Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who is running for Vice President in next year’s elections, on Wednesday said he is not giving up on Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“I am not giving up [on Duterte], because I want to have a running mate, of course, but I am committed to run even if he doesn’t choose me. I will support him as a presidential candidate,” Cayetano added.
Duterte has repeatedly said he is not interested in the presidency and plans to retire from politics and public life after serving his third and last term as mayor of Davao City.
Through a proxy, he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for reelection.
Speaking to journalists at a forum in Quezon City, Cayetano said Duterte had told a gathering of his supporters over the weekend that nothing is final yet about his possible entry into the 2016 presidential derby.
He quoted Duterte as saying that he has until December to finally decide if he will run as substitute presidential candidate.
According to the Commission on Elections’ 2016 elections schedule, the last day for the substitution of candidates is on December 10.
Cayetano said Duterte had told him in a telephone conversation that “it’s only God who knows if I will become President, and then there is still December.”
Duterte did not show up at the Comelec main offices in Intramuros, Manila, last Friday, the last day for the filing of COC, where about a hundred of his supporters gathered, expecting that he would file his COC for President.
Cayetano, who is eyeing to team up with the Davao mayor, and his supporters also awaited Duterte’s arrival after he filed his COC last Friday.
Instead, former Quezon City barangay (village) captain Martin Diño filed his COC for President shortly before the final hour struck as a candidate of PDP-Laban.
PDP-Laban president, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd earlier announced that they will make Duterte as their official candidate.
Diño filing his COC was seen as an “insurance move” to enable Duterte to come in as a substitute candidate.
Cayetano said Duterte symbolizes hope as he could shake things up.
He added that he is certain that more people will be thankful than those who will get angry if the mayor changes his mind.
“I am excited on what he can do for the country. I’m not saying that he is perfect, but I think he is the only candidate who will exactly tell you what to do directly,” Cayetano said.