THE Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will still try to convince Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for president even if he already declared that he is not interest to the run, according to Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd.
The senator added that he believes there is still hope for Duterte to change his mind and the party is not giving up.
“I feel the clamor of a big segment of society for him to run for president, so I will just beg him to listen to the clamor,” said Pimentel who was with Duterte until 3am Thursday.
Pimentel said he and the members of the party would not give up on trying to convince the Davao City chief executive until October 16 or even beyond that. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set October 16 as the last day of filing of the Certificates of Candidacy.
The Senator noted that Duterte could still be included in the presidential race even after the October deadline through the substitution rule of the Comelec.
Under the substitution rule, the Comelec allows substitution of candidates in case of death, disqualification or withdrawal.
“If after the last day for the filing of Certificates of Candidacy, an official candidate of a duly registered political party or coalition of political parties dies, withdraws or is disqualified for any cause, he may be substituted by a candidate belonging to, and nominated by, the same political party. No substitute shall be allowed for any independent candidate,” the law states.
Pimentel said that PDP-Laban could register Duterte in case he agreed to run for president after the October deadline.
“There is an initial deadline but that is not the absolute deadline to decide. It is a risk on the party of the political party and we are willing to take that risk,” he added.
Duterte earlier declared that he is not running for president in 2016 and that he will be retiring from public life after his term as Mayor of Davao City next year. His decision was seen beneficial to the possible Presidential bid of Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña 3rd in an interview said Poe is expected to get 40 percent of votes intended for Duterte while Binay will get 30 percent. The remaining 20 percent will go to Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd.
Osmeña said Poe has been coming up strong on areas where Duterte is also popular, particularly in Visayas and Metro Manila.
Metro Manila has more than five million registered voters while Visayas has over 10 million voters.
Binay, on the other hand, is also strong in some areas including Davao.
During the 2010 elections, Osmeña said Binay won in Davao even if Duterte campaigned for Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro, the standard bearer of the administration party Lakas.