DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 July) – With only four months left before the filing of certificate of candidacy, Mayor Sara Duterte said she plans to visit other parts of the country to hold consultations with the people on her possible candidacy for President in next year’s national elections.
Saying she does not believe in surveys where she topped possible presidential candidates, Duterte said she wants to get the “pulse” of the public by holding consultations before finalizing her decision whether to join the presidential race or not.
She said she wants to hear the thoughts of the people from the grassroots of having another Duterte to lead the country, and not just comments from her allies and friends, including her supporters organizing the “Run, Sara, Run” movement.
Duterte admitted that her meeting with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia last Friday was partly because of politics.
She said she personally asked the governor for permission to allow her camp to hold consultations with Cebuanos on her possible candidacy for president.
“I told my companions, my friends, that if we talk among ourselves, of course, I would expect you to say ‘Run, Inday Sara, Run’ because we are friends. What is most important is asking the people who are not our friends what are their thoughts about that,” the mayor said.
She said no consultation was conducted on her initial visit to Cebu last week but Duterte admitted that she met her supporters who were behind the group organizing the “Run, Sara, Run” movement to thank them for their support.
Duterte said her camp has yet to schedule visits for consultations, saying this would be difficult having to juggle time between doing her work as mayor of Davao and conducting consultations on her possible presidential bid.
“I don’t have much time but I will try to make the most of whatever time is available for that and for my work as city mayor,” she said.
She said it’s important to know the reception of the people towards her if they are warm or cold and if they would even care to pay attention in her presence.
She acknowledged that the job of the President is a big responsibility, given the enormous tasks placed on the shoulders of the country’s most powerful person, and that she wanted to know if the Filipino people would support her in this endeavor.
“Like here in Davao City, it’s very easy to talk to people because they believe in my capacity and they trust me as their city mayor of Davao City. It’s not so difficult to make people understand the things that we must implement. That’s very important as well if you are a national leader because of so many things that need to be done, you need the support of everyone, even that of your enemies,” she said.
Duterte added they are not discussing yet as to her running mate because her priority at the moment is getting the pulse of the public.
She admitted that there have been political parties, including Lakas-CMD, in talks with her regional Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)