MANILA – With the national elections nearing, speculations arose that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and possible running mate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will be joining the presidential and vice presidential races, respectively.
Rumors came up after Marcos’ appearance in “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa,” Duterte’s local weekend television program. Both government officials are strong advocates of federalism.
Duterte and Marcos, however, have not mentioned any plans of running together, more so seeking higher offices next year. Yet, they disclosed that they will not keep their doors closed.
Aside from Duterte-Marcos, a Panfilo-Duterte tandem is also being eyed by the public. To this, Duterte could only say that the former senator and police chief can carry ‘his own banner’ without him as running mate.
“He is a class by himself, meaning he can run carrying the issues of the day. I’m not needed there anymore… I said that I really don’t have an ambition [for a national position]… He is a class by himself,” Duterte said in Tagalog.
Apart from Marcos and Lacson tandems, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino have reportedly sought for Duterte’s help regarding the coming elections.
Amidst all the fuss and uncertainty, Duterte reiterates not filing candidacy for presidency in next year’s elections. He also argues that he is no longer in good physical condition to occupy the country’s highest post.
The Davao City mayor, however, remains active in advancing federalism.
For the past few months Duterte has been on a nationwide tour, not for a presidential campaign but for a federalism campaign. He continues to seek change in the government’s system to what he believes is a more beneficial one.
For this, Marcos admires the mayor’s efforts.
“I just follow Mayor Duterte. He is my mentor when it comes to politics,” he said, admitting being a long time fan of the straightforward politician.
Even if Duterte continues to dismiss speculations about him joining the coming presidential race, reports state that he has been regularly checking presidential preferences survey.
And according to the latest presidential poll, the mayor has now placed third next to Vice President Jejmomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe.
Despite topping the list, Duterte claims that he is not convinced enough to run.