IN another surprising twist to the ongoing political drama, President Rodrigo Duterte today beat the November 15 deadline by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) to run for senator in next year’s polls.
He will run for senator under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) party as substitute candidate to a certain Mona Liza Visorde.
He filed his candidacy through his representative, Atty. Melchor Aranas.
The decision of Duterte to run under PDDS, says PDP-Laban secretary-general Melvin Matibag, was to avoid “legal complications.”
Senator Bong Go, who also withdrew his vice presidential bid and instead filed for the presidency on Saturday, also filed his candidacy under PDDS.
Matibag said Go’s and Duterte’s move came in light of the infighting within PDP-Laban, and Matibag said their move is fully supported by the party, and to prevent further rifts among the Duterte family.
Meanwhile, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that if President Duterte’s candidacy becomes official, there is no need for the president to step down from office.
Under the law, an incumbent official is not obligated to step down from office, unlike appointed officials.