MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he is not yet backing any candidate for the country's top post in the upcoming elections, unless there is a "compelling reason" that would urge him to do so.
In an interview aired on state TV, Duterte, whose daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is running for vice president, said he would like to stay neutral as much as possible.
"I may or I may not but preferably, I would like to stay neutral. Ibig sabihin wala akong susuportahan na kandidato. Unless there will be a compelling reason for me to go out or tell the people what it is," the chief executive told Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.
"I'd like to bide my time, I am not in a hurry," he added.
Duterte noted that if "the interest of the people is at stake," he would be "forced" to give a name.
"Until now I have yet to decide whether or not to support a candidate. At this time nobody is in my mind actually."
Duterte's long-time aide, Sen. Christopher Go, earlier filed a certificate of candidacy as the substitute standard-bearer of a different party, the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS).
In December though, Go withdrew from the presidential race, leaving Duterte without an anointed successor.
More details to follow.