The Liberal Party (LP) has welcomed the possibility of picking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as its candidate in the 2016 presidential derby, according to two allies of President Benigno Aquino.
The choice of Duterte comes as Representatives Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar and Edgar Erice of Caloocan City said the LP has yet to decide if it will field Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas as its standard bearer in 2016.
The more the merrier, said the congressmen in a report in The Manila Times.
Roxas has been consistently faring poorly in surveys while Duterte, also an LP, landed third in the latest survey of Pulse Asia.
Duterte’s presidential stock zoomed high in the March survey of Pulse Asia, notching 12 points for third place behind frontrunner Vice President Jejomar Binay and second placer Senator Grace Poe.
The third place finish shared with former President now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada made Duterte the biggest gainer with a 7-point increase against his rating in the previous survey. Roxas landed at No 7 with a poor 4 percent, behind Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (No. 5) with 9 percent and Senator Bongbong Marcos (No.6) at 6 percent.
Binay still maintained his lead at 29 percent. Poe dropped from 18 to 14 percent while Erap managed to chalk in 2 percent more from the November survey result of 10%.
The more the merrier. We should welcome the entry of Duterte. This will give people wider choices. I’m sure the people will pick the best for the country, Evardone and Erice said.
The two administration congressmen said LP is also considering former Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Lacson, an ally of President Aquino who briefly served as the Head of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, earlier bared his intention to run for President in 2016.
Like Roxas, however, Lacson is rating badly in the surveys.
In the March Pulse Asia survey, Lacson was far behind at No. 11, tailing Senator Chiz Escudero (8), Senator Peter Cayetano (No. 9) and Senator Antonio Trillanes (No 10).
Duterte, who is being urged to run for president in next year’s polls, had repeatedly said that he has no plans to seek the country’s highest post. He is however going around the country in what is dubbed as a “Listening Tour” where he promotes the concept of Federalism as a form of governance.
The “Listening Tour,” a series of speaking engagements and forums that has already covered major cities in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon has morphed into a venue for people to urge Duterte to run for President.
The Listening Tour will help Duterte make decision on whether to run or not, according to Duterte aides.