FORMER House Speaker Prospero Nograles said Monday that he will support Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte if ever he decides to run for president in 2016.
Duterte and Nograles are rivals in the local politics in Davao City, but the latter said he is willing to set aside rivalry for the sake of the country.
"He will be supported by Davaoeños. I am a Davaoeño," Nograles said.
Nograles admitted that he was planning to support the candidacy of another presidential candidate, but if ever Duterte decides to contest the presidency in 2016, he will go all out for the Davao City mayor.
"It is considered a sin in a locality not to support somebody who would represent the area in national elections," Nograles said.
For years, Duterte and Nograles were each other's bitter rivals in the local politics in Davao City. Nograles attempted to wrestle the mayoral post from Duterte in the past two elections but failed.
Duterte, who earlier announced that he will not run for president, said on Sunday that he needed one final "soul searching" before he will make a decision whether he will join the 2016 presidential race.
A source told Sun.Star on Monday that Duterte and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano will simultaneously announce their bids for president and vice president, respectively, "anytime from today until the first week of October."
"Many Mindanao leaders, particularly those based in Davao, knew it was just a gimmick that Digong (Duterte) usually resorts, maybe to promote his candidacy," the source said.
Thousands of Duterte supporters showed up in a rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila last Saturday to convince Duterte to run for the highest post in 2016. (Sunnex)