MANILA, Philippines – It’s all-systems-go for a Duterte-Cayetano tandem in 2016, as far as the two politicians are concerned.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte confirmed on Monday, November 23, that his vice-presidential running mate is Alan Peter Cayetano.
“Oo, kaya nagsasama na kami (Yes, that’s why we are appearing together),” he told reporters during an ambush interview. (READ: Alan Peter Cayetano: A good partner is worth waiting for)
But Duterte is yet to consult political party PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) on the tandem. He said he plans to meet with party chairman Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III next week.
Once he speaks to the party, he said he plans to file his Certificate of Candidacy “at the most convenient time for everybody.”
He intends to file before December 10, the Commission on Elections deadline for substitution of candidates by political parties.
To those who still doubt Duterte’s determination to run for president, Duterte said “nothing” can now convince him to withdraw from the race.
“The die is cast. I have crossed the Rubicon,” he told reporters during an ambush interview.
'Everyone' is tough competition
He dismissed criticism that his disgust over the Senate tribunal decision on Grace Poe’s disqualification is not a fitting reason to gun for the presidency.
“Anong hindi magandang rason, magkapresidente ka na Amerikano hindi magandang rason? As a matter of principle, hindi ko matanggap ang katarantaduhan na ‘yan,” he said.
(Having an American president is not a good reason? As a matter of principle, I cannot accept this insanity.)
Asked who is his toughest competition among the presidential candidates, he said, “All of them.”
“If you want an American president, go to Grace. If you want a competent person, vote for Mar. If you want a man of integrity, you vote for Binay. If you want a brilliant president. integrity and all, competence, vote for Miriam. Ako, isipin niyo na lang ako sa last week before election (As for me, just consider me on the last week before the elections).”
The challenge confronting him now is his lack of campaign funds, saying he cannot accept money with strings attached.
“That’s my problem now. It could not be something that can compromise [the presidency], let me just lose if I have to compromise the presidency,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Cayetano said that while the campaign has no money at the moment, they will be able to source from volunteers supporting Duterte.
“The good news is even if there is no money, his expenses will be less and less because of his supporters. Any of these posters you see on these highways were shouldered by supporters. There are young businessmen with big names and no demands who just want change,” said the senator.
Asked about forming a senatorial line-up, Duterte named his top choices: Sergio Osmeña III, Panfilo Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, and Susan "Toots" Ople. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.