A section of law is rapidly being spread in provinces, where, disqualified candidates are still on the ballots and used to keep hopes and dreams of victory alive in contests that are close.
A friend of mine and colleague, who just got back from an area where a popular actor was disqualified, noted that it– a portion of article nine section 72 of the omnibus election code– is spread by text message and in posters in the local dialect as well as by SMS text message.
Disqualification for election violations has been the norm in this election season as a way for some to lessen the opponents chances of winning. In many cases, the disqualification are versus so-called in law as ‘nuisance candidates’ or those who violated a section of law of the election code or failed to meet requirements.
Many of the disqualification cases are based on residency or domicile – and/or other areas of concern. It is a matter that the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) should clarify as the issue may lead to tension in areas of conflict or concern.
A clarification statement on this might clear things up.
Anyhow, this is an issue needed to be resolved, and is being used allegedly by the disqualified candidates in many areas until a final judgement is entered into.
Since this issue is spreading in appeals to voters. It is causing some confusion in many parts of the country and perhaps the COMELEC en banc or a part of the body dealing with this might issue some clarification.
Confusion during any election can be a dangerous thing in the Philippines, and, may fuel fears of violence or raising already volatile tension if issues like this are not cleared up.
Here is the section of law…
ELIGIBILITY OF CANDIDATES AND CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY
sec 72 (second paragraph)
 …Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted.
Nevertheless, if for any reason, a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election, his violation of the provisions of the preceding sections shall not prevent his proclamation and assumption to office…. BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 881
As it reads the section does have a key word being ‘final judgement’, hence, since appeals in many cases are before the courts, a pending case might be used as basis per some lawyers I’ve asked informally.
In other cases, if the matter is still being discussed as election day nears on appeal, does it mean that disqualified candidates can still take part?
Are the machines programed to deal with it?
What if the machines are programmed to count, or not count?
It is an issue that may is expected to pop up in the days and weeks ahead and a good story for journalists’ to look into as a story topic viewed with some concern in many parts of the Philippines.