- Pimentel to come up with ‘People’s Nomination’ to convince Duterte to run
- The campaign aims to get signatures from Duterte’s supporters nationwide
- ‘People’s Nomination’ will be out in October on newspapers and on social media
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is planning to convince Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to change his mind with a “Certificate of Nomination” which would be distributed to gather signatures nationwide.
In a media statement supposedly coming from the senator’s office through his Political Affairs Officer Astravel P. Naik, a copy of which was published on the Facebook page Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for President 2016, the certificate is supposedly aimed at convincing Duterte that the people need him “in these trying times.”
“This will be a People’s Nomination,” the statement has quoted Pimentel as saying. “The Filipino people should convince him and endorse him. I believe he would yield to the will of the people.”
Duterte will get endorsement from the people
Mayor Duterte belongs to PDP-Laban, the party led by Koko Pimentel. Both politicians are from Mindanao, the only region to have never produced a president in the country’s long history.
Duterte, a staunch advocate of a government shift to federalism, has earlier ended all speculations of his possible Malacanang run in 2016 with a categorical statement saying he will not seek the presidency despite popular clamor on social media.
Unlike other presidential hopefuls – Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Senator Grace – who were all endorsed by political parties or business groups, Pimentel said Duterte will get his endorsement from the people themselves who are actively pushing for his candidacy.
Opposition Binay, administration bet Roxas and independent Poe have all separately declared their intention to run for president, opening a possible three-cornered fight in 2016.
Out before filing of candidacy
Pimentel said they are still hoping for Duterte to make a 180-degree turnaround from his early pronouncement, believing the mayor will finally yield to the call from his followers.
“No Presidential candidate in the history of this country, except perhaps President Cory Aquino who was swept to the Presidency by People Power, could claim that they were urged by the ordinary people to be their President,” Pimentel added.
Despite his categorical remarks, Duterte continues to drop hints he might just change his mind before the official election period starts, giving a flicker of hope to his legion of supporters.
“It ain’t over until the fat lady sings the blues,” Duterte said in reply to political analyst Ramon Casiple who said the mayor may just be simply testing the waters to generate more interests in his candidacy.
Nevertheless, Pimentel said they will have the ‘People’s Nomination’ out shortly before the start of the filing of candidacy next month, copies of which will be published on major newspapers and distributed on social media.
“Let the people endorse the person they would like to lead this country,” the senator added