PDP-Laban bet withdraws, names Duterte as substitute

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2015 02:22 PM | Updated as of Oct 30 2015 05:02 AM

But Duterte says 'nothing has changed'

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Martin Diño of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has withdrawn his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race and named party-mate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as his substitute.

In a press conference on Thursday, Diño said he was "deeply hurt" by the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) motu proprio decision to declare him as a nuisance candidate.

Diño filed his withdrawal at the Comelec Law Department this morning.

The poll body cited as grounds of Diño's disqualification his lack of a bona fide intention to run for the position of president, as well as his inability to mount a national campaign.

The poll body also cited Diño's earlier statements that he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) because Duterte did not show up at the last day of filing at the Comelec's main office in Manila.

The Comelec said this renders Diño "merely as a candidate-in-waiting, stand-in, or representative-substitute in case the Party's intended bet finally decides to proceed with the Presidential candidacy."

Diño denied such allegations by the Comelec. "Hindi ko inisip na ako ay spare tire. Ang pagkatao ko ay hindi pamalit lang," he said.

He also claimed that PDP-Laban has the machinery to finance his presidential run. He also thanked his party for support.

After withdrawing from next year's presidential race, Diño named Duterte as his substitute.

The PDP-Laban on Tuesday passed a resolution compelling Duterte to substitute for Diño as the party's standard bearer in case the latter backs out of the race.

The party said the Davao City mayor is "concededly the strongest presidential hopeful of the party" aside from Diño.

READ: Party picks Duterte as substitute in presidential race 

Duterte, however, said nothing has changed and he will continue with his soul-searching.

"Nothing has change[d]. Will continue soul searching on All Souls' Day," he said.

But John Castricciones, vice president for PDP-Laban in Luzon, is confident that Duterte, being a loyal party man, will eventually go with the decision of PDP-Laban.

Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre said they have enough time to convince the Davao City mayor to run before the December 10 deadline.

Diño, former chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), filed his COC for president under PDP-Laban a few minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline on the last day of the filing of COCs at the poll body's main office on October 16.

Duterte, meanwhile, filed his COC for mayor of Davao City, reiterating that he has no intention of gunning for the presidency.

Under the Comelec's rules, candidates can be substituted by anyone from the same party until December 10. -- Reports from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News; Dexter Ganibe, dzMM; Michelle Robin, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao