Manila – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) law department today declared that the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) filed by President Candidate Rody Duterte last week met all the requirements set by the poll body.
Duterte shared the information with members of the media shortly after he visited the COMELEC office before noontime to “officially affirm” his candidacy for President under the PDP Laban Party.
“I am here to officially affirm that I am running for President and to clarify with the COMELEC law department whether the COC filed by my lawyer on my behalf last week, met all of the requirements,” Duterte said.
Duterte’s lawyer, Salvador Medialdia, armed with a Special Power of Attorney, filed his COC Nov. 27.
“Everything is in order according to the COMELEC law department,” Medialdia said.
The Davao City Mayor’s legion of supporters waited for him in front of the COMELEC wildly cheering as he arrived with his vice presidential running mate Alan Peter Cayetano.
Coming out of the Law Department Office after a 3-minute call and meeting to clarify issues, Duterte came out with a copy of his COC and showed it the members of the media who waited for him in the COMELEC office.
The Davao City Mayor, who declared his candidacy for President after the Oct. 16 deadline, is a substitute candidate to Martin Diño, PDP Laban Deputy Secretary General who filed a COC for President after Duterte refused to run for President.
Duterte’s visit to the COMELEC followed an earlier declaration by the poll body’s 2nd Division that it has dismissed as “moot and academic” a resolution seeking the disqualification of Diño for being a nuisance candidate.
A second petition asking the poll body to declare Diño’s COC as null and void because of “clerical errors” is scheduled for hearing on Dec. 16.
The COC filed by Diño was titled “Certificate of Candidacy for President” but a clerical error was discovered later in the portion which asks the position that the candidate was running for, which indicated the position of “Mayor of Pasay City.”
Diño said it was a clear clerical error because the accompanying document to the COC was a Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) for President issued by PDP Laban.
He also said that he could not possibly run for Mayor of Pasay City because he is a resident of Quezon City.
Duterte’s lawyers said they are expecting that the supporters and lawyers of the other presidential candidates would undertake efforts to derail the presidential candidacy of the Davao City Mayor especially now that he is leading in the nation-wide survey.
“We expect that to happen but we are confident that it would be set aside by the COMELEC just as it dismissed the petition to declare Diño as a nuisance candidate,” said lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre.
(Photo of Mayor Duterte holding his COC downloaded from Shayla Yap’s Facebook page.)