PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said his statement that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara "Inday" Duterte, is his most qualified successor is a "joke."
"It started with a joke. They asked, 'Who might replace you in the presidency?'" the President said in an interview aired on government-owned PTV4 on Friday night.
Duterte said he mentioned his daughter because there have been persistent questions as to who he thinks would be his possible successor whose qualities were similar to him.
He explained that he mentioned his daughter because they have the same personality.
"[They said], your sucessor should be like you.' So I said, 'You want someone with the same style as mine? Fine, she's a girl. It's Inday,'" he said.
He also insisted that his daughter was not interested to join politics, noting that she was merely compelled to run for Davao City mayor to pave way for his presidential bid.
The presidential daughter among the people who pushed Duterte not to be hesitant in running for president in the May 9, 2016 national elections.
"As I have said, Sara does not want politics," Duterte said.
Last week a national daily headlined the story of the president eyeing daughter Sara Duterte as his successor.
The Chief Executive, in the newspaper report, was quoted as saying: "I couldn't find any other better candidate than Sara to become the next president. And one thing about her is she is not bigot."
Duterte dismissed the report and revealed that his actual plan was to groom a "senator" as his sucessor.
He, however, did not mention the name of the lawmaker he wants as his replacement after his six-year term.
On September 25, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President does not want to extend rule when he said his daughter was the most eligible to be his successor.
Abella said Duterte merely sought to preserve the current administration's accomplishments by electing someone whom "he actually trusts," apparently referring to the younger Duterte.
"I think the President is just being very, very pragmatic. It's not a question of wanting to perpetuate power but ensuring whatever gains that we have made, the adminiatration may have, will be preserved by someone [whom] he actually trusts," he said. (SunStar Philippines)