Comelec recognizes Duterte’s CoC for president

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Dec. 17 (PNA) — The name of the Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will be included in the list of candidates for the May 2016 elections after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has accepted his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for President.

In Comelec Resolution No. 10028, the Commission en banc, voting 6-1, recognized the CoC filed by the presidential aspirant last Nov. 27, substituting Martin Dino, as the standard-bearer of PDP-Laban.

However, the poll body noted that the ruling was without prejudice to the pending case filed against the local chief executive of Davao City.

“After due deliberation, the commission resolved, as it hereby resolves, to acknowledge and accept the Certificate of Candidacy for President of Rodrigo R. Duterte being a ministerial function of the Commission but this is entirely without prejudice to the pending disqualification case in SPA No. 15-194 (DC), entitled “Ruben H. Castor vs. Martin Dino, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, and Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP) Laban”, or any other case that may be filed against him,” said the ruling promulgated on Thursday.

Those who voted to accept Détente’s CoC were Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, Commissioners Christian Robert Lim, Al Parent, Luie Tito Guia, Arthur Lim and Sherrif Abas.

Commissioner Rowena Amelia Guanzon has dissented noting that there was still a pending case that should be decided first before the CoC would be accepted.

“There is a pending case, Castor v. Duterte wherein the petition alleges that Duterte’s CoC is void because it contains untruthful acts or misrepresentation. There is also the issue regarding his notarized documents. The truth or falsity of which must be determined before his CoC is accepted,” she said in a note on the one-page ruling.

With the ruling, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said that the name of Duterte will be included in the list of presidential candidates.

“I think what this means that he is now in our list of candidates. So that was an administrative decision that the Comelec en banc made. But again I would like to emphasize this is without prejudice to any disqualification cases that had been filed or may have been filed against him,” he said in a media briefing.

Earlier, broadcaster Ruben Castor filed a disqualification case against Duterte, now pending before the Comelec First Division. (PNA)