(The Philippine Star)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc on Thursday accepted presidential aspirant Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte as a substitute candidate for Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s former standard bearer Martin Diño.

 Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte

Comelec Chair Juan Andres Bautista said the en banc ruled in favor of Duterte with a 6-1 vote, allowing Duterte to run in the 2016 polls as he was able to comply with the basic requirements for substitution.

“He is now on our list of candidates. This is now an administrative decision that our en banc made,” Bautista said.

“We just check if candidates have complied with basic requirements for substitution such as if he is an official member of a party,” he added.

Bautista, however, clarified that this is without prejudice to disqualification cases filed against Duterte citing petitioner Ruben Pastor’s petition.

He said these disqualification cases will be heard by the divisions and will be transferred to the en banc.

The Comelec chair said they treated each aspirant fairly.

“No special treatment for anyone, we try to objectively review them,” Bautista said.

Duterte initially filed a certificate of candidacy for Davao City mayor last October but withdrew his candidacy on November 27 to join the presidential race instead.

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