Nag-dilang anghel! Find out how many politikos asked Duterte to run for president
President Rodrigo Duterte’s journey to Malacañang started as early as 2013, with several politikos wooing him to run for the highest office in the land.
Duterte recalled during House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s 60th birthday party on Friday (January 12) the friends who sought to convince him to run for president when, as mayor of Davao City, his resources and clout were limited.
He said Alvarez was one of the first politikos to ask him to consider the presidency.
“In 2013, sa After Dark, diyan ho ako nag-iistambay before going home to take my coffee there,
kaharap ko for several occasions si Bebot, Speaker. At sinabi niya sa akin, ‘Pare,
daganka’g Presidente (Pare, tumakbo ka pagka-presidente),'” Duterte recalled.
He said he laughed out loud at the suggestion, and asked Alvarez to ask someone else.
Alvarez, however, was undeterred.
“Sabi niya, ‘Hindi. Maskinung sa Congress — even at the time that we were members of Congress,
when I look at you, I have this queer feeling that you would be one day President of the Republic
of the Philippines,'” Duterte recalled.
Later that year, he said it was former Marine captain Nicanor Faeldon and other generals who sought him out to ask him to run for president.
After Faeldon, Duterte said incumbent Solicitor General Jose Calida told him to run.
The President said that when he asked Calida why he should aspire for the presidency, the abogado told him: “The stars are… seems to be aligned for you.”
In the run-up to the 2016 elections, Duterte said it was then- 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III who asked him to run for president.
He said Bello even promised he would withdraw his support to then-Vice President Jejomar Binay, a presidential contender, should Duterte run.
“Si Bebot talaga kept on pushing and he said, ‘If you are not running, we might as well organize and secede from the government of Manila,'” Duterte recalled.
“Sabi ko, ‘Bot, mahirap man yan. That would, you know, require a revolution or a destruction of our country.’ Sabi ko, ‘Huwag yan,'” he added.
Duterte said another politiko who convinced him to run was retired military general Roy Cimatu, who’s now the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Unsurprisingly, the politikos who convinced Duterte to run are now part of his administration, whether as a lawmaker like Alvarez, or as an official of the executive branch.