MANILA - Presidential aspirant Vice President Jejomar Binay is grateful for the pronouncement of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte that he will campaign for the opposition candidate should he be disqualified from the 2016 presidential race.
"Nagpapasalamat ako sa pagkakasabi ni Mayor Duterte nun," Binay told reporters in Tupi, South Cotabato Thursday.
Binay, however, stressed that Duterte is qualified for the presidency, citing his experience as mayor of Davao City.
"Pero gusto ko lang i-emphasize sabihin na si Mayor Digong ay qualified na qualified. Pareho kami ng pinanggalingan. Kami ay models ng correct governance sa executive department," said Binay.
Duterte, who has been engaged in a word war with administration standard bearer Mar Roxas, earlier said he will support Binay should the Commission on Elections (Comelec) rule to disqualify him.
"I don't care kung ma-disqualify ako but this much I can say: I do not have any respect for you," Duterte said, taunting Roxas.
"Kapag na-disqualify si Grace [Poe], na-disqualify ako, I will campaign for Binay. Binay na ako then I will tell the Filipino people why you should not [be president]," referring to Roxas.
In a related development, the poll body, voting 6-1, has accepted the certificate of candidacy (COC) of Duterte and his substitution for a party-mate.
Comelec chairman Andres Bautista, however, said that the resolution ''is entirely without prejudice to the pending disqualification case'' filed by broadcaster Ruben Castor.
Castor earlier asked the poll body to nullify erstwhile PDP-Laban presidential bet Martin Diño's COC and render Duterte's substitution for him invalid, arguing that the mayor cannot substitute for Diño because the latter wrote in his COC for president that he is running for the position of Pasay City mayor.
"Sana ay ituloy na rin," Binay said of Duterte's inclusion in the list of presidential candidates.
"Sabi ko sa inyo, qualified naman si Mayor Duterte. Pero tingnan natin kung ano ba ang desisyon ng Comelec," added Binay.