Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Monday afternoon announced with finality that he is not running for president.
“..this is indeed a beautiful day to end a wild dream,” Duterte said at the end of his unsigned press statement.
But for his supporters in Davao, Duterte said he will seek a re-election unless his daughter, former mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will agree to run for mayor in the 2016 election. If Sara agrees to run, Duterte said he will then retire from politics in 2016.
Duterte said he will ask someone to file his CoC for mayorship on October 15, a date he considers lucky based on Feng Shui, a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment.
Addressing his friends and fellow Dabawenyos at a press conference Monday afternoon, Duterte apologized for disappointing those who spent much and worked hard and long to support him when he went around the country espousing the benefits and advantages of federalism.
In an interview, Duterte said his party – Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) already knew of his decision a long-time ago.
“Even at the start they know,” he said. Duterte said it is at the decision of PDP-Laban ruling elite to decide who will be the party’s standard bearer. I am just a member,” he said.
He reiterated he has no ambition to become president of the country. “The country does not really need me. I find no need for it. I guess it is fate that wills that our long journey together should end this way,” he said.
Duterte admitted many people believed the presidency could be his destiny, people who believed in him and his advocacy.
“I believe that my destiny is to end years and years of public life in the service of Davao City and every Dabawenyo,” he pointed out. He added that if it is time for a Duterte to fade away, “let it be”.
The mayor also reminded the people that there was never a time he ever looked beyond Davao despite offers from three Philippine presidents, including President Benigno Aquino III to head a certain national government agency.
“Di ko talaga feel ang national office even as a senator (I really do not feel for a national office even as a senator),” he said.
Duterte explained he did not wait to announce his final decision at a later time because there are dynamics in Manila that he must consider. According to him, he has already time and again adviced candidates coming to him not to cast their luck on him.
Duterte said he will remain neutral when it comes to preferred presidential candidate. (PNA – Lilian C. Mellejor)