By Genalyn Kabiling
Vice President Leni Robredo may be “very good” and “gentle” but is “weak” to lead the country, President Duterte declared in his latest tirade against his constitutional successor.
The President, who previously questioned the competence of Robredo, maintained that he prefers a military junta over Robredo taking over as president in case he steps down from office.
“Sa totoo lang sir, even her — ‘yung public statements, I do not mean to offend the lady. She’s very good. She’s gentle. Pero mahina talaga si Leni [But Leni is really weak],” Duterte said during a dinner with the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. in Malacañang Thursday night.
“Hindi mahina ‘yung utak, pumasa ng bar eh. Mahina sa diskarte [Her brain is not weak, she passed the bar. She’s weak in strategy],” he said.
Duterte insisted that he would “not resign” to make way for Robredo, a lawyer and a former lawmaker. “The one that you’re trying to get rid of really wants to go out. If you want to give me a reason — pero I will not resign to give it to (her),” he said.
Duterte, however, renewed his offer to step down if the military was no longer satisfied with his performance.
He said he would let the “military junta” take his place, adding there was no need to stage a “stupid” coup against him. He said all they need to do was to tell him their concerns about his governance.
“I will not resist ‘yung magsabi na — sabi ko, do not create that spectacle because you’ll look stupid to me, na you want to fight me? If you want to fight me, ‘di tayo na lang. Maghanap kayo diyan nang pinakamagandang mag-draw. Why would I ask my military to defend me and to kill also your fellow soldiers?” he said.
“All you have to do is to come here, the major commands. If you feel like having coffee with me, then tell me and I will go down,” he said.
Duterte also offered to administer the oath of the “ruling junta of the Philippines” once he is deposed from power. He said he would gladly return home once he is out of office.
“Eh ‘di libre na ako. Uwi na lang ako sa amin. Ang masakit dito is ‘yung pinapaalis ninyo gusto talagang umalis. Huwag ninyo akong bigyan ng ano — kasi talagang aalis ako,” he added.
The President earlier opposed Robredo as his constitutional successor due to her alleged incompetence. He said he would rather be replaced by a military junta or competent leaders like Senator Francis Escudero or former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.