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Davao City’s Duterte to retire from politics, if ex-Speaker Nograles …

BY ROGER M. BALANZA
DAVAO CITY  Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night made a “solemn” vow he would retire from politics, right before Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy, the head of the religious congegation The Kingdom of Jesus Christ The Name Above Every Name.
    But Duterte dished out a condition aimed at arch-rival former House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
    I make a solemn vow, a promise, that I would retire from politics “if Nograles drops dead tommorow,” said Duterte in the television program Give Us This Day on ACQ Network hosted by Pastor Quiboloy.
    “I make a special prayer every night but God is not listening,” he joked in the television show Pastor Quiboloy’s religious congregation.
    Duterte said a politically active Nograles is what stops him from retiring from politics.
    If he is out of the picture, I will retire, said Duterte.
    Duterte is reportedly gunning for the City Hall top post that he held for 18 years, in the elections next year. Daughter Mayor Sara Duterte is said to be running for Congress in the First District against Nograles, who is staging a political comeback after his meserable loss to Mayor Sara Duterte in the 2010 elections.
    Nograles is already a thrice loser in the mayoral race.
    Duterte said he is placing his fate as to which position he would run for in the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, the local political bloc that he founded.
    “It’s God’s call if I become mayor again. If God wants me out, he will find a reason to kill me,” he said.
    The Hugpong is set to meet before the October 5 deadline of filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 2013 elections to choose its candidates.
    In the program, Duterte corrected misimpression that could have been triggered by his statement in the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on ABS/CBN two Sundays ago.
    In the ABS/CBN program hosted by lawyer Geraldine Tiu, Duterte admitted that Nograles is “unbeatable” in the First District. The downtown district is Nograles’ bailiwick.
    I said that so that Nograles would run again, he said.
    There is no democracy if we have no opponents, said Duterte. What is an election without an opponent?