MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he has no interest in prolonging his term of office beyond 2022 because he would rather not be a politician forever.
Although Duterte has repeatedly voiced out his desire to step down by the end of his term, he made the assurance anew ahead of the upcoming mid-term elections.
“I don’t know if I will be able to survive the three years remaining, but God willing, I assure you everybody here that I will step down at the end of my term,” Duterte said in a speech before motorcycle enthusiasts in Iloilo City.
“I am not interested to prolong it a day. I do not have the -- well, the choice of being a politician forever,” he added.
Duterte reiterated that he was “tired” and that both military and police knew very well that he could offer to step down anytime because of being frustrated by unceasing corruption within government.
“I’m tired, really tired. As a matter of fact, there was a time when I offered to step down before the military and the police in a conference and the second time, I was so exasperated by the corruption,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he himself never meddled with any government transaction because he allowed his Cabinet secretaries to manage their respective departments on their own.
“I do not want transactions or contracts of government with any other entity. I… I do not place any initial and the papers do not come to my table,” Duterte said.
“Hindi ako naka-pirma ng (I don’t sign any) transaction. All only about appointments. Could be MRT, LRT, reclamation, and everything, it begins and ends with the Cabinet member,” he added.
Duterte has been mayor of Davao City for over 20 years and also served as congressman representing Davao City in the House of Representatives before being elected as President in 2016. (PNA)
Photo from Getty Images/BBC News