Duterte’s presidential bid now ‘on the table’
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - November 21, 2015 - 8:17pm

MANILA, Philippines – After repeated announcements that he will not run for president, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte on Saturday night said he is running for president.

In a text message on Sunday morning, Duterte’s camp confirmed that the mayor said his presidency is now on the table.

“Mayor’s statement was presidency is now on the table,” Duterte’s staff, Romirose Padin said in a text message sent to Philstar.com.

In September, Duterte announced that he is not running for president. He repeated that he is not interested in the presidency during the last day of the filing of the certificate of candidacy.

Reports quoted Duterte as saying that he was urged by his disappointment over the Senate Electoral Tribunal's ruling on presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe, which junked her disqualification case.

“Basta ako on the table 'yan. I am running for president, because I am so disappointed and sad sa ruling na 'yan,” reports quoted Duterte during a private party in Dasmariñas City. 

Reports said Duterte attended the party with vice presidential candidate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who was wooing him to run as his presidential candidate weeks leading to the Commission on Election (Comelec) deadline for filing of certificate of candidacy.

“I’m terribly disappointed. Pwede pala maski hindi natural born. I’ve been warning to everybody, I said I am not interested, it does not appeal to me and I do not have a need for it. Pero ‘pag ganito ang laro ng ating bayan, then the option to run is on the table,” Duterte said during a doctors' forum in Iloilo City on the same day.

The mayor said the Senate tribunal decision cheapened the presidency. He believes Poe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen.

“You have a presumptive citizen running the affairs of government. Ay, mahirap 'yan," Duterte said.

Duterte said Poe can run for other local official positions such as governor and mayor but he stressed that presidency should be exempted.

“Grace can run for governor, mayor, I am willing to vacate my position, bigay ko sa kanya. Pero wag 'yung presidente," he said.

Duterte said he is fielding his daughter Sara Duterte to run for Davao City mayor to replace him if he runs for president.

“Maybe Inday. I am now on the begging stage,” he said.

Duterte said his political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, did not know about his sudden decision to run for president .

PDP’s presidential candidate Martin Diño earlier withdrew his candidacy and placed Duterte as his substitute.

Duterte, the substitute candidate of his political party, is still allowed to run for president according to the Comelec. He filed his certificate of candidacy for reelection as Davao City mayor.

Duterte's spokesman, Peter Laviña, said on a Facebook post  on Sunday that there were already signs that the Davao mayor will seek the presidency next year.

"Many indications are there to see that is why many kept faith and are hopeful of his final decision. But best is to wait until he files as substitute and Comelec to list him as presidential candidate. If it is the will of God or his destiny to be president, so be it," Laviña said.

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