DAVAO CITY: Over dinner on Tuesday, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano tried to convince Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to become his President.
Unfortunately for the aspiring Vice President from Taguig City (Metro Manila), Duterte continues to dodge calls for him to join the presidential race.
But Cayetano said he is willing to wait as Duterte says he needs more time to think about his final decision.
“The best partner is worth the wait,” the senator added.
The dinner-meeting followed Cayetano’s announcement of his vice presidential bid.
While he did not name Duterte as his preferred presidential candidate, he repeatedly mentioned the mayor’s slogan, tapang and malasakit (courage and compassion), in his speech.
These are the characters, Cayetano said, that he would love to associate himself with.
Sen. Pia Cayetano, Alan’s sister, joined the two-hour pow-wow over kinilaw, roasted native chicken and halaan soup.
Duterte later described the meeting as a purely “social event.”
“The Cayetano siblings are my friends and their late father was also my friend,” he told reporters as he referred to the late senator Renato “Compañero” Cayetano.
The mayor admitted that they talked about “team-ups and tandems” but was quick to say he should be taken out of the picture as he explained that he is not running in next year’s elections..
He said Cayetano is “knowledgeable of the politics of the Philippines” and this makes him his vice-presidential candidate.
“Wipe out yong iba sa kanya [He can wipe out the other aspirants],” Duterte said.
Cayetano said they were able to present to Duterte the aspirations of Filipinos for change.
“We [told]him that the future generation is at stake here, and yes, he knows it. There is nothing we could say that was not yet told to Duterte or perhaps, he still does not know,” the senator added.
He also described the meeting with Duterte as “exciting.”
“It’s always an exciting night when you are with Mayor Duterte because his approach to all problems is very intelligent and very pragmatic,” the senator said.
The meeting, he added, revolved around the problems of the country — drugs, peace and order.
“But like all of you who are excited, he stopped short of accepting the wishes and clamor of the people because, as he said, he needs time. He said he will not run if he will be asked today and that he needs time to think about it. We respect that,” Cayetano said.
He added that there is indeed a “genuine people’s clamor” for Duterte to run.
“I understand the excitement,” the senator said. “Will he run or not, your guess is as good
as mine, but I am taking that as a step of fate. The best partner is worth the wait.”
If Duterte finally agreed to team up with him, Cayetano said it would be a “blessing.”
If not, then he would go on his own.
In the end, Cayetano said he still hopes that Duterte will listen to the clamor of the people.
“Ipagdasal na lang natin. Sabi naman niya [Let’s just pray for it. As he said, it’s] God’s will,” he added.