Comelec rejects pleas to reopen COC filing, postpone polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12)— The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday denied two separate petitions — one seeking to reopen the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) and the other to postpone the upcoming elections to 2025.

The first plea pertains to the request of the PDP-Laban wing headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, which also asked the Comelec to delay the printing of poll ballots due to unresolved cases against aspirants.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez explained the plea was junked as the grounds raised in the petition “were not meritorious.”

“The petition was saying that it’s impossible to do all of these things because hindi pa tapos ‘yung mga kaso (because the cases are not yet resolved). That is a wrong assertion. This is not the first time that we will be going to print with pending disqualification cases for example,” Jimenez said in a media briefing.

“The fact that there are pending disqualification cases has never been a reason for suspending the start of printing ballots," he added.

The second plea seeking the postponement of the elections was filed by the Coalition for Life and Democracy last month.

The group cited the continued threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

As for the reason for junking the petition, Jimenez advised to wait for the release of the poll body’s resolution.

“Both decided finally today, that’s why resolutions are not yet out,” he said. “Discussed and all agreed it should be denied.”

CNN Philippines Correspondent Melissa Lopez contributed to this report.