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40% chance of Sara running as president – Bato

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
40% chance of Sara running as president â Bato
“As of now, it is 60-40 – 60 percent she’s not running, 40 percent she’s running,” Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, standard-bearer of the PDP-Laban faction headed by President Duterte, told “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News.
The STAR / Mong Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio could be close to a tipping point in deciding whether or not to run for president in next year’s elections amid the prodding of her supporters to join the race, Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said.

“As of now, it is 60-40 – 60 percent she’s not running, 40 percent she’s running,” Dela Rosa, standard-bearer of the PDP-Laban faction headed by President Duterte, told “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News.

“But for 40 percent (that’s) not a slim (chance), 40 is still big,” added the senator, when asked which way he thought Duterte’s daughter would decide.

He said he believes Duterte-Carpio has no final decision on the matter and, as such, anything can happen until Nov. 15, the deadline set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for candidate substitution or switching.

Dela Rosa stressed that even if he is openly pushing for her to run for president and is willing to step aside in her favor, he should still be considered a serious contender for the post. He rejected accusations that he is a mere placeholder-candidate for the Davao City mayor or is making a mockery of the elections.

‘Legal battle’

Dela Rosa said no one from PDP-Laban ever said he is just a proxy candidate until Nov. 15 and that anyone seeking to discredit him as a nuisance candidate is up for a major legal battle.“That bona fide intent to run (rule) is a very debatable issue. You want to open my heart and see how much I desire to run?” he dared. The senator added that his plea for Duterte-Carpio to run for president is from his “own volition,” having exchanged text messages with her as late as four days before the final day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) last Oct. 8.

A former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) appointed by Duterte, Dela Rosa confirmed that he received a call just a few hours before the closing of filing of COCs and was asked to file his candidacy by PDP-Laban officials.

He said he was in Cavite when he received the call and, at the time, had no intention of running for president. But that should not be reason to question his desire to be president of the country.

“The act of filing my COC is a clear manifestation of my intention to be president of the Republic of the Philippines,” Dela Rosa said, adding he would not have agreed to the party’s orders if he thought he had no chance of winning.

“I believe deep in my heart, as the campaign period goes on, there will be an improvement in my (survey) standing and numbers,” he said.

Platform

He simplified his campaign platform as the continuation of Duterte’s governance, particularly fighting illegal drugs, terrorism, corruption and recovery from the pandemic.

In fighting corruption, he said if he wins, he will immediately convene an assembly of all key stakeholders in the fight to map out a plan against the scourge.

Dela Rosa said he will also seek out “known” corrupt but retired government officials to give their “ideas” on fighting corruption.

He said he knows such officials are corrupt but has no evidence to prosecute them.

“I’ll tell them that ‘I’m making a good anti-corruption policy, maybe you could help me before you die, you also give back to the community,’” Dela Rosa said.

PDP-Laban kick-off event

Today, President Duterte will lead the kick-off event of his PDP-Laban faction’s roadshow for the Dela Rosa-Bong Go tandem in Iligan City and endorse the administration’s local candidates.

“It would be like a political rally that would include acknowledgment and raising of the hands of our official candidates in local posts, new members would take their oath and everyone would be given a chance to give their commitment to support the candidates of the party,” Melvin Matibag, party secretary-general, told the Friday News Forum.

Some 250 local candidates, officials and leaders of PDP-Laban who are allied with Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi in Iligan and nearby areas will attend the activity.

Matibag said they have also started preparations for political advertisements for the tandem of Dela Rosa and Go, who are known loyalists of Duterte.

He also addressed mounting speculations of a substitution of Dela Rosa as their candidate for president, saying: “Wala po... wala po kaming hinihintay (None... we’re not waiting for anyone).”

But Matibag confirmed that their PDP-Laban faction is in talks with at least three political parties for an alliance for the elections.

Two of these are the Nacionalista Party to which senatorial aspirant Mark Villar belongs and the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan of their other senatorial bet, Greco Belgica.

“I cannot yet name the other party,” Matibag said. – Emmanuel Tupas

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