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Señeres open to allowing Duterte as substitute candidate


OFW Family Club party-list Rep. Roy Señeres on Thursday said he is open to the possibility of allowing Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to replace him as a substitute candidate for president even though they belong to different political parties. 
 
But Señeres, the national chairman of the newly accredited Filipino Family Party (FPP), said he will consider allowing Duterte run in his place if the mayor agrees to certain conditions.
 
“Hindi ko sinasabing magpapa-substitute ako. But if Mayor Duterte withdraws the statements he has made against Sen. Grace Poe, if he says he will be pro-life like me instead of being pro-death, and if he will take up the cudgels for the contractual workers in the country, then I will consider allowing him to substitute for me,” he said at a press conference.
 
Señeres, however, said he won’t allow Duterte to take his place if only one of the three conditions he has set is met.
 
Duterte, a stalwart of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said he is seeking the presidency after the Senate Electoral Tribunal moved to junk the disqualification case against Poe. He said he is not in favor of having an American for a president.
 
Though Señeres and Duterte do not belong to the same party, the former said the latter could still become his substitute candidate if he takes oath as a member of FPP.
 
“He (Duterte) could swear an oath of allegiance to the FPP. As a member, he could run for any position he pleases [under the party]. No one’s stopping him from switching parties,” Señeres said.
 
Under the Commission on Elections’ rules, the substitute candidate should come from the same party or coalition as the bet who is withdrawing his electoral bid.
 
Duterte has been eyed as PDP-Laban’s substitute candidate for president after its original nominee, anti-crime advocate Martin Diño, withdrew his candidacy.
 
The mayor had filed a separate COC to run for re-election last October.
 
Former Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. and election lawyer Romeo Macalintal have said that Duterte may still file his COC for president as a substitute but the process will not be smooth sailing.
 
As of posting time, GMA News Online was still trying to reach the camp of Duterte for the mayor's comments.
 
Same fraternity
 
At the same press briefing, Señeres said that while he and Duterte have yet to talk about the prospect of substitution for the presidential race, they have good ties with each other as they both hail from Mindanao and belong to the same fraternity at the San Beda College of Law.
 
“Every time I’d visit Davao City, he’d (Duterte) always meet me at the Marco Polo Hotel. When I ran for Congress, he supported me. He even accompanied me when I visited [Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder and leader] Pastor Apollo Quiboloy [to seek support],” he said.
 
Should they have a chance to talk, Señeres said he is confident he would be able to convince Duterte to soften his stance towards Poe.
 
“Kilala ko si Mayor Duterte. Malambot ang puso niya sa mga babae,” he said. — RSJ, GMA News
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