We will not see the spectacle of Rodrigo Duterte and his motor mouth spewing out torrents of bullets in a debate with Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas.
The Davao City mayor, now leading in surveys for presidential preference, has dismissed the challenge to debate hurled by Roxas, the standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party of President Benigno Aquino.
Duterte, who has the habit of dishing out expletives left and right as he travels the route to the presidency in the 2016 elections, said there is no honor debating with a candidate with a franchise over the bottom of surveys.
“The debate would make sense if Roxas improves his rankings in the surveys,” said Duterte over the week-end in a report in GMA’s 24 Oras television news program.
The tough-talking Duterte, candidate of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Laban (PDP-Laban), said he would agree to a face-off only if Roxas climbs to the number 2 spot in the surveys.
In the latest survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS) covering Metro Manila, Duterte led with 38 percent, while Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and independent candidate Senator Grace Poe shared the second spot with 21 % each.
A perennial cellar dweller in previous surveys, Roxas trailed the pack with 15 percent, a breath away from fifth placer Senator Miriam Santiago (People’s Reform Party) who had 8 percent.
Duterte and Roxas had locked in a word war and exchanged barbed comments after Roxas said the claim that Davao City is the safest city in the Philippines is a myth.
Taking it as a slur on his iron-fist anti-crime policy, Duterte responded with a threat to slap Roxas if they cross paths.
Roxas belittled Duterte’s threat saying slapping is a womanish and instead challenged the mayor to a fistfight.
Stepping up the verbal scrimmage, Duterte said a gun duel would put closure to the conflict.
Duterte last week smoked the peace pipe by apologizing to Roxas.
But he capped the apology with an explanation that he had mumps and would not engage Roxas in a slapping encounter on advice of his doctor.
Asking if Roxas wear false teeth, Duterte said he was also worried that a fistfight would be physically devastating to the LP candidate.
Lastly, Duterte called off a gun duel saying that Roxas could not even handle a gun.
Apparently, Roxas with his challenge to debate is opening another war front with Duterte.
On Friday last week, Roxas made the challenge after the Commission on Election (Comelec) declared Duterte as a candidate in the 2016 election.
Rodrigo Duterte can still run for President in 2016 even if he is barred by the Commission on Election (Comelec) from running as a substitute candidate of Martin Diño of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Laban (PDP-Laban).
The Davao City mayor can run for President under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), said a stalwart of the party, lawyer Oliver Lozano.
Lozano said KBL was willing to field Duterte as its standard bearer to skirt a possible disqualification, as the Comelec on Friday, December 18, heard a petition filed by Roman Castor seeking to disqualify Duterte from the presidential election.
Ironically, Lozano is the legal counsel of Castor in the petition.
In his petition, Castor said Duterte cannot run as substitute candidate for Diño who he said filed an invalid Certificate of Candidacy (COC). In his COC, Diño stated that he was running for mayor of Pasay City and not for president.
But Lozano said Castor merely wanted to nullify the COC for President of Dino and is not against Duterte’s presidential bid.
KBL, he also said, will support Duterte if his presidential run is cleared by Comelec.
Lozano stressed that Duterte cannot run as substitute candidate for Diño because the latter’s COC was invalid.
But there is a remedy for Duterte to pursue his bid to be the next President, said the KBL stalwart.
Outside of the court hearing, Lozano said Duterte could substitute for Augusto Syjuco, the KBL presidential candidate who was earlier declared by Comelec as a “nuisance candidate.”
As a substitute candidate for Syjuco there will no legal question on Duterte’s presidential bid, said Lozano.
Lozano said that his party KBL could merge with Duterte’s PDP/Laban and field the Davao City mayor as standard bearer.
Duterte, now leading in surveys for presidential preference, is running in a five-way race with Vice President Jejomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, Mar Roxas of the administration Liberal Party, independent Senator Grace Poe and Senator Miriam Santiago of the People’s Reform Party.
The substitution issue is remains as a major stumbling block to the presidential bid of Duterte who earlier had been listed by Comelec as an official candidate.
Unlike Poe who is raising to the Supreme Court her disqualification by Comelec for lack of residency and citizenship qualification, Duterte had said he would accept whatever decision of the Comelec on the substitution issue.
At a party he tendered for Davao journalists on Friday night, December 19, Duterte said he would support Binay if he is disqualified.
Duterte of late had locked in a week-long “word war” with Roxas, after the Liberal Party candidate said that the peace and order is a myth.
After Dutrterte’s threat to slap Roxas who retaliated by challenging Duterte to a fistfight and Duterte luring Roxas to a gun duel, the verbal scrimmage had come to close with Duterte smoking the peace pipe with the statement that slapping and boxing bouts could inflict heavy damage on Roxas. He is dropping the gun duel saying that Roxas could not handle a gun.
The dip in the performance rating of President Benigno Aquino was expected to further pull down the pre-poll survey rating of Mar Roxas, standard bearer of Aquino’s Liberal Party.
In its survey conducted on December 5-8, the Social Weather Station (SWS) had the net performance rating of the Aquino administration drop to its lowest this year.
Just as Aquino’s endorsement of the presidential bid of his former interior secretary failed to boost Roxas’ rating in the surveys, the President’s decreased performance rating would also further consign Roxas to the bottom of the survey.
The latest SWS survey on presidential preference was topped by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) with 38 percent. Vice President Jojomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) shared the second spot with independent bet Senator Grace Poe with 21; Roxas got 15%.
In previous surveys of the SWS and Pulse Asia, Roxas was a perennial fourth placer.
Observers say Eoxas’ poor showing is in part due to his failure to develop his own presidential image away from Aquino and for picking up the much-maligned “Daang Matuwid” program of the outgoing Aquino administration.
The survey results indicate that President Aquino’s endorsement of Roxas as his successor has not helped the former interior secretary’s prospects in catching up in the ratings race, according to columnist Amando Doronila.
The Commission on Elections en banc decided on Thursday to accept the substitution of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as presidential candidate for PDP-Laban in the 2016 polls.
At a press conference, Comelec chair Andres Bautista said the en banc voted 6-1 to accept Duterte as substitute for Martin Diño, who filed a certificate of candidacy under PDP-Laban then withdrew it, citing the mayor as replacement.
“This means he is now in our list of candidates. It is an administrative move on part of Comelec en banc,” Bautista said. READ MORE