During the Kadayawan Festival celebration last year, Senator Grace Poe and her mother Susan Roces came to Davao City and met with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
In the said meeting, Poe asked Duterte if he has plans on running for president in the 2016 elections. And Poe asked the mayor if it is possible that she could be his vice president.
Duterte then told Senator Poe that he is not keen on running for president. End of the conversation.
The following year, Poe sought Duterte anew. Poe again asked the mayor to be her running mate, but this time around, Poe wants to be the president and Duterte her vice president.
The second meeting was made after Poe’s rating in the presidential hopeful surveys is already rising. Duterte again declined Poe’s offer saying that he is still not interested in seeking a national post.
But over the weekend, Duterte had a sudden change of heart. The reason, the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s decision dismissing the case filed against Poe disqualifying her in the presidential race because she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen.
Duterte maintained that majority of the SET members, composed of three Supreme Court justices and six politicians, played politics on their decision. Those who voted in favor of Poe were Senators Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Cynthia Villar, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, and Vicente Sotto III. Those who voted against Poe were Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, and Arturo Brion. Senator Nancy Binay also voted against Poe.
Duterte said that the division of votes in the SET decision clearly shows that all of the justices are of the opinion that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen as what is mandated for a presidential aspirant.
The mayor said this is what he could not accept when politics tramples on the sacredness of the Philippine Constitution. Thus his decision to run for president to inform the public and prevent the scenario where an American citizen is sworn in as the next Philippine president.
Duterte admits that he has a slim chance of winning. He doesn’t care. He said that what is important is he is given the chance to expose the truth about Poe’s citizenship and that is already fine with him.
Duterte said he doesn’t mind having an Aeta, an Igorot or even a plumber president of the Philippines for as long as he/she is a natural-born Filipino citizen. He said the sanctity of the Philippine Constitution is important to him that he is willing to run for president just so it could be preserved.