TWO more petitions seeking to disqualify Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from running for President in next year’s elections were filed on Monday with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The petitions were separately filed by broadcaster Rizalito David and lawyer Eli Pamatong.
The poll body recently declared the two petitioners as nuisance candidates.
David and Pamatong were among the over a hundred aspirants for President in the May 2016 polls.
David made the headlines for filing a disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe before the Comelec as well as the Senate Electoral Tribunal while Pamatong gained notoriety in 2004 for tossing metal spikes on EDSA and for chaining himself in the Comelec office after he was disqualified for running for President.
In 2008, Pamatong sued Pope Francis and then Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales for “alleged disturbance of public order, swindling and teaching immoral doctrines.”
In a six-page petition, David asked the Comelec “to declare null and void the substitution of Martin Dino by Duterte for President, as well as order the cancelation of the mayor’s certificate of candidacy (COC) for “not having been validly and seasonably filed.”
He pointed out that the filing of the COC in connection with the May 9, 2016 local and national elections was set on October 12 to 16 but what Duterte filed during that period was his COC for mayor of Davao City.
According to David, Dino’s withdrawal of his COC was a circumvention of the Comelec Rules of Procedure, as amended by Resolution 9253, which rendered the substitution contrary to public policy, and thus invalid.
“Undeniably, the commission has sinned thrice along the way, and what can be more worse than that. And to think that these coincided with the cancelations of the COC of over a hundred other individuals is too much a coincidence,” the petition read.
It said, “Not only is Duterte’s COC for President not validly and seasonably filed but the substitution itself if legally infirm. Suffice it to say that the substitution of candidates is governed by law, and cannot be left to the will of certain personalities.”
Mockery of the law
David said Duterte is making a mockery of the law, just like the way he earlier mocked the sensibilities of his supporters when he titillated them on his intention to run for President, only to withdraw it on succeeding occasions.
“It’s a mockery of the rule of law, it’s a mockery of all the processes,” he added. “Just like the way he mocked his own supporters.”
David mentioned that he was not convinced of the sincerity of Ruben Castor, the person who first filed a disqualification case against Duterte because he “appears to be playing around.”
At the same time, he admitted that as a Catholic, he has personal concerns against Duterte, particularly when the mayor made Pope Francis a laughing stock and when he threatened to destroy the Catholic Church.
“When he badmouthed the Holy Father, I took that personally because I love the Pope. When he threatened to destroy the Catholic Church, I [also]took that personally because I am a Catholic,” David said.
“He exposed the wrongdoings of some priests, I’m a Catholic, he cannot do that. Even Satan failed to destroy the Church, who is he [Duterte] to say that he will destroy the Church,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Pamatong also filed a petition to declare Duterte a “nuisance COC applicant.”
The Pamatong petition was originally filed with the Comelec some two weeks ago but was only officially stamped received on Monday after he paid the P10,000 filing fee.
Pamatong, a perennial presidential aspirant, cited five reasons why he wanted Duterte out of the presidential derby, namely: for allegedly being a “communist supremo, jueteng lord of lords, mass murderer and fanatically anti-American.”
Jueteng is an illegal numbers game.
In the same petition, Pamatong expressed belief that the substitution of Dino by Duterte was not valid because the latter’s COC was for mayor of Pasay City (Metro Manila).
“This is a very clear mockery of the electoral process. A person running for the highest post
of the land who does not know how to choose the right or correct form of COC is a nuisance COC applicant,” he said.
“The substitute [Duterte] will of course assume the original nuisance applicant’s status as applicant for the position of Pasay City mayor for which Duterte is not qualified for lack of residence,” Pamatong added.