I’m ready to step down — Duterte

Published August 15, 2018, 9:33 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has declared that he has “no illusion of dictatorship,” saying he was prepared to step down and give way to a military junta or a more competent successor.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

The President said he was actually “tired” and would be “happy to go home” in Davao City, after admitting he could not resolve the problems of corruption and illegal drugs within his term.

“For those who are dreaming that I will extend my term and be a dictator, you must be the lowest idiot in this country even to suggest that I have a plan,” Duterte said during the launch of “Pilipinas Angat Lahat Alliance” in Malacañang Tuesday.

“For all of you, no illusions about extension, about dictatorship. At this time I’m telling you, I’m ready to step down and retire,” he said.

Duterte said he would even administer the oath of military officials who want to install a junta to replace him.

“I would suggest to the military, if you want a junta, look for the — or if you want yourselves to be the junta, I said line up here, I’ll put you in your proper place. ‘I, I, General, do hereby solemnly swear that as a regular junta member of this republic,’” he said.

“Then I go home to Davao and solve the problems of the country because I will fail. I cannot do it and so I have to admit to the people that I failed. So look for another one. And I’d be happy to go home,” he added.

Duterte said he was also ready to be replaced by a “more competent” leader after acknowledging that corruption and drugs would probably outlast his term.

“If you think there is somebody more competent, then by all means, place him. Or a group of persons who you think could bring prosperity to this nation, then do it because I said I’m tired and I think I cannot fulfill the promise of ending all these problems,” he said.

Duterte however opposed a constitutional succession in case he vacates his office, reiterating that he does not believe in the competence of Vice President Leni Robredo. “Were it not for the fact that I do not believe in the competence of the Vice President, I’m ready to go anytime,” he said.

Duterte admitted that he has become “exasperated” since corruption and illegal drugs appeared to be getting worse despite his efforts. He noted that illegal drug transactions have increased from millions to billions of pesos.

“Drugs will not end at the end of my term. It might just be — it could worsen,” he said.

In cleaning up the bureaucracy, Duterte lamented that corruption has become “endemic” in government.

“My chase against graft and corruption seems to be endless and it has contaminated almost all government departments and offices,” he said.

“I said I will try to stop corruption which I’m doing and still I cannot succeed even beyond my term,” he added.