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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte changes tune on 2025 elections bid

Former president Rodrigo Duterte says he has no plan to run for office in the 2025 midterm elections, citing his physical weakness.

Rodrigo Duterte Flip-flop

Last November, the 78-year-old Duterte said he will run either for senator or vice president if his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, is impeached.

Describing himself as a “retired” politician, former president Rodrigo Duterte recently said he is not running for any position in the 2025 midterm elections. This is a shift from his November 2023 statement when he mentioned running for either the Senate or the vice presidency.

STATEMENT

In a Jan. 7 press conference, a reporter asked the former chief executive if he is running again for mayor of Davao City in the upcoming elections. Duterte replied:

Wala na. Wala na ako… I’m telling you the truth, wala na akoHindi ko na kaya…  Kasi ginusto ko man, hindi na kaya ng katawan ko.”

(No. I don’t have… I’m telling you the truth, I don’t have [plans]. I can no longer do it… Even if I want to, my body can’t bear it anymore.)

 

Source: Bangon Pilipinas YouTube Channel, LIVE PRESSCON WITH FORMER PRES. RODRIGO DUTERTE, Jan. 7, 2024, watch from 25:11 to 25:47

FACT

This is a change from the former president’s previous statement about his plans in next year’s election. Reacting to rumors of an impeachment case against his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, in November following the controversy involving DepEd’s confidential funds, the 78-year-old Duterte said:

Alam mo ba ‘pag ginawa niyo ‘yan (impeachment) babalik ako sa pulitika. Mapilitan ako; either I run for senator or I run for vice president maski matanda na ako. […] I do not lose anything. I’m retired, pero pagka magdating ‘yan [at] buhay pa ako, ‘pag wala pa akong dementia, tatakbo akong vice president.”

(If you do that I will return to politics. I will be forced; either I run for senator or I run for vice president even if I’m old. […] I do not lose anything. I’m retired, but if that day comes and I’m still alive, and I don’t have dementia, I will run as vice president.)

 

Source: ROTC PH Facebook Page, Dahilan kung bakit galit na galit ang congress sa SMNI Gikan Sa Masa Para Sa Masa! (Nov. 20, 2023), Dec. 16, 2023, watch from 2:00:22 to 2:01:45

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte changes tune on 2025 elections bid. THE FACTS: Former president Rodrigo Duterte changes tune on running for public office in the 2025 elections, saying his body can no longer bear it. Duterte, who is turning 79 years old in March, claimed in November that he will come out of retirement and run for a Senate seat or the vice presidency if his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, is impeached.

This isn’t the first time Duterte switched gears on his political plans. While in office in October 2021, Duterte announced his retirement from politics when his term ends.

A month later, he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator, but withdrew from the race on Dec. 14, a few hours after his preferred successor, his long-time aide Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go did the same. He had planned to run for vice president before that.

(See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte goes from VP to ‘retirement’ to VP to senator)

While Duterte was mayor of Davao City, he repeatedly denied plans to vie for the presidency in the 2016 national elections. He filed his COC for president on Nov. 27, 2015 as a substitute for the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan presidential bet Martin Diño, who withdrew his candidacy a month prior.

 

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Sources

ROTC PH Facebook Page, Dahilan kung bakit galit na galit ang congress sa SMNI Gikan Sa Masa Para Sa Masa! (Nov. 20, 2023), Dec. 16, 2023

Duterte denies running for prexy

Duterte files COC for presidency

Martin Diño withdraws from presidential bid

ABS-CBN News, Duterte substitution was party’s decision: Dino, Oct. 30, 2015

 

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)