President Duterte – in a candid statement that will surely deflate the egos of many party-mates in the ruling PDP Laban, including Senator Manny Pacquiao who has been dropping broad hints he is definitely in the hunt for higher elective office – said he sees no one worthy of succeeding him when he steps down from office upon his term’s expiration on June 30, 2022.
“Looking at the political horizon, wala akong nakita na deserving,” Duterte said in a televised interview with religious leader Apollo Quiboloy, at the same time taking the opportunity to admonish his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, not to seek the presidency in next year’s elections.
“Si Inday, kinausap ko talaga. Do not run, do not ever, ever commit the mistake of running for president,” he said in the interview.
Mr. Duterte claimed to have told Sara that the presidency is a “thankless job” in order to dissuade her from running.
Several groups, mostly based in Mindanao, have been floating the idea of a Sara Duterte presidential bid to continue the “good work” of her father, and also not rattling the status quo and keeping thousands of hardline Duterte supporters in their well-paying jobs in government.
The PDP Laban party, of which Mr. Duterte is the chairman, in fact recently fired off the first broadside for a Duterte-Duterte tandem.
During a national council meeting in Cebu City, party leaders – led by Energy Sec. Al Cusi who is said to be an acolyte of ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – unanimously passed a resolution urging President Duterte to run for vice president at the same time giving him authority to choose his running mate (ergo, his successor).
Photos: Presidential Communications / Rappler