Bato Dela Rosa: Who Are You to Judge My Intention to Run for President?

Senator insists he is serious in running.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said Tuesday he had a "clear intention" to run for president, deflecting criticism that he was a mere placeholder for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Critics "cannot question" his intention, said President Rodrigo Duterte's former national police chief. Should Duterte-Carpio resist calls to run to succeed her father, Dela Rosa said he had firm resolve to seek the presidency.

"Who are you to judge my intention? It is only me ang makakasagot niyan kung talagang gusto ko ba o hindi," Dela Rosa told ANC in an interview.

"The mere fact that I filed my certificate of candidacy is an overt manifestation of my clear intention to become the next president of this republic," he added.

Dela Rosa filed his candidacy on the last day of registration of national candidates on Oct. 8. He later told CNN Philippines that he was open to be substituted by Duterte-Carpio if his party, PDP-Laban, so decides.

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Article IX, Sec. 77 of the Omnibus Election Code allows the substitution of a candidate if on the last day of the candidacy filing, the official candidate of a political party dies, withdraws, or is disqualified, provided that the substitute candidate comes from the same party.

The last day of candidate substitution is on Nov. 15.

Some lawmakers called for an amendment of this provision as they observed that candidate substitution has put the election process in a "mockery."

While Dela Rosa said the provision on candidate substitution is legal and is not being abused, he believes that it should be amended.

"Dapat talaga tanggalin na ito. Kasi nagagamit ito na strategy sa mga partido na may mga... pero legal pa rin yan," he said.

"Wala akong problema diyan kung ikakabuti ng ating electoral process ang pag-amend ng batas na yan. I will go for it, I will support it," he added.

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