Duterte says yet to see one who could be next president

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 03 2020 09:17 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2020 11:01 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the oath-taking of officials of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and presentation of the 12th Ani ng Dangal awardees at the Malacañang Palace, February 26, 2020. Robinson Niñal, Presidential Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he has yet to see a possible successor as he noted that he has not met one who could take on the job.

Duterte made the remark as he discouraged newly-appointed government officials from seeking the highest position in the land.

“Wala pa akong nakita na new crop of politicians dito sa ating bayan ngayon. Frankly, wala akong nakita. Wala akong nakita na --- na puwede talagang maging presidente,” he said in a speech in Malacañang.

(I haven't seen a new crop of politicians in our country. Frankly, not yet. I haven't seen one who could become president.)

The 74-year-old leader added that a president should know how to kill.

“Alam mo sa totoo lang, Presidente ka, hindi ka marunong pumatay at takot kang mamatay, eh huwag ka na magpresidente,” he said.

(The truth is, if you are president and you don't know how to kill or is afraid to die, don't become president.)

“Walang mangyari sa iyo. Walang mangyari sa bayan. Kung puro utos ka lang, in the end, ikaw pa 'yung kontrabida. Ikaw na ‘yung gumawa para ikaw talaga ang bida,” added Duterte, who has threatened to kill drug suspects, terrorists, even rice smugglers and the crazy rich in his public speeches. 

(Nothing will happen to you. Nothing will happen to the country. If you just keep on giving orders, in the end, you'll be the antagonist. Do it yourself so you become the protagonist.)

Duterte has repeatedly cautioned his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, against running for president amid speculation she was next in line. 

The President, known for his off-the-cuff remarks, won the 2016 presidential elections by a landslide on the promise of a bloody narcotics crackdown and a strong anti-corruption drive. He made history as the first mayor to jump to the presidency, the first from Mindanao to become president, and the oldest to win the post. 

His term ends in 2022 but has expressed exasperation over the demands of the job. 

Halfway through his term, the President continues to enjoy high approval ratings from the public despite criticism of his war on drugs and foreign policy.