Duterte a no-show at Comelec, says ‘not playing a game’

Pia Ranada

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Duterte a no-show at Comelec, says ‘not playing a game’

Alecs Ongcal

Duterte also dismisses talk about substitution, saying in Filipino, 'There will be no substituting. I am not a substitute, I am an original.'

MANILA, Philippines – “Hindi ko laro ‘yan. Isang salita lang ako (That’s not my game. I stick to my word),” said Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who was a no-show at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros.

He said this during an interview with radio station dzMM on Friday, October 16, moments after the deadline of the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Pag sinabi ko ‘no,’ if I stated it in public, that’s it..Hindi ako sanay magloko ng tao, lalo na as a public official,” he added.

(When I say ‘no,’ if I stated it in public, that’s it…I’m not used to fooling people, especially as a public official.)

His supporters, until the very last minute, thought he would be arriving. Rumors were rife that he had boarded a plane to Manila that day. 

But the mayor sent his latest statement on the matter several minutes before 5 pm, Comelec closing time. He reiterated his decision not to run for president, saying, “I am tired.”

In an interview on dzMM, Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s close aide, said that contrary to rumors, the mayor was still in Davao City.

Nagkakaroon kasi ng cross signals, iba-ibang signal. May nagsabing pumunta siya sa Manila, hindi totoo yan. Sabi ng mga leaders, abangan na,” said Go. 

(There were cross signals, different’ signals. Someone said he went to Manila, that’s not true. The leaders said just wait.) 

UNTIL THE END. Duterte's supporters are left out in the rain after Duterte's no-show on the last day of filing of certificates of candidacy. Photo by Pat Nabong/Rappler

He said that despite the misinformation that has been spreading, Duterte himself has been truthful and consistent about his true intentions.

Ni isang beses, wala siyang sinasabing ‘I will run’. Never niyang sinabi,” said Go. (Not once did he say, ‘I will run’. He never said that.)

No substitution for Duterte

On whether or not he would decide to enter the presidential race by becoming the substitute of another candidate, Duterte said he would not do this. 

Wala na yang substitute-substitute. Hindi ako pang-substitute, pang-original ako,” he said. (There will be no substituting. I am not a substitute, I am an original.)

PDP-Laban, the political party Duterte is a member of, fielded a presidential candidate at the last minute. Martin Diño, a member of the party, filed his certificate of candidacy for president minutes before 5 pm on Friday. 

Diño said he decided to run for president “a long time ago.” He denied plans of PDP-Laban to eventually substitute him with Duterte.

Some believe that PDP-Laban may use the Comelec rules allowing the substitution of candidates under a party with another member of the party.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the “non-extendable” deadline for substitution is on December 10, 2015.

“There has to be a new Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance to the one who will be substituting and that the person [who filed COC first] has to withdraw and the other one has to accept,” he said. 

WAITING. Duterte's supporters cheer outside the Palacio del Gobernador. Photo by Pat Nabong/Rappler

– Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.