DAVAO CITY – Davao City Mayor and rumored presidentiable Rodrigo Duterte said he will not run for the presidency in 2016.

“I would like to categorically state now, and also to end the agony of those who believe in me, I will not run for president. I have no ambition to become president,” Duterte said in a press conference Monday afternoon.

Duterte said he made the decision after “talking” to his family and “to all persons interested in my career as a politician.”

A caravan from as far as Manila and other parts of Luzon and who supported calls for Duterte’s bid for the presidency recently held a program in Davao City to convince him to run.

Organizers estimated a maximum of 10,000 people attended the activity. Duterte has also been going around key cities and provinces in the country to advocate for federalism.

During the event, Duterte said he will “need more time to convince my family”, especially his daughter and former Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio.

In a recent interview, Duterte-Carpio said  “it is better if he will not run for President because of his age but it depends on his personal choice; no one can force you to run.”

Duterte said Duterte-Carpio has plans for 2016 which are not yet final.

“I will ask her to run for the Mayorship. In 2016 I will retire from public life for good,” said Duterte.

“I’m sorry to all of you who believe in me all, who along spent money and toiled tirelessly to advertise my name,” he said.

“I believe it is no longer my time to be in politics. I will retire after my term. Thank you,” he said.

Duterte also named many individuals who supported his calls for federalism in the country and said he will endorse certain politicians who he said will support it.

Duterte also thanked the Moro people whom he said “exhibited enthusiasm” in their support for him and federalism.

“We will find a candidate who will support the Moro people, to give what is due them,” said Duterte.

Duterte also said he is also “warning” the national government that “nothing short of federalism will appease the Moro community and make Mindanao peaceful.” (davaotoday.com)

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