“One defeat does not really mean big to me” – Duterte

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 November) – If Mayor Rodrigo Duterte loses in the 2016 Presidential race, it will be his first electoral defeat since 1988 but he says he would not mind at all if he loses or gets disqualified.

In his Sunday television program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa,” Duterte said that if either scenario happens, he will retire from public service and leave the city in the hands of his children, Sara Duterte-Carpio and Paolo Duterte (see other story)

Duterte withdrew his certificate of candidacy (COC) for mayor and had his lawyer in Manila file his COC for President as a substitute to Martin Dino of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP-Laban) last Friday.

His daughter Sara, vice mayor from 2007 to 2010 and mayor from 2010 to 2013, filed her COC as his substitute candidate for mayor after he withdrew his COC for what would have been his eighth term as the city’s chief executive. His eldest Paolo is seeking reelection as vice mayor.

The patriarch was elected mayor from 1988 to 1998, representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001, mayor again from 2001 to 2010, vice mayor from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, he was elected mayor for the seventh term, with son Paolo as vice mayor.

A petition against Duterte’s presidential bid was filed before the Commission on Elections in Manila also on Friday.

“It’s destiny. If it’s not yours and God will not give the Presidency to me, fine. There’s no problem. If they will disqualify me, it’s okay with me, go ahead,” he said in mixed English and Cebuano.

“I will retire for good. I will not intervene in the city’s politics. I will leave it to Inday (Sara) or Pulong),” he added.

She said up to the last minute, Sara was reluctant to run for mayor “so I convinced her to run for the best interest of the city,” he added.

He said Sara knows his “secrets” on how to handle situations and how to run the city, having had served as mayor. He said his eldest son Paolo, the incumbent vice mayor, needs more experience in running the city and may be ready after one term. (Antonio Colina IV / MindaNews)