DAVAO CITY – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he wants time to fully convince his family on should he run for presidency amid a national caravan and gathering initiated to push him to make declaration.
“Malapit na (the time is near). Give me time to convince my family. Inday (former Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio) may agree if she sees this (points to crowd),” said Duterte amidst a gathering of thousands of his supporters in the city’s Rizal Park Friday night.
The crowd is estimated to be at around 5,000 to 6,000 and was composed of a group who held a national caravan calling for Duterte to run as president.
Duterte entered the stage at about 7pm to the cheers of “Duterte, Presidente!” of the crowd.
He said he “cannot be the savior” of the Philippines from its problems and he will “not be elected and be fit (for the position of President) if the system is still the same.”
Duterte said he might be limited by other branches of the government like the Senate should he wish to institute reforms at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the customs like devising ways to solve the country’s drug problem.
“If I become president, the 10,000 drug lords will all die. (Justice Secretary) De Lima said I killed 1,000 but in 20 years of being a mayor, I say that is being conservative,” jested Duterte who is known for his “Dirty Harry” brand of politics and accused of maintaining a vigilante group called “Davao Death Squad.”
Duterte said “if that will be the case, I will declare a revolutionary government.”
Cheers and applause filled the air in his more than one-hour long speech.
Duterte also affirmed that his view is “always with the Left.”
“I am with the Left because I am a son of the poor,” he said.
Duterte also showed a video of communist leader Jose Maria Sison whom he said “endorsed” him.
However, Duterte said he does not agree with the communists’ armed struggle.
Duterte said if he cannot convince his daughter Sara to support his presidency bid, “I will bring her here and she will punch all of you.”
Duterte-Carpio captured the limelight when she punched a court sheriff who refused to heed to her request to postpone a court order to demolish an urban poor community during her term as the city mayor.
But in her Facebook page, “Inday Sara Duterte” has been actively sharing post and news links related to Duterte’s presidential bid.
Organizers of the Run Duterte Caravan said they were able to mobilize at most 3,000 vehicles and distribute millions of materials supporting Duterte.
To cap the event, Duterte’s supporters prayed and lit candles. (davaotoday.com)