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Rody not keen on perpetual power

MANILA, Philippines — After declaring his intention to set up a revolutionary government to stave possible ouster moves, President Duterte maintained last night he is not keen on perpetuating himself in power as he reiterated his vow to step down after the end of his term in 2022.

“Nobody is interested here in this government, especially me, to go beyond my term. I do not intend to perpetuate myself. I will not shame my family honor for any ambition in this world,” he said in remarks in Camarines Sur at a forum on federalism.

His earlier announcement of his plan to establish a revolutionary government had sparked concerns that he wanted to rule beyond his six-year term.

At his age, Duterte said he no longer has the stamina or the desire to enjoy the vast powers of a head of state.

“They claim that I want to declare revolutionary government because I want to stay… anak ng (son of a…), if you ask me if I am happy, I am not because of the sheer volume of work and I am old by any standard,” he said.

“I am 72. Give me two to three years, I am gone,” the Chief Executive said, adding it is just normal for elderly people like him to have some affliction. He said he finds it disrespectful of some people to ask the elderly about their sickness.

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“And I said, pasok na lahat. Alam mo ng traditional ailment ng Pilipino. We are a rice-eating nation, so it’s diabetes. It is not caused by any germ, virus, but it’s actually inadequacy of the body to cope with so much of the rice that we eat, carbo. That’s about it,” he said.

Duterte again raised a warning about the ill-effects of smoking, saying it was the reason he banned smoking in public places nationwide.

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