By Manny Piñol
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has disowned a statement issued by a political strategist that he has made up his mind on the Presidency and will definitely run in the 2016 elections.
A statement issued by the Mayor through his official spokesman, former Davao City Council Peter Tiu Laviña said “the news this afternoon at GMA News attributed to Lito Banayo was his own opinion or reading of the situation.”
Banayo, former administrator of the National Food Authority and a political strategist who volunteered to help Duterte during the “Listening Tour” on Federalism, issued a statement which was aired by GMA News that the Davao City Mayor was sure to run for President.
Banayo’s announcement came as Mayor Duterte was in the process of “soul-searching” and consulting his family who had opposed the call for him to run for President.
“Mayor Duterte stands by his statement last night (Friday) that he has not made a final decision on running for President in 2016,” the statement said.
“We reiterate his call for his supporters and everyone to just wait and see if he will file his candidacy on October 15 or before the deadline set by the COMELEC,” the statement said.
Mayor Duterte took exception to the timing of the announcement of his supposed decision to run as it was made at the same time Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. made his formal statement to run for the Vice Presidency.
“The timing of this news release, however, has left a bad taste in the mouth as we received complaints that it was meant to crowd out the scheduled declaration rally of one vice presidential candidate,” said the statement.
“Mayor Duterte has no such intention to do so and has even been shying away from media as he continues his “soul searching,” the statement added.
Banayo is known to be endorsing Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to be the vice presidential running mate of Mayor Duterte should he decide to run.
Both Cayetano and Marcos have expressed their support for Mayor Duterte in case he runs for President.
While Banayo has been helping the Duterte camp in media networking and political arrangements, he is neither the official spokesman or the political adviser of Mayor Duterte as he had previously announced.
The official spokesman of Mayor Duterte is Peter Tiu Laviña, a long-time friend of the Mayor, while his political adviser is Maribojoc, Bohol Mayor Jun Evasco.
Evasco, a former Catholic priest who served as Duterte’s political adviser for over 20 years, is seldom seen in public with the Mayor.
“The official Facebook account of the mayor is Rody Duterte, the other accounts and pages claiming to do so are not,” the statement advised.
The opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Friday, October 0, launched In Cebu City the tandem of Vice President jejomar Binay and Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan his running mate in the 2016 elections.
About 10,000 people gathered to witness the launch and the oath-taking of about 700 party members at Cebu Coliseum at Sanciangko Street.
Considered as “Binay Country,” Cebu is a goldmine of about 2 million voters expected to go for Binay.
Oozing with confidence, in his speech, Binay said: Next year, we will have an opportunity to introduce true reforms. We will have the power to correct the wrong.
If elected, Binay said he will implement tax reforms and lower the income tax rates.
He said he will also address poverty, unemployment, hunger and problems in peace and order.
Taking a swipe at independent candidate Senator Grace Poe and Mar Roxas of the ruling Liberal Party, Binay said the future of the country should not be placed in the hands of the inexperienced nor those with tract record of mismanagement.
Should we entrust the country with someone who is not ready? Do we again want someone who does not know how to lead? he said.
“UNA will not fail you. We are all in this change together,” Binay said.
The Vice President was accompanied by his wife, Elenita, but Honasan, was not around.
Three of UNA’s senatorial candidates—Sulu’s princess Jacel Kiram, former actress Alma Moreno and University of the Philippines professor and lawyer Harry Roque—were at the launching.
Also in attendance were the Vice President’s daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay, UNA treasurer Gary Teves and party Secretary General JV Bautista.