Duterte ‘reaffirms’ presidential bid in Comelec

Paterno Esmaquel II
Duterte ‘reaffirms’ presidential bid in Comelec
(UPDATED) Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte says his fate is now 'up to God'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte appeared at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Manila on Tuesday, December 8, to “reaffirm” his candidacy for president in 2016.

Marami kasing tanong, maraming isyu na lumalabas. Ako naman siguro, once and for all, pupunta ako sa Comelec. Tanungin ko lang sila kung okay ba ang papeles ko, dokumento ko. ‘Pag hindi, sabi ko, e ‘di i-DQ (disqualify) ‘nyo na lang ako kung hindi sang-ayon sa procedure,” Duterte said.

(Many questions, many issues have been coming up. On my part, once and for all, I wanted to go to the Comelec. I wanted to ask him if my papers, my documents, have been okay. If not, I said, then disqualify me, if my papers don’t follow the procedure.)

(Watch the video below)

Duterte’s camp planned to have him file a new certificate of candidacy (COC) to correct possible defects in the one he submitted through a representative on November 27. 

The Comelec law department, however, told Duterte’s camp there’s no defect in the COC he filed in November. 

Having reaffirmed his COC, Duterte said on Tuesday that his fate is now “up to God.”

He also said he wouldn’t mind Comelec disqualifying him if its decision is based on a “legal reason.”

“I will not lose sleep because I’m not the president,” Duterte said.

Dozens of supporters 

He added, “Hindi naman ako mamamatay kung hindi ako maging president.” (I won’t die if I don’t become president.)

(Watch the video below)

Before Duterte entered the Comelec building around noon on Tuesday, dozens of supporters waited and cheered for him starting as as early as 8 am.

It was a mix of supporters of two tandems: one pairing Duterte and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and another pairing Duterte and Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“I am humbled and awed,” Duterte said.

Duterte’s lawyer, Vitaliano Aguirre II, said Duterte’s move on Tuesday “is a reaffirmation” of his COC on November 27. “He affirms his attention to run for president,” Aguirre said.

In an earlier statement, Aguirre said that Duterte went to the Comelec to show that he “is a bona fide candidate eligible to be voted for in the May 2016 elections.”

Aguirre said Duterte’s trip to the Comelec ensures that “all doubts on the legality of his candidacy will be erased.” – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.