Friday, March 27, 2015

Duterte’s destiny

By Jun Ledesma
Sun Star Davao

Rodrigo-Duterte-motorcycleTHE survey result is finally out. President Noynoy Aquino’s trust and popularity rating is on the dumps. It was expected. But what should interest watchers of the presidential derby in 2016 is Pulse Asia’s March 1-7 survey results. It’s also out.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who was previously excluded from the survey questionnaire, tied with Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada in third place with 12 percent. Vice President Jojo Binay maintained his lead at 29 percent. Sen. Grace Poe’s rating went down from 18 percent to 14 percent. Erap managed to chalk up two percent more from his previous rating in the November survey.

The most dramatic performance in the recent Pulse Asia survey however was that of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who, from virtually nowhere, scored 12 percent! That made him the biggest winner even as he landed third, sharing the slot with Estrada.

Digong galloped like a wild stallion, leaving behind lady Miriam Defensor-Santiago (9 percent) and Bongbong Marcos (6 percent). Swallowing a cloud of dust were Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Sens. Francis Escudero, Alan Cayetano, and Antonio Trillanes IV and former senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon with less than 5 percent each.

Binay is hanging on precariously as leader of the pack. Survey figures change by the minute and by the event. With the Ombudsman issuing a suspension order on his son, Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay, this will affect the vice president in the next survey. Never mind if Junjun was able to wangle a temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals.

Well, Duterte, the reluctant candidate, may no longer just get some words of encouragements from his supporters. With that kind of showing, they must just give him a big push, strong enough to get him to the national political arena.

For one whose best hint at the presidency is a prudent statement: “face north first…there are many who want to become president…weigh them carefully…if you cannot choose one from among them then face south…” Duterte has obviously made a mark. It looks like not a few have started looking south.

If we go into the details of the survey, Binay drew his biggest support from Visayas and Luzon. He lost substantial followers from Mindanao, which used to be his bailiwick in the surveys. Duterte grabbed the biggest chunk of his supporters from Mindanao where he scored the highest among all other wannabes.

If you are following closely the activity of Duterte, it was only in the second week of March that he made a foray into the Visayas preaching federalism. He made waves in Ormoc and Maasin while the Ilonggos of Bacolod and Iloilo were impressed by what he brands as a “common sense” method of running the affairs of the government of Davao City.

Also recently, he had an exclusive audience with the generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. He was the most sought-after speaker by Rotary International district conventions. Now if that will not add to the number of his political adherents, I do not know what will.

Duterte might be coy about the presidency but his supporters’ body language shows. The Davao mayor is now in the race for the presidency. If he has movie actors, business moguls, students and taxi drivers rooting for him, then by all indications Duterte is in the running.
He cannot fight his manifest destiny. –From Sun.Star Davao

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