The aborted Duterte run robbed PH politics of many things


The first reason why the aborted Duterte presidential campaign was truly a downer is the most obvious one – he would have been a competitive candidate with a clear shot at the presidency.

Consider this.

Of the top politicians competing in next year’s election, Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd is the one most grounded on data, a realist who looks at polling data with real impartiality, the anti-Erice. In contrast with Rep. Erice who speaks of his wish list –“ President Mar” – instead of realistic expectations, Senator Osmeña knows that politics is undergirded by data, not a “wish ko lang” mind-set. Mr. Osmeña knows that politics is science, not an LP meme.

Mr. Osmeña’s candid preference to run for senator under Mayor Duterte was not a personal or ideological preference. It was not even a “Mindanao thing” or a law-and-order thing. It was a realistic take on the situation on the ground which said Mayor Duterte would have pulled it off had he pursued his presidential plans. Mr. Osmeña wanted to run with a winner and in his view that was Mr. Duterte.

There was data to back Mr. Osmeña’s preference to run under Mr. Duterte. Remember that even with all his tentativeness, Mr. Duterte was either in a statistical tie with the LP’s anointed. Or, polling better than Mr. Roxas. That was impressive polling. It would be more impressive once you add this fact. Much of the clamor for him to run came from Mindanao leaders and had yet to spread to the two other major regions.

Of course, online reactions to presidential politics do not constitute hard data. But the comprise a show window to what many of the young people who do social media and who do Internet postings think and feel. In this area, Mr. Duterte was the runaway winner. Commentaries from netizens are dominated by pro-Duterte posts.

Then, if we go down to the level of the people I mostly interact with, the lumpen ploretariat, the runaway choice was the candidate who would deal with criminals with an iron fist, Mr. Duterte.

With the decision of Mr. Duterte not to run for president, the viability of a presidential candidate from Mindanao was not tested. To the grief of many political leaders from the region and Mindanaoans themselves and they have a point.

Mindanao is the only major region that has yet to turn out a president and a serious run by a presidential candidate from that region would have brought intense intensity to the 2016 elections. A Duterte run would have answered these questions. Would Mindanao voters rally behind a native son en masse as was their vow? Would Mindanao voters, by a display of solidarity, get past the proven and legendary voting power of the Lingayen-Lucena corridor, the region with the most votes in the country ? From the standpoint of presidential representation, the Mindanao score is zero. Visayas has had three– Osmeña, Roxas and Garcia. But in terms of representation, it is Central Luzon that is the source of envy of Mindanao.

For one reason or another, Central Luzon, a cluster of seven provinces in Luzon’s heartland, has been dominant and over-represented in placing tenants at the Palace and this fact is not lost on the Mindanao leaders.

Post martial law, three of the six presidents (Mrs. Aquino, Mrs. Arroyo and the incumbent) come from just two provinces of Central Luzon (Pampanga and Tarlac). So did the two presidents who were voted in from the inauguration of the Republic to the proclamation of martial law (Ramon Magsaysay from Zambales and Diosdado Macapagal from Pampanga). More, the recently reconfigured Central Luzon makes Aurora a member-province. From Quezon to the second Aquino president, Central Luzon has turned out a grand total of six presidents.

Mindanaons are challenged by this fact and this is uppermost in their minds. Central Luzon has turned out six presidents and we are still zero. Mr. Duterte, had he not backed out, would have tested to the hilt the resolve of the Mindanaoans to elect a native as president.

The third is the LGU factor. No big-city mayor or provincial governor has dared to run for the presidency. The late Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson would have been the first and the kingmakers thought he would run roughed over the opposition. But a cardiac arrest aborted Lacson’s presidential run and since then no one has dared to run for president from a city hall or from the provincial governor’s office.

Our prominent LGU leaders can only look with frustration and envy at the successful presidential runs of state governors in the US, from the big states (Reagan’s California) and small states (Bill Clinton’s Arkansas). There, a former governor-turned peanut farmer can just decide to run for president and win and that was the case of Jimmy Carter.

What is it with our LGU leaders that they can’t even ambition for the presidency? Mayor Duterte was supposed to break that spell and do magic for the LGUs.

We may not really know the compelling arguments that aborted the prewsidential run of Mayor Duterte. Definitely, he forfeited an opportunity to make a historic run and break formidable glass ceilings on behalf of his region. Certainly he broke the hearts of Mindanaons.


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  1. I am a UK citizen who has had two vacation’s in Davao.
    I love the people of Davao, so hospitable and welcoming.
    Mayor Duterte has turned around a city, and made it one of the safest in the World.
    I did see Mayor Duterte in the lobby of Marco Polo hotel talking to several nuns in September 2014, when I later mentioned this to several Filipino’s that I saw him…I could not believe how popular and admired he is.
    I for one am sorry he is not running for president…human rights activists don’t like him, but Mayor Duterte looks after the human rights of honest law abiding citizens, thieves, murderers, con artists, kidnappers any criminal do not deserve rights, and its this, that has bought law and order to Davao

  2. Sad truth, regardless of who will become President, the Filipinos are never ready for change.
    1. Lack of self discipline – Garbage everywhere, not following simple traffic rules, over speeding.
    2. Corruption is embedded in the majority major fraud happening here and there in BPOs, government employees taking their lunch breaks (even if they said they won’t). No regard to their work, circumventing processes, faking documents and etc.
    3. No love for their country – Majority of the Filipinos do not support local merchandize. We love everything foreign. If it’s not imported, we don’t like it.
    This is really heartbreaking knowing that we are gifted with so much talent in any industry. We will never be able to rise above our current situation because we are slaves of our own doing.

  3. Rodan Guerrero on

    Maybe it would be a fun to have a BERDUGO who will chop the heads of the DAP/PDAF KING and Architect together with their accomplices after 2016 but it wont happen because Duterte is nothing but a BIG BLUFF who can only do his tyranny in Davao City. Can you imagine a mayor totting a gun to a tourist to eat his cigarrette butt? A stranger tourist who is ignorant of his decrees who is supposed to enjoy in the place but instead experienced trauma? What do you think Mr. Ronquillo will happen if we will have a chief executive who puts the laws in his hands? I think only the highlanders will vote for Duterte……

    • You are absolutely wrong Mr. Guerrero, you just don’t know Eastern and Central Visayas and part of the west Visayas were strongly go for Mr. Duterte because they are fade up with a transgender way of copping criminality and rampant graft/corruption in the country. We need leader who is tough and brave, who has guts to bring us out of the woods where we are in. Again No you’re wrong mate.

  4. We do not need to break our heads to analyze why Duterte did not run for president and what are the consequences. He already said in simple sentences, I do not have resources (money) to run for President and he does not see imminent danger in the current administration.
    It’s also wrong to assume that someone is controlling him. Insulto po sa kanya pag sinabi mo na may mga nagkokontrol sa kanya.

  5. His records will be only be good for Davao or to similar city. With the whole Philippines, he never can do with an iron hand and his behavior dealing with bad people. Granting
    he can, he will be the laughing figure of the world and the target of human rights of the world, to his will popularized salvaging of criminals.

  6. There are so many OFW’s on stand by waiting for the moment Duterte will run. It is expected that he will have at least 10-11 million votes from certain parts of Mindanao alone. However, at the end of the day, Philippines politics is still dominated by corruption and DU30’s lack of political machinery is going to be his biggest obstacle. Clean and honest elections have long been gone in this country.

  7. jose b. taganahan on

    I live in Mindanao, but will not vote for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had he ran for President because i dont believe he can solve the problems that plague the country; furhtermore, he is pro political dynasty and is making Davao City as his own fiefdom. Former Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is a better alternative to Mayor Duterte but corrupt politicians and corrupt businessmen are afraid of Lacson.

    • but who are not trapos among roxas, binay, poe? did these 3 aspirants you think can do better than duterte? at least for safer Philippines? we choose DU30 because no other, just like picking the best guys in town… no one except the guys who drive taxi at the middle of the night just to rest assure his citizens are sleeping well and good… as for me, being and ofw , indeed tired of hold up, rape,, killings and all… had no other choice but to vote for the man who helped making Davao one of the safest place on Earth….

      i wanna go back in time where I am just afraid of my grand mother and only plants/ flowers are the separator between my home and my neighbor….

    • Well, what did Lacson prove to this country? I am not a fan of Duterte. I disagree with Fiefdom. You should be aware that he sacrificed going out at 2am while renting a Taxi just to bring group of youths from a party back to their respective homes. Telling them not to overdrunk. HE IS A FATHER OF DAVAO. Tell me if your Mayor could really do that?

  8. I wouldn’t vote for Duterte. Nor will many of my friends and relatives. I am orginally from Mindanao.

    • jose b. taganahan on

      Me too, who lives in Mindanao, will not vote for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had he ran for President because i dont believe he can solve the problems that plague the country; furhtermore, he is pro political dynasty and is making Davao City as his own fiefdom.

    • You don’t know what it feels like being free! Political dynasty? People voted for him, because WE Dabawenyos know that he will not let his people down. If Duterte would pursue Presidency this 2016 election and you both said that you will not vote for him. Then who’s your bet? Poe? Roxas? Binay? It’s up to you guys.

  9. Many believe that Mayor Duterte is a wise leader who has read and analyzed attacks and analysis of what the use of the PCOS machines can a real,honest=to=goodness credible elections.This is how some think Mayor Duterte decided not to participate.

  10. Isang bagay lang ang gusto malaman,sino-sino ang powerful gangs na komontrol upang tuluyang magback-out si duterte? Mala-octupos ang mga galamay nito,napayuko nila ang taong ,kung titignan mo ay parang bakal na hindi basta matitinag, mga kalawang kaya ang idinidikit sa kanya,o asido ng pagbabanta ,upang ganito na lamang kabilis umatras si duterte?
    Hindi mo paniniwalaan na ayaw niyang maging pangulo,ngayon umubos siya ng halos isang taon mag-iikot sa buong pilipinas para magpakilala sa buong bansa.
    hindi kaunting halaga at pangod ang pinuhunan niya,basta na lang wala,at sabihin ayaw niya. Sa ngayon dapat natin unawain kung ano man ang dahilan niya ,kung bakit siya ay umatras ng ganoon na lamang,ngayon halos napakaraming negosyate at mga tao ang totoong sumusuporta sa kanya.
    Minsan kapag pamilya na at lalo t marami siyang pamilya ang matataya sa panganib ,hindi mo siya masisisi, dahil ibang klaseng demonyo ang kaharap niya,baka hindi lang lokal,baka international pa.

    • Bayan Mahal ko on

      I agree with you. Infact never naman nagsabi si Duterte na Yes I will run para sabihin pabebe sya o atras abante, ung taong uhaw sa pagbabago nag assume na Tatakbo sya tulad ko. Then when he said na na di sya tatakbo walang maniniwala tapos sisiraan pa at gagawaan pa sya ng issue ito ba ang mga taong nagsasabi na tunay na nagsusuporta? baka nga ito isa ikinatatakot ni Duterte baka in just a year mapapatalsik sya dahil ang taong gusto ng pagbabago e atat sa changes at yong mga kalaban sa Politika at Kriminal gagawa ng hakbang mapatalsik sya. remember hindi sya Dyos na in just one click e may changes na ang Pilipinas ang Davao nga it took 10 to 15years naging establish ang city.