President Duterte has advised Palace hopefuls in the upcoming May 2022 national elections to “face the Lord first” before deciding to run.
Duterte, speaking the national convention of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Wednesday, Sept. 8, recalled his own experience in the 2016 polls when he made his improbable run for the presidency.
His victory then convinced him that the presidency was “a gift from God”.
“I really do not know why I made it. Tell me if you know. Pero yung akin (But for me), you know, the presidency is a gift from God. Tandaan ninyo yan (Remember that),” Duterte said. These remarks were met by applause by the PDP-Laban members in the attendance during the mixed live and virtual event.
“To those who would aspire for it, you should face the Lord first and ask, ‘Ibibigay mo ba ito sa akin?’ (‘Will you give this to me?’)” Duterte said.
“And after that, if you are chosen by the people through God’s intervention, then you ask, ‘God, what do you want me to do?'” added the former long-time Davao City and local prosecutor.
“Kasi itong akin ambisyon lang at naging totoo. Wala naman talaga (This was just an ambition that became true. I had nothing). Deep, deep in my heart, down in my heart, hindi ko talaga masabi noon na manalo ako (I couldn’t say back then whether or not I would win),” recalled Duterte.
Duterte, now 76, is the oldest person to be elected as Philippine president. He won over political heavyweights in Luzon like former Senator Mar Roxas and former Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“Ni wala akong isang barangay captain dito sa Luzon (I didn’t have a single barangay captain who supported me in Luzon). In the Visayas, in Cebu, where my father was a native [of], doon mismo wala maski isang kagawad (not a single councilman supported me). And yet, yun na nga (as you know), I won,” he said.
Duterte sits as chairman of PDP-Laban.