DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/01 November) – “Nothing has changed.”
While supporters of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte cheered the resolution early last week of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to compel him to substitute for PDP Secretary-General Martin Dino who later in the week withdrew his candidacy for President and named Duterte as his substitute, the mayor declared in his Sunday morning television show that “nothing has changed.”
Asked about the PDP resolution in his “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” (From the Masses, For the Masses) show, Duterte said, “maayo pa sila, gabuot-buot” which has no direct translation to English but is an expression of displeasure over a decision made without his consent.
“I heard from the radio and from you (but) I have not received any formal communication from PDP compelling me to run for the Presidency. In the meantime, nothing has changed,” he said.
The PDP on Tuesday passed Resolution 2, to “compel any one of its members who can carry the banner and torch of the party to victory, to substitute Martin ‘Bobot’ Diño, as the party must have its candidate in the coming May 9, 2016 election.”
Resolution No. 2 said the party resolved “to substitute Martin ‘Bobot’ Diño in case he withdraws from the presidential race with Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte who is concededly the strongest presidential hopeful of the party aside from Martin ‘Bobot’ Diño, and who must dutifully abide by the decision of the party.”
Diño, chair of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Secretary-General of PDP-Laban, filed his COC at the Commission on Elections in Manila at 4:58 p.m. on October 16 or two minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline, when it had become evident that Duterte was not in Manila contrary to rumors that he had flown to Manila on a private plane that afternoon, allegedly to beat the 5 p.m. deadline for filing his COC for President. A day earlier, Duterte had his COC for mayor filed before the Comelec office in Davao City.
In danger of being declared as a nuisance candidate, Diño withdrew his candidacy on October 29 or two days after the PDP Resolution, and named Duterte as his substitute in the Statement of Withdrawal he filed before the Comelec.
Asked by the anchor what his response would be the resolution reaches him, Duterte replied: “nothing has changed.”
Using his right hand to scratch his head, Duterte said: “Dili lagi. Dili man mo mutuo. Wala man koy ambisyon mag-President. Kapila ko na man na iyagyag sa inyo?” (No is No. But you won’t believe. I have no ambitions to become President. How many times do I have to say that?)
“I do not have the stomach for it. It is not appealing to me. (It is) not to my liking,” the mayor added.
He had repeatedly said he would retire from politics if his daughter Sara, who was mayor from 2010 to 2013 while he was vice mayor, would agree to run. On Sunday, he said he would retire from politics if Sara agrees to substitute for him in the mayoralty race. Duterte is running for his 8th term as mayor, virtually unopposed.
If Sara agrees, he said, he would immediately announce he would retire effective the end of his term on June 30, 2016.
Duterte has been a public servant for nearly four decades: as a prosecutor for 11 years before he was appointed OIC Vice Mayor from 1986 to 1988, elected mayor for three terms from 1988 to 1998, served as Representative of the 1st district from 1998 to 2001; returned as mayor for another three terms from 2001 to 2010; was vice mayor to Sara from 2010 to 2013 and mayor again since 2013.
“I have enough accolades to last me a lifetime,” he has also repeatedly said.
When the anchor inquired about a photograph of his daughter Sara and sons Paolo (the vice mayor) and Sebastian with shaved heads purportedly to support his bid for the Presidency, Duterte replied: “As I have said, misconstrued na sa public.”
“Si Inday nagpapagong to protest sa mga taong gaudyok sa ako sige nga mudagan (pagka-Presidente)… Buot pasabot, people around me” (Inday Sara had her head shaved to express her protest against people around me who are urging me to run for President), Duterte said.
Duterte had also repeatedly said his family was against his running for the Presidency. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)