Duterte’s die-hard fans refuse to lose hope as mayor shows up in events
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A day after making a “categorical” statement that he would not run for president in 2016, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte continued with his travels outside the city for various speaking engagements and meetings, including ones with former President Fidel V. Ramos and leaders of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
So what he was up to?, asked some supporters – including Davao City village chief Mar Masanguid, a prime mover of the Duterte for President Movement.
On his Facebook page, Masanguid said since the mayor has not cancelled his scheduled appearances, including visits to Malabon and Navotas on Tuesday, he felt optimistic that Duterte has not shut the door to a possible presidential run.
Even among jeepney drivers and commuters here, Duterte’s not running for president has become the hottest topic.
Arturo Pastera, a passenger, said he was disappointed by the announcement but he said he was hopeful that the mayor would change his mind before the filing of certificates of candidacy (CoCs) next month.
“It is still a month away before the filing of candidacy, a substantial time for the mayor to change his mind,” said Pastera.
He said he wanted Duterte to run for president because there has not been a president from Mindanao ever since.
Aside from the speaking engagements in Malabon and Navotas, Duterte will also meet with Muslim traders at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, and the Rotary Club of Makati in Dasmariñas. Duterte was also scheduled to meet anew with NPC leaders on Wednesday (Sept. 9), visit a television network, and speak in Tuguegarao later in the week.
When asked why he hasn’t canceled any of his engagements if he was not really running for president, Leoncio Evasco, Duterte’s political adviser, said those earlier engagements have already been scheduled prior to his announcement, and so, he would show up in all of them.
Duterte has always said his speaking engagements were his contribution to the campaign for federalism, which he has recommended as the answer to the country’s woes, including rebellion and corruption.
Emmanuel Piñol, another staunch Duterte supporter, said “the phones have not stopped ringing since the time Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte declared for the umpteenth time that he would not run for President in 2016.”
“Most of the callers expressed disappointment and frustration over the ‘decision’ of the Mayor not to run but there was a good number of true-blue believers who just would not give up. Indeed, except for the word ‘categorical,’ there was nothing new in the announcement that he would not run,” he wrote.
Former Butuan City congresswoman Charito Plaza, another Duterte supporter, also said she had “strong belief” that Duterte would eventually run for president.
And even if his supporters were disappointed at the announcement made at a hotel here on Monday, another rally was being organized in Manila to convince Duterte to change his mind.
The rally, dubbed Occupy Luneta, will be held on September 15 at the Quirino Grandstand and has been touted as “another Edsa revolution to install a president rather than depose one.” (With a report from Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao) – SFM
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