Days after advising President Benigno Aquino III to take drastic measures and terminate all the officials, ground staff, porters, and drivers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hinted that the issue just might force him to rethink about running for president in the May 2016 elections.
Duterte expressed his dismay over what he perceives is slow government response to the issue.
“The government has failed to protect the welfare of its people… I said that I don’t have the ambition to be a president pero kung ing-ana ilang padagan puro daug-daug, binuang na na (if the way they run government is to oppress the people, that’s crazy),” the outspoken mayor blurted out.
He further hinted that he is thinking of running for president, much to the delight of his staunch supporters. However, he only said he was “thinking of running” for president because of the issue and did not say whether he has already made up his mind to pursue a higher office.
Still, supporters feel that this is a glimmer of hope and wish that the mayor will accept the offer of PDP-Laban’s Martin Diño to replace him as presidential candidate; the substitution deadline is on December 10, 2015.
Pressed for answers, the mayor only mysteriously replied, “Look, December 10 is the deadline, why don’t you just wait for it.”
Could it be that Duterte will really run for president because, after all, he did not say “no”? We can only wait for the December 10 substitution deadline to know for sure.
Davao City Praised for “Tanim Bala” Response
Although Duterte’s advice to PNoy seemed quite harsh for many people, it seemed that the mayor himself was taking stricter measures on the issue in his own province.
For example, weeks after the reports of the “tanim bala” issue hounded NAIA, an engineer was caught with bullets in his luggage at the airport in Davao City. The engineer denied that the bullet was his, claiming he was a victim of the much-publicized scheme.
Authorities in Davao are still investigating whether the bullets were planted at the Davao airport or at the NAIA but police presence has visibly increased at the airport after the said incident. More police officers were deployed to the area, more CCTVs were installed, and members of the media were invited to take videos of the proceedings to ensure no one could slip in some bullets in the passengers’ luggage.
Police officers also spoke with the passengers and gave them flyers filled with information so they won’t be victimized by the “tanim bala” modus.