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Disqualify Duterte, UP student asks Comelec

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 01:35 AM December 24, 2015
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Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

A STUDENT leader at the University of the Philippines (UP) has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cancel the certificate of candidacy (COC) for President of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

It was the third petition filed in the Comelec for the disqualification of Duterte for next year’s presidential election.

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In a 23-page petition, UP Diliman Student Council chair John Paulo de las Nieves said Duterte’s COC was invalid because the COC of Martin Diño, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s original presidential candidate and for whom the mayor was substituting, was defective.

De las Nieves noted that there was no bona fide candidate that Duterte could validly substitute for.

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‘Not a bona fide candidate’

“Martin Diño was not a bona fide candidate within the contemplation of our election laws,” he said.

He added that Diño may not be considered a candidate because Diño filed “to circumvent election laws by merely extending the nonextendible period to file the COC for the position of President, an act meant solely to benefit respondent Duterte.”

Null and void

“On account of the material defect in the COC of Diño, which is evident on its face, the certificate of candidacy is therefore null and void and no valid candidate exists for whom Rodrigo Duterte can substitute. Diño himself could never be considered to have ever filed a valid certificate of candidacy,” De las Nieves said.

He added that “other vital facts and arguments [that], if taken together, would display Diño’s intent to make a mockery of the presidential election,” as well as Duterte’s “intent … to mock, debase and taint the integrity” of the election.

The Comelec earlier ruled to “acknowledge and accept” Duterte’s COC as part of its ministerial duties.

Apart from De las Nieves’, two other petitions against Duterte’s candidacy have been filed in the Comelec. These were the ones brought by broadcaster Ruben Castor and defeated 2013 senatorial candidate Rizalito David.

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