Duterte: I would not be president if people can manipulate me

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Duterte: I would not be president if people can manipulate me
President Rodrigo Duterte raises the hand of Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go after filing his certificate of candidacy for vice president at the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Philippines in Pasay City on Oct. 2, 2021.
The STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte clarified that he was the one who encouraged his former aide Sen. Bong Go to seek the presidency as he vowed to reveal why he could not back the presidential bids of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

Duterte claimed that Go, who initially sought to run for vice president, had wanted to withdraw his candidacy because Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio decided to seek the same post.

"He (Go) said Inday (Carpio) would run and that he would withdraw his candidacy. He doesn't want to run anymore. I said, 'Why decide that way? You have already started. Just run for president. That's what they did to you. Go ahead. Let's see," the president said in Filipino during an interview with pro-Duterte vlogger Banat By.  

"Bong was crying. I said, 'Do not cry. Why cry? The position of president is open. You run. Why cry just because my daughter suddenly decided to run?'" he added.  

Last Saturday, Go withdrew his bid for vice president to run for president. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has said Duterte — who announced his plan to retire from politics last month — would file his certificate of candidacy for vice president on Monday.

Duterte denied that he is being manipulated by people around him and maintained that he is the one providing "guidance" to Go.

"Napakakawawa ko naman kung didiktahan lang ako ng isang kasama ko dito sa trabaho. Ako ang magdikta sa kanya, hindi ako nagpapadikta. Ako siguro ang magsasabi sa kanya kung ano ang gawin mo (I would be pitiful if I allow a colleague to dictate on me. I will dictate to him. I won't let him dictate to me. Perhaps I will be the one who will tell him what to do)," Duterte said.

"With regard to the claim that I am being manipulated, let's see. I am just asking for a few hours. They will know who is being manipulated. I am not manipulating... I won't be the President of the Philippines if people can manipulate me. I am not crazy. Let's see. I am asking for time. In a few hours, we will know," he added

The president claimed that he never vowed to support the candidacies of Marcos or Pacquiao.

"You never heard me saying that I would support Marcos. So do not believe the claim that I am allowing myself to be used. I never said that I would support anyone — Marcos or Pacquiao... I just talked to them out of respect and because they wanted to talk to me," Duterte said.

However, there had been instances when Malacañang issued statements suggesting that Duterte was open to the idea of Pacquiao and Marcos becoming president. 
Last April, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte may choose his preferred successor among Pacquiao, Marcos, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno if Carpio or Go decide not to join the presidential race.

In 2018, Roque said Duterte was ready to step down if Marcos wins his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo because he thought that the former senator was "one of the better qualified leaders to succeed him." 

The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, unanimously junked Marcos' poll protest last February. During the celebration of Pacquiao's 39th birthday in General Santos City in 2017, Duterte said he liked the senator's style and that he is capable of becoming president.



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