DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will not seek the presidency in 2016 but is willing to endorse anyone who will embrace his advocacy for a shift to the federal system of government.
Interviewed over radio station dzMM, Duterte explained he is already past his prime and lacks the energy to keep pace with demands of the job as head of state and government.
“I’m almost 70, I don’t have the energy anymore. When I was a young mayor, I was only 43 but now I’m already 69. When I was young, I used to work 27 hours, not 24, just to realize my dreams, what I would like Davao to be. I don’t have the energy [now]’” he told radio anchorman Ted Failon.
“It would not be fair to the Filipino [people]actually because the President must be energetic, must be young. I don’t have that anymore,” Duterte said. “What will I do [if I become President]?”
According to him, he is already satisfied with his achievements as mayor of Davao City for 23 years and as congressman for one term.
He pointed out that there would be lots of other aspirants, and he will select the one who would support federalism and take a special look at Mindanao, which he described as a “battle field.”
“Let’s shift to federalism. The sitting President, whoever he or she may be, [Sen.] Miraiam [Defensor-Santiago], [Sen. Grace] Poe, or [Vice President Jejomar] Binay, they must embrace the idea of federalism,” Duterte said.
“I will support a [candidate for]President who advocates federalism and must embrace the theory with passion because if it is not in his or her heart, nothing will happen,” he added.