MANILA -- Hundreds of thousands of residents of Davao City are urging Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for President in the 2016 elections.
Around 800,000 residents from 170 barangays, most of them registered voters, signed a petition urging Duterte join the presidential race.
The campaign is spearheaded by the barangay captains in Davao City. They call their group "Pilipinas Duterte 2016 Movement."
Residents in 12 barangays have yet to sign the petition, but advocates are confident that they will be able to collect more signatures by the end of the month.
The group will expand its campaign in April in the whole Davao region, which has about 1.7 million voters.
The group believes Duterte will become a good president since he has done a lot for Davao City.
They want either rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, or Senator Grace Poe to be his running mate.
A political analyst also said the mayor can be a strong contender for the 2016 polls because of his strong political power and good governance.
Duterte, however, has repeatedly stressed that he is not interested in running for President. -- Report from Vina Araneta, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao