Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Thursday that his group, PDP-Laban, is willing to wait until December 2015 for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his decision about running for president in the 2016 elections.
Pimentel pointed out that the October 16 deadline for the filing certificates of candidacy was just an “initial” deadline as the substitution of candidates until December is allowed under the rules of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“We will never give up until October 16,” he told reporters.
“And actually ito lang ang gusto kong sabihin sa inyo (this is what I want to tell you), October 16 actually is not the final deadline because the rules of the Comelec allow the substitution by a political party of the candidates up to sometime in December. Kinaklaro ko po yun (I am clarifying) that there’s an initial deadline but that’s not actually the absolute deadline to decide,” said the senator.
Asked then if his group would not endorse other presidential bets until December, Pimentel said that’s the risk they are willing to take.
“Risk na po ng political party namin yun (That’s the risk of our political party). We’re willing to take that risk,” he said.
Duterte himself said announced last Tuesday that he will not run for president next year.
But Pimentel said Duterte’s pronouncements would not stop his supporters from pursuing him.
“We will continue to convince him, to plead with him na (to) please listen to the (clamor of the people). I can feel the clamor of a big segment of society for him to run for president so I will just beg him to listen to that clamor,” the senator added. Maila Ager/RAM