President Rodrigo Duterte said he couldn't see anyone deserving to succeed him as political forces start to align for the 2022 national elections.
The 76-year-old Duterte told his friend, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, in an interview aired late Tuesday that he planned to retire in his hometown Davao City once he steps down next year.
"Wala, wala akong nakita na ano deserving," Duterte said when asked about who he thinks could replace him in Malacañang.
"Uwi ako sa Davao, mag-retire," he said in the interview aired on Quiboloy's SMNI TV.
Asked if he would endorse anyone for president, Duterte said he might "when the time comes" but noted that it would be good for him to stay "neutral."
"Mabuti't na lang mag-neutral na lang rin ako. Pero mayroon diyang mga aspirants. I may... I may publicly name them when the time comes," Duterte said.
Malacañang earlier said President Duterte had mentioned five possible 2022 presidential candidates namely Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and his longtime aide Sen. Bong Go.
All five names have been linked to possible presidential bids in 2022.
While the President's eldest daughter Duterte-Carpio has topped surveys on possible candidates for president, the elder Duterte reiterated that he had advised her against running.
"Maawa ako sa kanya, magtrabaho ka ang suweldo 200 [thousand]. Buti sana kung... Itong Pilipinas naman o, buti sana kung bigyan ka naman ng mga 1 million," he said.