MANILA - Presidential aspirant Mel Mendoza of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino has withdrawn from the upcoming polls, opting instead to endorse the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
"I am withdrawing my candidacy for president. Ito po ay opisyal naming ipararating sa Commission on Elections para hindi na makagulo ang aking pangalan sa opisyal na balota sa election 2016," Mendoza said in a press conference.
Mendoza thanked the Comelec for not outright junking his candidacy. He told reporters he only decided to file his certificate of candidacy as an option in case former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada decides to run for president anew in the 2016 polls.
Now that Estrada has decided not to run for president, Mendoza said he will withdraw his candidacy.
He also said his party, the Kalipunan ng Masang Pilipino (KAMPIL), is backing the candidacy of United Nationalist Alliance standard bearer and Vice President Jejomar Binay, citing his "pro-Filipino and pro-masa" agenda and platform of government.
Atty. Romulo Macalintal earlier said he is puzzled over why Comelec did not declare Mendoza a nuisance candidate given that he has repeatedly lost in the local elections.
Mendoza has lost several times as candidate for barangay kagawad in Menuyan, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.
Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista has said poll commissioners did not dismiss Mendoza's COC because some political parties allow representatives to file COCs for possible substitution.
He pointed out that Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, president of PMP, nominated Mendoza as the party's presidential bet.
"If you are part of a large political party, it shows your capacity to conduct a nationwide campaign," the Comelec chief said in a DZMM interview. With reports by Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News, and DZMM