DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 Oct) – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has declined the offer of two senators eyeing the vice presidency, to be their Presidential candidate in 2016.
In his television program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” on Sunday, Duterte said he met with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., last week for about two hours each but declined the offer of the senators to run alongside with them, reiterating that he is not running for the highest post.
Cayetano announced his bid for Vice President at the Grand Men Seng Hotel on Tuesday and met with Duterte that evening while Marcos met with the mayor the following night.
The mayor said he has been public servant for half of his life and that for him, is enough. “I know the perils of public service,” he said.
Duterte on September 7 ended speculations about his political plans when he announced at the Grand Men Seng hotel that he was not running for President.
“I would like to categorically state now (to end) the agony of those who are waiting na hindi ako tatakbo ng presidente. Wala akong ambisyon maging presidente sa 2016,” he said.
He said he would retire from public service starting next year and urged his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, mayor from 2010 to 2013, to stage a comeback.
Duterte, mayor from 1988 to 1998, representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001 and mayor again from 2001 to 2010, served as vice mayor to his daughter-mayor from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, he was elected mayor for the seventh time with son Paolo as vice mayor.
Three candidates have declared their Presidential bids: Manuel “Mar” Roxas, the administration Liberal Party’s bet; Vice President Jejomar Binay; and Senator Grace Poe.
Poe’s running mate is Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero while Roxas and Binay have yet to name their running mate.
The filing of certificates of candidacy is on October 12 to 16.
When Duterte learned of Cayetano’s vice presidential bid, he said, “That’s good. Manihapon na lang ta. Naa si Pia (Senator Pia Cayetano), sila mag-igsoon gihangyo ko. They were presuming all along nga modagan ko pagka-presidente (Let’s just have dinner. Senator Pia was also there. The siblings urged me to run. They were presuming all along that I am running),” he said.
“Niingon sila na modagan ko kay naay good chances of winning. Niingon ko nga wala man, uwahi man ko sa survey, magdungan ta kapildi hinuon ani. Pangita na lang mo og winning candidates. (They told me to run because I have good chances of winning but I said I’m the last in the surveys, so we will both lose. I told them instead to look for winning candidates).
Whether I’m number one or five (in the) survey, it does not really matter to me,” he said.
Duterte, however, said that he would support Cayetano and Marcos because both are ambitious and are capable of leading the nation, having been in the Senate for years.
Cayetano has been senator since 2007 and Marcos, since 2010.
“Both are educated actually and both are smart guys. (They have) the capacity to lead an organization or country, and third is fortitude. They have the same traits.
The mayor said the two should have made sure if he is running before coming to the city to meet with him.
“I think they did (the research). Ang ilang pagtuo modagan gyud ko (They thought I am running),” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)