Duterte for President? Around 800,000 Sign Petition for Davao City Mayor Presidential Run

March 5, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Hundreds of thousands of people want Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for president of the Philippines in the 2016 election. 

Around 800,000 residents of the city from 170 barangays signed the petition, which urges Duterte to join the race.

A movement called “Pilipinas Duterte 2016 Movement” are spearheading the petition.

The movement leaders say that they’ll get even more signatures by the end of the month, reported ABS-CBN.

The group will expand its campaign in April to the whole Davao region, which has about 1.7 million registered voters.

The group says that Duterte, 68, will be a good president because he’s been a good mayor.

They want Panfilo Lacson, Jinggoy Estrada, or Grace Poe to run as his vice president.

Duterte, however, has said publicly that he has no interest in running for president.

He said via his local television program in early February that the people behind the movement should stop. 

“You’ll regret if I will be the next President,” he said, reported the Manila Bulletin

“If you don’t want me to be your mayor then I’ll step down. I just don’t like to be pushed in the position which I don’t like,” he said.  “I’m pleading for you to stop it. You will put me in that position, I will work hard for it then later on you will put me to jail? You’re making me an ex-convict. I’d rather not try.”

He said that he’s not being forced not to run–he just doesn’t want to.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber