Señeres not giving way to Duterte
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Presidential candidate and OFW Family party-list Rep. Roy Señeres yesterday denied reports that he was going to withdraw from the 2016 race to give way to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who has expressed his intentions to run for president.

Duterte apparently is facing legal obstacles in replacing former Quezon City barangay chairman Martin Diño as the presidential candidate of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Duterte, on the other hand, said nothing about replacing Señeres.

He said he would pursue his bid by filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) to substitute for Diño before the deadline set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Dec. 10.

“At the most convenient time for everybody. Before Dec. 10,” he said.

According to Duterte, his lawyers have cured the defect in the COC that Diño filed before the Comelec.

“I don’t know how the lawyers would fix the problem. There was a problem, I suppose. I think the lawyers were able to sort it out. How to correct a wrong,” he said.

Diño filed his COC under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), using the form for presidential candidates. But Diño stated in the form that he was running for a local post.

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal earlier pointed out Duterte needs to comply with certain requirements to qualify as PDP-Laban substitute candidate.

Macalintal said Duterte can’t run under PDP-Laban since Diño filed a defective COC although he may run under a different but major political party.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said it would be entirely up to the Comelec to decide on the substitution case between Duterte and Diño.

Duterte, however, stressed he would still have to meet the PDP-Laban leadership to thresh out some issues.

“When I get to confer with the PDP leadership, I think it would be a formal announcement. When? I cannot really tell you. We haven’t talked yet. I have to talk to the father and son and the other leaders,” he said, referring to former senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. and his son, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

In a press conference at the House of Representatives, 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III, a close associate of Duterte, admitted that substituting for Señeres is more legally defensible.

“They (Duterte and Señeres) are fraternity brothers. Even if they are not partymates, Congressman Señeres’ party can adopt a non-member who can substitute him,” Bello said.

Señeres, however, said he is serious about his presidential bid, adding that his relationship to his countrymen outweighs his fraternity kinship.

“He (Duterte) has not spoken against contractualization. I am going to enforce the law against this anti-labor policy of the government,” he said.

Señeres said it should be Duterte who should be supporting his presidential bid.

He slammed Duterte for his reason for running, which is to oppose frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe, who earlier scored a victory in the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), which junked the complaint questioning her citizenship for being a foundling.

“In the case of Senator Poe, I believe all doubts about her citizenship should be resolved in her favor,” Señeres told reporters.

Señeres added he does not agree with many of Duterte’s style of governance, particularly his “pro-death” stance.

He said he was not in favor of Duterte’s approach in dealing with criminality, referring to the mayor’s declarations that hardened criminals and drug pushers deserve to die.

“I am pro-life, the mayor is pro-death,” Señeres said. – With Mike Frialde, Aurea Calica, Non Alquitran

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