US official says Duterte will make presidential race ‘colorful’

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THE presidential elections in 2016 will be ‘colorful’ if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will join the race, a US Embassy official in Manila said Monday.

Kurt Hoyer, first secretary and press attache, made the very short comment in Davao City after he was asked about what would be his country’s ‘reaction’ should Duterte join in the presidential race next year.

Duterte is known for his searing criticisms against the policies of the US, particularly in the Philippines. He has been labeled as anti-US.

Hoyer was in Davao City Monday to grace exhibit and forum on press freedom. At the forum held Monday afternoon at the Marco Polo Hotel, Hoyer answered several questions, one of which was the ‘Duterte question’.

He answered the question gladly.

“You asked me to do two things that I am not able to do,” he said with a smile, something that generated reactions from those who attended the forum. “One is interfering in Philippine politics, and one is to speculate about the future. I won’t do either.”

He said he will not speculate about the position of the US on the possibility of Duterte joining the presidential race next year.

“I am not going to speculate what the US reaction would be the on decision of the mayor in the future,” he said. “Although I think that would be a very colorful race, that really is a matter for Filipinos to decide and not for us, the US, to get involved with.” JMT, NewsDesk

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