PDP-Laban keeps door open for Duterte in 2016
Never say die.
Unfazed by Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated declarations that he would not run for President, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has decided to name the Davao City mayor as its “replacement” candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
PDP-Laban national chair and former South Cotabato Gov. Ismael “Mike” Sueno said on Tuesday that while the party was confident of its choice of Martin Diño as its presidential candidate, anything could happen in the run-up to next year’s elections.
Diño, a former Quezon City barangay captain, is secretary general of PDP-Laban.
Sueno told the Inquirer that the PDP-Laban national council’s first resolution was to nominate Duterte as a replacement candidate should Diño, for some reason, withdraw from the presidential race.
Duterte has repeatedly denied he plans to run for President.
“PDP-Laban has only two choices for its presidential candidate—Diño and Duterte. So Duterte is the only one who can replace Diño,” Sueno said.
In Tuesday’s PDP-Laban national council meeting, attended by some 40 regional officials, Sueno said Duterte was the unanimous choice as replacement candidate.
“In choosing him as the replacement bet, we took into consideration his popularity and the nationwide support he enjoys, as well as his track record of serving as Davao City mayor,” Sueno said.
Among the country’s political groups, PDP-Laban is the only party—so far—to name a replacement presidential candidate.
“The purpose of Duterte’s nomination is for us to still have a presidential candidate in case Diño withdraws,” he stressed.
Duterte has said that he is not running for President at least eight times.
In a March 2014 television program, he said no one could make him run for President because he did not have the money for such a campaign.
In another TV show later that year, he reiterated he was not interested in the presidency, saying, “I would rather die early than enter Malacañang.”
In February this year in Baguio City, he told reporters he might run for a Senate seat but not for President, “at least for now.”
Begin and end in Davao
At the anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in July, Duterte told reporters what he would do if elected President but said he was speaking of “hypothetical scenarios” and again stated, “I won’t run.”
In an interview with Inquirer editors and reporters on Aug. 25, Duterte again said he was not running for President.
He repeated this at a press conference in Davao City on Sept. 7, saying he would “retire from public life” in 2016.
Two days later in San Juan City, Duterte said only one thing would make him run for President—if Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas “suddenly disappear—[probably] abducted by aliens.”
Finally, on Sept. 30, he said that if he changed his mind, he would declare his presidential candidacy in Davao City. “I started here and I’ll finish here.” With a report from Inquirer Research
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.