TWO days before the end of the substitution period for the 2022 elections, key aspirnts including presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go stirred the election landscape when they declared they will be running for new national positions. 

Carpio’s legal counsel filed her new Certificate of Candidacy (COC) on Saturday, formalizing her intent to run for Vice President under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).

She replaced the previous vice presidential aspirant of Lakas-CMD, Lyle Uy.

Within hours, the Partido Federal of declared presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. released a resolution adopting Duterte-Carpio as their party’s VP nominee, as running mate to the former senator.

Duterte-Carpio filed her COC in October supposedly to seek another term as Davao Mayor under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional political party she founded. 

However, she ultimately decided to withdraw her reelection bid and then resigned from HNP last week, quickly following this up with her oath-taking as  Lakas-CMD member on the sidelines of the wedding of Lakas party chief Sen. Bong Revilla’s daughter.  She and Marcos Jr. were sponsors at the Revilla wedding in the clan’s farm in Cavite.

Bong Go files COC for president

Meanwhile, also on Saturday, Go decided to change his 2022 election plan. He withdrew his COC for his vice-presidential bid under the  Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Instead, Go filed his new COC to run for President under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS).

Go was accompanied by no less than President Duterte and other Cabinet members when he personally filed his new COC at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila. 

Meanwhile, Go’s supposed running mate as PDP-Laban presidential aspirant, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, decided to withdraw his candidacy during the weekend. 

Dela Rosa said he made the decision to withdraw upon the instruction of the PDP-Laban leadership. 

He had earlier admitted in a TV interview that when he filed his COC for President just hours before deadline on October 8, he was told by party higher-ups to do so just on that day. This fueled speculation he was a “place holder” candidate,  which he and party top brass denied.

As of press time, PDP-Laban has yet to announce who its new standard-bearer will be in the 2022 polls. 

The end of the substitution period is on Nov. 15, 2021. 

Election watchdogs have condemned such substitutions as a blatant abuse of the Omnibus Election Code to confuse the public. 

This has led some lawmakers to call for the abolition of the substitution scheme, a call which the Commission on Elections does not support. 

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