DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Are they Mayor Rodrigo Duterte‘s chosen ones?
Expected to seek the presidency in 2016, Duterte told a press conference Friday night, October 9, that he has listed senatorial candidates he is willing to support, whether or not he runs.
Among them is fellow Bedan former justice secretary Leila de Lima, despite their word war in the past. Another is Bedan and Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Neri Colmenares.
“As fellow graduate of San Beda, I will support her. Baka pagalitan ako ng mga pari. Kahit na nag-away pa kami noon, I will support her,” Duterte said.
(As fellow graduate of San Beda [Law School], I will support her. I might be scolded by the priests. Even if we quarreled in the past, I will support her.)
De Lima is running under the administration-led Liberal Party of former interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, while Colmenares is reportedly running under the ticket of Senator Grace Poe.
Duterte also mentioned the following as senatorial candidates he will support: Senator Serge Osmeña, former senators Panfilo Lacson and Juan Miguel Zubiri; Sarangani Congressman Manny Paquiao; partylist Representative Samuel Pagdilao, Representatives Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of Leyte and Roman Romulo of Pasig City, and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno (Francisco Domagoso).
Duterte said he has personal ties with Lacson, Osmeña, and Pagdilao. Zubiri and Pacquiao are from Mindanao. The Davao City mayor also said Pacquiao has brought honor to the country and is helping the poor.
He downplayed Paquiao’s absentee record in the House of Representatives, saying, “He was always absent because he was training, but he said he is retiring from boxing, so I guess he can give his time to the Senate this time.”
Duterte said Romualdez sought his support, while Moreno had discussed with him his plan “long ago and I promised to help him.”
Duterte also said he will support Romulo because “he is a Romulo”.
While speculation is mounting that Duterte is set to declare his intent to seek the presidency, given that the filing of certificates of candidacy is already next week (October 12-16), he admitted that he has had a hard time convincing his daughter Sara to give her nod. She left Davao Friday morning, October 9.
“I wanted to talk to my daughter, but she left yesterday. Look, Sara left me. She wrote me a letter specifically saying, ‘Do not run. Ang sabi niya (She said), you owe nobody nothing. Do not run or force yourself into it,” Duterte said.
After speaking with PDP-Laban leaders, Duterte asked his supporters to wait until October 15 because he still had to talk to Sara and convince her. – Rappler.com