Duterte insists no presidential bet endorsement

General

Less than a week before the May 9, 2022 elections, President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated that he is not bent on endorsing the candidacy of any presidential candidate.

In his taped Talk to the People, Duterte dismissed speculations that he might announce his support for his preferred successor in the coming days.

“Pero ulitin ko (I repeat), you better disabuse your minds about getting into guesses and assumptions. Wala. Wala akong kandidato pagka-presidente ngayon hanggang Disyembre para maano ninyo (There is none. I will not be endorsing any presidential candidate now until December),” he said in a speech delivered Monday night but aired Tuesday morning.

In March, presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte said there are “signs” that his father might support the presidential bid of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

On April 25, Duterte’s ruling party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), raised the possibility that Duterte might attend its joint campaign rally with UniTeam presidential-vice presidential tandem of Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara “Inday” Duterte.

“PDP-Laban at UniTeam, magsasanib-pwersa sa mga campaign rallies. Pangulong Duterte, posibleng dumalo (PDP-Laban and UniTeam will have joint campaign rallies. President Duterte might attend),” the PDP-Laban said on its official Facebook page.

Staying ‘neutral’

Despite the recent statements of his son and political party, Duterte insisted that he has no plan to back the candidacy of any presidential aspirant.

Duterte said he had even asked his Cabinet to stay “neutral” and refuse to endorse any presidential candidate.

“Hindi ko naman sila pinagbabawalan (I am not prohibiting them) but I requested the Cabinet,” he said. “Sinabi ko kung maaari lang kayo mag-remain neutral na lang rin. Kung may kandidato ka (I told them to stay neutral as much as possible. If they have a candidate), just keep it to yourself and vote.”

He gave the advice to his Cabinet to avoid further speculations that he is supporting a particular presidential candidate.

“Let us avoid endorsing any candidates so that there will be no second-guesses or implications that we are supporting this candidate or that candidate,” he said.

‘Clean, peaceful’ elections

While he is not keen on endorsing any presidential hopeful, Duterte reassured the public that there will be “clean” and “peaceful” elections.

Duterte reiterated that the May 9, 2022 national and local elections will be violent-free.

“We will have our elections again, and I said, we will have an orderly, clean and honest election,” he said. “We will do everything to ensure that the election is free from violence and that people are not intimidated in any way to exercise their right to vote and to choose whoever.”

Source: Philippines News Agency

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