By Germelina A. Lacorte
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte thumbs down initial moves to entice him to run for the Senate under the slate of Lakas-NUCD when his third term as mayor finally ends in 2010.

“I don’t have the slightest intention to run for Senator nor to work as an appointed employee of the national government,” Duterte told reporters Wednesday. My name was on the Senate slate of Lakas, but I have already said it before: It doesn’t appeal to me, I don’t like the idea, I don’t relish working in a big city that is too far away,” said Duterte, minutes before he left the international airport here for an important business in Manila. Lakas-NUCD, which has been shoring up its ranks as it grapples for standard-bearer in the 2010 Presidential elections, has scheduled a two-day national directorate meeting in Manila in the third week of January, but Duterte said his trip is personal in nature.

Earlier, he had been reported to be trading barbs against Lakas Congressman Prospero Nograles, the Lakas vice chair for Mindanao, in what most people here regard as the start of the 2010 elections showdown.

Both Nograles and Duterte have been close administration allies until their fragile alliance snapped up on the eve of the midterm elections last year, renewing the old enmity of Davaos fiercest political rivals. Lately, Duterte had been accusing Nograles to be gunning for mayor when his term ends in 2010 although Nograles said running for mayor is farthest from his mind.

In 1998, Duterte used to support former supporter of former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada. He became Arroyo’s close ally only after Estrada was overthrown. (Germelina Lacorte/

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