Speculations about his real political intentions have been thrown left and right. He is seen as the beacon of hope that could finally turn things around for our corruption-ridden government. Filipinos all over the world have been urging him to make a final decision.
And now, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has finally spoken – he is not running for next year’s presidential elections.
Mayor Duterte ends the long wait
After months of waiting for his final decision, supporters cried and were saddened by Mayor Duterte’s decision not to run for president during the 2016 elections. He arrived at this decision after consulting with his family.
It is no secret that his daughter, Sara Duterte, also a former Davao Mayor, is against him running for a higher post. His son however, has expressed his support no matter what his father’s decision would be.
The Mayor has also used this chance to announce his retirement from public office come 2016. He says that although no final plans have been made yet, his daughter could once again run for Mayor next elections.
It was a 14-minute press conference, and Mayor Duterte apologized to all his supporters. He avoided further questions and hurriedly left the hotel. He was nearly in tears when he made the announcement.
A whole nation disappointed
The clamor to push Mayor Duterte to run for president started in March 2014 when Davao locals flocked to the Davao City Rizal Park to show their support. The Mayor responded to the call by threatening his supporters that he would quit politics should they push him further to run for higher office.
When 2015 came in however, the Mayor started travelling to different cities around Luzon. He also sparked hope in his avid supporters when he started leaving statements on what he would do if he were to become president, which include shifting the country into to having a federal system.
Mayor Duterte has always been known to rule with an iron fist, making it possible to have Davao City ranked as one of the safest cities in the world despite being found smack in the middle of rebel-ridden Mindanao.
One proof of how extreme his measures are in upholding the law is sown in recent news as he personally handled the case of one tourist who arrogantly refused to put out his cigarette while inside a restaurant. Davao City is known for being a smoke-free city.
Duterte personally went to the restaurant after receiving reports about the arrogant tourist and gave the man three options – he could eat his cigarette butt, go to prison, or have the Mayor shoot him in the groin.
The tourist opted for the first option, therefore getting a taste of his own transgression.
Filipinos believe that it is precisely this brand of discipline that could set the country straight after suffering under the hands of corrupt officials throughout the years. Although there are a few who believe that his measures are too extreme, the call for him to run from presidency rise not only from Filipinos currently in the country, but from those who are working abroad as well.
Special thanks to Keith Bacongco for the main image.