It’s official: Duterte seals presidential bid, personally files COC
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte personally filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) national office in Intramuros, Manila late Tuesday morning to formalize his bid for the presidency in the 2016 elections.
Speaking to the media after he filed his COC, Duterte said that he went to the Comelec national office to settle issues on his COC “once and for all.”
“Maraming issue na lumalabas tungkol (sa aking COC). Sabi ko, ‘Once and for all, punta ako sa Comelec (para) tanungin ko kung OK ba yung documents ko. Kasi kung hindi i-DQ (disqualify) na lang ako,” he said.
(There are issues being brought up against my COC. I said, ‘Once and for all, I will go to the Comelec and ask if the documents I submitted were OK.’ Because if not, they will have to disqualify me.)
Duterte said that the Comelec legal department has assured him that the first COC he filed through a representative was valid. Thus, he only reaffirmed the contents of the first COC he filed last November 28.
He did not also attach new documents nor edited entries in his first COC.
Duterte was accompanied by his running mate and vice presidential aspirant Senator Alan Peter Cayetano who arrived before him.
An estimated 500 people showed up, including students from Duterte’s alma mater Lyceum of the Philippines, to express their support for the presidential aspirant.
Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) President and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III earlier said that Duterte’s personal filing of his COC was done to make sure that all requirements are met.
Duterte’s filing of his COC was done two days before the deadline on December 10 which was set by the poll body for substitute candidates. The feisty mayor is the substitute of former PDP-Laban standard-bearer Martin Diño who withdrew his candidacy last October.
In a resolution adopted last October 27, PDP-Laban moved that Duterte be its substitute presidential candidate as he is the “stronger presidential hopeful of the party aside from Diño.”
Duterte was subsequently endorsed by the party as its official presidential candidate last Nov. 30.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 9984, an official candidate who withdraws his COC can only be replaced by another candidate belonging to, and was nominated by, the same party or coalition.
However, the Comelec is yet to decide whether it will allow Duterte’s substitution as the poll body is yet to rule on a pending disqualification case against Diño over his erroneous COC.
Duterte only decided to throw his hat in the presidential ring last November after months of deflecting pressure from supporters and saying that he had no intention to run for the presidency. He said that he would run because of the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s decision to rule in favor of Senator Grace Poe and junk the petition unseating her from office over her allegedly questionable citizenship.
The tough-talking local official earlier filed his COC for president through a representative, lawyer Salvador Medialdia, last November 28 after withdrawing the COC he filed for reelection as Davao City mayor last October 15.
Duterte named daughter Sara as his substitute as a mayoralty candidate for the city. RAM
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