Duterte to keep his hands off 2022 polls but says Robredo should never run for President

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The President says it would be a disaster for the country if Vice President Leni Robredo becomes his successor. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 29) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will not run for a second term in the 2022 Presidential elections nor is he planning to endorse any candidate. However, he stands firm against Vice President Leni Robredo becoming his successor..

“[To the] Filipino people, listening to me, hindi na po ako pulitiko, hindi na ako tumakbo. Wala akong kandidato. Ang sinasabi ko lang sa inyo, disgrasya kayo ‘pag si Leni,” Duterte addressed the public in an exclusive CNN Philippines interview on Friday.

[Translation: To the Filipino people listening to me, I will no longer delve into politics, I will not run. I am not endorsing a candidate. The only thing I will say is that it will be a disaster if it will be Leni.]

Asked if he was grooming anyone to take his place as the country’s top leader, he replied “No. Ayaw kong matali (I do not want to tie myself to anyone).” He said he even discouraged his daughter Sara “Inday” Duterte from going for the presidency to protect her from critics.

“I told her no, do not run. She will not run because ang sabi ko naawa ako sayo [I feel sorry for you]... They (critics) come up with all sorts of scenarios. Ako ayaw ko, ibang tao na lang kasi bababuyin ‘yung anak ko [Let it be someone else because they will abuse my daughter],” he said.

He said not even his partymates gave him a suggestion on who to support as his possible successor.

“They do not talk to me about that...I said I might not really be around by that time,” Duterte said.

He also has not given much thought on what kind of leader the next President should be.

“This country will continue without me starting it or stopping it. Let the other guy find out for himself what he should be doing,” he added.

‘Puro porma’

Duterte said he is staunchly against Robredo taking over his position especially after her brief stint as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). He also mentioned the time Robredo attacked him for saying the police can accept gifts, which he maintained was allowed by law.

“'Vice, vice' wala naman utak, puro porma,” he said. “Leni, look...’Wag kang tumakbo ng Presidente. Wala ka talagang alam,” Duterte addressed Robredo.

[Translation: You are the Vice [President] but you have no brains, you’re just for show. Do not run for President. You do not know anything.]

Duterte fired Robredo from her ICAD post just 19 days after he appointed her. He reiterated his aggravation over Robredo’s meetings with foreign officials who previously criticized the President for his bloody anti-drug campaign. Five days after her appointment Robredo met with a representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. She also discussed the possibility of amending the country’s anti-narcotics law with members of the US State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the US Agency for International Development.

“I fired her in my mind first day pa lang noong pumunta siya sa US embassy,” he said.

[Translation: I fired her in my mind the first day she went to the US embassy]