DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 March) – Davao City mayor and Partidong Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Bayan (PDP-Bayan) bet Rodrigo Duterte, who was previously upset over the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) allowing Sen. Grace Poe in the presidential race, wished her “good luck” after the Supreme Court junked the petition to disqualify Poe from running.
“Good luck to Sen. Grace Poe. I wish her the best,” Peter Laviña, head of Duterte team’s media group, quoted the mayor as saying.
Last November 22, Duterte said during a gathering in Dasmariñas, Cavite: “I am running for President because I am disappointed and sad sa ruling na yan (SET decision).”
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court, voting 9-6, finally junked the disqualification case filed against presidential bet Grace Poe.
Those who voted in favor of Poe included Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, with Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, and Bejamin Caguioa.
Those who voted against were Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Mariano del Castillo, Arturo Brion, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, and Bienvenido Reyes.
In a separate text message to MindaNews, Laviña said the SC decision bears not much impact on the Duterte team’s campaigning, saying that “we have long considered the election as a four-bet race.”
“What we need to do is sharpen the message that only Duterte has clear change agenda. The three others were part of the administration that wasted six years at the expense of the Filipino people,” he said.
Both First and Second Divisions of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) voted against Poe’s presidential bid over failure to meet citizenship and residency requirements.
The Duterte camp welcomed the decision of the SC on the activation of the vote verification feature of the counting machines.
Laviña said the SC decision on the issuance of the printed voter receipts “upholds the law on automated elections.”
“This would allay fears of the people that their votes will not be counted properly,” he said.
If implemented properly, it would even strengthen the credibility of the electoral process, according to Laviña.
“We shall continue to call on Comelec to make the elections peaceful and orderly,” he said.
“We urge the Commission on Elections to capture the spirit behind the SC ruling and uphold and protect the sanctity of the vote of the people,” Laviña added.