DAVAO CITY — Three days before his inauguration, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is hoping that his victory is just a bad dream.
“If I can go back in time, dili na ko modagan. Honestly, swear to God. If it’s just a bad dream, I hope it is (If I can go back in time, I would not run),” Duterte said during the flag ceremony in front of the Davao City Hall on Monday, June 27 where he delivered his farewell speech as a City Mayor.
Duterte was first elected in Davao as mayor in 1988. He never lost an election, not once.
“If I can return back to that time, I would not have really decided to run,” Duterte, who served as the city’s mayor for 22 years, said.
But the magnitude of support that he saw made him realize that he might have a shot for the presidency.
Duterte, who promised to rid the country of corruption and crime in his first six months won by over 6.6 million votes more than administration candidate, Manuel “Mar” Roxas II. Duterte got 16,601,997 votes according to the official tally by a joint congressional canvassing committee on May 27.
First few days
Even if he was not yet proclaimed, Duterte started receiving guests and well-wishers here last month.
“I could not even really talk sense to anybody because of the sheer enormity of the crowd,” he said.
The 71-year old Duterte said if one asks him for advice because he is interested to run for President, he would tell him not to do it “unless you really have the passion, to death, about your country.”
“That is the only thing that actually remains, that motivates me to work,” Duterte said.
“Wa pa gani ko nagtrabaho officially, it will be day after tomorrow, and yet trabaho na ko (I haven’t started working officially, it will be day after tomorrow, and yet, I’m working now),” he said.
Duterte warns Cabinet: we retire altogether
Duterte also warned his Cabinet members not to use the public office to campaign if they have political ambitions.
“Do not launch a campaign here in the office, if running for a public office or if you have plans to whatever,do not do it here in my Cabinet,” he said.
“Ayoko ng nakaupo dito tapos magkandidato kasi you will just use public funds, and the time and effort in government just to campaign to win (I don’t like it when you are in my Cabinet and then you will run as candidate because you will just use public funds, and the time and effort in government just to campaign to win),” Duterte said.
“I told them, since we are of the same age, we retire altogether,” Duterte added.
A wild dream that came to life
On October 12, last year, Duterte announced that he will retire at the end of his term if his daughter, Inday Sara agrees to run for Mayor.
“If Inday Sara agrees to run for Mayor, I will retire at the end of my term in 2016.
If she does not, the option to be Mayor again is on the table. When all is said in the wake of this decision, perhaps we can find comfort in the thought that this is indeed a beautiful day to end a wild dream,” he read the lines of his letter during a press conference, he described as the “most important press con of all”.
After three days, his aide, Christopher Go filed his Certificate of Candidacy for mayor. He withdrew the said COC on November 27, while his lawyer, Atty. Salvador Medialdea, filed his COC for President.
Duterte is the 16th President of the Philippines. (davaotoday.com)