By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Vicente Sotto III believes that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not resign, even after he expressed anew his willingness to step down from office.
Duterte, in a speech Tuesday night, said he wanted to step down because he has “had enough” of the spate of government corruption which he promised to solve within his administration.
But in an interview Wednesday, Sotto said the Chief Executive may have only said those out of frustration over the persistent corruption in the government.
“Sa pagkakakilala ko sa Presidente, wala sa ugali niya yung nang-aabandon. Ang tingin ko baka nagsasabi lang niya in the heat of the moment dahil medyo mainit ang ulo, or medyo napupuno lang siya sa nakikita niyang matinding corruption sa gobyerno (From what I know about the President, it is not in his character to just abandon his job. I think he may have said that in the heat of the moment, because he was angry or has had enough seeing the grave corruption in government),” the Senate chief said when asked about Duterte’s statement.
“Ganoon lang ‘yon. Pero ‘pag nakapag-isip-isip siya, hindi niya tutuluyan ‘yon…Sinabi niya lang ‘yon. Hindi dama ng puso niya ang sinambit niya (It was just that. Maybe when he has thought about it, he will not do it. He only said that, but did not mean it),” he added.
Sotto said he understood that Duterte was only “stressed-out, like all other government officials.”
While he acknowledged appeals for Duterte to rest, he maintained that the President should not give up on his promise.
“Frustration lang yun, hindi resignation. I don’t think he knows the word surrender, hindi niya gagawin yun. I don’t believe that he will do it,” Sotto said.
Like Sotto, Senator Panfilo Lacson believes that and the President was only tired.
“We heard it several times from him, so we should not interpret what he said literally. I think he was just expressing his exasperation, his frustration over what he saw in the last few weeks,” Lacson said in a separate interview.
President Duterte, on Monday, had sacked at least 20 military officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ V. Luna Medical Center over the alleged corruption involving ghost transactions supposedly amounting hundreds of millions of pesos.
Duterte, in his Tuesday speech, however, said that he will only resign if “the likes” of Sen. Francis Escudero and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos will replace him.