CAGAYAN DE ORO -- The 2016 presidential race could either be a two-way or a three-way contest but Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is still undecided whether to join or not.
If he is not joining, Duterte said he sees the 2016 presidential race as a fight between Senator Grace Poe, who is running independent, and Vice President Jejomar Binay.
He said the presidential race can go three-way, if Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas can catch up with Poe and Binay.
“I see only two individuals: Grace and Binay. Three persons if Mar can catch up because Binay is spinning out of the loop,” Duterte said.
Duterte said Roxas can catch up with Poe and Binay after he got the endorsement of President Benigno Aquino III last Friday.
“Roxas can now go campaign around the country saying he has the backing of President Aquino. That is a big deal,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he will not endorse any of these candidates if he decides not to run because “all of them are my friends.”
He said he would just retire after completing his term as mayor for Davao City in 2016.
“I do not see myself as of now as a candidate,” Duterte told news reporters in Cagayan de Oro Saturday evening.
Duterte said he has second thoughts in joining the presidential race in 2016 due to money problems and his “winnability” against the other candidates.
He said a recent survey showed his ratings drop against other presidential candidates from 15 percent to five percent.
“My chances for winning now are only one percent and a half percent after my ratings dropped from 15 percent to five percent,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he neither can expect financial help from his political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, which he described as “cash-strapped with no big financial backers.”
“Running for the presidency requires a long, tedious consideration. One does not just jump into it,” he said.
Duterte’s supporters, however, have not given up on the idea that he would run for president.
Former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Piñol, one of the staunchest Duterte supporters, referred to Duterte as “presidential prospect” or “presidential hopeful” in an article he wrote on Sunday regarding the visit of Duterte in Piñol’s hometown in M’lang, North Cotabato, on Monday, August 3.
“Duterte is expected to share his vision for Philippine agriculture” when he visits M’lang, Piñol wrote.
Piñol described Duterte as “the only presidential hopeful who is considered to have a deep understanding of agriculture” and who has been “advocating for greater government intervention in food production, including the marketing of farmers' produce.”
Piñol lauded Duterte’s proposal for irrigation services to be provided free for the country’s farmers.
Piñol quoted Duterte as saying the mission of the next president of the country is to ensure "available and affordable food" for the Filipinos.
But Duterte showed a gathering of judges and lawyers who gave him a testimonial dinner here last Saturday, a view of his vision if he will be the next president of the Philippines.
New government, new order
“After six years, I’m going to give you a new government and a new order,” he said.
Duterte said his presidency will have to contend with a corrupt-ridden government bureaucracy and “a congress that serves its own interests.”
“How do you deal with police who are into criminality? By what stretch of imagination can you really define due process if you want to reform this government,” Duterte said.
“If anyone of you can answer that maybe I will reconsider and run for the Presidency,” he said. (With Mindanews/Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 03, 2015.