THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has said that substitution of candidates will be allowed to continue until it is done but only those belonging to a political party or coalition who either died or were disqualified by final judgment.

But Comelec spokesman Jamens Jimenez clarified that the substitution can only be consummated if the substitute candidate and the substituted candidate have the same surname.

"They should have the same surname, regardless if they are related by blood or not," he added.

Under Comelec rules, Jimenez explained, there are three ways to substitute a candidate -- by voluntary withdrawal, which ended on November 15, while substitution because of death or final conviction would be allowed until midday of election day on May 9, 2022.

Jimenez pointed out that the right to substitution can only be done on candidates that belong to the party, adding that "no substitution shall be allowed for an independent candidate."

Comelec records showed that there were a total of 97 aspirants for president 29 for vice president and 176 senators.

Following the end of voluntary withdrawal and substitution last Nov. 15, three presidential aspirants withdrew their certificates of candidacy (CoC) but only two were substituted.

For vice-president, four withdrew but only two were substituted, while for senator there were 11 withdrawals but only six were substituted.