In the last few hours on the last day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC), various text messages were sent out about the whereabouts of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, raising the spirits of his followers that he would heed their call and run for President.
To this, Duterte said in an interview over dzMM Teleradyo, “Ayaw nila tanggapin ang totoo [They do not want to accept the truth]. [Even if] they know it is my truth.”
There were reports that he was onboard a private plane bound for Manila from Davao City to make it to the Comelec main offices City to make it to the Comelec main offices in Intramuros, Manila, on time.
This was confirmed by the mayor, that there was indeed a plane available that would bring him to Manila so he can file his COC for President.
But Duterte did not get on the plane.
“Yung mga leader dyan alam nilang nandito lang naman ako, hindi ako sumakay sa eroplano. Dahil nagpladala sila ng eroplano kanina tanghali sabi ko ‘Ayoko.’ Ayokong lokohin ang Pilipinas [There are political leaders who know that I am just here [in my house], I did not board the airplane. They sent an airplane around lunch time but I said I do not want to go. I do no want to fool the Philippines],” he said.
This was further verified by former North Cotabato governor Manny Piñol.
“The private jet flew to Davao but came back empty. Dili man nato mapugos [We were not able to convince (Duterte)].”
When asked who sent the plane to Davao to fetch him, Duterte said it was former Transportation Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez.
“Binubulgar ko siya kasi binubulgar niya ako eh… Sabi ko sa kanya hindi ako sasakay diyan kasi mahuhulog yan, eh kung mawalan pa yung Davao City ng mayor [I am spilling the beans on him because he did the same to me… I told him I won’t board it, it might crash and Davao would have lost its mayor].”
“One hour or two hours ago, I was surprised. I was forced to come up with a press release dahil nakikinig ako ng balita eh ako ang pinag-uusapan [One hour or two hours ago, I was surprised. I was forced to come up with a press release because I was hearing my name over the news]”
“Kahapon I said mayor lang ako… matagal ko ng sinabi na ayoko. Sa mga guestings ko sa mga programa sinabi ko na na ayaw ko [Yesterday I said I will only run as mayor. In my previous guestings in different programs I said I don’t want to (run for President)]”
Duterte also revealed that he was invited to lunch by several businessmen.
“Yung mga negosyante, I would not offend them… Si Manny Pangilinan tapos si Lucio Tan, si Manny Villar, si Ricky [Razon]… lahat sila [nagtanong]sinabi ko hindi ako tatakbo [I would not offend them, businessmen Manny Pangilinan, Lucio Tan, Manny Villar, Ricky (Razon) they all asked me (if I will run for President), I told them I will not run]” he said.
Duterte explained that he was going to many places and meeting people because he wanted to promote federalism, saying this is the only way to attain peace in Mindanao.
The mayor said people misconstrued this and thought that he was campaigning for the presidency.
He brought his campaign to different provinces, an act that Duterte said was misinterpreted as a campaign activity for his presidential run.
Duterte made it clear to the businessmen that he has no plan to run for President and would be staying in Davao.
He also explained that he was just promoting federalism, which he believes will help achieve peace in Mindanao.
“Tanggap ko BBL [Bangsamoro Basic Law], talagang mahihirapan [I have accepted that it would be difficult to pass BBL],” Duterte said.
In the radio program of Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna, he also reacted to the last-minute online campaign of his daughter, former Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, asking supporters to shave their heads to help her convince her father to run.
“Alam mo yan si Inday, hindi ko alam saan sya nagmana [You know Inday, I do not know who she takes after],” he said.
The posts of his daughter, he said, were sarcastic remarks that were misunderstood by the people.
“Kaya siya [Sara] nagpakalbo is to protest yung mga tao na pinipilit na… because the name of the game now is apparently pressure. Maski alam nila na hindi ako dadating pinapaasa nila yung mga tao na tatakbo ako. Innulit ko, hindi ako kandidato. Ayaw kong maging presidente. [Sara went bald as a sign of protest because the name of the game now is apparently pressure. Even if they know that I won’t be there, there are people who spread lies that I will run to raise false hopes. I repeat, I won’t run. I don’t want to be a President.]
He also tackled his alleged illness, which he said was a rumor spread by the camp of Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd.
“Hindi nila alam gaano kabastos ang ginawa nila [They do not know how rude their action was],” Duterte said.
“Mayroon talagang isang kandidato dyan na sumama ang loob ko. Siguro yung kampo nila naniwala talaga na tatakbo ako and they started to hit me very early. Very, very… madumi [There is a candidate who I think slighted me. Maybe his camp did not believe that I will not run and they started to hit me early. Very, very dirty].”
He said that these people started spreading rumors that he has cancer. Duterte clarified in the interview it is not he who has cancer but his wife.
“I have Buerger’s disease,” he admitted. The disease, he explained, is the constriction of blood vessels associated with his smoking habit.
The radio program hosts asked him if he would still change his mind about deciding to run for reelection as mayor of Davao, not seek the presidency.
“Mahal kong mga kababayan, hindi ko laro yan. Noon pa man kaya ako tumagal sa politika dito sa Davao [kasi]isang salita lang ako. Pag sinabi ko yun, if it’s really stated in public, ke nagkamali ako o ano ang nasabi ko, pag nabitawan ko yung salita na yan, wala na yan [My dear countrymen, that is not my game. The reason I stayed long in politics here in Davao is because I have a word of honor. If I said something, if it’s really stated in public, even if I make a mistake or whatever, I say if I give my word, that’s it.]”
On the issue that he is a substitute candidate, “Hindi naman ako pang substitute eh, pang-original ako eh [I am not a substitute, I am an original].”
He then mentioned the statement posted on his Facebook account, wherein he said he never wanted to run for President.
“A little over two years ago I posted in the government website over the Internet that I was not interested in the presidency. Nothing has changed. I am comfortable where I am now.
If Inday Sara would want it she has the choice of running in 2016 for the next elections.
Personally, the earlier the better. I want to retire. I am tired. Give the presidency to the one who wants it. I don’t.”
Inday Sara on Friday posted online a photo of a filled outCOC for mayor, a move that once again left netizens guessing, if not stunned, over what really will be the decision of her father, who is under pressure to join the presidential race.
The elder Duterte, however, filed his reelection bid yon Thursday, in an apparent move to finally end calls for him to join the presidential race.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, the COC was not yet filed.
A source close to Inday Sara, however, said the COC will be filed once Mayor Duterte will change his mind and file another COC for President.
The photo’s caption was typical of Inday Sara — feisty and provocative.
“Digong, gahulat ko sa imuha [I am waiting for you]. To all my fellow Filipinos, you will make him President, otherwise, lagot kayo lahat sa akin [watch out]. Tandaan niyo ang araw na ito. Wala kami pera, wala kami makinarya (Remember this day. We do not have the money, the machinery) #justDUit #Duterte2016 Honor thy father and thy mother.”
Earlier Friday, Mayor Duterte’s son, Vice Mayor Paolo, filed his COC for reelection.
On Thursday night, Mayor Duterte said he will retire once Inday Sara will run for mayor.
With Jefry Tupas