Comelec junks petitions to reopen COC period, defer 2022 elections

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez

THE Commission on Elections junked the petitions for the reopening of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) and postponing of the 2022 polls to next year.

The poll body’s spokesperson James Jimenez said the Comelec en banc made the decision during its meeting last Wednesday.

He said members of the Comelec en banc unanimously voted against the petition of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) led Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi to reopen the COC filing period, which ended on October 8, 2021, for lacking merit.

The petition from PDP-Laban, Jimenez said, wrongfully asserted that deadlines set by Comelec are “arbitrary.”

“The allegation does not take into consideration all of the other preparatory activities that are being conducted by the Comelec,” Jimenez said in an online press briefing on Wednesday.

The Cusi wing of PDP-Laban also sought to defer the printing of the ballots due to pending cases against some candidates. The proposal was also thumbed down by the Comelec en banc.

“The fact that there are pending disqualification cases has never been a reason for suspending the start of printing ballots,” Jimenez said.

Last, Jimenez noted that Comelec en banc also unanimously rejected the appeal of the National Coalition for Life and Democracy (NCLD) to reschedule the 2022 polls to 2023.

NCLD cited the threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic as the main reason for deferring the next elections.

Jimenez earlier said such postponement of the elections will require changing the Constitution.

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