THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division junked last Friday the petition to declare Martin Diño, former Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan standard-bearer (PDP-Laban), as nuisance candidate.
The ruling said the motu proprio petition filed by the Comelec Law Department was "moot and academic" as Diño had withdrawn his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president in the May 2016 elections.
"With the foregoing development, the relief prayed for in the present petition has become moot and academic, that is, whatever judgment is reached can no longer have any practical legal effect or, in the nature of things, can no longer be enforced," the decision read.
But the Second Division noted that the decision is without prejudice to questions on whether Diño's COC was validly filed last October 16.
"(This is) without prejudice to any future ruling on the validity of the said COC – formal or substantial – that may be raised before the Commission," the ruling said.
A separate petition filed by Ruben Castor before the Comelec First Division sought to declare Diño's COC as invalid and therefore, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte cannot substitute for Diño since the latter applied to run for mayor of Pasay City and not for president.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the Comelec First Division is set to hear Castor's petition on December 16.
Duterte filed his COC for president as substitute for Diño last November 27. (FP/Sunnex)