Duterte to stay neutral; no presidential endorsement

Duterte to stay neutral; no presidential endorsement

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will not endorse any presidential candidate to “stay neutral”.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (Presidential file photo)

“Kung magtanong kayo kung may e-endorse ako (If you ask if I would endorse anyone) – I may or I may not. But preferably, I’d like to stay neutral. Ibig sabihin wala akong susuportahan na kandidato (This means I will not support any candidate). Unless, again, having said that I’ll say it again, it will be a compelling reason for me to go out and tell the people what it is. I’d like to bide my time. I’m not in a hurry,” Duterte said in an interview with Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday night.

He said if the people’s interest is at stake, then maybe he would choose a presidential candidate to support in this coming election.

“However, little that it may look for some people but in reality, it is really the interest of the people which is at stake, ‘yun mapipilitan ako maglabas (only then will I be forced to say it). Then maybe, just maybe, I will choose a candidate to support,” Duterte said.

Some candidates, he added, have sought his support and even set up a meeting, but he said he “respectfully just decline to say, anybody.”

“Until now, I have yet to decide whether or not to support a candidate. At this time, nobody’s in my mind actually,” Duterte said. (PNA)