Even as he has categorically stated his decision not to run for the presidency, the political party to which Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte belongs is still waiting on him to run for the country’s highest post.
Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Laban (PDP-Laban) president Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said Thursday that the party is still hoping that Duterte changes his mind.
“PDP-Laban wants Mayor Duterte to run, but whether he will run… it’s the mayor who will solely make the decision. He has asked for time and space, so we’re giving him time and space,” he told reporters.
Asked if he believes the mayor’s announcement is not yet final, Pimentel replied in the affirmative.
“Yes, because he did not change anything,” said Pimentel.
“It was a repetition of what he has stated before. We will be ready, but we’re not unduly pressuring him because he has asked for time and space… to reflect. It’s such a big, crucial, and important decision kasi.”.
Duterte, who has figured among the top four in early presidential preference surveys, has repeatedly said he won’t be running for the top post. He reiterated that again earlier this month, saying he will retire from public life when his term ends in 2016.
However, his political adviser Lito Banayo told GMA News Online that the mayor could still change his mind.
“Masama namang magsalita nang tapos sa mundo,” Banayo said.
Should the mayor decide to really turn his back from the clamor for his candidacy, Pimentel said PDP-Laban will still “try to influence the issues to be debated upon during the campaign.”
“We have started meeting with other parties to explore common issues in our programs of government,” he said.
He added that they may also look into endorsing a “worthy” candidate for president and vice president, but that would come after Duterte’s decision becomes final.
“Wala pa kami sa phase na ‘yon kasi meron pa kaming kandidato,” he said. —JST, GMA News
Tags: rodrigoduterte, aquilinopimentelii
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