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Duterte: I might just run for president

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – For the sake of the oppressed, he might just run for president.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday he could still join the 2016 presidential race.

“I do not like the way oppressed Filipinos are being treated now. They are oppressed and have no one to turn to,” Duterte said in his “Gikan sa Masa, para sa Masa” TV show. “If they keep letting Filipinos suffer, I might just decide to run as president.”

It would be a turnaround from his previous stand that he could not be “the savior” of the country.

Earlier, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) chose the mayor as substitute for its presidential candidate Martin Diño who withdrew his bid in the 2016 polls.

The party announced that Duterte was its “concededly strongest presidential hopeful” and passed a resolution on Oct. 27 to show its support for the mayor.

Duterte said he was getting tired of responding to speculations that he would eventually join the presidential race by beating the Dec. 10 deadline to replace Diño.

“I really do not know. I really do not know how to solve the problem of the Philippines. I cannot be the savior of this republic,” he said.

However, even as he shuns running for the country’s top post, he has been commenting on what can be done to solve some of the country’s problems should he become president.

He has lamented the ordeal suffered by ordinary Filipinos, mostly overseas workers, who become victims of the “laglag bala” or bullet planting scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Vice presidential bet Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano has been trying to persuade Duterte to run for president.

The mayor said if he does run for president, he would have former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino in his senatorial slate.

Duterte said he supports Tolentino’s aim of forming a National Disaster Recovery Agency and push for laws that will promote disaster preparedness and environmental sustainability.

“The Commission on Elections earlier said it would not work on the substitution of Duterte as presidential candidate of the PDP-Laban until the mayor accepts the party’s decision.

The poll body has not received a letter from Duterte indicating his willingness to stand as Diño’s substitute for the presidential race.

The PDP-Laban has also yet to file a new certificate of nomination and acceptance for Duterte. The substitution will not be valid without Duterte’s consent, the Comelec said.

Duterte said he has yet to receive a communication from PDP officially compelling him to run for president in place of Diño.

The mayor had repeatedly said he has no interest and ambition in seeking the highest office of the land.

“I do not have the stomach to become the president of this country,” Duterte said many times.

But the mayor said government has not done enough to address the problems besetting the country these days.

ACIRC ALAN PETER CAYETANO ATILDE DAVAO CITY MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE DUTERTE FRANCIS TOLENTINO LABAN MARTIN DI MAYOR METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY NATIONAL DISASTER RECOVERY AGENCY
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