MANILA — Presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has filed a motion to dismiss the disqualification case filed against him by broadcaster Ruben Castor after the latter failed to attend the preliminary conference on the case at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday.
According to Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre, counsel of Duterte, they filed the motion before the Comelec First Division since the petitioner and his lawyer, Oliver Lozano, were not present during the preliminary session at the poll body.
“We filed a motion to dismiss since they did not show up. It’s a violation of the summon in the event the petitioner and counsel failed to attend, it will be dismissed. That’s why we filed the motion pursuant to that,” he said in a telephone interview.
Asked on what was the response of the First Division, the lawyer said, “They told us that our motion is now submitted for resolution, that’s why the hearing set for tomorrow was cancelled. What’s the use of tomorrow’s hearing if they decide to dismiss the case?”
With this, Aguirre is confident that the case will be dismissed.
“Naniwala kami na walang ibang dapat gawin ang Comelec kundi i-dismiss ang kaso. Kasi parang pinaglaruan ng petitioner ang process ng Comelec…,” Aguirre said.
The lawyer added, “We believe there will be no more obstacle sa pagtakbo ni mayor sa pagka-pangulo.”
In his petition, Castor asked the poll body to cancel Duterte’s Certificate of Candidacy, saying that his being a substitute candidate for Martin Dino was invalid.
The petitioner noted that Dino’s CoC for president was defective since he indicated that he was running for mayor of Pasay City.
Meanwhile, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said in a press briefing on Tuesday that a “word war” between political aspirants is part of the elections as it also gives the electorate the chance to know the real characters of those who are running for office.
The poll body chief is reacting on the exchange of words between Duterte and one of his possible rivals in the presidential post, Manuel “Mar” Roxas II of the Liberal Party.
Bautista noted that running for public office is not for sensitive people.
“As you know, elections are not for the onion-skinned. Hindi ito para sa mga balat-sibuyas; talagang kasama yan… Ako talagang naniniwala that the Filipino people will be able to wisely decide on the kind of a leader they want to elect,” he added. PNA