MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday thanked his supporters and backers who "believed" in him the past few years, as the end of his term loomed.
During his speech at an event in the World Trade Center, Duterte also expressed his gratitude to those who understood his aspirations for the Philippines.
""Ako rin ay mayroon akong pasasalamat rin. Those who believed in me. I am on the tail end sa presidency ko," said the 77-year-old leader.
(I also have someone to thank. Those who believed in me, now that I am on the tail end of my presidency.)
"'Yung tumulong sa akin, nagsuporta all these years at 'yong umintindi ng mga hangarin ko sa ating bayan, who brought me, kayo sa pagkapresidente ko for 6 years. I would like to express my gratitude sa inyo at maraming salamat po," he added.
(Those who helped me and supported me all these years and those who understood my aspirations to the country, those who brought me and carried my presidency for 6 years, I would like to thank you.)
Duterte in late March said he fulfilled all his campaign promises, including his controversial drug war, which killed thousands of small-time criminals at its peak.
He said last week the fight against illegal drugs "has to be a war," urging his successor to push for a "stronger" program.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorized a full inquiry into the matter, but this has been suspended to assess the country's deferral request.
Acting Palace spokesman Martin Andanar had said Duterte may continue his drug war when he steps down from office by June 30 and return home in Davao City, citing his previous speeches.
The President earlier promised to remain a "worker for the people" when he retires from public office.
Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. and his running mate Sara Duterte-Carpio, the President's daughter, enjoy insurmountable leads in partial, unofficial tallies of last week's election results.