DAVAO CITY – Senator Alan Peter Cayetano announced that he will be running for the vice presidential post next elections in a hotel here on Tuesday morning.

Cayetano said he chose Davao City as a venue for his announcement, saying  “(K)asi lahat ng major announcement ay ginagawa sa Manila. How can we decongest Metro Manila at paano po natin ishe-share ang mga biyaya ng buong bansa kung pati sa announcement panay sa Metro Manila lang? (All the major announcements are done in Manila. How can we decongest Metro Manila and how will we share the blessings of the whole country when even the announcement is done only in Metro Manila?),” Cayetano said.

He also said, Davao is an epitome of “change and progress”.

“So it’s actually an honor for me,” he said.

Cayetano told the members of the press that he cannot yet answer on who will be his running mate, but hinted his admiration for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

He did not name who he will support as presidential candidate, but said “by now alam ng  mga tao kung sino naman talaga ang may tunay na paninindigan, tapang, para nga po magbago ang ating bansa (by now the people know who really possesses a genuine stand and courage to change our country).”

“Syempre po ang gusto kong pangulo yung magbibigay ng tunay na pagbabago yung may malasakit po sa ating bansa at yung may tunay na tapang para yung mga pagbabago na kailangan (Of course, I want a president who can give genuine change, one with compassion with the country and one who is courageous to fight for the needed reforms),” he said.

“Like you, I am still waiting and praying and hoping that that person will run and I will be able to support (him),” said Cayetano.

“It’s really up to Mayor Duterte yung decision nya, but I think  it’s the country that will lose if he doesn’t file as president (Mayor Duterte’s decision is really up to him),” he said.

Cayetano said “there are a lot of good people who are running, pero kaya ba nila yung transformation, yung pagbabago na kailangan ng ating bansa ?(but can they implement the transformation, the change needed by our country?)”

“We always say we get the leaders we deserve, but the choices are important. So if there are a few choices, we will be left with only the choices that we have been seeing,” he said.

Cayetano also took a jab against Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has declared his intention to run as president.  He said Binay is “marred by corruption issues.”

“I’ve stated before that among the presidentiables, I see their assets, but that does not go for Vice President Binay because out of 10 things he says, 11 are lies,” he said.

Cayetano said he already talked with Nacionalista Party president, Manny Villar who gave him a “very fatherly advice”, which he did not disclose.

“I can only speak for myself right now. I cannot answer right now because that will be a decision which will be made not only by me,but also including other people, including yung taong pipili na tumakbo para sa pangulo (including the person who will decide if he will run as president),” he said.

He added that “(A)s of now, NP is not committed to anyone group. That will come once we settle within our own selves kung sino yung mga tatakbo and then paklaro na rin kung sino yung mga deklaradong tatakbo para sa pangulo (That will come once we settle within ourselves on who will run and those who will run for president is made clear).”

Meanwhile, Cayetano said he and Duterte agreed in the concept of Federalism.

“We agree that there should be a balance of development all over the country. Federalism is one way to go,” he said.

Cayetano filed the Mindanao Peace and Development Bill, which he said, will allocate more funds  to Mindanao.

“Right now, all the other regions get 3-4 percent, Metro Manila gets 31 percent,” said Cayetano.

“We prepared a plan to allocate P65 billion plus P150 billion one time (fund) for the Mindanao railway,” he said, adding that the bill is inspired by federalism and other programs that was meant to empower the rural areas.

He said the plan is “cheaper than (Bangsamoro Basic Law), but all the regions in Mindanao will benefit from it.”

He also said he saw “two things” during Duterte’s supporters rally in Manila last Saturday.

“Marami akong kilala at marami akong kababayan na pumunta dun (I know a lot of people and I have a lot of fellowmen who attended it),” said Cayetano.

Cayetano said he also took notice of the donation box intended to fund Duterte’s candidacy.

“If people fund the candidates, we can fight drug lords, smugglers. If Mayor Duterte decides to run he will be in one of the best position, because he will not owe people with vested interest, because it’s a genuine push of the people,” said Cayetano. (With a report from Ace R. Morandante/

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