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Duterte set to formalize presidential run with PDP-Laban

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. INTERAKSYON FILE

Last Saturday, Duterte officially announced his presidential bid in next year's polls stating that the highest post of the land must be occupied by a true-blooded Filipino, adding that he could never accept the possibility of an American citizen (Poe) being elected as the next Philippine president.

"Whether it's Senator Grace Poe, Mayor Duterte, Senator Miriam (Defensor-Santiago), or Secretary Mar Roxas, it's important for the public to know and to sift through and filter and be conscious of - let's go now to the platform of each and every candidate".

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said a meeting with his political party, the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban), was set to formalize his presidential bid for 2016.

He added that the meeting would likely take place before Thursday, November 26.

"The second time Poe asked me to be her running mate because she will run for president, but still I told her I was not interested in running for vice president or even president," Duterte said.

Nevertheless, he failed to meet the Commission on Election (Comelec) deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy for president on October 16.

Duterte, a lawyer who gained popularity for his firm stand against all forms of criminality, has protested a recent decision of the Senate electoral tribunal dismissing a petition that sought Poe's disqualification because of her "questionable" citizenship.

Duterte stressed he had nothing against Poe, but laws should be followed, not bent, to accommodate a candidate whose citizenship is under question.

"I really don't want to run, but the decision of the SET putting Grace in the category of natural-born citizen is simply too much".

The mayor said the country's top post should not be put at stake over citizenship issue.

"But should SET decide on a later date, it would be that I would have filed my COC for president already," he said.