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Erap's party presidential bet withdraws, backs Binay

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(Photo from Philippine Star)


MANILA — Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) presidential candidate Romel Mendoza has officially withdrawn from theMay 9, 2016 national elections reportedly to support Vice President Jejomar Binay.


Mendoza filed his statement of cancellation/withdrawal before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Law Department on Feb. 1.


“After much thought, I am hereby cancelling my Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for President, Republic of the Philippines…or I am hereby withdrawing my candidacy for the position of President,” said the document, which was signed by the nominee of PMP, the party founded and headed by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.


Mendoza said that he only filed his CoC for president last October to provide an avenue for Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to run for president via substitution in case the latter changed his mind.


Estrada is seeking reelection as mayor in Manila.


Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista noted that substituted is no longer allowed at this time since the deadline has already elapsed.


“December 10 was our deadline for the filing of substitution for withdrawals,” he added.


Comelec Resolution No. 9984 states that no substitution due to withdrawal shall be allowed after Dec. 10, 2015.


As this developed, Bautista noted there is a need for Congress to revisit the law on allowing substitution of candidates.


He cited the case of Mendoza, who admitted that the reason he filed his CoC for president was to provide Estrada the option to become a substitute candidate.


“Probably, for the succeeding elections, we may need to assess this provision of the law and we call on our Congress to look into whether we should still allow substitution of candidates,” the poll body chief said.


With Mendoza out of the race, the possible candidates for the top post in the land is down to six and they are: Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas; Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA); Senator Grace Poe (Independent); People’s Reform Party’s (PRP) bet Senator Miriam Defender Santiago; PDP-Laban’s Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte; and OFW Family Club Party-list Rep. Roy Señeres of the Partido ng Mangagawa at Magsasaka Workers and Peasants Party (WPPPMM).

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