MANILA, Philippines — Less than a year before the 2022 national elections, President Rodrigo Duterte still does not see anyone deserving to be his successor.
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ asked him about it in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
“None, Pastor. Looking at the political horizon? Even you would know that,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino. “Nobody. I see nobody who is deserving.”
Quiboloy then remarked: “So your six years is not enough, isn’t that true? Those six years are really not enough because, you know, the sentiments of the whole Filipino nation is, like what I’m telling you now — it’s not just from me — they saw how the country took off in your administration. That cannot be erased,” Quiboloy said.
“We know that your term is almost over, but it’s like we are holding back the time: ‘Not yet, because there has to be continuity,” he added.
Duterte said, however, that was looking forward to retirement.
“We have Davao. [I want to] retire. I’ll just be a boarder there at your prayer mountain mo. It’s beautiful there,” Duterte said in jest.
Duterte’s remarks were contrary to a recent statement made by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who said that the President had already named five individuals whom he might endorse for the next elections.
These were his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Sen. Christopher Go, and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
READ: Duterte names choices to endorse as next president: Sara, Isko, Pacquiao, Bongbong, Go – Palace
On the opposition side, there’s Vice President Leni Robredo, whom supporters have been urging to run for the presidency.
In terms of continuity, Quiboloy also raised the possibility of a Duterte father-and-daughter team-up.
But Duterte told Quiboloy he was against her daughter running.
“Last night, when I arrived, I talked with Inday [Duterte’s nickname for his daughter],” Duterte said. “I really talked with her last night: ‘Do not run. Do not ever, ever commit the mistake of running for the presidency.’”
His daughter still ranks high, however, in several recent surveys.
Duterte-Carpio’s meeting with various personalities — notably Bongbong Marcos and sister Sen. Imee Marcos and to former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro — also fueled talks of her impending presidential bid.
READ: Sara Duterte’s meeting with Imee, Bongbong fuels tandem talks in 2022 polls
READ: ‘Done deal?’ Gibo Teodoro meets with Sara Duterte in Davao City
In the end, Duterte said that he could either remain neutral or endorse someone who would be running for 2022. He also contradicted his earlier statement — saying that there might be someone who could continue what he had started.
“I may publicly name them when the time comes,” Duterte said. “I do not mean to insult anybody, but it takes more than just what you show today. Whatever you may be able to do now, much more than that, the presidency is more than that.”
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