Now he wants to join the race.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he will be joining the presidential race next year after all.
A report by Rappler quoted Duterte as saying that it was the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal junking the disqualification complaint filed against Senator Grace Poe that made him change his mind. The mayor has in the past repeatedly declared that he has no intention to run for president.
Duterte said Poe should not be allowed to run because she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen.
Allowing the senator to join the presidential derby, he added, “cheapens” the Constitution. Under the law, only natural-born Filipinos can seek the country’s highest post.
Duterte said he will talk to PDP-Laban leaders to discuss his decision. The party had passed a resolution making the feisty mayor its substitute standard bearer in next year’s presidential election.
The PDP-Laban has for its chairman Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd.
ABS-CBN also reported that Cayetano made the announcement at a party in Cavite province.
“What made me decide to run? Was it an offer for money? No. I just want to tell everybody to stop toying with the Philippines. Nothing against Grace but if you run for the highest post in the land, it must be reserved for a true-blue Filipino,” Duterte was quoted as saying.
“If ever you make it, you will be a presumptive president by citizenship. I cannot accept that. What will happen when she is disqualified because she is American? Give me an Igorot, an Aaeta, a plumber kahit ano basta Pilipino. It is a matter of principle. Pagka ganun my candidacy for the presidency is on the table,” the mayor said.
Duterte challenged Poe to produce her birth mother to prove that she is Filipino.
“If she can prove she is Filipino then I will step down. I will be her (Poe) campaign manager.”