Rodrigo Duterte faces 3rd disqualification case

Camille Elemia
Rodrigo Duterte faces 3rd disqualification case
A UP student and chairman of the student council filed the petition against the tough-talking Davao City mayor

MANILA, Philippines – A third petition seeking to cancel the certificate of candidacy of presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was lodged on Tuesday, December 22.

Petitioner JP Delas Nieves, University Student Council Chairperson of the University of the Philippines Diliman, filed the petition before the Commission on Elections.

“Bilang isang estudyanteng UP, naniniwala po ako na nararapat lang na isabuhay ang napag-aralan namin na respeto para sa karapatang pantao. (As a UP student, I believe that it is only right to live out the respect for human rights that we were taught.) Inculcated within every UP student is the belief in the dignity of every person and the respect for human rights. The filing of this petition is my own contribution to that belief,” Delas Nieves said in a statement.

Delas Nieves was earlier expelled from his student party UP Alyansa, after he refused to quit from the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity, which was allegedly involved in a violent incident in June this year.

The two other petitions were filed by broadcaster Ruben Castor and Rizalito David, the same petitioner against presidential bet Senator Grace Poe.

Grounds for disqualification

Delas Nieves said Duterte should not be allowed to run for president for the following reasons:

  • Duterte’s substitution is not valid, as Martin Diño, the person he substituted for, is “not a bonafide candidate.” Diño withdrew his candidacy on October 29, nearly a month before Duterte filed his COC. 
  • Duterte filed a substitute COC for the position of President, which is different from the position stated in Diño’s COC. Rappler reported in October that Diño erroneously declared he was running for mayor of Pasay City.
  • Duterte allegedly committed a deliberate misrepresentation in his COC when he swore under oath that he will support and defend the Constitution. The petitioner said this is contrary to the mayor’s actions, as he has openly admitted to killing people.

Aside from the cancellation of Duterte’s COC, Delas Nieves’ lawyer Maria Sheila Bazar said the petition seeks to delete the mayor’s name from the Certified List of Candidates for President and from the 2016 ballot.

The poll body earlier accepted Duterte’s COC. Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, however, said this is “entirely without prejudice to the pending disqualification case” against Diño and “any other case that may be filed” against Duterte. – 

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a former multimedia reporter for Rappler. She covered media and disinformation, the Senate, the Office of the President, and politics.