RUMORS have been circulating in the intelligence community that Malacañang has been wooing Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw from the presidential race, a reliable source from the intelligence community disclosed on Wednesday.
A police intelligence officer based in Camp Crame who asked not to be identified said that they have been monitoring the political arena since the start of the election period.
“An emissary from the camp of President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino 3rd has been making communication with the camp of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte,” the intelligence officer said.
“What we have picked up so far is that [they]are trying to convince Mayor Duterte to withdraw from the race and to throw his support behind former Interior Secretary and now Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd,” the intelligence source said.
The source said the Palace offered to reimburse at double the amount the expenses Duterte had already incurred in his presidential campaign.
Duterte ranked third in the latest presidential surveys, trailing Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe. Roxas placed fourth.
Aquino had earlier denied that he is secretly backing Poe and that he maintains his support for the tandem of Roxas and Rep. Leni Robredo.
Duterte and Roxas recently figured in a word war over the latter’s claim that illegal drugs remains rampant in Davao City.
Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, spokesman of the Philippine National Police, said that the 150,000 strong police force remains apolitical and that the only thing being monitored by the police is whether there are existing threats against the candidates in the forthcoming synchronized national and local elections.