It looks like Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was just waiting for the most painful prick at his sensibilities, his emotions, for him to run for president and this time he got it.
Duterte has been very vocal about his disgust and disappointment of the Aquino administration that at some point he issued the following statement: “The drugs problem, the criminalities, the corruption – if they cannot stop it and if nobody fixes the government, I will do it for free for the Filipino people.”
Wasn’t this giving an idea to the people that after all his “urong-sulong” (indecisiveness) style to run or not for the presidency in 2016, it was more evident that he was really interested in running?
Duterte’s latest expression of revulsion against the administration came not so long ago about the “laglag bala” or bullet-dropping inside the luggage of an airport passenger, either checking in or checking out, when he, likewise, issued the following strong-worded statement: “Stop fucking the Filipino people. Even people who are at the airport are victimized by laglag-bala (planted bullets), the drugs problem. And the government does not have a concrete program for these. They are in power, they are receiving salaries, and yet they are not doing what is necessary for governance. As I said, stop fucking the Filipino people.”
While the preceding statements were already strong urges for him to run, nothing, however, has given Duterte more fire in the belly to go for the presidency than the decision made by the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) dismissing the disqualification case filed by petitioner Rizalito David questioning the citizenship of Sen. Grace Poe, who is running for president in 2016.
David, a defeated 2013 senatorial candidate who filed the petition against Poe, argued that the Constitution does not recognize a foundling as a natural-born citizen as the status requires at least one recognizable parent to be a citizen.
What is unsettling though is that while the SET, which is composed of politicians and justices of the Supreme Court, was suppose to tackle a legal issue objectively, the politicians showed their true colors and supported the likes of one of them, closing their eyes on the legitimacy of the petition, thus, shutting up the mouth of the legal luminaries.
Senators Tito Sotto, Cynthia Villar, Loren Legarda, Bam Aquino and Pia Cayetano voted for the dismissal, while Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, chair of the SET, Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Arturo Brion and Sen. Nancy Binay voted in favor of the petition. Obviously, Binay voted against the dismissal as it would benefit the candidacy of her father, or so she thinks.
No wonder the SET decision is what is now propelling Duterte to run, saying, “First, let us just say, I am terribly disappointed. Second, I cannot accept Grace Poe as a legitimate candidate for president because I agree with the justices of the SC (Supreme Court) that this is a legal issue and not a political issue. Third, the option for me to run for president is already open.”
If this is not an opening salvo of Duterte’s candidacy, then I don’t know what else would prod him to run.