Thursday, June 10, 2021

Duterte ready to retire, sees nobody deserving as next president

DAVAO CITY - With less than a year to go before the national elections, President Rodrigo Duterte said he still does not see anyone deserving to succeed him, adding, he is ready to retire despite calls from his own allies in Congress to run for vice president.

President Rodrigo Duterte

In an interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on his own SMNI network on June 8, Duterte was asked who he thought could be his potential successor. “None, Pastor. Looking at the political horizon? Even you would know that,” he answered. “Nobody. I see nobody who is deserving.”

Quiboloy then remarked: “So your six years is not enough, isn't that true? Those six years are really not enough because, you know, the sentiments of the whole Filipino nation is, like what I'm telling you now - it's not just from me - they saw how the country took off in your administration. That cannot be erased.”

“We know that your term is almost over, but it's like we are holding back the time: Not yet, because there has to be continuity,” he added.

Duterte, a former mayor here, was elected in June 2016, and under the law, a president can only be elected for a single six-year term. However, his political party, the PDP-Laban, passed a resolution on May 31 during a meeting in Cebu province, enjoining him to choose a presidential candidate, and also urged him to run for vice-president.

“The situation is difficult because I will retire and I will choose the candidate for president, but if any of them wins, they will say - it’s only a way to perpetuate (my) yourself in power - so I resisted it,” Duterte told Quiboloy. “I am ready to retire. We have Davao. I'll just be a boarder there at your prayer mountain. It's beautiful there.”

Duterte’s remarks were contrary to a recent statement made by his spokesman Harry Roque, who said that the President had already named 5 individuals whom he might endorse for the next elections and they are Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Carpio; Manila Mayor Isko Moreno; Senators Manny Pacquiao, Bong Go, and former senator Bongbong Marcos, who is the second child and only son of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

On the opposition side, there is Vice President Leni Robredo, whom supporters have been urging to run for the presidency.

In terms of continuity, Quiboloy also raised the possibility of a Duterte father-and-daughter team-up. But the president told Quiboloy he was against her daughter running. “Last night, when I arrived, I talked with Inday (Sara Carpio). I really talked with her last night (and told her) do not run. Do not ever, ever commit the mistake of running for the presidency.”

In the end, Duterte said that he could either remain neutral or endorse someone who would be running for 2022 polls. 

He also contradicted his earlier statement - saying that there might be someone who could continue what he had started. 

“I may publicly name them when the time comes. I do not mean to insult anybody, but it takes more than just what you show today. Whatever you may be able to do now, much more than that, the presidency is more than that.” (PDI, Asia News Network, The Strait Times. With additional reporting from Malou Cablinda, Mindanao Examiner.)


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