DAVAO CITY — The founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Jose Maria Sison officially endorsed Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for the 2016 presidential elections.
This was revealed by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte during the Run Duterte Run Caravan on Friday night at San Pedro Square this city. The mayor shared the voice message of Sison sent to him from Netherlands minutes before he came to the rally venue.
In his message, Sison said that Duterte has the “integrity, strength of character and political will for good”.
“Sa tingin ko bukas naman siya sa development ng Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng Filipino owned industrialization and land reform at kumbinsido ako na makabayan siya at ipag tatanggol niya ang pambansang soberenhiya at integridad ng teritoryo nga Pilipinas (I can see he is open to the development of the Philippines through Filipino-owned industrialization and land reform and I am convince he is a nationalist and he will defend national territorial sovereignty and integrity of the Philippines,” Sison said.
According to Duterte, Sison sent the message to him upon learning he was on his way to rally organized by his supporters.
While Duterte had been turning down calls to run for president, on Friday night, the mayor gave his supporters a glimmer of hope for a possible presidential bid in May 2016.
Overwhelmed by more or less 10,000 supporters gathered at the San Pedro Square for the Run Duterte Run caravan which started in the Manila passing through Luzon provinces, Visayas and down to Mindanao, Duterte however did not declare he will run for president.
He said he still needs to seek the approval of his family. “Konti nalang, Kausapin ko muna sila Inday kasi ayaw talaga nila (Just a little bit more, I will talk to Inday – former mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio because they do not like it),” Duterte said.
When asked to elaborate, Duterte said he is still thinking about it. Unlike before, Duterte hinted to considering running for the presidency seeing the thousands of people supporting him.
The Run Duterte Run Caravan was 13-day journey aimed at convincing the mayor to run for president. The caravan of vehicles was estimated at 3,261 coming from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. There was no declaration to run for president but Duterte promised he would talk to his family.
Among those in the rally were left-leaning organizations, governors, mayors, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and community leaders. Also present were former Army chief Hermogenes Esperon, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Roberto Lastimoso.
He emphasized that he does want to be president under the same system of government otherwise he is bound to fail.
While saying this, Duterte still shared his wishes if he would become president. Duterte said he would put Mindanao in the priority list; corruption; illegal drugs; and, family planning.