MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he is "resisting" running for vice president in next year's elections to avoid accusations that he wants to stay in power.
PDP-Laban, which Duterte chairs, last week urged him to run for vice president and choose his running-mate. Some members of party earlier urged his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to gun for the presidency.
"Mahirap ‘yon kasi mag-retire na ako and this time, ako ang mamili ng Presidente. 'Pag manalo, sabihin nila, 'Ano ko lang ‘yan—perpetuate yourself in power,' so nagre-resist ako," Duterte said on his possible vice-presidential run.
(That is difficult because I will retire and this time, I will choose the presidential candidate. If he or she wins, they will say, 'That is just—you want to perpetuate yourself in power', so I am resisting.)
"I’m ready for retirement," he said in an interview with Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who endorsed him for president in 2016.
Duterte has repeatedly denied that his daughter will run for President.
But Malacañang said last week Duterte-Carpio is among the President's choices for endorsing as presidential candidate, along with his former longtime aide Sen. Christopher Go, former senator Bongbong Marcos, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao.
Pacquiao had urged PDP-Laban members to refrain from attending last week's meeting that ended up urging Duterte to run for vice president.
The Duterte patriarch, 76, is not eligible for re-election for President. However, he "leaves to God" whether or not he would run for vice president, at least 2 of his aides have said.
WHAT CRITICS SAY
The possible Duterte-Duterte election ticket is a variation of the "Davao model," said former lawmaker Teddy Casiño, referring to how the family has ruled the city for decades.
"They've been doing that in Davao City, I think, for the last 20 years. So, it is a Davao model. It has its precedent already, and in many provinces and towns and cities in the country, hindi na bago 'yan (it's nothing new)," Casiño told ANC.
"May mag-asawang tumatakbong mayor, vice mayor. May mag-ama, may mag-ina tumatakbong governor, vice governor. So, this is nothing new. It is a worsening of the state of politics in our country that political dynasties are so blatantly doing these things," said the former Bayan Muna party-list.
(There are couples who run as mayor and vice mayor, and father and son and mother and daughter as governor and vice governor)
The President's 2 sons also hold government positions. Paolo Duterte is the first district representative of Davao City while Sebastian Duterte is the city's vice mayor.
Opposition coalition 1SAMBAYAN said Duterte's possible vice presidential bid "not only makes a mockery of the constitution but a joke of the worst kind."
"It is laughable and the height of impertinence to the Filipino people," 1Sambayan convenor lawyer Howard Calleja said in a statement.
He described the President's possible candidacy as a "macrocosm of the Davao formula," a way for Duterte to stay in power after the latter's term ends next year.
He said he was sure that Filipinos would "reject it as nothing more than one’s self interest to maintain Duterte’s authoritarian brand of failed leadership and traitorous allegiance to China."
Other potential candidates for president in 2022 include Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Ping Lacson, and former senator Antonio Trillanes.