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Comelec: Duterte can still be excluded from 2016 polls

The Comelec officials said that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte can still be excluded from the list of presidential candidates on 2016 polls. Comelec chairman Andres Bautista explained the possibilities of this issue.

Comelec: Duterte can still be excluded from 2016 polls

Bautista said,"After due deliberation the commission resolved to acknowledge and accept the COC for president of Rodrigo Duterte, being a ministerial function of the commission."

The Commission on Elections accepted the COC for president in substitution for the candidacy of his PDP-Laban partymate Martin Diño, "But this is entirely without prejudice to the pending disqualification case in SPA 15-94 DC entitled Ruben Castor vs Martin Diño, Mayor Rodirgo Duterte and PDP-Laban or any other case," said by the Comelec chairman.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte got a vote from Comelec of 6-1 for en banc decision to accept Duterte's certificate of candidacy for substitution where partymate Martin Diño still have a pending case against his candidacy before the Comelec's first division.

Chairman said, "What this means is he is now in our list of candidates. That was an administrative decision that the Comelec en banc made. But again I want to emphasize that this is without prejudice to any disqualification cases that have been filed or will be filed against him"

"From an administrative standpoint we will accept the substitution subject to whatever cases that are filed currently and I don't know if there will be cases that will be filed in the future," he added.

And because of the pending case of Diño, Duterte's status can still be change and maybe it will cause disqualification for Mayor Duterte.

He said, "There's a potential that also pwedeng ma-disqualify. The en banc in accepting the substitution is essentially performing an administrative performance. When the first division hears the case it's performing a quasi judicial function. Decisions of the division can be appealed to the en banc"

According to Comelec, Ruben Castor petition hearing was set on Friday, December 18. The first division initially deemed the petition submitted for resolution but the panel's chair, Christian Robert Lim, said the other members of the division wanted to conduct a hearing.

Lim said, "When you go to the intrinsic issues it goes to the division, then it goes to the en banc. The law allows substitution based on withdrawal… You also allow substitution in case of disqualification or death. We allow that till midday of election."

Comelec chairman noted that there's no special treatment in the case of Duterte. He said, "No special treatment for anyone. We tried to objectively assess each and every case."

Do you believe that Duterte could still be excluded on 2016 race? Share your thoughts below.

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