SEN. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., on Tuesday admitted that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s statement saying he is not running for President would somehow help him and his camp decide on what to do in 2016.
Marcos, who is currently weighing his options in 2016, said Duterte’s decision will have a big difference in his planning since it doesn’t only change the political situation but also removed one of the many variables in next year’s elections.
“That (Duterte’s declaration) will somehow clarify the situation and will have an effect of course on the decision we will be making,” Marcos said in an interview with reporters after attending the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) campus forum held at the Marikina Polytechnic College (MPC).
Duterte, who was earlier reported to be eyeing the presidency, declared on Monday he is not running for president and that he will retire from public life for good.
The Davao City chief executive said he arrived at the decision after talking to his family and people close to him.
Duterte is a member of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Marcos on Duterte’s declaration
But Marcos said he doesn’t know how to take Duterte’s pronouncement because the latter has been known to change his mind so he would rather talk to the mayor personally and find out for himself.
“I would like to wait until I could talk to him (Duterte) and find out from him what exactly is his plan,” Marcos said.
The Senator noted that it is important to know what everybody else is planning to be able to see the political terrain before he makes a decision.
Marcos said he is going to make the most important decision on his political career that is why it is very important for him to consider all variables before deciding.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, President of PDP-Laban, on the other hand, admitted that they are still hoping Duterte will change his mind regarding his political plans.
Pimentel said he is not totally convinced Duterte will fully give up politics because according to his friends in Davao, the mayor has been known to make last-minute changes on his decisions.
“My concern is the campaign for the presidency is different from the campaign for mayor, he may be able to pull last minute changes off in the mayoralty campaign but for presidency, it will be difficult,” Pimentel said in a separate interview.
Down to three
Political analyst Professor Ramon Casiple also doesn’t buy Duterte’s announcement saying the Mayor is likely to pursue his plan to run for a higher position in 2016, the only question is the particular post he is eyeing.
“It’s not over until is over, October 16 is still far away,” Casiple added.
Election Lawyer Romy Macalintal is also not assured of the Davao City mayor’s recent declaration noting that Duterte may just be waiting for the proper time.
He also added that Duterte’s political ads are still being aired in several television and radio stations even after he made the announcement on Monday.
“I believe that his supporter should not be discouraged by the Mayor’s pronouncement and continue to convince him to reconsider his decision,” he added.
Both Casiple and Macalintal admitted it is hard to tell which presidential candidate will gain in case Duterte really decided to quit politics.
But Senate President Franklin Drilon is confident that the Liberal Party (LP) will gain from Duterte’s decision saying the move will favor LP standard-bearer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd.
“The field is now down to three, I assume, with Senator (Grace) Poe as part of it. It is better. We are the administration. You would have two representing the opposition,” Drilon said referring to Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).