Bato Dela Rosa still hopeful Sara Duterte will change her mind

Published November 1, 2021, 12:18 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Presidential aspirant Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he is not losing hope that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will change her mind and run for the presidency in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

Dela Rosa said the last time he met with President Duterte’s daughter, he can see the “burning patriotism” in her eyes and believes there is a chance she could still run for president.

“I’m not losing hope until November 15. I saw the burning patriotism in her eyes while we were talking,” Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa, the standard bearer of one faction of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) has repeatedly said he is willing to abandon his presidential bid should the Davao ciity mayor decide to run for president under the ruling political party’s banner.

As far as he is concerned, the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief said Duterte-Carpio is the “most winnable among the presidential bets” according to surveys.

“My personal interest can take a backseat in favor of the most winnable candidate who can surely provide continuity to the Duterte legacy. Six years of Duterte presidency is not enough to reform this country,” he said.

“We need another six years of another iron-fisted Duterte brand of leadership to hopefully transform this country closer to the Singaporian model,” said the senator.

Political parties are still allowed to substitute a member who filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) with another member until November 15, under the present rules of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

But Duterte-Carpio had earlier said she is bent on finishing her third term as mayor.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, president of the PDP-Laban faction that is pushing for Dela Rosa’s presidential bid had earlier denied that Dela Rosa’s substitution offer to Sara Duterte is a “party position.”

“That is just a personal statement or personal offer of Sen. Bato to Mayor Inday Sara,” Cusi said.