Philippine Daily Inquirer
Du30: I’d be happy to step down
President Duterte said he would be “happy to step down” if the quo warranto petition filed against him last week by lawyer Elly Pamatong prospered in courts.
In a speech at the Office of the Solicitor General’s 117th anniversary on Tuesday, the President said he was unperturbed by Pamatong’s challenge to his presidency and the Supreme Court’s directive for him to answer the quo warranto petition.
“If my term is only up to here, I live my destiny. I’m not really (worried) about that ‘Oust Duterte’ thing… For all you know, I would be happy to step down,” Mr. Duterte said.
Pamatong, a perennial nuisance candidate for having run for the presidency twice and for governor of Pampanga, accused Mr. Duterte of being an illegal Chief Executive.
In his petition, Pamatong told the Supreme Court that Mr. Duterte “won and was elected President by voters who were not informed of the fact that he was not qualified to run.”
The suspended lawyer said Mr. Duterte had usurped the presidency “in flagrant violation of Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code.”
The quo warranto petition pointed out a clerical mistake in the certificate of candidacy (COC) for President filed by Martin Diño, a member of the Partido Demokratiko PilipinoLakas ng Bayan.
Substitute for Diño
While the first page of Diño’s COC said he was running for President, the second page said he was running for mayor of Pasay City, Pamatong said.
But in December 2015, the Commission on Elections en banc accepted then Davao City Mayor Duterte’s candidacy as a substitute for Diño.
Mr. Duterte won the May 2016 presidential elections with over 16 million votes.
In his speech on Tuesday, the President dismissed moves to remove him from office.
“I have a problem, because I heard the Supreme Court has decided on the quo warranto petition and I’m also due for ouster… The one filed by Pamatong,” Mr. Duterte said in jest.
“Don’t worry, I’ll just go home (to Davao),” he added.
Malacañang, meanwhile, insisted that Pamatong’s bid to remove the President would not succeed as it was not filed before the proper forum.
In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Pamatong’s quo warranto petition should have been lodged before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal and not before the high court.
“I think it’s a far, far shot. I think it’s not the right venue to begin with,” Roque said.