PDP-Laban names Duterte as 2016 bet

Rodrigo Duterte (left), seven-term Davao City mayor and presidential candidate, raises his hands with running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano during their proclamation ceremony in Manila on Monday. Duterte filed his candidacy last week following weeks of speculation on his intention.

MANILA – The Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) on Monday officially proclaimed Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano as the party’s bets for president and vice president in the 2016 elections.

Supporters of Duterte and Cayetano and PDP-Laban officials crammed into a small function room of Century Park Hotel in Manila where the proclamation was led by PDP-Laban president Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III.

Pimentel explained that the event was not a proclamation rally because Duterte already filed his certificate of candidacy (COC). The gathering was a proclamation of the partnership between Duterte and Cayetano.

“We would just like to express our happiness that finally, our party has a candidate,” he added.
Pimentel also thanked Duterte’s supporters, saying that their “wish has been granted.”

In his speech, Duterte said that federalism would be the core of his administration because this would give Mindanao the peace it needs.

“I am telling you now, nothing short of a federal structure would give Mindanao peace. Believe me, because I come from that place,” Duterte added.

Duterte also drummed up support for Cayetano, saying that a vote against Cayetano is a vote against him.

“If you will not vote for Alan, don’t vote for me,” Duterte said.

Cayetano clarified that by teaming up with Duterte, he is automatically severing ties with his mother party, the Nacionalista Party.

Cayetano filed his COC for the vice presidential post as an independent candidate.

“I was endorsed by both Mayor Duterte and PDP-Laban. There are no talks yet of joining PDP or changing parties,” he said.

Among those who attended the proclamation were members of Duterte’s family and PDP-Laban secretary general Martin Diño, who earlier filed his COC for president and then later withdrew to give way for Duterte by way of substitution.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III sees Duterte having the advantage in Mindanao and several parts of the Visayas over his other rivals for the presidency.

Osmeña said as far as regional support is concerned, Duterte could get as much as 35 to 40 percent of the entire Mindanao, driven in large part by his dominance in the Davao region, where he is getting 83 percent.

Duterte’s support base is also seen in the SOCCSKSARGEN and the Visayas regions.

“In the neighboring Region 12, which is Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and Sarangani, he is getting 43 percent. From what I have been seeing, this guy can capture 35 to 40 percent of Mindanao,” Osmeña said.
As far as the Visayas is concerned, Duterte could split the votes with Liberal Party presidential bet Manuel Roxas II.

According to Osmeña, the strong support for Duterte comes from his track record in fighting criminality in Davao City and the absence of any allegation of corruption against him.

Meanwhile, the ex-wife of Duterte has defended him from detractors who have used their separation to malign him.

Several posts on social media accused Duterte of abandoning the mother of his children, Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Zimmerman has been battling cancer and has been bedridden in hospital.

Zimmerman requested her children with Duterte to make public a photo showing the mayor visiting her in the hospital last Nov. 27 to prove that the posts on social media were just black propaganda aimed to malign Duterte, according to their son, Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.

Meanwhile, the labor group militant group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) urged other presidential candidates to be like Duterte who has taken a pro-labor stand by rejecting contractualization.

KMU chair Elmer Labog noted that Duterte was right in pointing out that contractual employment makes it difficult for workers to sustain their families’ needs and destroys the country’s workforce.

“We are glad that Duterte has taken a pro-worker stand on one of the most important workers’ issues,” Labog said.

“It’s not enough that presidential candidates talk about measures that will supposedly bring about economic development. At a time when the economy’s so-called growth only means increased profits for the few, candidates should talk about concrete measures that will improve the lives of workers and the poor.”

Labog said contractual workers receive very low wages and have no benefits. They can be retrenched for the flimsiest reasons and face repression when they try to form unions.

Contractualization was legalized by the Labor Code of 1974, which expressly prohibits “labor-only contracting” but empowers the labor secretary to issue guidelines that govern “job contracting,” according to the KMU.

Provisions of the Labor Code of 1974 that in effect legalize contractualization were retained by the Herrera Law. Under President Aquino, Department Order No. 18-A Series of 2011 was issued to serve as guidelines for contractualization.