President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday dared two of his staunchest critics to run for president, adding that he still does not want his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, to succeed him.
In a pre-recorded public address, Duterte again expressed disapproval after his daughter expressed “openness” to join the presidential race in 2022.
“My stand is I am against really the candidacy of my daughter. I want her spared from the vagaries of politics here in the Philippines especially from personalities around in the likes of [former Senator Antonio] Trillanes, si [Senator Leila] De Lima, who did nothing but attack their fellowmen,” he said.
Duterte said it would pain him to see his daughter go through a wave of insults hurled by ”rude” Trillanes and “virulent” de Lima.
He explained that he would rather have either Trillanes or de Lima win the country’s highest office so they could do “whatever they want.”
“I would rather that they run and win, I pray for that so they can experience what it’s like to run a government, how difficult it is and after all your exhaustion, it’s never-ending criticism because they can never be satisfied,” he said.
Describing them as being both “hungry” for power, Duterte said it only made sense for either of the two to have a “taste” of the presidency so that they could also be judged by the Filipino people.
Sara, he said, could still run for president “some other time.”
“How I wish that they would run and they will win. I want to reserve my daughter. Maybe some other time, not at this time when the Philippine politics is crowded with people in the likes of Trillanes then also de Lima,” he said.
He also reiterated that the presidency is a job that is “not good” for a women, especially because criticisms could only “hurt” her.
“As a father, I would not want that to happen to my daughter,” he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte admitted that he is only considering running as vice president next year to “scare off” his critics.
“I am only using my willingness to run as vice president to scare them, but I said let us see. If it is good for the country, I will do it. If it does not contribute anything to our Republic, maybe not. We will just waste time and you contribute to the conundrum of the moment,” he said.
During a meeting with members of ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Duterte said he is “sold to the idea” of joining the vice presidential race next year.
He said he is “seriously thinking” of accepting his party mates’ appeal for him to seek the second top post in the country.