Consultations not electioneering
If premature political campaigning is an electoral no-no, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte could be guilty of it.
Unfortunately, Duterte says he is not running for President and is going around in a nation-wide consultation to drumbeat support for his advocacy to shift to a federal form of government.
But fortunately, too, if he decides eventuality to run for President, Duterte is already gaining mileage for a presidential run even with his denial about the presidency.
But why is he baring a political platform?
His plan to clean government “if he becomes president,” his solution to the insurgency problem “ if he is sitting in Malacanang,” his formula in fighting criminality and corruption, etc., are “ifs” that should not matter because he is not running for President.
Duterte has started a nation-wide tour on what is supposed to be a massive consultation on federalism.
And that is where Duterte is amassing huge points against rivals if he decides to run.
Because in these widely attended speaking engagements, Duterte talks about federalism side-by-side with the miracles he would do “if he becomes President” in these days of a public hankering for honest, competent and trusted leaders amid discontent over government.
Is Duterte running or not?
You keep on denying that you are running but your body language says you are, a journalist told Duterte in a press conference after the launch of the Federal Movement in Davao City in December.
In Butuan City recently, Duterte said his ‘listening tour’ is about federalism and good governance and not a presidential campaign.
But before the multi-sectoral audience at the Dona Ynez Convention Center, Duterte gave hints about the possibility of his running for President.
I am waiting for God’s signal, he said in a statement that sparked a loud applause from the large crowd that was visibly in support of Duterte running for President.