Davao City – Retiring, not running.
This was Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s latest comment in response to persistent rumors that he will run for the 2016 presidential elections.
Duterte’s presidential ambitions again hogged the headlines for the past few weeks especially after his recent meeting with former President Fidel V. Ramos.
Ramos was in the city for the Brunei Darussalam- Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Trade Fair which concluded Sunday.
Duterte denied reports that Ramos is endorsing him to run for President during their meeting Thursday.
“No he did not endorse me, he just said that it would be desirable if the next president will come from Mindanao since we haven’t had a president from Mindanao, ever since,” Duterte said.
Ramos was seen in a picture with Duterte wearing a t-shirt with the Digong! and under it a thumbs up logo with the words “Atin to Pre.”
The former president was reported to have added letter “S” making the slogan “Atin to Pres” (This is our Pres or president).
Duterte quickly quipped “Duterte to ‘preson’ (prison) siguro.”
Duterte said that he told Ramos the reasons why he would not run as president.
“I told him, Mr. President I will not run because in the first place I’m not interested and second is that I don’t have money,” he said.
Duterte reiterated that even if there will be those who would provide for his campaign fund he still would not run because “it’s difficult to owe someone gratitude.”
“I’m not interested because I don’t have money. If I would just depend on other people for funds, or look out where to find millions or billions to spend, I don’t have time for that,” he said.
He said that he has enough money but it is intended for his retirement.
“I have money for my retirement,” he added.
Duterte also said that he is already old and the presidential career is already “too late.”
“I’m old, I’m 69 years old. My ambition in life is simple. Maybe if that (presidency) came when I was 52, 53 or 55 it’s still okay. I would not fit in the scheme of things,” he said.
Duterte also clarified that even if Ramos’ party Lakas would endorse him, he will still not run.
“Actually I don’t have interest in working anymore, not as a mayor or not as a president. I want to rest, retire,” he said.(davaotoday.com)