DAVAO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte appeared at a press conference on Monday afternoon to announce that he will retire at the end of his term if his daughter Inday Sara agrees to run for Mayor or seek re-election if she does not.
Duterte narrated how he was offered national positions by the former presidents to which he repeatedly declined before reading his statement.
Duterte described the press conference as the “most important presscon of all.”
The mayor reads his letters which he addressed to his friends and fellow Davaoeños, where he asks for apologies for disappointing “those who have spent much and worked hard and long in support of me as I went around espousing the benefits and advantages of federalism.”
Duterte reiterated that he has “no ambition for me to aspire for the presidency.”
“The country does not need me and I find no need for it. I guess it is fate that wills that our long journey together should end this way,” he said.
“Time and again, those who believed in me and in the cause that I advocated and continue to advocate, advised me to go for the country’s presidency because that is the destiny that awaits me. But I believe that my destiny is to end years and years of public life in the service of Davao City and every Dabawenyo,” said Duterte.
“Thus, if Inday Sara agrees to run for Mayor, I will retire at the end of my term in 2016. If she does not, the option to be Mayor again is on the table. When all is said in the wake of this decision, perhaps we can find comfort in the thought that this is indeed a beautiful day to end a wild dream,” he reads.
“God bless the Philippines. God bless us all,” he said.
Duterte said that he will be asking his “broadcaster” to read his letter in Manila. He said he hopes speculations will stop hounding him.
“And I stated my case very clearly everywhere that I was going around promoting federalism because I was just worried about the fate of (Bangsamoro Basic Law) under repercussions and I was trying to help that my country would go into dangerous spin. I’m worried about Mindanao, that’s all. Beyond that I don’ have any ambition,”Duterte said.
He said he addressed his letter to Davaoeños because it is in Davao where he was known and he will end his political career here.
“Dito kasi ako naging tao, mayor, and I will end my political career dito lang rin (It is here where I became human, mayor, and I will end my political career here),” he said.
Duterte said Inday Sara’s letter reads “do not run for president, you do not owe anybody anything.” He said his daughter wrote “you have done more than enough for our country.”
“Then she began lecturing me,” he said.
Meanwhile, Barangay 23-C Miniforest chairman Alimoden Usman said they will not lose hope until the filing of the certificate of candidacies ends on October 16.
“Hangtod naa pay 16, diha pa mi. Dili pa mi moundang (We will not stop until October 16),” he said.
Former North Cotabato governor Manny Piñol said he is “surprised as everybody else.”
“I really thought that he would announce the formation of the ticket for the local party, because that was the information I received this morning that the local political issues have been settled and that arrangements have been made,” he said.
“I feel sad, but more than sadness, I pity the people who pinned their hope on him. And we’re not talking here of a few people,millions actually who really hoped that he would listen to them,” he said.
“I think only divine intervention can change things right now. Given the consistency he really wouldn’t want to run,” he said. (With a report from Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)