022 elections while several cases affecting candidates and party-lists are still pending before it”, said Atty. Melvin Matibag, Secretary General of PDP Laban said.
The PDP-Laban has no candidate for president in next year’s polls.
In its petition, the PDP-Laban wing said it did not have enough time “to remedy the political vacuum” that was created by the withdrawal of Senator Ronald dela Rosa’s candidacy for president.
Dela Rosa’s candidacy appeared to be a last-minute decision of the group.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s former aide and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go initially filed his candidacy for vice president under the PDP-Laban but later ditched the bid after presidential daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte filed her COC for vice president.
Go then filed his COC for president via substitution under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan, which is an ally of the PDP-Laban. Go, in the end, withdrew his election bid.
“We are asking the COMELEC to review its self-imposed deadlines in the interest of the electorate. This petition will benefit everyone and should be intently considered by the Commission,” he added.
COMELEC earlier said it is still resolving petitions, including the ones questioning the candidacy of Bongbong Marcos.
The poll body is looking to finalize and release the official list of candidates for 2022 polls on January 7, 2022, and start the printing of ballots by January 12.