Can Duterte run? Comelec sets D-Day


The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is giving high priority to the issue of the validity of the substitution of former PDP-Laban presidential candidate Martin Diño by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

The PDP-Laban on Monday proclaimed Duterte as its official standard-bearer, replacing Diño, who earlier withdrew his certificate of candidacy (COC) for President to pave the way for the mayor’s inclusion in next year’s race to Malacañang.

Under the Comelec’s schedule, the deadline set for the substitution of candidates is December 10, giving the poll body five days to produce a final list of official candidates by December 15.

“So, five days. The commission has to work extra hard to finish [it by then], otherwise we will have disruption to our timeline,” Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said when asked when they plan to make a ruling on Duterte and Diño’s case.

Duterte last Friday withdrew his candidacy for reelection as mayor and filed his COC for President as a substitute candidate under PDP-Laban.

Diño earlier withdrew his COC after the Comelec asked him to explain why he should not be declared a nuisance candidate after the poll body found errors in the document he filed on October 16, the last day of filing of the COCs.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they must decide on the Duterte-Diño move, adding that there were gray areas that needed to be studied.

“We need to look closely into the COC of Diño. The form was for the position of President but what he wrote on the position he is running for was for mayor of Pasay City [Metro Manila]. There’s something ,” according to Bautista.

Lim explained that the nuisance issue would have to go to the Comelec law division, and thereafter, to the en banc.
In the case of Duterte, it is the en banc that has to act.
“As to the approval of the substitution, it has to be [given]by the en banc. This is an exercise of the administrative powers of the Comelec, not quasi judicial,” Lim said. “All substitutions are elevated to the en banc for approval.”

Duterte, through lawyer Salvador Medialdea, filed his COC for President on Friday, Nov. 27, before the Comelec law division.

On the same day, a certain Ruben Castor, through lawyers Oliver Lozano and Evangeline Lozano Endriano, also filed a petition seeking to nullify the Davao City mayor’s COC.

Castor argued that Diño’s COC was defective and, therefore, void because it contained several material misrepresentations, in violation of the mandatory provision of the law, or Article 5 of the Civil Code, and also Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code.

He pointed out that Duterte, although a member of the PDP-Laban, was not nominated by the party for mayor of Davao but by Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, a local political party.

The process of substitution requires Duterte to withdraw his COC for mayor of Davao City, take his oath as member of the PDP-Laban and submit a CONA or certificate of nomination and acceptance from his party – with which the mayor has complied.

Substitution is allowed under Article IX, Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code.

The article states, “If after the last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy, an official candidate of a registered or accredited political party dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause, only a person belonging to, and certified by, the same political party may file a certificate of candidacy to replace the candidate who died, withdrew or was disqualified.”

Earlier, election law expert Romulo Macalintal doubted if Duterte could run legally in such manner, seeing his COC for President as being defective and that the Comelec might declare him a nuisance candidate.

But former Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. disagreed, saying there is no legal impediment to Duterte’s move to join the 2016 presidential race.

Brillantes explained that one is allowed to run as a substitute candidate if a candidate dies, is disqualified or withdraws, and Duterte’s case fits one of such conditions on the ground of the previous candidate’s withdrawal.

He said the error in Dino’s COC was a non-issue because it was clear that the form was for President and was recognized as such by the Comelec.

Brillantes said the Comelec may no longer declare Diño a nuisance candidate because “he has already withdrawn his certificate of candidacy” and thus, is no longer a candidate.
“So how can you declare a non-candidate a nuisance candidate?” he added. “It’s already moot and academic.”


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  1. Dahil sa pag WITHDRAW ni Mr. Dino ng kanyang COC, HINDI nagawa ng COMELEC ang kanilang trabaho na ivalidate, icheck, iapprove, iverify or inullify ang COC ni Mr. Dino.

    So papano ma dedetermine ng COMELEC kung valid ang kanyang COC, qualified for substitution at kung anong ground or reason para mag karoon ng substitution na naaayon sa batas?

    Ano at sino ang isusubstitute? Papano mag kakaroon ng valid at legal na substitution kung ganoon?

    Obviously, Mr. Dino withdrawn his COC, para unahan niya ang COMELEC na hindi siya maideklarang “nuisance candidate” or else palpak ang strategy nila.

    Above all, Mr. Dino was never declared as an “OFFICIAL CANDIDATE” by COMELEC for him to be qualified for substitution.

    #Eleksyon2016 #TheFilipinoVotes #PHVote2016 #VotePH2016 #Halalan2016

  2. It is the responsibility of the applicant to state the position he is applying and not the responsibility of the Comelec . It is clear that Mr. Dino is applying for a city mayor position and not a president position. It is as simple as that. To decifer what is in his mind is not the comelec problem. If something is wrong in his mind, then he must not apply in any position.

  3. Ronaldo Valdes on

    If The comelec nulify Duterte’s candidacy ,The People who wantrs to vote for him should make a rally and let the country hear their voice. Go Go Duterte for President.

  4. If Dino withdrew his candidacy to the position of the President of the Philipines, the logic there is Dino is not a candidate for position of the President, and logically speaking that there will be no substitution if there is nothing to be replaced. If the laws in the Philippines do not defy logic, Duterte can not substitute Dino’s supposed candidacy to be President. In that premise Duterte candidacy for President should be null and void.

  5. The rule is quite simple even to a first grade pupil. Why agonize on it. We are not ALL lawyers.

    What is applicable to Dino’s situation and which can serve as either a go, no go verdict on Duterte substituting for him ?

    DIES = NO

    ERROR ON THE COC = NOT DINO’s FAULT BUT COMELEC’s (look for the Comelec assisting clerk/official who handed him the wrong COC version kahit pa di sinasadya o sinasadya yan and nail him or her down !). BUT COMELEC ACCEPTED IT AND EVEN STAMPED something on it.

    On the deadline Dec 10. It is NOT CAST ON STONE like any of the Ten Commandments. It is NOT even in the law (AES Law or RA 9369). It is a creation or a consequence of the automated election and therefore it CANNOT really be imposed like a law. It is dependent on the throughput capacity of the ballot printing system that the Comelec planned for to finish ballots printing at a planned date. Plan for a bigger printing throughput capacity and the deadline can be moved to a latter date and so on. The cost per ballot can remain the same if an outsourcing scheme is used. Konting isip lang ang kailangan dito. During the manual election days it only takes some 3 to 4 months to mount a national election. Say four months, then a new deadline can be as late as maybe mid January or more thna a month from Dec 10. Also, para rin naman shorter ang official campaign period. Nakarindi na ang political ads minu-minuto even today kahit illegal pa ito in context and meaning and intent.

    • meron error sa application niya.Yon Form for President pero yon application niya ay Mayor ng Pasay.Niloko lng ni Dino yon application dahil wala siya intention tumakbo kaya nilagay niya Mayor sino ang may kasalanan eh dumaan sa lawyer niya or may pirma na ang Lawyer sa notary..Dino intention is make mockery of the Election Law. sino ngayon ang may kasalanan eh di si Dino..Kaya sorry Duterte pabebe ka kasi urong sulong ka