Comelec junks petition to declare Diño a nuisance candidate

The Commission on Elections 2nd Division has junked the petition to declare former Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) standard-bearer Martin Diño a nuisance candidate.

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Because Diño already withdrew his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president, the petition was considered moot and academic.

"Under Section 18, Rule 2 of Comelec Resolution No. 9984, any candidate may personally file, at any time before Election Day, and subject to Section 19, Rule II, a sworn Statement of Cancellation/Withdrawal of COC with the Office where the same was filed," an excerpt from the Comelec ruling read.

His motion to withdraw COC was also granted by presiding commissioner Al Parreno and commissioners Sherriff Abas and Arthur Lim, reported.

Diño announced his withdrawal from the 2016 presidential race and asked Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte to run as his substitute last October 29. Three days earlier, the PDP-Laban announced that it passed a resolution naming Duterte as substitute in case Diño withdraws from the presidential race.

Duterte filed his COC for President last November 27 as Diño's substitute. Under election rules, candidate substitution due to withdrawal is allowed until December 10, 2015.

Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said the poll body is yet to decide on the validity of Duterte's substitution, according to the report.