Duterte willing to run for president to save the republic
DAGUPAN CITY, Feb. 19 — Davao City Mayor Rodolfo Duterte on Wednesday said he is willing to run for president of the Philippines in next year’s presidential election “if only to save the republic”.
Speaking before students in the lst Federalism Forum in Northern Luzon at Lyceum Northwestern University and later before the Rotary Club cluster meeting at Le Duc Hotel here, Duterte said the Philippines faces an imminent disaster as it is confronted with problems on corruption, criminality and the possible collapse of the peace talks in southern Philippines.
“If only to save this Republic, I could run for President,” Duterte told his audience. But on the other hand, he said this may be farfetched because in order to run for the highest position of the land, a candidate must have P10 to P15 billion to bankroll his campaign nationwide and does not have such amount now.
“I could make this sacrifice if only to save this country from being fractured,” Duterte added in his “Listening Tour” nationwide in an effort to advocate for a shift to federalism, underscoring that this is the only way to prevent an all-out war in Mindanao.
He said that federalism is the best alternative in case the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is not adopted or is watered down into a version which the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) does not like.
Duterte’s announcement about his likely presidential ambition was his first categorical statement on the question fielded by a participant in one of these forums on whether or not he is gunning for resident in the coming election.
In the audience were former Pangasinan Vice Governor Gonzalo Duque, former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s spokesperson, Raul Lambino and former Pangasinan 3rd district Congressman Eric Acuna.
“It is no longer a personal decision for you. It is your obligation. You have to save this country,” Acuna told Duterte.
Acuna said he and his group will shortly launch the “Save the Philippines Movement” to mobilize people in Northern Luzon to support Mayor Duterte in the event he runs for President.(PNA/ Leonardo V. Micua
(Image credit: Keith Kristoffer Bacongco / Bluemask)