MANILA - For presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte, it is better to not have any first lady.
"You know, it's better not to have a first lady at all. I am separated from my first wife, I have a second wife. Just to avoid, you know you can spin a lot of [stories], weave a lot of things there. Baka wala, 'di na ako mag-first lady. Bakit mag-first lady, first lady ka pa," he told reporters at the Hotel Elena in Davao City on Sunday.
This, despite earlier pronouncements that he has picked daughter Inday Sara to serve as First Lady in official functions.
Duterte is currently single. He was once married to Elizabeth Zimmerman, the mother of his three children - Paolo, Sara, and Sebastian.
Duterte and Zimmerman separated in July 1998. Zimmerman filed a petition to nullify their marriage and the court approved her petition two years after, ending Duterte and Zimmerman's 27-year marriage.
Duterte also has a common-law wife, Honeylet Avancena. They have a 12-year-old daughter, Veronica.
READ: Honeylet Avancena, Duterte's lady love
Duterte spokesman Peter Laviña earlier said that Duterte's older daughter, Sara, will be assuming the role of first lady.
''Even if she is city mayor of Davao, most of the roles of the First Lady will be ceremonial in nature... There is no compensation or renumeration for her role,'' Laviña said.
READ: Inday Sara: Duterte daughter shuns First Lady role