“You think you’re brighter than me?”
President Duterte said he will surrender his power to enforce the law to Vice President Leni Robredo for six months as he doubted her capability to lead the country anew.
Duterte made the statement after Robredo urged the government to reassess Duterte’s “failed” drug war, saying it painted the Philippines in a bad light.
In a speech in Malacañang, Duterte slammed Robredo for always crying out “human rights” every time someone was killed in drug operations. He said he will write her a letter, telling her to take charge for half a year.
“Sige lang siya (She kept on crying) human rights-human rights. As a matter of fact, I am sending a letter to her through Secretary Mediadea. I will surrender my powers to enforce the law, ibigay ko sa Vice President. Ibigay ko sa kanya mga six months. Siya ang magdala (I will give it to the Vice President. I will let her be in charge for six months),” he said.
“Tignan natin kung ano ang mangyari. Hindi ako makialam. Sige gusto mo? Mas bright ka? Sige. Ikaw. Subukan mo (Let’s see what happens. I will not interfere. You want it? You think you’re brighter than me? Try it out),” he added.
Last week, Malacañang advised Robredo to distance herself from her colleagues from the opposition and to engage with the Filipinos more to get in touch with reality instead of echoing lies about President Duterte’s drug war.
“She may not realize it but she is echoing the lies and black propaganda of some of her colleagues in the political opposition, which to say the least is unfortunate, especially since she was part of the Cabinet when the government’s program against the drug menace was launched,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
This is not the first time Duterte belittled Robredo’s capability to lead the country. Last year, the President said he can comfortably step down from office if his successor would be either Marcos or former Senator Francis Escudero, and not Robredo.
“I think, deep in my heart, if you follow the succession and Robredo takes over, hindi niya kaya (she cannot do it),” he said.
“Hindi niya kaya (She cannot do it), that’s my honest opinion ko lang. Kung na sino lang sana diyan (Maybe if it is), in the likes of Escudero or Bongbong Marcos,” he added.
Duterte explained that while he thought Robredo was not fit to lead the country, he has nothing against the Vice President.
“Wala akong galit kay Robredo. Panalo na ako. Hindi ako nakikipag-away ng babae. Hindi nga ako sumasagot kung ano ang sinasabi nila (I have nothing against Robredo. I already won. I do not fight against women. I do not even answer their criticisms),” he said.
Duterte has been going back and forth with his opinion about Robredo. In July last year, he belittled Robredo’s leadership skills, saying she was incompetent and cannot do anything to improve the country. However, the following month, he said he had no doubt that Robredo is a good government official.
“She’s also good. No problem about that. Every Filipino is always good,” he said.