Duterte ready to step down if he loses military support; Revolutionary gov’t dismissed as ‘kalokohan’

Published April 20, 2021, 12:02 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte won’t hesitate to relinquish his post if ever the military withdraws support for his leadership.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on April 19, 2021.

Addressing the nation Monday, the President said he will return to his home city of Davao and let the military explain the reason behind his removal from office. He recalled a recent meeting with military officials where he offered to resign if the officers demanded it.

“Kung tumindig kayo ngayon, aalis ako pagka-mayor. Uuwi ako sa ano. Ibig kong sabihin (If you stand up now, I will leave as mayor. I will go home). I do not have the support of the military and so — ganoon lang kasimple,” the President said.

“If we cannot work together with just buy medicines, then maybe we cannot work together on bigger things. So what’s the point? Sinabi ko talaga sa kanila. I do not work where I am not needed. And then kayo na mag-explain, explain to the Filipino people bakit ganoon (the reason),” he said during his televised address Monday, April 19.

“If I cannot have the cooperation of the Armed Forces, then there’s no point in working for this government,” he added.

Duterte however resented the rumored plan of some military officials to launch a coup against him, saying he did “many things for the Armed Forces.” The commander-in-chief however refused to enumerate these efforts aimed at improving the military’s welfare since the public funds were used.

“Anytime, kalabitin lang ako ni (Defense Secretary) Delfin (Lorenzana) ng apat ayaw na pati ako, o ‘di sige. Maghanap tayo (Anytime, I am notified by Delfin that four have withdrawn support, ok fine. Let’s find a replacement),” he added.

The President however is doubtful that Lorenzana will join any move to remove him from office and install a revolutionary government.

“Do you think that he would still tinker with the kung ano-anong mga revolutionary government, revolutionary government? Kalokohan ‘yan (that’s nonsense),” he said.

Rumors of the alleged planned withdrawal of the military for Duterte circulated a few days ago, apparently dismayed with the President’s silence over the West Philippine Sea dispute with China. The Palace and military have dispelled the coup talk and assured the military remained loyal to the Constitution.

Duterte, elected in 2016 on a promise to eliminate illegal drugs and corruption, will end his six-year term next year.