DAVAO CITY, Feb. 27 — “Hindi (No). I never said it in a very categorical way.”
This was the statement of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte when sought if he declared intention to run for president during his “Listening Tour” on Federalism in Dagupan City.
In an interview on Wednesday night at Grand Men Seng Hotel, Duterte said he was just weaving an allegory.
Duterte clarified that he was asked by reporters in Dagupan whether he was going around the country to feel the pulse of the people for his presidential bid in the guise of advocating Federalism.
“Bakit magpaka-drama pa ako kung gusto kong tumakbo (Why would I make a drama if I want to run?)?” he quipped.
The mayor further clarified that when he was asked who should run for president, and when the name of Senator Miriam Santiago was mentioned, Duterte said he will support Santiago for president.
Duterte said he also told reporters if they will not see anyone towards the direction of Manila, they can look back towards Mindanao and “if you think I am the only one who can save this nation, look for me, if I am not there, look for me if you can.”
“Ibig sabihin ayaw ko (That means I do not like),” he said.
Duterte said it was supposed to be a joke, emphasizing that the reporters there do not really know him.
But Duterte on Wednesday reiterated he is not interested because the role of the president is daunting.
He said that during his travel to Luzon for the Listening Tour, he got more scared seeing more squatter’s colonies.
The mayor, however, vowed to continue advocating Federalism as a fallback position when the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) fails in Congress or the Supreme Court. (with PNA/ Lilian C. Mellejor)