A 2022 vice-presidential candidate raised eyebrows when he endorsed a rival in the vice presidency, days before the elections.
Radio broadcaster Rizalito David, the running mate of presidential bet Jose Montemayor, endorsed his rival, Senate President Tito Sitto III.
Sotto is the running mate of presidential bet Sen. Ping Lacson.
David, a pro-life advocate, described his rival as “the best man for the job” and said that the latter had contributed a lot to the Catholic Church by opposing the passage of laws allowing same-sex marriage, divorce and abortion.
“To me, that is most important kasi he loves life, he is pro-life,” he said to CNN Philippines.
David, based on his profile, is a council member at the Koalisyong Katoliko Kristiyano. He is also a commentator at Radyo Veritas‘ ” Gising Kapatid and Ang Turo ng Inang Simbahan.”
“He listens to his family. He listens to his wife. Gentleman, family man. Sa akin, kumbaga sa grupo namin na tumatakbo ngayon, siya ang may pinakamagandang record na dapat tulungan,” he added, referring to Sotto.
David also said that if the original schedule for the Comelec debates pushed through this weekend, he would have made the announcement then.
“May mga bagay na nalalaman ako, iniisip ko kung sasabihin o hindi na,” he said.
“Sa akin, itong stretch na ito, gusto ko na lang din tulungan ‘yung isang kandidato na i-endorso na lang siya,” the vice presidential bet added.
David reiterated that he is “not withdrawing” from the race despite the endorsement. He previously said he would not back out despite ranking low in different pre-election surveys.
Sotto and Lacson, on the other hand, acknowledged the endorsement and affirmed David’s sentiments.
“He is really the best there is. Kaya imagine a vice-presidential candidate endorsing another vice presidential candidate. He must really be the best,” Lacson said, referring to his running mate.
“I would, of course, be grateful to Lito David because I know him for being a very religious and very conservative person,” Sotto commented.
“Thank you very much for the endorsement,” the senior lawmaker added.
Last month, David said that he was willing to back out of the vice presidential race and urged his rivals to support Sotto’s electoral bid instead.
“I don’t mind supporting Senator Sotto and I don’t mind supporting (Vice President) Leni Robredo if that is the case para lang talunin si Marcos and si Sara,” he said, referring to presidential bet Ferdinad Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Some Filipinos questioned David’s endorsement since he said that he would not back out of the vice presidential race despite backing a rival.
“Why did you even run then all of the sudden, you will endorse someone else?” a Twitter user asked with an eyeroll emoji.
“Ha? Kung may inendorse kang iba sa position na isa lang ang mananalo, ba’t ‘di ka pa mag-withdraw? Anong kalokohan ‘to? Hahahahaha,” another online user reacted.
“Hala. Ano ‘to? ‘Pasama lang sa balota,’ ganern?” a different Filipino commented.
Others tweeted that the Comelec should declare David “a nuisance candidate” instead.
“@comelec declare this Rizalito David a nuisance candidate, pampagulo lang ng election, iba nman pala susuportahan, tatakbo takbo pa. This doesn’t make sense at all, take this as a precedent for future elections. No nuisance allowed as a candidate,” a Filipino said.
The Omnibus Election Code describes nuisance candidates as those who “put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates.”
This also applies to those with “no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed.”
The Comelec said that such individuals “prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.”