Long-awaited decision


DAVAO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte confessed to former President Fidel Ramos in a meeting in Manila on Monday that he was now inclined to run for president.

However, a source privy to the meeting said, Duterte told the former president he has to get his family’s blessing first.

The source, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak about the meeting, said Ramos was delighted at what Duterte had told him.

Ramos then reportedly shared some wisdom to Duterte on how to handle a presidential campaign and how to conduct himself in public – despite the expected barrage of pressure and character assassination, according to the source.

The former president also reportedly gave Duterte some tips on how to run the country amid the problems hounding it.

“FVR had only kind words for Mayor Duterte and his pointers and advice are like those coming from a concerned father to a dutiful son, who has set his eyes on a noble crusade,” the source said.

Earlier, Duterte also told a rally of supporters here last week that he wanted to consult his family first before making a decision in connection with the 2016 presidential elections.

“Malapit na (Soon). Just give me some time to talk to my family,” Duterte said as he appealed for understanding.

The Duterte camp has not confirmed the meeting with Ramos yet but Peter Tiu Laviña, the newly-designated official Duterte spokesperson, said what he can confirm was that the mayor has been meeting possible supporters and allies.

Laviña said on Monday, Duterte met with former Senator Manny Villar, his wife Senator Cynthia Villar, PDP-Laban Chairman Emeritus former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., his son Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III in Manila.

The meeting discussed a possible alliance between NP and PDP-Laban to support Mayor Duterte’s expected bid for the Presidency in 2016, he said.

But Laviña clarified that nothing had been finalized as of yet because Duterte asked leaders of the two political parties to give him “a little more time to think things over.”

“(Also to) sort out some problems, which could prevent him from accepting the call for him to be the standard-bearer of the two parties,” Laviña said.

“The alliance between the two parties would only be finalized if Mayor Duterte finally agrees to run for President,” he added.

Laviña said the mayor will announce his final decision “very soon considering that the deadline for the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy will be by the middle of October.” Karlos Manlupig

By Karlos Manlupig
Philippine Daily Inquirer

(Photo credit: Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. KIMBERLY DE LA CRUZ/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)