BY ROGER M. BALANZA
From slamming outright the door on a presidential run, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has succumbed to pleas from supporters to “keep his options open” on gunning for the presidency in the 2016 election.
My supporters are requesting me to keep my options open and make the final decision
until the deadline for filing of Certificate of Candidacy, said Duterte in the June 21, edition of the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on ABS/CBN.
With the deadline for submission of the COC set in October, Duterte has four months to keep his supporters in suspense on whether he will run or not.
Duterte said he would now stop saying he will not be seeking the presidency in 2016.
He said he is giving weight to the overwhelming support of friends, individuals and groups pushing him to run. He said the country’s serious problems added to make him change his mind.
Duterte’s opening the door to a possible run only met halfway his supporters’ long wait for the mayor to categorically declare that he is running for president.
Before the change of mind, Duterte cited old age, poor health and lack of funds as reasons for not running.
I have considered the suggestion of my friends and supporters,” he said.
Duterte has maintained his ranking in the surveys which are expected to rise if he declares he is running for President.
In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Duterte was in third place with 15 percent, an increase of 3 percentage points from the March survey.
In the Social Weather Stations survey, which used the “pick three” method in ranking presidential aspirants for 2016, Duterte jumped from 15 percent to 20 percent.
Earlier, in the latest Pulse Asia survey, Senator Grace Poe overtook Vice President Jejomar Binay, earning 30 percent compared to the Vice President’s 22 percent.
Poe also firmed up her lead against Binay in the latest survey by the SWS.
` In the SWS survey conducted from June 5 to 8, Poe was chosen by 42 percent of the 1,200 adult respondents nationwide asked to name their three choices to succeed Aquino, an 11-percentage point increase from the 31 percent of respondents that picked her in March.
Binay’s preference rating continued to take a dip—from 36 percent in March to 34 percent in June.
Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, the presumptive standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party, was third in the SWS survey, with 21 percent from 15 percent in March.
Duterte placed fourth with 20 percent, an improvement from 15 percent in March.