THE presidency is an unforgiving position. This was the statement made by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, as he continues to deny that he has plans on running for president come 2016.
In his latest statement, Duterte said that all he wanted to do at his age now is have time to travel around the world and enjoy the remaining years of his life.
He said the presidency is almost like an assurance that one would be going to jail after the term as what happened in the past two presidents -- Joseph Estrada and Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Duterte, at the same time, denied that he is keen on getting Batangas Governor Vilma Santos as his running mate simply because he is not running.
Former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Piñol earlier said that during a trip from Antique to Davao, Duterte talked for the first time about the possibility of running in 2016 and who his dream running mate would be.
Piñol said he asked the mayor who his preferred running mate would be. He said it took Duterte sometime to answer the question but when he did, he was candid.
"It can't be Grace Poe because I think she has decided to run for President. Vilma Santos would be a good choice," Duterte told Piñol.
Piñol said Santos would be a good choice since her "aura of calmness and her infectious smile could soften the otherwise fiery and sometimes firm appearance of Rody Duterte."
Piñol said he also asked the mayor about the composition of his Cabinet if he won the presidency.
Duterte named Gilbert Teodoro for the defense department because "he is brilliant." For finance, Duterte named former Agriculture Secretary Carlos "Sonny" Dominguez III, head of the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.
For the interior department, Piñol said former Interior secretary Rafael Alunan III would be Duterte's choice, along with an unnamed "Visayan governor."
For the Department of Justice, he said Duterte had two names in mind, including that of Vitaliano Aguirre, the bar topnotcher who gained media attention when he covered his ears as Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was speaking during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
If he had his way, Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo would be social welfare secretary.
"She looks very motherly and calm. And anybody who has been through a painful tragedy is more compassionate and emotional. That's the kind of leader we need in serving the poor and unfortunate," Piñol quoted Duterte as saying.
Duterte confirmed his conversation with Piñol but clarified that it was just small talk and nothing serious.