Why Duterte Refuses to Endorse a Successor in the May 9 Elections


President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he was not supporting any candidate to succeed him in the May 9 elections as he chooses to remain "neutral" before stepping down from power.

Duterte said his choice to withhold endorsement was meant to calm suspicions that he might use government resources should he decide to support a candidate.

"Wala akong kandidato ni sino man sa pagka-presidente. I remain neutral. Ang akin kasi presidente ako tapos magkampi ako ng isa, magdududa ‘yung iba, ginagamit ko ‘yung resources ng gobyerno, magulo na," he said in his weekly public address.

"If you are a president and you have the resources na nasa beck and call mo, ano man ang gawain mo masuspetya ang tao na ginagamit mo para sa isang kandidato," he added.

While he has not endorsed any presidential candidate, Duterte said his daughter, vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio, was an exception.

"Itong isa, kaya nga wala kaming kandidato, except of course my daughter, so I have to mention her because she is my daughter. Ano man ang dynamics namin sa ‘yung mga party nila, anak ko 'yan eh," the outgoing leader said.

President Duterte earlier said he was not on speaking terms with his daughter who is running with survey frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Marcos, the top choice for president based on the March pre-election survey of Pulse Asia, is seeking to reclaim Malacañang 36 years after his family was ousted from power.

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