Duterte prefers to stay 'neutral' in presidential race

Published February 25, 2022, 8:43 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

With less than three months left to go before the May 9 polls, President Duterte is still unsure whether or not he will support a candidate in the presidential race.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with key government officials at the Malacañan Palace on February 21, 2022. (KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

In a special episode of the “Cabinet Report” aired Friday night, Feb. 25, Duterte said he prefers to stay “neutral” on whom he would like to be his successor in Malacañang.

“I may or I may not [endorse a candidate] but preferably I’d like to stay neutral. Ibig sabihin wala akong susuportahan na kandidato (It means I will not support any candidate) unless again, there’ll be a compelling reason for me to go out and tell the people what it is,” Duterte told Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Martin Andanar.

“I would like to bide my time, I’m not in a hurry,” he added.

However, Duterte said he might be forced to show his support for a presidential aspirant if the interest of the people is at stake.

“Maybe, just maybe, I will choose a candidate to support,” the President said.

“But until now, I have yet to decide whether or not to support a candidate. At this time nobody is in my mind actually,” he added.

Duterte recently said that all presidential aspirants are qualified, but he is on edge about the ideology of some unnamed presidential candidates because they are leaning toward the communist rebels.

He earlier endorsed the presidential bid of his long-time aide Senator Bong Go but the latter withdrew from the race.