Comelec says Lacson not running as 'independent' despite quitting Partido Reporma

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) — Despite leaving the political party, presidential hopeful Panfilo "Ping" Lacson would remain Partido Reporma's candidate on official ballots as the Commission on Elections still honors the certificate of candidacy he filed in October.

Lacson would have to keep Partido Reporma as his political party, at least for official ballots, according to Comelec Commissioner George Garcia.

"Whatever is your party at the time of the filing of the candidacy stays. Whatever change in your affiliation after the filing of candidacy, after the period doesn’t matter," he said during a virtual briefing.

"Regardless yung nangyari, it may be political, but as far as the legal effect is concerned, as far as the Comelec is concerned, whatever his or her party was at the time of the filing of October 1-8 will be his party for purposes of the ballot and for purposes of determining the dominant majority, minority party to be determined by the Comelec," Garcia explained.

This makes Lacson "not an independent candidate" despite his decision to resign as chairperson and member of the Partido Reporma on Thursday, Garcia said.

This came after Partido Reporma President Pantaleon Alvarez informed Lacson that their slate in Davao del Norte is set to back a rival candidate.

Alvarez, in a statement, later said officials and members of the party want to extend help to ensure Vice President Robredo wins as president, especially after seeing her campaign gain significant traction as May 9 approaches.

READ: Lacson leaves Partido Reporma as party set to back another presidential bet