Duterte: Next president must be young, even if inexperienced

Rappler.com
Duterte: Next president must be young, even if inexperienced
'If God intended me to be president, He would have opened the door for me when I was, what, 55, 50?' says the mayor of Davao City

MANILA, Philippines – While he reiterated that he wouldn’t be running for president in 2016 despite the clamor from some sectors, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday, July 3, nobody could stop him from making suggestions on how the country should be run, and what kind of chief executive should be at its helm.

“Just because I’m not running doesn’t mean I should keep my mouth shut. If there is anything I can suggest to make it easier for the people to live, let alone to exist, gagawin ko (I’ll do it),” Duterte said when he graced the 17th founding anniversary celebration of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC). 

For starters, he said the next president should be young – unlike him, who is already 70, he said.

“If God intended me to be president, He would have opened the door for me when I was, what, 55, 50?” he said. Matanda na kasi ako. Hindi ko na talaga madala. I don’t have the energy. Sa umaga ayaw ko magising, gusto ko matulog. 70 yrs old is 70 yrs old.”

(I’m old. I can’t do it anymore. I don’t have the energy. In the morning, I don’t even want to get up, I just want to sleep. 70 years old is 70 years old.)

“[The next president] must be younger,” he said, “maybe inexperienced but would have the fire in the belly to do the job.”

Of the early favorites for the 2016 presidential elections, based on surveys, only two are relatively young: Senator Grace Poe, who is 46, and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who is 58.

Binay, for a long time the front runner in presidential preference surveys until Poe overtook him in May, is turning 73 in November. He is so far the most experienced in government among the possible contenders, and has constantly emphasized that, leading to a word war with Senator Poe.

In the ceremonies at Camp Aguinaldo, the anti-crime group gave recognition to allies of its campaign from different sectors. It was the second year in a row that the VACC invited Duterte to speak at its anniversary.

In his speech, Duterte also indicated that if he were president, he would replicate across the country his “bloody” approach to combatting crime, which rights groups had criticized.

Asked about his plans for 2016, Duterte said, “I may run again as mayor or I will retire.” Ben Nabong/Rappler.com

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