DAVAO CITY, Philippines – With Vice President Jejomar Binay naming him as a possible running mate next year, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he does not want to be an “inutile politician.”
Duterte said it was honor to be invited to become a vice presidential bet but he is concerned about the work he will do if elected.
"Eh ayoko naman 'yang vice president ka na walang kang gagawin. I would be an added inutile there," Duterte said. (I do not want to be a vice president who does nothing.)
Duterte also said that becoming president is a person's destiny and is “signed by fate” as various groups and politicians continue to urge him to run in the 2016 polls.
"Presidency is destiny talaga (really). Destiny," Duterte said in an interview with Sonshine Radio a few minutes after he met with Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II here in the city on Friday evening, May 22.
Duterte maintained that he has no plans to run for any national position, and said that his listening tours are purely about his advocacy for federalism in the Philippines.
"I have said it before. Just because I am going around promoting federalism does not mean I am running," Duterte said.
The hard-talking and controversial mayor explained that he does not have the financial capacity for a national campaign. Duterte, 70, added that he is already old to engage in national politics.
"Sa totoo lang kung gusto mo talaga, kailangan mo ng pera. Kayong taga-Davao, alam ninyo naman kung hanggang saan lang ako. And besides, I'm old. I may not have the energy anymore," Duterte said.
(In all honesty, if you really want to run, you need money. You, Davaoeños, you know my capacity.)
Roxas couldn't ask Duterte's plans
Duterte also said that his meeting with Roxas and religious leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy was not political. A source said that Roxas is regularly using Quiboloy's hangar for his private plane and chopper when he is in the area.
"He was passing by and he wanted to talk to me. If you want to know if it is political or not, it is not. We did not discuss it," Duterte said.
Duterte said that Roxas was eager to confirm his political plans but was too cautious, and was not able to raise it during their short meeting.
"He did not mention it anyway and I don't want to sound presumptuous. Maybe he wanted to ask me whether I am running or not, and he can't bring it to himself to ask," Duterte said.
Yet Duterte admitted that Roxas is his friend, and that he knows the secretary the most among the rumored presidential candidates.
"Pero kaibigan kami. (We are friends.) Of all the candidates, Mar is the closest to me," Duterte said, explaining that he has worked with Roxas in several instances.
The mayor, who is being egged on by his supporters to run for president in 2016, is going around the country and lately in Hong Kong for a "listening tour.”
The engagements, supposedly a campaign for federalism, consistently transformed into a gathering of people and groups calling for his presidential candidacy.
Earlier, Duterte made a statement that he will withdraw financial support to barangay (village) captains who started the Pilipinas 2016 Duterte Movement. The barangay captains continued, and the support from the Office of the City Mayor is still the same.
"I intend to retire after this term. Matanda na ako (I am old)," Duterte earlier said.
Duterte divulged that his daughter, former Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, is willing to run again for a local post next year.
His son, Paolo, is now Davao City vice mayor. Paolo's wife is the president of Davao's Association of Barangay Councils.
Last Saturday, at least 5,000 supporters joined a fun run in Davao City dubbed as "Run Duterte Run.”
It was only one of the activities his loyal followers launched to urge the mayor to change his mind about retiring, and to bring his iron fist to Malacañang. – Rappler.com