In election law, a nuisance candidate is one who files a certificate of candidacy (COC) for the purpose of putting the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of names of the candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate (Section 69 Omnibus Election Code). A malfeasance on the other hand, is a deliberate act, or it can be by negligence, made by a public officer of the government in the performance of his or her functions, that causes damage or harm under Title VII, Chapter II of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. Being a criminal offense, the commission of a malfeasance has corresponding penalties.
The word ‘nuisance’ under Oxford languages, refer to persons, things, or circumstances causing inconvenience or annoyance. Indeed, being a nuisance candidate creates trouble especially involving candidates with similar names.
A person who is declared by final judgment as a nuisance candidate will not be penalized, as there is no sanction provided for by law, the most that could happen to said candidate is that he or she is disqualified or barred from running in the electoral exercise where he or she filed a COC. A nuisance candidate spells annoyance but nuisance is not a malfeasance.
Because these nuisance candidates are not prevented from filing COCs in future elections, Samar Representative Edgar M. Sarmiento filed House Bill No. 91, around two years ago, seeking to amend Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code that would provide a P100,000.00 fine on nuisance candidates including those who conspired with them in filing said COC. Hopefully, this would deter repeated filings of COCs that are meant to annoy.
Have you ever wondered who gets the votes garnered by a nuisance candidate, in case he or she is not disqualified during election day? Will the votes be counted? Or will they be considered stray votes? Watch Insider’s Notes on Election Laws at Baliktaktakan with Mr. Dhobie De Guzman and Ms. DJ Grasya Pantasya on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 9am.