Duterte-Cayetano a formidable team, says Pimentel
A team-up between Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano would create a “formidable, strong and winnable” ticket, according to Sen. Koko Pimentel, president of Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party.
Duterte has asked for “time and space” to decide on whether to run for President in 2016 amid increased pressure from supporters for him to join the race.
Cayetano announced in Davao City on Tuesday that he would run for Vice President, but did not yet say if he would be teaming up with anyone.
Pimentel said Cayetano’s declaration would not influence the mayor’s decision.
But he described Cayetano’s announcement of his run for the vice presidency in Duterte’s bailiwick as “very symbolic.” He pointed out that Cayetano was not even from Davao City.
“I, personally, and some of my party mates believe a Duterte-Cayetano ticket would be formidable, strong and winnable,” he told reporters.
Aside from Cayetano, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is an acceptable running mate, Pimentel said.
But Trillanes earlier said he intended to run as an independent vice presidential candidate, and his Magdalo group would be supporting the presidential bid of Sen. Grace Poe.
A third Senate colleague, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is the PDP-Laban’s “least preferred” partner for Duterte, according to Pimentel.
This is because of the party’s role in the fight against martial law that was imposed during the dictatorship of the senator’s father and namesake, said the PDP-Laban president.
“This is party formed or forged under martial law, so that would be difficult to reconcile,” Pimentel said.
But Pimentel said that if Duterte would indeed be a presidential candidate, he should be allowed to choose a running mate he felt comfortable with.
In case his choice is not to the party’s liking, PDP-Laban would just limit its support for Duterte alone, Pimentel said.
“There would be no problem. Our support for him is unconditional and it will be permanent,” he added.
Pimentel said he was not aware of any talks between Duterte and Cayetano, or between Duterte and Marcos.
PDP-Laban is hoping that Duterte would run for President despite the mayor’s earlier repeated statements that he had no such plans.
Duterte’s supporters are also pressing him to run. On Saturday, they gathered at Manila’s Rizal Park to underscore their desire to see him as the country’s next President.