DAVAO CITY: “No is no … sinabi ko na ayaw ko, ang titigas ng ulo nyo.”
The message, which means, “You’re all hard-headed, I told you, I don’t want to” purportedly coming from Davao City
was printed on the shirt of his aide who went to the local Comelec office here to file the mayor’s certificate of candidacy (COC) for reelection.
Christopher Bong Go, the mayor’s executive assistant, said he was instructed by Duterte to file his COC.
“He has been firm from the start, that he is not running. Last Monday, he also made himself very clear,” Go added.
Duterte arrived in Davao City early Thursday after visiting Palawan.
When asked whether there is still a chance for Duterte to change his mind, Go said it is only the mayor who knows what to do next.
“It’s only the mayor who can answer that,” he added.
But the mayor, Go said, wanted to let his supporters know of how grateful he is over their trust and support for him.
He read a text message from Duterte that said: “Thank you, but I have decided to run for mayor of Davao City again.”
On Tuesday, the mayor’s daughter shaved her head and dared her father’s supporters to follow–if indeed they are loyal to his father.
Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio’s stunt elicited various reactions and indeed, many Dabawenyos had their heads shaved.
Even lawyers and members of the Davao City Council went skinhead.
Duterte not filing his COC for President has once again broken many hearts.
Still, many are hoping that the mayor will still change his mind.
“It is not yet really over. There is still tomorrow,” a Duterte supporter told The Manila Times. “He can even file as many COCs as he can, but in the end, what he finally files would be the one that matters. In this case, we are still hoping he listens to us.”
On Facebook, artist Marie Contaoi Cayas said supporters must respect Duterte’s decision.
“And it is final. Our Mayor Duterte will run for mayor of Davao,” she said. “Let us respect his decision. We will still support him all the way. God bless the Philippines.”
Melchor Quitain, the city administrator, said even with the filing of the COC for mayor, Duterte can still join the presidential race.
“The law allows certain acts to be taken even if you have filed already a certificate of candidacy for a certain position,” he explained.
But he was not very optimistic.
“Nothing is final as of the moment, but as far as I know the mayor, once he said no, then it’s a no. I do not know him as someone who changes his mind,” Quitain said.
In Manila, Duterte’s supporters led by former Butuan City Rep. Charito Plaza assembled outside the Comelec main offices at the Palacio del Governador.
“We are waiting for Mayor Duterte. He is filing his COC today,” she said.
Plaza added that Duterte has not formed his own senatorial line-up but would instead be adopting candidates from the Visayas and Mindanao and those with good record like former senator Panfilo Lacson.
According to her, Duterte would adopt reelectionist Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd, Sultanate of Sulu heiress Jacel Kiram, former senator Miguel Zubiri and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
With WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL