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PDP-Laban adopts resolution making Duterte its substitute presidential bet

(Updated 1:26 p.m.) The prospect of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte running for president remains alive even if the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has fielded anti-crime advocate and Quezon City barangay captain Martin Diño as its standard bearer.
The party on Tuesday passed a resolution compelling Duterte to substitute for Diño in the event the latter withdraws from the presidential race for any reason, or is disqualified by the Commission on Elections.
In Resolution No. 2 Series of 2015, PDP-Laban said it must "compel any one of its members who can carry the banner and torch of the party to victory, to substitute Martin ‘Bobot’ Diño, as the party must have its candidate in the coming May 9, 2016 election."
"Wherefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved, to substitute Martin ‘Bobot’ Diño in case he withdraws from the presidential race with Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte who is concededly the strongest presidential hopeful of the party aside from Martin 'Bobot' Diño, and who must dutifully abide by the decision of the party," the resolution read.
JV Hinlo, the party’s interim president for Region 6, clarified that the party remains supportive of their current standard bearer’s candidacy.
The party earlier passed a resolution telling its members to support Diño in his presidential bid.
Hinlo said that Resolution No. 2 was passed to ensure that the party will have a substitute candidate in case Diño backs out, or is barred by the Comelec from running.
“For now, the official candidate of PDP-Laban and its official nominee is Martin Diño. We just made Resolution No. 2 public [so that] in the event Martin Diño withdraws from the race, Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte is being compelled by the party to accept the nomination as its substitute candidate,” Hinlo told reporters in a press conference in Pasay City.

In a gathering on Monday, members of the PDP-Laban rallied behind the presidential candidacy of Diño, a barangay chairman in Quezon city and chairman of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
Diño, the party's deputy secretary general, reiterated during the gathering that he is not a "spare tire."
Diño filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on October 16, the last day of filing for next year's elections.
Duterte was also expected to file his COC the same day. The mayor, however, issued a statement reiterating that he was not running for president.

Duterte can refuse

He said Duterte still has the choice to turn down the PDP-Laban’s nomination if he has no plans of running for president. 
“The question of whether or not he will accept the party’s nomination should be addressed to him (Duterte),” Hinlo said.
Former South Cotabato Governor Mike Sueño, PDP-Laban’s national chairman, said Duterte had been informed of the party’s latest decision through his executive assistant, Christopher Go.
He said party officials have yet to hear the mayor’s response to the resolution.
“Abangan na lang natin kung ano ang sasabihin ni mayor. Ang sabi niya sa CNN Philippines na ‘I will abide by what the party decides.’ 'Di na namin alam ano ang sasabihin niya sa inyo,” Sueño said.
Hinlo was likewise mum when asked about the party’s response in case Duterte rejects the party’s nomination to become Diño’s substitute.
“Let’s cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.
Hinlo, however, admitted that the party's chances of winning the presidential race would be higher if Duterte runs instead of Diño.
"We know that he (Duterte) is the strongest candidate among the nominees. He's stronger than Diño, stronger than Koko (Senator Aquiilino Pimentel IV). Our chances of victory with the presidency is higher with Duterte. With Diño and Koko, we have to start all over again," he said.
Under Comelec rules, Duterte could withdraw his certificate of candidacy for mayor and run for president as a substitute for Diño.
Duterte has consistently ranked in the top five of recent presidential preference surveys.

Second substitute bet
The Comelec allows the substitution of candidates until Dec. 10, 2015.
In the event that Duterte thumbs down the PDP-Laban’s nomination and Diño withdraws his candidacy, Hinlo said the party would meet again to pick a new standard bearer.
He said Pimentel, the party’s president, could be fielded as a presidential candidate since he is qualified to run.
“Our party president, Sen. Koko Pimentel, could become our third nominee. He’s qualified. What the party wants to impart as a message to the Filipino people is that PDP-Laban will not allow itself to be swept under the rug. We’ll participate in the 2016 elections,” Hinlo said. —ALG/KG, GMA News