MANILA - If the Commission on Elections (Comelec) were to disqualify him from the presidential race, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he will support Vice President Jejomar Binay.
In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, Duterte said this while insisting that Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas does not deserve to be president.
Taunting Roxas, the feisty mayor said: "I don't care kung ma-disqualify ako but this much I can say: I do not have any respect for you... Kapag na-disqualify si Grace, na-disqualify ako, I will campaign for Binay. Binay na ako then I will tell the Filipino people why you should not [be president]."
Duterte, who faces a petition against his intended substitution as presidential candidate, also accused Roxas of resorting to black propaganda to discredit rivals. "What's the style of Roxas? You paint your enemy or opponent black so that you will appear white." he said.
Duterte earlier parried verbal bombs with Roxas, after the latter claimed that the peaceful image of Davao City is only a myth.
Duterte retaliated that the academic credentials of Roxas is the real myth, saying the LP bet did not really graduate from Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. [THE REAL MYTH -- https://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/12/13/15/duterte-twits-mar-over-peace-myth]
Mar tells Duterte: 'Slap me if I'm not a Wharton grad'
In the interview, Duterte maintained that Roxas may have obtained an undergraduate degree at the university, but not a Master's from Wharton.
Davao's seven term mayor also dared Roxas to show proof.
"Ang ipakita mo e certificate, hindi diploma. Huwag mo kaming bolahin. Mabuti pang sabihin mo na ganito lang ako pero ang utak ko, pang-Wharton talaga. That could have been more in keeping with honesty. Do not pretend to be what you are not," said Duterte.
Duterte added that Roxas, who served as former Interior Local and Government Secretary, cannot criticize Davao City after awarding it with a Seal of Good Governance earlier this year.
"Bakit niyo naman kami bibigyan ng award kung hindi karapat-dapat sa amin? Alam mo Señor Roxas, namumulitika ka lang," he added.
Duterte also slammed the allies of Roxas, who have called for an investigation of his alleged violations of human rights.
Speaker dares Duterte: Name those you killed
"Noon humihingi kayo ng tulong sa akin, Presidente, ikaw, Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero -- wala kayong sinabi. 'Mayor, 'di na baleng human rights violator ka , basta tulungan mo kami. Bakit ngayong magkabilaan tayong bakod sa pulitika, sabihin mo sa akin na basura kami, ikaw ang mabait?" he said.
The local chief executive also reiterated his criticism of Roxas' supposed incompetency in heading relief operations after typhoon "Yolanda" in 2012. -- Report from Eric Alcop, ABS-CBN News