Duterte to Comelec: Thanks for 'legal' decision

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, December 18, thanked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for accepting his certificate of candidacy for president.

"Thank you for being so legal about it," Duterte told Rappler. "I am happy that they decided the case based on its legality."

Duterte had earlier said that he would accept any Comelec decision on the disqualification case against him for as long as it is done "legally."

Voting 6-1, the Comelec en banc ruled in favor of Duterte to accept his COC for president, which means his name will now be included in the 2016 ballot.

But Comelec chairman Andres Bautista had said that the decision is without prejudice to disqualification cases that have been, or may be, filed against Duterte.

Duterte filed his COC for president on November 27, as substitute to Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) candidate Martin Diño.

The poll body is set to conduct a hearing on the petition against Diño on Friday, December 18. Broadcaster Ruben Castor on November 27 requested the Comelec to declare as null and void the COC of Diño, arguing that it is void as it contains untruthful  acts or misinterpretation.

Diño, initially the presidential bet of political party PDP-Laban, withdrew his COC for president to make way for his substitute – Duterte.

Meanwhile, Duterte hoped that Comelec would soon decide on the disqualification cases against his presidential rival, Senator Grace Poe.

"I hope if she is really qualified, I hope the decision would come on time so that her name can be include in the ballot because the printing starts in January," he said. – Rappler.com