Duterte on Alan Cayetano: I will not abandon him

Pia Ranada
Rodrigo Duterte promises to 'work harder' for his running mate after recent surveys show Cayetano is lagging behind

TANDEM ISSUES. Duterte-Cayetano at #TheLeaderIWant Forum in DLSU on January 20, 2016. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte promised to work harder to help running mate Alan Peter Cayetano improve his election survey ratings.

“We have to work harder, Alan has to work harder, I have to work harder for Alan,” he told media during a sortie in Valenzuela City on Wednesday, March 9.

Cayetano has been trailing behind Chiz Escudero, Bongbong Marcos, and Leni Robredo in recent surveys. He lost support in all major areas in the country. 

Duterte meanwhile, was the biggest gainer in the February to March Laylo survey.

In the midst of dwindling support for the senator, Duterte said he will stand by Cayetano. 

Kasama ko siya (I am with him). I will not abandon him,” he said.

During a public gathering in Valenzuela City later that day, Duterte introduced Cayetano as “the most decent person to have entered politics” to cheers from the audience.

Asked if his heavy campaigning in Ilocos region, a bailiwick of vice-presidential bet Marcos Jr had anything to do with Cayetano’s fall in ratings, Duterte said his presence there was only because of the invitation of someone close to the Marcoses. 

His son-in-law, the husband of his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, is also an Ilocano. 

But Duterte’s visit to all 4 provinces of the region in a span of a few weeks brought attention to the burgeoning support for a Duterte-Marcos tandem – at the expense of the Duterte-Cayetano tandem.

For his part, Cayetano does not believe surveys tell the whole story. He previously told media that he considered surveys “a guide” but not “a crystal ball.” – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.