Like an old land mine waiting to blow up, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's "important announcement" yesterday was deemed as the moment he will, once and for all, confirm if he'll indeed run for president in next year's national elections.
And when the no-nonsense, tough-as-nails statesman, during a press conference at a hotel in Davao City, finally uttered these words...
"Wala akong ambisyon maging presidente. In 2016, I will retire from public life for good."
...Filipinos from basically all walks of life understandably experienced mixed emotions. Supporters—all those vouching for him—obviously got in a somber mood, like a hero has given up on them.
Is there still hope left now that #Duterte has announced that he's not running? I feel hopeless. He s d only living hope we could never have— joy antonette pace (@dzoie) September 7, 2015
Ok. Maglulugmok muna ako. #Duterte— TJ Monterde (@tjmusicmonterde) September 7, 2015
Duterte broke a lot of hearts yesterday.— Noreen Capili (@noringai) September 7, 2015
Duterte fans after hearing that Davao's mayor won't run for president pic.twitter.com/Y8rAd6JMMk— Josh (@negativradical) September 7, 2015
who else here cried after hearing mayor duterte not running for presidency— macky (@mackylucifera) September 8, 2015
Celebrity tweeps and social media personalities, meanwhile, each had different takes, with some of them being humorous.
So now that Duterte is out of presidential race for 2016, is he open for VP?— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) September 7, 2015
Mayor Duterte knows just how difficult a presidential campaign can be. No joke. At least he knows his limits. Respect.— Leah Navarro (@leahnavarro) September 7, 2015
Duterte not running? There goes my funeral-parlor business plan.— Lourd de Veyra (@lourddv) September 7, 2015
So ang sabi pala ni Duterte sa Big Announcement n'ya "I am not running" --Hanggat hindi pa deadline ng filing for candidacy, may pagasa pa!— Senyora Santibañez (@Senyora) September 7, 2015
Miriam ain't running. Duterte ain't running. What now? Someone worthy enough to be president please step up!!! 😱— Miss Krizzy (@krizzy_kalerqui) September 7, 2015
Duterte, thank you.— Professional Heckler (@HecklerForever) September 7, 2015
At least Davaoeños still have something to be happy about... (Wait, we thought he's retiring?)
For some, Duterte is like an ex you had for so many years.
i will never ever give my presidential vote to anyone except #Duterte— koyn abragan (@bthlkyn) September 8, 2015Continue reading below ↓
How can Mayor #Duterte say NO to a country who needs his political skills. Sir with due respect, please clear your mind because we need you!— Jophanie Tagudin (@jophalicious) September 7, 2015
This one though, wins Twitterverse.
Since Duterte wont run.. ill join him walking nalang— Takehumi Galarion (@TGalarion) September 7, 2015
If you ask us, there's actually no reason to fret; there is still around a month and a week left before the official filing of certificates of candidacy (October 12 to 16). Who knows, maybe for the first time in his political career, the unyielding, sought-after public official suddenly has a change of heart.
With how politics is here in the Philippines, you can never tell.