Duterte wins DQ cases

 Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte makes a face during the Peasant Challenge held in UP Diliman, Quezon City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte makes a face during the Peasant Challenge held in UP Diliman, Quezon City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

Comelec junks petitions seeking to disqualify Davao mayor

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has breezed through legal hurdles to his presidential run with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) junking all four petitions seeking to disqualify him.

Voting 3-0, the poll body’s First Division threw out the complaints filed against Duterte by various personalities.

“Mr. Chairman [Juan Andres Bautista], I would like to announce that the First Division has ruled that the punisher will live to die another day,” Senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said after the voting on Wednesday.

Lim is the chairman of the First Division that has Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Luie Tito Guia as members.

Guanzon, according to Lim, wanted to file a separate opinion but she agreed to submit it on another day so as not to delay the promulgation.

The disqualification cases were separately filed by broadcasters Ruben Castor, Rizalito David, Ely Pamatong and John Paulo delas Nieves.

The petitioners have five days to file their motions for reconsideration (MR) with the commission en banc.

If the en banc upheld the decision of the First Division, the petitioners could elevate the case to the Supreme Court, just like what Poe did when she was disqualified by the same division.

Castro included as respondents Martin Diño, Duterte and the PDP-Laban party, while Pamatong, David and delas Nieves only had the mayor as respondent.

All four petitions principally questioned validity of Duterte’s substitution for Diño, claiming that the latter’s certificate of candidacy (COC) for President was invalid.

The petitions filed by Pamatong, David and delas Nieves also questioned the validity of Duterte’s COC.

But in its 50-page ruling, the First Division said it found no merit in the petitions.

It ruled that Diño filed a valid COC for President and a valid withdrawal as a candidate for President.

The division said Diño was not declared a nuisance candidate.

It added that Duterte did not commit any material misrepresentation in his COC for President.

The petitions of Castor and delas Nieves were dismissed for their failure to appear during preliminary conferences of their respective cases.

The First Division said the petitions were also filed late.

“Any question as to any material misrepresentation therein should have been brought within 25 days from 16 October 2015, or until 10 November 2015 in accordance with Section 78 of the OEC [Omnibus Election Code],” it noted.

The complaints filed by Pamatong and David were dismissed for lack of merit.

But even as it dismissed all four petitions, the First Division said the petitioners did raise some valid points on the issue of Duterte’s substitution for Diño.

“In particular, petitioners David and delas Nieves are correct in saying that to allow the substitution is, in a way, an unlawful extension of the period set in Resolution[s]9981 and 9984 for the filing of certificates of candidacy,” it noted.

The division shared the observation of delas Nieves that Diño’s intent in filing a COC for President is manifestly for the benefit of Duterte, who at the time was yet to decide whether to run for President.

It said the commission is well aware that the concept of substitution under Section 77 of the OEC is prone to abuse, and may even lead to the “bastardization” of the entire process.

The division, however, pointed out that the Comelec, on its own, cannot correct this mistake because of “its lack of authority to legislate and the prohibition against judicial legislation.”

“At the end of the day, any and all attempts to amend Section 77 by addressing its loopholes and restricting the possible abuse in its application is more properly subject of legislation, rather than this commission’s rule-making powers,” it said.

Sen. Alan Cayetano welcomed the Comelec decision, saying it was “a triumph of justice and the rule of law.”

“This is the victory of all those clamoring for real change. These are the people who are fed up with the country’s continued disorder as well as lack of security and equal opportunities. Their voices cannot be denied anymore,” the senator said in a statement.

Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate, said he and the mayor will attend debates and forums “so that the voting public can have informed choices.”

The senator, however, added that as the campaign period draws near, more attacks may be launched against them.


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  1. Danny Cascolan on

    In the logic of Christian Robert Lim etal, There’s that Comelec law that limits the registration time for applicant signatory candidates and another conflicting law equal in weight that can circumvent thus extend and violate the registration time limit, What Comelec did all the time in full realization of the two existing conflicting laws in principle is that they chose to emphasize the importance of the immoral and violative law than to assert the other law that gives fairness to all applicant just to accomodate duterte. Thats really corrupt isnt it to choose the other law that may give undue advantage and unfairness when both laws in conflict are just same weight of laws in conflict and you can choose which can serve best the moral one or the corrupt choice.
    But Comelec did not realize that universally for a fact that applicants are not availed of benefits to positions they apply for because they never acquired or occupied the position yet, not yet until passing evaluation and acceptance as legitimated for the position and no longer just an applicant. This is true for any job and title.
    So where did that substitution benefit when Dinio is deemed just most probable on an applicant status with no rights to the benefit of legitimated candidate?
    Comelec also turned a blind eye to the fact that intentions are not clerical errors because intentions are not just a digit or letter typo errors, explicit difference between intent of applicant to become mayor or to become president which the applicant expressed in no matter what form, the application form doesn’t decide anything for it is just an inert form for vehicle but the applicant’s will and intent expresses what it means. In general if there is a conflict in the form and applicant intent then the document is invalidated automatically, or either a correction is requested by the applicant at an allowable time frame for plausibility and then the authority corrects for the request officially. But then amazingly Comelec seem to have voluntarily did all the corrections way after to accomodate duterte.

  2. Due to the dismissal of the disqualification case against RR Duterte may mean an improvement in the next SWS & Pulse Asia Survey in his favor

  3. Yes! The interesting and exciting debate is surely to be watched….we want to be protective from any criminality and only Duterte Cayetano 2016 is the tandem that can do that…

    Their presence are enough to make the debate possible! Go go go Duterte! We will support YOU!

  4. Danny Cascolan on

    So Comelec implied that Dinio was already a legitimized and accepted candidate for presidency before everyone else when he Dinio withdrew to avail of substitution for duterte? That cannot be possibly correct since for candidacy legitimization should occur when a candidate is already evaluated as a non-nuisance candidate for logic, so if Dinio withdrew his candidacy for mayor which comelec corrected to candidacy for president before he Dinio could be evaluated as a non-nuisance candidate, then the COC is withdrawn as if defaulted as none has applied therefore the more that Dinio could not possibly logically avail of a substitution benefit accorded to legitimized passed as candidates, therefore then duterte has no valid COC to substitute for.

  5. Danny Cascolan on

    XSo Comelec implied that Dinio was already a legitimized and accepted candidate for presidency before everyone else when he Dinio withdrew to avail of substitution for duterte?

  6. Rizalito David on

    The play is set by those who control the rules of the game. The high and mighty will never allow their interests to be sidelined in favor of the good of the people. The Comelec is their gatekeeper and its members, believing that they are major power brokers, are actually merely pawns in that game. They will always deliver what would best serve the intents of the elite even outside rhyme or reason. Justice has no place in our kind of politics and power play. Its a pity that the people are not even conscious that they are being played in a board game of greed and lust for power and wealth. Until such time that the people are made aware that none of this happens on their own, then we will continue to live in poverty and misery. Until we collectively decide that we do not want this anymore, nothing and nothing will ever change. Peaceful or otherwise, we must do it. In time they will all pay for their sins to the nation.

  7. The COMELEC ruled fairly enough. Indeed, the law allowing substitution is subject to abuse, still it is the law. COMELEC can only follow, not amend. Pursuing the cases any further should be discouraged. Duterte and his followers also have a right to unhampered pursuit of their cause.

  8. sonny dela cruz on

    Some Filipinos deserved discipline, filing disqualification against a candidates to favor their own in a payback of money or a position when their candidates win not for the good of the country and uplift the sufferings of many of our kababayan. Some never learned from the hardships of many corrupt politicians and no good doing by President Benigno Aquino to the country, except with his cohorts and himself. Mar Roxas wants to follow the footsteps of Benigno Aquino to run the country. He should be ashame of himself. Benigno Aquino violated many laws and the constitution. He used people’s money to BRIBE lawmakers of hundreds of millions of people’s money but rejected the working Filipinos who paid their taxes before just to ask the government for a P2000.00 increase in their pension to survive the hard life brought by the MAL-ADMINISTRATION of Pres. Benigno Aquino. Please people be transparent and show the truth that the present government never help the many poor Filipinos to uplift their conditions. Many street children are not in the school to have a future. Many Filipinos are hungry and eating what they called it PAGPAG from the trash cans.Filipinos doesn’t deserve this conditions in the Philippines. Vote for the President who will not be with President Aquino’s style.

  9. nasasabik na ako sa mga plano nila mayor duterte at sen.cayetano sana manalo sila para mabawasan na ang krimen sa bansa natin