Rody Duterte to demand peace as presidential candidate

Feb. 11, 2014

By John Rizle L. Saligumba
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY – While saying he is not interested in the 2016 presidential race, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte makes a doublespeak when he said he could consult communists and other rebel groups.

Earlier, Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, said in an interview that “local revolutionary forces in Davao City consider Mayor Duterte as someone they can negotiate with and make reasonable agreements with. Perhaps, if he becomes president, he can act like a statesman and negotiate with the NDFP. “

To this, Duterte reacted, saying that Sison was “correct” and that he will “go to all sectors.”

Duterte said, “I will go to the regional commands of the New People’s Army and maybe travel to Amsterdam. I will ask him (Sison): Sir, would you agree that I should be president? If he says I don’t like you, ok good. If he agrees, he should know that I will demand peace.”

He said Sison used to be his UP professor in the subject of political thought.

Duterte also referred to Leoncio Pitao, NPA commander in Davao.

“You talk about governance, what is good for the country but I will go them. I will go to Parago and say to him: friend, would you agree to me being President? If you do, if I run for the presidency, we should talk. We will talk about nothing but peace. I will push for that,” Duterte said.

He said he would also consult Moro rebels regarding his candidacy.

Duterte said, “If I, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, for example, would become a presidential candidate, I would go to the MILF and ask them: would you agree if I run for president? If not, I won’t pursue it. Then I go to (Nur Misuari): Nur, do you agree that I should become the next president? If you do, we should talk. If not, I wouldn’t run for president.”

Duterte said that the bottomline of the talks is peace.

In the past months, Duterte had been accumulating political capital by making bold statements on national issues. He had been hogging the national limelight by being among the first public officials to pitch help in the earthquake-wrecked Bohol and the typhoon Yolanda devastation in Tacloban last year.

In exposing rice smuggling, Duterte did not mince words by lambasting Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and engaging word war with Human rights commissioner Etta Rosales.

Duterte’s “I will gladly kill him” statement at the Senate inquiry last week over rice smuggling and alleged smuggler David Bangayaan drew sharp criticisms from Malacanang and other officals while earning praise from social media.

In the meantime, CPP’s Sison sounded skeptical if Duterte would be a frontrunner for the 2016 polls, saying “will the big financiers and media lords allow him to win the presidential elections?”

Duterte insisted to “count me out.”

“I am not interested, I am not qualified, I do not intend to be president. Because ayaw ko, dahil pagkatapos ng term ko, kukulungin lang ninyo ako. So I do not deserve that kind of destiny.

Duterte said that the public “should choose a president who can only say nice things.”

“I always curse. If I’m angry, you know it because I do not hide my sentiments, even in the front of the Senate,” Duterte said.

While declining the presidential bid, Duterte advised probable presidential candidates Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero that they should go out and talk to rebels. (John Rizle L. Saligumba/

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