A DAY after complaining about his migraine and back pains, President Rodrigo Duterte said he might not “be around” until the end of his term and realized he did not need the presidency.
But he told the Filipino community in Phnom Phen, Cambodia that he had no regrets about seeking the country’s highest post.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday defended Duterte who said on Tuesday that he personally killed drug suspects.
Sought for his comment on Duterte’s “fresh admission,” Aguirre said he considered it as another “hyperbole.”
“It could be done with a justifiable cause and justified circumstances as a public officer in order to arrest but the suspect fought. He must have been forced to kill.”
On Tuesday, Duterte told a cheering crowd of a few thousand expatriate Filipinos in Phnom Penh: “I am old ... This is my last hurrah. After this, 77, I am not sure if I will still be around by the end of my term.”
Duterte, who will be 77 at the end of his six-year term in 2022, is the oldest person to be elected Philippine President.
He said he “found out very late” that he did not need the presidency at his age.
“It’s not a question of having regrets, none at all, because I entered into it,” he said.
“I realize now―I do not need it at this time of my life. But I tell you, I take pleasure at the end of the day, that’s the only consolation, I have a job, I am doing something right.”
But Duterte said that he would be picking a fight with those who wanted him removed from office, adding the communist rebels were not only willing to die for him―they would also kill those who would remove him from office.
“The yellows and the demonstration. The yellows only want me removed because they cannot accept defeat,” the President said referring to the Liberal Party that uses yellow as its campaign color.
“I’m the first Left-leaning president, but I am not a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines.”
On Tuesday, Duterte admitted that migraine and his spine problems had been plaguing him less than six months since he took over the presidency last June.
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