Duterte to run for President in 2016 'if only to save the republic'

Davao City mayor Rody Duterte on Wednesday said he will run for President in 2016 if only to save the Philippines from an impending crisis.

The 69-year-old local chief executive made the surprise announcement during the First Federalism Forum in Northern Luzon at the Lyceum-Northwestern University in Dagupan City on February 18.

Speaking to an audience of around 2,000 people composed of mostly students, Duterte said the country faces an imminent disaster due to corruption, criminality, and the possible collapse of the peace talks in Mindanao, INTERAKSYON.com reported.

"If only to save this republic, I could run for president," he reportedly said.

However, Duterte said financial constraints may prevent him from seeking election.

To be able to run for president, he pointed out, a candidate should have a campaign budget of at least P10 billion to P15 billion for nationwide sorties.

The straightforward public official admitted that he doesn't have that amount now.

Present during the forum was former Pangasinan Third District Congressman Eric Acuna, who reportedly said his group will launch the "Save the Philippines Movement" to mobilize people in Northern Luzon to support the mayor should he finally decide to run for President.

It was the first time that Duterte, who is believed to be the only one who can beat Vice President Jojo Binay in the presidential poll, categorically stated his willingness to run for the highest position in the land.