Duterte may no longer run for president by substitution – election lawyer
MANILA, Philippines — Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal expressed doubts, on Monday, that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte could validly substitute Martin Diño, the person who filed a certificate of candidacy as the presidential candidate of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino—Lakas ng Bayan party.
Macalintal, in a text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, recalled that Diño stated in his CoC that he was running for “mayor of Pasay city” although he announced to the media that he was filing his COC to run for president. There has been no satisfactory explanation for the error.
“Duterte [therefore] cannot sub for Diño as candidate for president. Diño’s CoC appeared to be defective; hence [it] cannot be the basis of any substitution because it is as if Diño never filed such COC,” the lawyer explained.
Macalintal also recalled that Diño was among those asked by the Commission on Elections to show cause why he should not be treated as a nuisance candidate.
“If Comelec later determines that Dino is a nuisance candidate for president, then with more reason that Duterte cannot sub for Diño. When a candidate is declared a nuisance, his CoC is denied due course or cancelled–the effect of which is that it is as if no CoC was filed,” Macalintal said.
The lawyer also questioned Duterte’s statement that he was running for president due to the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal last week that dismissed the disqualification case filed against Sen. Grace Poe for allegedly not being a natural-born Filipino citizen.
“If it [were] true that Duterte is running for president just because Senator Poe was not disqualified by SET, then his stated reason for running may not augur well or be disappointing to the electorate who expected a Duterte running for good governance and not due to any emotional feeling over the fate of the candidacy of any presidential aspirant. Why should Poe’s qualification be the motivating factor for Duterte to run? Why not a desire to really and fully serve the people?” Macalintal asked.
The lawyer said people should also know that the SET decision was in connection with Poe sitting as senator, which could be appealed to all the way to the Supreme Court.
“Even if said case is decided by Supreme Court in favor of Poe, there is still that issue of residency pending at Comelec, which will also eventually reach the Supreme Court. These two issues of citizenship and residency will reach the Supreme Court and only time can tell when Supreme could reach a final verdict. Probably the election is already over and we still don’t have the final decisions on these issues,” he added. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.