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In context: Duterte's 'last minute strategy' | CMFR

In context: Duterte’s ‘Last Minute Strategy’

CHEERS TO CNN Philippines’ Network News for recalling Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s previous statements regarding his on-again, off- again 2016 presidential run in light of his most recent announcement that he would indeed go for the Presidency next year.

On Monday, Nov. 23, 2015,  Network News ran six stories on the Davao City Mayor when he announced his presidential bid, among them “Diño-Duterte substitution a last-minute strategy,” which recalled statements Duterte had made as early as 2013.

In August 2013 Duterte claimed disinterest in becoming president, vice president, senator or even secretary of any department because, he said,  he was not qualified for any of these posts. Several statements by the mayor in the following years up to the week of filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) from Oct. 12 to 16 this year were included, which showed that contrary to that statement, he was entertaining the idea of running for president.

The report included the following quotes from Duterte this year:

  • Feb. 19, 2015
    “If only to save this Republic, I can run for President. I can make this sacrifice if only to save this country from being fractured.”
  • June 14, 2015
    “I will stand by my position that I am not seeking any national office in the next year’s elections, much more the presidency. I don’t even know if I could be the presidential candidate…”
  • June 21, 2015
    “I will consider the suggestion of my friends and supporters.”
  • June 25, 2015
    “If my daughter will run, I will retire in 2016. Matanda na ako. I’m already 70.”
  • Sept. 29, 2015
    “I’m not running but if I change my mind, I’ll do it here. Dito ako nag-umpisa, dito din ako magtatapos.”
  • Oct. 12, 2015
    “After all, there was no ambition for me to aspire for the presidency. The country does not need me. I find no need for it. I guess it is fate that wills that our long journey together should end this way.”
  • Nov. 1, 2015
    “Nothing has changed in my position about it (presidential candidacy). I don’t have the stomach for it.”

Although “he maintained an air of disinterest in a possible presidential run but nevertheless fed the press with mixed messages that kept journalists hooked like no candidate ever did (“Duterte Mania and Human Rights: A Distrubing Lapse in Coverage,” Nov. 5, 2015),” the mayor has shifted gears. He claimed disappointment over the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) ruling on the disqualification case against Senator Grace Poe as the trigger behind his decision to run. The SET had junked the petition to unseat Poe on Nov. 17, 2015, which 2013 senatorial candidate Rizalito David filed on August 6.

Martin Diño, a Quezon City barangay captain and PDP-Laban’s deputy secretary general, filed last October his COC as his party’s standard-bearer with Duterte as substitute candidate. Diño withdrew on October 29.  Duterte filed his COC for president through his lawyer Salvador Medialdea Friday, November 27, well ahead of the December 10 deadline set by the poll body for substitute candidates.