Duterte-Diño case still awaits Comelec ruling
THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it would still decide whether Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will be allowed as a substitute for Martin Diño in the presidential race next year as the standard-bearer of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said that while the Comelec Second Division had already dismissed a petition to declare Diño a nuisance candidate, the disqualification case against him and Duterte would still be heard by the First Division.
Bautista said the petition filed by Ruben Castor, a radio broadcaster, against the two was scheduled to be heard on Dec. 16.
“The decision of the Second Division merely said that because Diño withdrew from the [presidential race], the case has become moot and academic. In respect of the substitution, we have yet to render a decision regarding that,” Bautista told reporters.
Duterte will personally file his certificate of candidacy (COC) today in the Comelec, according to Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president.
“Whatever papers he needs to sign, he will sign in front of the Comelec officer and whatever he needs to say under oath, he will now swear to that document before the Comelec officer,” Pimentel told reporters last night.
“The substitution is now 100 percent smooth, 100 percent valid, 100 percent legal. So we’re going to prepare to fight,” Pimentel said, adding that Duterte had been asked to ensure his certificate was “perfect” so there would no longer be problems.
On Nov. 27, Castor filed an eight-page petition asking the Comelec not to give due course to Duterte’s substitution of Diño because of an erroneous entry in Diño’s COC, making it “void, legally inexistent and without legal effect.”
Diño, who was initially the standard-bearer of PDP-Laban but later withdrew his candidacy, indicated in his COC that he was running for mayor of Pasay City.
This indicated that there was no candidate for President who withdrew his candidacy for the same position of President and there was also none that Duterte may substitute for in the presidential race, according to Castor.
In a five-page resolution released Monday, the Comelec’s Second Division explained that any discussion on the petition to declare Diño a nuisance candidate would be “moot and academic” since Diño would no longer run, adding “whatever judgment is reached can no longer have any practical or legal effect, or in the nature of things, can no longer be enforced.”
The Second Division, composed of Commissioners Al Pareño, Arthur Lim and Sheriff Abas, promulgated the resolution on Dec. 4.
Bautista said the First and Second Divisions named 100 presidential aspirants, nine vice presidential and 96 senatorial hopefuls nuisance candidates. With reports from Christine O. Avendaño and Aie Balagtas See
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