Diño withdraws from presidential race, asks Duterte to run in his place

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — PDP-Laban presidential candidate Martin Diño is withdrawing from the 2016 national elections.

Diño filed his "statement of cancellation or withdrawal" on Thursday (October 29) before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Law Department and named Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as his substitute.

His decision came after a petition was filed by the Comelec's legal office to declare him as a nuisance candidate.

Atty. John Castriciones, Diño's lawyer, said the case before Comelec had already become moot and academic with the filing of the withdrawal of candidacy.

Related: Duterte's children to back father's possible presidential run

Asked if the Davao City mayor already had agreed to the substitution, Diño said the party's decision to have Duterte replace him in case he withdraws his presidential bid will stand.

Duterte had earlier said numerous times that he does not aspire to become president, but later announced — and confirmed on CNN Philippines' news.PH — that he would yield to the party's decision.

Last Tuesday, PDP-Laban passed a resolution that it is "compelling" Duterte to substitute as the party's standard bearer if Diño withdraws or is disqualified by the Comelec.

The party has until December 10 — Comelec's deadline for substitution of candidates — to fill up its presidential slot.

Wealth not a qualification for president

"Ako po si Martin Diño, dating kandidato ng PDP-Laban sa pagkapangulo ng Pilipinas. Isang Pilipino, natural born, at marunong po ako bumasa at sumalat. Ako po ay 40 years old and above. Ako po ay 10 years resident nitong bansa natin."

[Translation: "I am Martin Diño, a previous presidential candidate of PDP-Laban. A Filipino, natural born, and I know how to read and write. I am above 40 years old. I have been a resident of our country for 10 years."]

This is how Diño opened his press conference after he withdrew his COC on Thursday.

He said he was hurt and insulted by Comelec's decision to "categorize" him as a possible nuisance candidate.

"Mayroon daw silang balita na ako ay nagsalita at hinihintay ko lang ang pagpalit ni Mayor Rody Duterte. At ako daw ay walang kapabilidad na maglunsad ng pangmalawakang o pambansang kampanya, dahil wala daw akong financial capability."

[Translation: "They said they heard reports saying I am only waiting for the substitution of Mayor Rody Duterte. And that I have no means to run a national campaign because I have no financial capability."]

Diño made it clear that being wealthy is not one of the qualifications required for the presidency.

"Wala pong nakalagay doon (sa mga pamantayan) na kailangan kang maging mayaman," added Diño. "Tandaan niyo po ako ay inendorso ng aming partido na ang PDP-Laban. Ang aking pagkatao ay nainsulto dahil ako po ay kinonsidera na nuisance candidate."

[Translation: "Being wealthy is not a qualification to run for president. Note that I was endorsed by the PDP-Laban party. I was insulted because I was considered as a nuisance candidate."]

Diño, who is a barangay captain in Quezon City, said that Comelec is taking away, not only his right, but other barangay captains' as well to run for the presidency.

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.