This article talks about the disqualifications for running for public office embodied in the Omnibus Election Code and Local Government Code.
Disqualifications under the Omnibus Election Code
Election season is near. Political hopefuls must ensure that they not only possess the qualifications for the position they are eyeing but they must also possess NONE of the disqualifications.
Batas Pambansa Bilang 881, otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code (“Election Code”) provides for certain disqualifications. Thus, under the Election Code, the following are disqualified from running for public office:
1. Those declared as incompetent or insane by competent authority.
2. Those sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than 18 months imprisonment.
3. Those sentenced by final judgment for a crime involving moral turpitude.
4. Those who are permanent residents of or immigrants to a foreign country, unless he has waived his status as such.
The disqualification for insane persons shall be removed upon declaration by the competent authority that such insanity or incompetence has been removed. For those sentenced by final judgement of offenses in items 2 and 3 above, the disqualification shall be lifted after the expiration of 5 years from service of sentence.
Disqualifications as a Result of Election Offenses
Even after a candidate has filed his Certificate of Candidacy and duly received by the Comelec, the candidate may still be disqualified if he has committed election offenses under Section 68 of the Election Code. Thus, the following election offenses are sufficient to cause the disqualification of a candidate:
1. Giving money or materials to influence or corrupt voters or public officials performing electoral functions
2. Committing acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy
3. Spending in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by law.
4. Soliciting, receiving or making prohibited contributions
5. Commission of the following prohibited acts under Sec. 80 (campaign period), Sec 83 (removal, destruction of lawful election paraphernalia, Sec 85 (prohibited forms of propaganda), Sec 86 (regulation of propaganda through mass media) and Sec 261 (election offenses)
In a Petition for Disqualification under Section 68 of the Election Code, a prior judgment by a competent court that the candidate is guilty of an election offense is not required before the said petition can be entertained or given due course by the Commission on Elections [Francisco vs. Comelec, G.R. No. 230249, 24 April 2018]
Disqualifications under the Local Government Code (for local officials only)
For local candidates, such as those running for the position of mayor, vice-mayor, governor, vice-governor, councilor, among others, Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991”, as amended (“Local Government Code”) has provided for certain disqualifications. Thus, the following are disqualified from running for a local elective post:
1. those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by 1 year or more imprisonment within 2 years after serving sentence.
2. those removed from office as a result of an administrative case
3. those convicted by final judgment for violating oath of allegiance to the Philippines
4. those with dual citizenship
5. fugitives from justice in criminal or nonpolitical cases here and abroad
6. permanent residents in a foreign country or those who have acquired the right to reside abroad and continue to avail of the same right
7. the insane or feeble-minded
So, before you run for public office, you must make sure that you do not fall under any of the abovementioned disqualifications!
About Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices
If you want to learn more on how to file a certificate of candidacy for Philippine elections, file an election protest or simply need assistance Philippine election law matters, we can help you. Nicolas and de Vega Law Offices is a full-service law firm in the Philippines. You may visit us at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may also call us at +632 84706126, +632 84706130, +632 84016392 or e-mail us at [email protected]. Visit our website https://ndvlaw.com.