DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 Feb) — “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. For the nth time, I will say it now here. I am not interested in becoming President. I am not qualified. And I do not want it,” Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said as he urged those who have been pushing for him to run for President to “stop it.”
Duterte issued this statement in his Sunday weekly television program, “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” (From the masses, for the masses).
“I will not gain anything from that. I will stay in Davao City and be your mayor. If you do not want me to be your mayor and if my health can no longer take it, I will step down,” he said.
Duterte appealed to supporters behind the calls for a Duterte presidency to “stop it.”
“Why would I want to be President? I will work, and then you will send me to jail?” Duterte said, referring to both jailed ex-presidents Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
But he also warned those who want him to be President: “You will all regret it,” the mayor said.
Duterte has been in a verbal spat with several national agencies for the past weeks because of the issue of rice smuggling, in which a certain David Tan or David Bangayan was named to be allegedly operating in Davao City.
Bangayan has since been arrested for charges of pilferage by the Department of Justice (DOJ) the same day of Duterte’s visit to the Senate at the invitation of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, chaired by Senator Grace Poe.
Duterte has been repeatedly critical of agencies such as the DOJ and the Commission on Human rights.
“It took a mayor from Davao City for them (the DOJ) to do their jobs,” Duterte said in an earlier interview. “Before I spoke, there were no arrests made.” (MindaNews)