Cayetano declares VP bid in Davao




DAVAO CITY-Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano announced his vice presidential bid in the city today and hinted that he is still waiting for his possible presidential partner to declare his bid for the presidency.

“I am running for vice president of the Republic of the Philippines. I am putting my faith in God and to you our people," Cayetano said. He was accompanied by his wife Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano.

While he did not mention the name of the person which he will support as president, Cayetano hinted that he had Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte in mind when he said "Just like you, I am still waiting, praying and hoping that this person will run for president."

Among the reasons why he declared his vice presidential bid in Davao City, the bailwick of Mr. Duterte, are decentralization, transformational changes in Davao City and the city being the battle ground for peace and development.

"I have been mouthing that we should get the funding and focus out of Manila so it is but proper that I announce it here," he said. The city is also known for many transformational changes, he said, and it has been known as the battleground of peace and development.

"Davao is a good example of progress. I took my oath as a Senator in Cebu and I am privileged to announced my vice presidential bid here in Davao," he said.

While it is not yet clear if Mr. Cayetano will run under the Nacionalista Party or as an independent candidate, it is clear that he will be pursuing his vice presidential bid even if he does not get the party's support.

Aside from Mr. Cayetano, two other members of the Nacionalista Party have indicated their interest to run for vice president in the 2016 elections namely Senator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Jr. and Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV.

"Our party will meet in a few days. NPC is not committed to any one group and there are no talks of coalition yet. That will come when it is clear who among the party members will run for vice president and president," he said. All three of them, he said, had a previous agreement that there will be a free zone if all of them decides to run.

While Mr. Cayetano has not named the president he will support next year, the presence of Mr. Duterte's political team including former North Cotabato Governor Emmanuel F. Pinol and former Davao City Councilor Peter T. Lavina has raised suspicions that there could be a brewing agreement between them.

“It is usually the presidential candidate who initiates his choice for vice president," he said. Asked about Mr. Duterte's previous declaration that he will not run for president, he said "It’s really up to Mayor Duterte but I think it is the country that will lose if he doesn’t file as president."

Mr. Cayetano met with Mr. Duterte during the Kadayawan celebration on August 21 but he said "we barely discussed politics that time." However, he admitted that his sister Senator Pia S. Cayetano is flying in to Davao night of September 29 for a possible meeting with him and Mr. Duterte.

"I hope to run with a person who is as passionate as I am. He will be my wingman, parang Batman and Robin. You work well together," he said.

What struck him about the Million March Rally initiated by Mr. Duterte's supporters in Manila last Saturday was not only the number of people who went there voluntarily without being paid but also the boxes where supporters can contribute one peso for Mr. Duterte.

"With a campaign that is primarily supported by the people he will be in one of the best positions because he is able to run without owing anything to people with vested interested," he said.

He denied any plans to preempt the declaration by the LP today (Sept. 30) considering that LP has previously intended to declare their vice presidential candidate on Sept. 28 which did not push through.

While Mr. Cayetano said there are many candidates who have the capability to rule the country, it dies not include Vice President Jejomar C. Binay as "he is marred by corruption issues, we should not tolerate graft and corruption."
Mindanao agenda
In his introductory speech before declaring his bid for the vice presidency. Mr. Cayetano stressed that the whole of Mindanao, and not only the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), should get a BBL-like law and not just the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
He said the demand for Federalism which Mr. Duterte is promoting is getting louder and he is supporting it although is tis only one of the ways of decentralizing Manila's powers.
Mr. Cayetano said he introduced the Mindanao Peace and Development Plan which provides a specific plan for Mindanao's development. "Given the BBL's budget of P100 billion a year we prepared a plan which will only require P65 billion for a 200-kilometer Mindanao Railway and this is already with the National Economic Development Authority," he said.

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