‘Bato’ files COC for president under PDP-Laban Cusi wing 


IN a surprise move that caught election observers offguard, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa announced on Friday he will be running in the 2022 elections.

Dela Rosa submitted his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) to the Commission on Elections at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City past 3 pm, barely an hour before the 4:30 pm deadline of the filing period.

In a press conference, the lawmaker said his presidential bid was decided long ago by his political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Dela Rosa will be running for PDP-Laban vice presidential candidate, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.

“This is a party decision. This is not my personal decision,” Dela Rosa said candidly.

Substitute candidate?

Dela Rosa’s last-minute filing fueled speculation that he is merely a shoo-in candidate for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Carpio, currently a member of the regional political party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, filed her COC earlier this week to run for reelection in the 2022 polls.

But under Comelec rules, “voluntary substitution” of candidates is allowed until November 15, 2021

Until the said deadline, a candidate may be replaced, provided the substitute candidate who will replace him or her is from the same political party.

In case the substitute comes from another party,   he or she must become a member of the party which will endorse him or her.

Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr. said the concerned party must issue the necessary certificate of acceptance of nomination to the substitute it will take in on or before November 15, 2021.

Mockery of the elections

When directly confronted with the issue of substitution by the media, the senator stressed he has no intention of “mocking” the election system and that he is determined to run for president in the 2022 polls.

“Do I look like a mockery to you? I won as senator. I was number 5 [in terms of ranking with most votes] in the last [elections]. Is that a mockery? Is it a mockery to the 19 million Filipinos who voted for me as senator of this republic?” Dela Rosa said.

“That question is insulting,” he added.

Dela Rosa abruptly ended the interview after giving the statement.

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