While speaking in front of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts in Iloilo City, President Rodrigo Duterte commented on his political ambitions, ultimately revealing that he has none.
Echoing his often repeated sentiment that he wants nothing more than to step down after his term, Duterte assured the audience that he has no intention of continuing his political career past his term. This was especially significant given the upcoming mid-term elections.
“I don’t know if I will be able to survive the three years remaining, but God willing, I assure you everybody here that I will step down at the end of my term,” the President said.
“I am not interested to prolong it a day. I do not have the — well, the choice of being a politician forever,” he added.
Duterte’s term as the Chief Executive seems to have taken a toll on the man – the seemingly unending corruption within the government and the larger-than-life drug menace facing thee country have both proven to be much more formidable than anyone could have expected. Even with an aggressive policy with no tolerance, the societal cancers seem to continue to thrive.
President Duterte said again in his speech that he could offer to step down at any time, a fact both the military and police know. He said he is both “tired” and “frustrated” at his Sisyphean task.
“I’m tired, really tired. As a matter of fact, there was a time when I offered to step down before the military and the police in a conference and the second time, I was so exasperated by the corruption,” Duterte said.
He further said that he never personally meddled with any government transaction, trusting instead in the capabilities of his Cabinet secretaries to manage their respective departments without his direct involvement.
“I do not want transactions or contracts of government with any other entity. I… I do not place any initial and the papers do not come to my table,” Duterte said.
“Hindi ako naka-pirma ng (I don’t sign any) transaction. All only about appointments. Could be MRT, LRT, reclamation, and everything, it begins and ends with the Cabinet member,” he added.
The strategy was one that promoted accountability and prevented blame-passing.
Duterte has been a politician for many years. For over 20 years he served as the mayor of Davao City. He also represented Davao City as a congressman in the House of Representatives. He was elected as President in 2016 in a landslide victory.