MANILA, Philippines – The PDP-Laban political party decided during its national council meeting on Monday, October 26, that it would nominate Rodrigo Duterte as its presidential candidate in case its current bet, Martin Diño, withdraws from the presidential race.
The Davao City mayor has been informed of the party's decision but has yet to decide if he will run for president, PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) national chairman Mike Sueño told Rappler.
"We informed him at 12 noon right after our meeting. But as long as Diño has not withdrawn, Diño is still our presidential candidate," he said.
The decision to nominate Duterte was the second resolution to be finalized that day.
The first was to reaffirm Diño's presidential candidacy under PDP-Laban, said Sueño.
Diño's proclamation was scheduled to take place on Monday, but it was cancelled on Sunday evening.
Sueño now says there will be no big proclamation event for Diño.
Asked about errors in Diño's Certificate of Candidacy (COC), Sueño said they were mere "clerical errors" on the part of some PDP-Laban staff.
While Diño's COC says it is for the position of president of the Philippines, the succeeding lines read that he is announcing his candidacy for mayor of Pasay City.
Sueño said the mix-up happened at the PDP-Laban headquarters during which the party's staff were fixing the papers for both Diño and the party's Pasay City mayoral bet.
"The staff unintentionally put those details in Diño's form," said Sueño.
He said the Commission on Elections' legal department has not asked for a corrected document. However, they did receive from the commission a petition to declare Diño a nuisance candidate.
Diño, national chairman of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), has said he decided he wanted to run for president "a long time ago."
Duterte has repeatedly stated he will not run for president, all the way until the last day of COC filing when disappointed supporters did not see him show up at Comelec.
But in an interview with Rappler's Maria Ressa, he said he had a new deadline for his final decision – December 10, 2015, the last day political parties are allowed to substitute their candidates. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.