"During election season, we hear about nuisance candidates. What makes a candidate a nuisance? Who may file a petition to declare a candidate a nuisance? When should such a petition be filed? Are there penalties for nuisance candidates? -Sara
According to Section 1 of Part V, Rule 24 of the Commission on Elections’ (COMELEC) Rules of Procedure, candidates “for any elective office who filed [their] certificate of candidacy to put the election process in mockery or disrepute” may be declared nuisance candidates and have their certificates of candidacy denied due course or altogether cancelled. Other grounds for being declared a nuisance candidate are when a candidate aims to “cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates” and when a candidate is “clearly demonstrated to have no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed.” Any candidate for any position may file a petition to declare any other candidate for the same position a nuisance on any of the aforementioned grounds within five days of the last day for filing certificates of candidacy.
To date, no sanctions or penalties are in place for nuisance candidates. COMELEC, however, has expressed support for a current bill in the House of Representatives that proposes to penalize and ban nuisance candidates from elections.
As of 15 November 2021, of the 97 individuals who filed their certificates of candidacy for the 2022 presidential elections, 82 have such petitions filed against them.