Petitioner appeals dismissal of all 4 Duterte DQ cases
Broadcaster Ruben Castor on Thursday sought to overturn the decision of the Commission on Elections’ First Division to dismiss all four petitions seeking to disqualify Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from the presidential race.
In his six-page motion for reconsideration, Castor, through his counsel Oliver Lozano, said the election body had committed “reversible errors” in junking the disqualification cases against the mayor.
The Comelec First Division on Wednesday unanimously decided to deny for lack of merit all four disqualification petitions against Duterte filed by Castor, University of the Philippines Diliman student council chair John Paulo delas Nieves, and nuisance presidential aspirants Ely Pamatong and Rizalito David.
In his appeal, Castor described as invalid Duterte’s substitution for Martin Diño, who had filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for mayor of Pasay City, and not for President.
“In case of conflict between form and substance [in Dino’s COC], the latter prevails. The substance is for mayor of Pasay City,” said Castor.
The petitioner also questioned the Comelec’s dismissal of his petition for his failure to appear in the preliminary conference, saying a subsequent hearing was held by the First Division.
Also on Thursday, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said there may be a need to review the law on substitution of candidates during elections.
Guanzon made the statement in her 11-page separate opinion on the Comelec First Division’s ruling that junked four disqualification cases against Duterte.
While she acknowledged Duterte as qualified to be a substitute presidential candidate, Guanzon said she felt “uncomfortable” on the manner of substitution between the tough-talking mayor and Diño, the original nominee of PDP-Laban for the presidential post.
“I am uncomfortable with how Diño appeared to have exploited a loophole in our rules to avoid the scrutiny, which might have eventually found him a nuisance candidate, and, at the same time effectively extend the deadline for [the] filing of candidacy of his substitute. These matters should not go unnoticed, and should be addressed through an amendment of our rules or by the law itself,” she said.
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