DAVAO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he will stand by his word and retire after his term if his daughter, former Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, will agree to run as mayor next year.

Duterte faced the press Friday night in a hotel here and said “I have no categorical statement to make as of tonight because I am running full speed in a time tunnel. The deadline is fast approaching.”

Duterte also said he wanted to talk to his daughter, who has been telling him that he wanted her to run as mayor “so it would be an escape for me to run as president”.

But Duterte said, “if Inday agreed to run for mayor I am retired after this term. And I have said that in public and I will honor it.”

“My worry is only Davao City,” said Duterte.

“If Inday is not running for the mayorship, which I have asked her to do, I cannot afford to lose my political base,” he said.

“You need to have a political base.  I cannot loose my political base. It’s very important for a politician, wherever it is, you must have a bailiwick,” he said.

Duterte said he is sure his daughter will somehow “connect” to him.

Duterte also explained his preference for his daughter over his son, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.

Duterte said he is biased in favor of his daughter because he knows that she can do the job.

“Kaya niya eh. Nanununtok talaga, ganun talaga dapat. Kung takot kang mag-ikot, takot kang mamatay, wag kang mag-mayor dito  (She can do it. She really can punch, that’s how you do it. If you are afraid to do your rounds, if you are afraid to die, do not run as mayor here),” he said.

“She’s better prepared than Pulong because she’s a lawyer. She would know how to handle herself in public,” he said.

He also said that as a lawyer, his daughter would readily know an answer to a problem.

“It’s not that I do not like my son,” he said, adding that he only wants to make sure that the city is in “good hands”.

He said in a scale of 1-10, “7 or 6” is the rate that he will retire should Inday Sara run for the mayorship. He said said that it will be a scale 8 that he will run as mayor than as president which he said is scale 2.

“Let me just state it firmly, this country does not really need me. I do not find a need in the presidency,” he said.

Duterte also reiterated that his family is not in favor of his running for president. He said Inday Sara wrote him a letter which tells him “not to run”.

“She said ‘you owe nobody nothing, do not force yourself into it’. It was what she wrote to me,” he said.

Duterte added that he has “to take into account his family’s sentiments.”

“Because when I am politically-spent, and when I am old I go back to my family. It will be my family who will feed me, buy medicines, pay for the hospitalizations of an old man, buy the oxygen and bury (me) when the time comes,” said Duterte.

“If I show my face there sa Comelec on the 15th,  I will be filing my certificate for the presidency,” he said. (With a report from Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)

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