MANILA – Different groups from across the country will join the "million people march" on Saturday to convince Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to seek the presidency in 2016.
Champions for Rody Duterte for President Movement spokesperson Atty. Paula Alvarez said all preparations are set for the gathering at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
Alvarez said they have yet to establish the event's projected attendance count, but they are confident that the turnout will be enough to trump the tough-talking mayor's plans to retire from public office.
She appealed to fellow Duterte supporters to flock to the march and urge the Davao mayor to lend his expertise in battling drugs, criminality and corruption to the national government.
"Hinihikayat namin ang mga tao na kung tayo po ay naniniwala na panahon na para kailangan natin ng pagbabago sa ating bansa ay sana po makumbinsi natin si Mayor na ipahiram niya sa atin kahit anim na taon lang po ng kanyang buhay para naman po kaming mga kabataan ay magkaroon ng pagkakataon na mabuhay sa isang Pilipinas na mas maganda," Alvarez said.
Alvarez added that they do not expect Duterte to solve the country's ills by himself but instead provide the leadership that they vow to follow.
"Ang sinasabi po niya, hindi niya po kaya na i-solve ang problema ng buong Pilipinas. Ang gusto po sana naming sabihin kay Mayor, hindi naman po naming hinihingi na kayo lang ang mag-solusyon sa problema ng buong Pilipinas," she said. "Ang hinihingi lang po namin ay kayo ang aming maging pinuno at tutulungan po namin kayo bilang ang inyong sambayanan na ayusin ang mga problema ng Pilipinas."
Duterte earlier said he would not attend the gathering, dubbed "Million People's Call."
Despite reiterating that he has no plans to join next year's elections, Duterte placed 4th in the latest presidential preference surveys conducted by Pulse Asia Research Inc. and Social Weather Stations (SWS).