For the nth time, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte flatly denied he is throwing his hat into the ring for next year’s fight for Malacañang.
“I’m not running for President and I never wanted to be one … Ayaw ko talaga. Ayaw ng pamilya ko, pati iyong anak ko na mayor [I really don’t want to, my family doesn’t want me to, including my daughter] and she’s vocal about it,” Duterte said on Thursday at the Asia CEO Forum in Makati City (Metro Manila).
Duterte was referring to his daughter, Sara, who was mayor of Davao City from 2010 to 2013.
“I said before I do not covet the position, I don’t want it. My stand is still the same. The opportunity to be President is very, very small,” he said.
The tough-talking Duterte is rumored to be eyeing a higher elective position in next year’s elections as he has been going around the country purportedly to campaign for a shift to federalism as a form of government.
He has repeatedly denied that his speaking engagements were meant to probe the public’s pulse on his possible foray into national politics.
Duterte ranked third in the latest presidential preference survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and fourth in Pulse Asia’s.
In his speech, Duterte said the next President should come up with measures that would uplift the lives of the poor, including tax breaks for individuals earning a monthly salary of P25,000.
Duterte, who is known for his firm and strict leadership, said the next administration should address the “most serious problem” of the nation which is “the erosion of the people’s trust and faith in government.”
“What this country needs today is not more laws, but more good men in public service,” he said.