- Miriam denies rumor she will be backing down from the race to Malacanang
- The lady senator says that while she has high regard for Duterte, she has no intention to give way
- Santiago and Duterte are two of the presidentiables with huge following on social media
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has denied speculations she will be backing out from the presidential race to give way to Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who has recently declared his openness to running in 2016 after months of indecision and uncertainty.
Santiago was reacting to rumors circulating on social media insinuating that she may eventually withdraw her candidacy in favor of Mayor Duterte.
Santiago and Duterte are believed to be two of the more popular politicians with the strong following on social media.
In a statement on her Facebook account, Santiago has addressed the circulating story, which has been picked up and shared by some websites (not here in Kicker Daily News) after Duterte announced his plan.
“I have high regard for Mayor Duterte, but I will not back out from this race. Until victory!” Santiago said.
Duterte is expected to announce his candidacy before the substitution period ends in December. He is reported to replace PDP-Laban’s Martin Diño’s as party standard bearer in 2016.
However, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal warns the mayor he may face some legal obstacles as a replacement candidate which could stem from the technical error on Diño’s certificate of candidacy (COC).
But Macalintal and former Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes agreed that Duterte can still run as a substitute for any candidate, besides Diño, as long as anyone among Mar Roxas, Grace Poe and Santiago is willing to sacrifice and withdraw their candidacy and nominate the tough-talking Davao mayor as replacement.