MANILA (Mabuhay) – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he is definitely not taking part in the presidential race in 2016, saying Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe and Secretary Mar Roxas can take the prize for themselves.
“Hindi ko na panahon. Binay, Poe and Mar sa inyo na yan,” he said during a membership meeting of Junior Chambers International Sunday.
The tough-talking mayor cited three reasons for not joining the 2016 race: his age, lack of funds and lack of support from his own family.
He said he does not want to add his own “inutility” to Malacanang after the administrations of Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and President Aquino.
“Please, not me. Don’t give me the opportunity to add to the hardships of the country. Dadagdagan ko ang six years ni Estrada, Arroyo, Aquino ng 6 years din ng aking ‘inutility.’”
When asked if his decision is final, Duterte paused and said he cannot run a country that is divided. He said he will run when all armed groups in the country lay down their arms.
“I have had six heart attacks. Pag presidente ako, I have to deal with Bangsamoro and may China pa. Mamatay ako. But if I can get Joma Sison, Nur Misuari, the Bangsamoro to agree, then I will run but they must drop their arms first. It will be an all inclusive government,” he said.
The mayor also clarified misquoted statements from the media.
“I never said Binay is corrupt, I said he is facing charges. I never said Grace Poe is not qualified, I said she is facing problems with residency and citizenship. Mar is a close friend and he is good. If you want to vote for him, vote,” he said.
He also said he cannot support Roxas because he is allies with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. De Lima and Duterte have been at odds over various issues including the alleged Davao Death Squad killings.
“If de Lima runs with the Liberal Party, goodbye Mar!” he said. (MNS)