I am talking of course about the tough talking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Is he going to run for president in 2016 or not?
Duterte has been blowing hot and cold on whether or not he is joining the race, aware that he is third among the preferred candidates for president in poll surveys, following top contenders Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Though former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas remains lingering behind the three of them, the endorsement of President Benigno Aquino (PNoy) on Roxas’ candidacy could be a game changer.
With Poe continuously vacillating whether it is the presidency or the vice presidency that she will be aspiring for come 2016, and Binay desperately putting an honorable and a respectable front despite the serious corrupt and plunder charges against him, it remains to be seen how the next surveys read the rankings.
Attention is now focused on Roxas while he continues to woo Poe to be his running mate. This political equation against Binay and even Duterte, if he decides to run, favors the Roxas-Poe tandem not only because of Poe’s popularity that will earn votes for Roxas, but the might of PNoy’s Liberal Party (LP) machinery, which will ensure that the straight path program of governance will not be derailed.
Right? Well, not quite!
And that is because the candidacy of Duterte remains a guessing game.
Time and again Duterte has been insisting that the presidency is ‘destiny’.
But, repeatedly, Duterte also has been saying, “I will not close the door… Just whatever we decide on I hope it would be for the best interest of the country.”
There is no doubt many people wants Duterte to run for president, most especially the business leaders, who see the peace and order in Davao very conducive for business and want it replicated in the whole country.
An astute politician that he is, Duterte, however, wants that if he runs, it is to win and not to lose, for losing is simply a waste of time, money and effort, not only his, but also for those who have raised funds for his failed candidacy.
So, at this stage, what is it that would make Duterte run?
Nothing else really, but the decision of Poe to run for president and not the vice presidency.
With Poe running for president, Roxas will be weakened despite the LP machinery and Binay will slipped farther down.
With Duterte’s entry, backed up by rich political benefactors in the the business sector, he will not only be assured of the solid Mindanao votes, but he will also be slicing sizable votes going to either Poe, Roxas and Binay.
Let us admit it, Poe may be popular, but it is more because of the name she carries and not being an effective user of administrative power.
On the contrary, Duterte’s popularity stems from the fact that his track record of turning Davao City from crime capital to one of the world’s safest place speaks highly and truly of him as a public servant.