Duterte disqualification from mayoral race sought

A MAYORALTY candidate, who was earlier disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), had asked the poll body to disqualify Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from the race on the grounds of "political dynasty."

In his letter addressed to election officer for District 1 lawyer Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio, Teodoro Mantilla said the Comelec must disqualify Duterte from the mayoral race in the May elections since the latter and his children -- Mayor Sara Duterte and Councilor Paolo Duterte -- are in "power for more than 10 years."

Mantilla said political dynasty happens between the Dutertes since the vice mayor already served the city as a mayor for three consecutive terms and is once again running for the same position, while Paolo is running for vice mayor even though the incumbent mayor is his sister Sara.

Aside from that, Mantilla said the elder Duterte must be disqualified "not only due to the prohibition of our constitution but also to help him prolong his life because he is over age and sickly."

"Remember he had a heart attack/stroke during election period when he was a candidate for mayor in his last term and it is good for our country to disqualify him," he said.

Mantilla also warned the Comelec that failure to disqualify Duterte would lead people to have a "wild protest and burning of the constitution not only in Davao City, but in other provinces" in the next months.

In previous interview with local reporters, Mantilla vowed to make Davao City an independent country in Asia.

The Comelec-Davao had recommended the disqualification of Mantilla and four other mayoralty candidates -- Rodrigo P. Buezon, Magdaleno S. Marcellones, Rolly T. Solis and Rodrigo J. Sulamin -- for being nuisance candidates.

Lawyer Aimee F. Ampoloquio, Comelec-Davao City first district election officer, said that in January 11, a clarificatory hearing was conducted purposely for possible nuisance candidates.

She said they have filed the complaint based on their "demeanor and actions," citing instances where they answered vaguely to television interviews about their platforms.

Based on the Comelec's official website, which was last updated in January 31, Duterte is the lone candidate running as Davao City mayor.

Though this was not confirmed by the Comelec regional lawyer Danilo Cullo, he pointed out the website for the possibility of disqualifying the other candidates.

"I'm never after it (disqualification against five others), actually. Just to set the records straight, I never asked for the disqualification of any other candidate. I am sorry. It is the Comelec's decision," Duterte said in an earlier interview.

He said he would want them included in the race to see democracy at work. (ANC)
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