DUTERTE NOT RUNNING; CLARIFIES MILLION PEOPLE MARCH TEXT MESSAGE

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte did another see-saw on his presidential run in 2016, with a clarification that tilted to the negative and for the nth time crushed the hearts of his supporters.

Duterte-on-death-threats-450x192Duterte, who has repeatedly denied that he was taking a crack at the presidency, sparked new hopes he would reconsider his position and join the presidential derby,  during a massive rally by supporters Saturday last week.

I will never leave you, said Duterte in a text message to thousands of supporters gathered on Sept. 26, in a people power-type rally in Manila aiming to prod him to run for President.

The supporters in the Million People March organized by Duterte for President groups from all over the country, took the message to mean that Duterte, after all, could be running for President.

But Duterte, in radio reports in Davao City today, Sept.29,  said his text message read before his supporters  at  Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, did not mean that he was again toying over the option of running for President.

“ I will never leave you,” read part of the text message of Duterte, who was not present in the event as he was in Zamboanga to help in the release of three people snatched by the Abu Sayyaf bandit group on Samal Island last week.

Clarifying his statement, according to the radio reports, Duterte said that the “I will never leave you” line  meant that even if he is not running for President, he will continue to push his advocacy for a shift to a federal form of government from the current unitary-presidential.

Since early this year, Duterte has hopped from island to island throughout the country with his Listening Tour that advocated a shift a federal type of governance.

Duterte believes that federalism is the cure to the country’s insurgency problems, criminality, graft and corruption  and other ills. The Listening Tour gave Duterte wide exposure and upped his political stock as a presidential contender.

Duterte’s text message to the Million People March, in full, read:

“I am asking for a little for more time, so I can do some final soul-searching with myself and my family.”

“And after that little more time, I am going to face the nation again and I will face all of you and I will decide with all my heart and my mind and I promise you, I will never leave you.”

“I know you want an alternative to those who now present themselves with their ambition to lead the country. I have repeatedly said that I do not have the ambitions to be your president. Leaders answer not to their self-interest or their personal glory. Leaders respond to duty and moral obligation.”

Despite saying he was not running for President, Duterte has landed in a three-way tie at second place, in the latest survey for presidential preference by Pulse Asia.

Independent candidate Senator Grace Poe led Pulse Asia’s “Ulat ng Bayan” survey conducted nationwide from September 8 to 14 with 2,400 respondents.

Poe garnered 26 percent.

Sharing the second spot in a ‘statistical tie’ are ruling  Liberal Party’s Manuel “Mar” Roxas II (20 percent), the opposition United Nationalist Alliance standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay (19 percent) and Duterte (16 percent).

The survey had Duterte leading in Mindanao (29 percent); Poe the favorite  in Metro Manila (26 percent) and Luzon (31 percent); and Roxas grabbing the votes in the Visayas (34 percent).

The most preferred presidential aspirant across socio-economic classes is Poe at 22 percent  followed by Roxas, Duterte then Binay.

Duterte, has maintained his ranking in the top 4 in previous surveys by both Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Late last month, however, the Duterte ‘officially’ announced that he is not running, during an emotion-filled press conference in Davao City.

Duterte cited family opposition, health, age and lack of logistics as reasons for not bowing down to public clamor to run for President.

yolabda1Despite saying he was not running for President, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte landed in a three-way tie at second place, in the latest survey for presidential preference by Pulse Asia.

Independent candidate Senator Grace Poe led Pulse Asia’s “Ulat ng Bayan” survey conducted nationwide from September 8 to 14 with 2,400 respondents.

Poe garnered 26 percent.

Sharing the second spot in a ‘statistical tie’ are ruling  Liberal Party’s Manuel “Mar” Roxas II (20 percent), the opposition United Nationalist Alliance standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay (19 percent) and Duterte (16 percent).

The survey had Duterte leading in Mindanao (29 percent); Poe the favorite  in Metro Manila (26 percent) and Luzon (31 percent); and Roxas grabbing the votes in the Visayas (34 percent).

But Duterte is not impressed by his showing in the latest survey.

Voters, not surveys, make candidates win, he said in the radio reports yesterday.

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