It's official: Duterte files COC for president

ABS-CBN News

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Photo by Gigie Cruz for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA (UPDATED) - There is no turning back now for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who has filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president Friday, shortly after withdrawing his COC for mayor in Davao City.

Duterte filed his COC days after he announced his intent to seek the country's top post in the 2016 polls.

Speaking to reporters, Duterte reiterated that he never dreamt of becoming president.

"I have enough accolades in my life to last me a lifetime. I need not be President to fulfill any other dream in life," he said.

"I have crossed the Bridge of Rubicon, and there is no turning back. I place my future entirely in the hands of God," Duterte added.

He, likewise, said that he just wanted a chance to speak his truth to the Filipinos.

"I just wanted a day in my life to face the Filipino people to speak my truth," Duterte said.

A representative, Atty. Salvador Medialdea, filed Duterte's COC on his behalf at the Law Department of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Manila shortly before noon Friday.

Duterte attached his certificate of nomination and acceptance from the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Duterte was in Davao City Friday morning where he formally withdrew his mayoral bid before the poll body's office.

He was accompanied by his daughter, Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, who subsequently replaced him as substitute candidate of local party Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod.

Duterte is replacing Martin Diño, who withdrew his candidacy for president under the PDP-Laban after supposedly being hurt by the poll body's motu proprio decision to declare him as a nuisance candidate.

Political parties have until December 10 to name substitute candidates.

Diño's candidacy, however, is under question since his COC indicates he is running for Pasay City mayor. Duterte, meanwhile, filed his COC for Davao City mayor as candidate of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, despite being a member of the PDP-Laban.

READ: Duterte substitution faces hurdles: lawyer

The poll body earlier said that the acceptance of any COC by the Law Department is only ministerial in nature, meaning there is no determination yet if Duterte will already be included in the list of presidential candidates for the 2016 elections.

Also submitted along with Duterte's COC is his National Platform of Government, Thrusts and Priority Programs. These included plans to reduce bureaucracy and crime and eliminate drugs. Duterte also promised to strengthen the Criminal Justice System, fix Government Administration and institute tax reforms. He also included his plan to prioritize urban, rural and transport infrastructures, build disaster resilient communities ansd shift to a federal form of government.

Duterte on Saturday said he has decided to run for the country's post after the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) voted against a petition to disqualify Senator Grace Poe on the grounds of her citizenship.

Duterte had challenged Poe to produce her birth mother to prove that she is Filipino. He added he would gladly campaign for Poe if she is able to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino.

READ: 'Don't cheapen the presidency,' Duterte tells Poe's camp

Duterte emerged as the top choice for president of Metro Manila voters in a Pulse Asia survey conducted November 11 to 12.

The survey, privately commissioned by a group supportive of Duterte, showed 34% of the 300 respondents said they would vote for Duterte if the elections were held at the time the survey was conducted.

Poe ranked second with 26%, followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay with 22%, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas with 11%, and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago with 7%.

Duterte said Senator Alan Peter Cayetano will be his running mate in the 2016 elections. He admitted he had a hard time choosing between Cayetano and Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., who are both his friends.

The Comelec is set to come out with the final list of candidates by December 15. -- With reports from Doris Bigornia and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News