- The senator remains unconvinced by mayor’s refusal to run
- Filing of candidacy still so far away, anything can happen
- Pimentel vows to change his mind
MANILA, Philippines – Undaunted by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement he won’t be running for president in the 2016 elections, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said nothing has been set in stone and he may yet change his mind after some thorough convincing.
“In this life, it’s hard to ever say something is final,” InterAksyon quoted him as saying.
Pimentel and Duterte engaged in talks along with other members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN) on Wednesday night. The meeting lasted well until the early morning.
Nothing New in His Announcement
Commenting on the mayor’s refusal, Pimentel said he was unconvinced that Duterte meant it because he had said the same thing in the past.
“He did not say anything new. He just reiterated that he has no personal ambition at any time in his life to run for president,” he said.
The senator added his fellow party members are hopeful they could still change Duterte’s mind given the rising public clamor for him to be president.
“We will continue to convince him, continue to plead with him, to please listen,” he said. “I can feel the clamor of a big segment of society for him to go for the presidency, so it will be just up to him to listen to that clamor.”
“If you have plans, a clear vision in mind, track record and proven political will, you should run even if you place fifth the survey,” he added. “You have to offer the people an alternative.”
Can Still Run Even After Deadline
Pimentel also stressed that Duterte can still run even if he misses the October 16 deadline set by the COMELEC to file his candidacy.
“October 16 is not the final deadline because the rules of the COMELEC allow the substitution by a political party of the candidate up to sometime in December,” he said.