MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III is still counting on Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for president under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in 2016.
Pimentel, PDP-Laban president, said he met with Duterte Wednesday night and asked him about reports that he would no longer seek the presidency.
The senator said he tried to convince Duterte to push through with his presidential bid during the meeting that lasted until 3 a.m. yesterday.
“He did not say anything new. He just reiterated that he has no personal ambition at any time in his life to run for president,” Pimentel said.
He, however, expressed belief that Duterte could still be convinced to run for higher office.
Pimentel said there is a strong clamor for Duterte to run for president because of what he had accomplished in Davao City.
Even after declaring that he is no longer interested in running for any position, several advertisements were still coming out, backing Duterte as a presidential candidate.
Pimentel said there is still time for Duterte to decide because the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) is on Oct. 16.
Even if Duterte is not able to file his COC on time, Pimentel said he could still join the presidential race as a substitute candidate of the PDP-Laban.
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