Volunteer groups pop up to push Duterte for president
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – There has been no single group pushing for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run in 2016, which is why talks about discord among his supporters were not accurate, former city councilor and staunch Duterte supporter Peter Laviña said.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer sought the reaction of Laviña, a member of many social media groups pushing Duterte to run for president and a volunteer for the Federalism Listening Tour – following comments on social media, mainly on Facebook, that Duterte can’t even get his people to act together, and expressing doubts he would be an effective president based on this perception alone.
Among the comments on social media was the conduct of separate fun runs here by two groups of Duterte.
On Saturday, it was organized by another group of village leaders and on Sunday, the group headed by R. Castillo village chief Mar Masanguid also held a similar event.
“Accordingly, others have work on Saturday but can only run on Sunday. However, (the) nationwide (fun run) was (held) May 23 in Parañaque-Pasay, Butuan, Dumaguete, Cebu and Davao,” Laviña, who joined the Saturday event here, said.
“The Duterte Federalism/Presidency is a (huge) movement,” Laviña said, adding that it was not made up of just one group.
He said Duterte’s supporters, who had put up various groups, work on their own or organize their own events.
“We respect what each and every individual or group plans or do,” Laviña said.
He said that because the Duterte federalism/presidency movement was based on volunteerism, nobody could prevent supporters from putting up their own group.
On Facebook alone, there are at least 16 accounts dedicated to a Duterte presidency. There is also a website put up by the so-called Rody Duterte Solid Group: RSDG ( www.rodydutertesolidgroup.com ).
“That is the nature of a grassroots volunteer network, the more the better,” Laviña added.
He cited the case of t-shirts being sold or given away by various groups, which have varied designs although with the same message – for a Duterte presidency.
“It (says) all, different designs different people,” Laviña added.
Despite the growing call for him however to run, Duterte said he was not interested.
He said he has been campaigning for federalism, which he said could be key to ending the country’s various problems.
Speaking to the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone on Friday, Duterte said he has been going around not to promote his potential candidacy for a higher post but to rally people to support federalism.
Duterte said he had repeatedly announced he was not running for any position because he could not afford to do so.
“I don’t have money and I don’t want to beg for money. This (idea of running for) vice president, I have to spend but I don’t have the money. I don’t like asking around for money, especially from other politicians because I don’t want to incur debt of gratitude,” he said, adding that he had been a politician and mayor of Davao for years and there was no single instance he shopped around for campaign funds.
He said “only those who have resources should run.” SFM/ABC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.