Duterte: I’m running for president

Photo Credit: Primy Cane/ABS-CBN
  • Davao City mayor confirms presidential run in 2016
  • Decision made during a law classmate’s birthday party
  • He says he cannot accept SET’s favorable ruling for Poe
  • He will consult with partymates to get their blessing

MANILA, Philippines – Is this final? And more importantly, no more taking backsies?

Days after he said he’s angry at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET)’s decision to junk the disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe and the country’s current controversies, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte confirms he is running for president in 2016.

“Yes, I am running,” he told Rappler via phone on Saturday night as he was attending a law classmate’s birthday party in Dasmariñas, Cavite. “There are things in life that would move a man, a citizen, to do something even if he doesn’t enjoy it.

According to ABS-CBN, the tough-talking mayor told the guests present he is running because of the SET’s decision essentially allowing Poe to run even though questions about her being a natural-born Filipino has yet to be laid to rest.

“What made me decide to run? Was it an offer for money? No. I just want to say stop [expletive] with the Philippines,” he told fellow partygoers. “Nothing against Grace but if you run for the highest post in the land, it must be reserved for a true-blue Filipino.”

Addressing Poe directly, he said: “If ever you make it, you will be a presumptive president by citizenship. I cannot accept that.”

“What will happen when she is disqualified because she is American?” he asked. “Give me an Igorot, an Aeta, a plumber, anyone as long he or she’s a Filipino. It’s a matter of principle. If things are like that then my candidacy for the presidency is on the table.”

Despite his personal declaration, Duterte said he will still have to speak with his PDP Laban partymates especially Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to get their blessing.