Duterte warns Roxas against getting De Lima as senatorial bet
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would not support President Aquino’s candidate for President if the Liberal Party gets Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in its senatorial slate for the 2016 elections.
Duterte, who called Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas his close friend and ally, said he would not support any party that would take De Lima in its senatorial slate.
President Aquino on Friday endorsed Roxas for the presidential race in the 2016 elections.
“If De Lima is in their ticket, then sorry,” Duterte said during his Gikan sa masa, para sa masa television show on Sunday. Although De Lima said she would decide on whether to run on her birthday this month, Duterte vowed to campaign for De Lima’s opponents.
Duterte’s public dislike of De Lima came after the justice secretary threatened to pursue criminal charges against Duterte for his previous public statements tending to endorse the shadowy vigilante group, Davao Death Squad.
“Whoever will be her opponent, I will campaign for him,” said Duterte in an earlier interview.
“If Mar will take her in the LP slate for the senate, I’ll tell Mar, goodbye,” the mayor said in an earlier interview with reporters.
“I might not only be campaigning with the other side, I might also run,” Duterte said weeks after he told a gathering of Asia CEO (Chief Executive Officers) Forum 2015 in Makati with seeming finality he was not interested in running in the 2016 presidential race despite recent surveys showing his growing popularity among voters.
Duterte’s spat with De Lima started when the current justice secretary was still CHR chair presiding a public hearing on the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug pushers in Davao City.
Their rift heightened recently when the Department of Justice (DOJ) said it had in its custody an alleged member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), ready to executive an affidavit on how the group killed suspected criminals in the city.
“You and De Lima go together with her rotten principle,” he said, addressing Roxas, if the LP would take De Lima as a senatorial bet.
“It might interest me to run and that would leave us against each other,” Duterte said.
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