President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will not step down because it will make Vice President Leni Robredo the next president of the country.
“Look, I will not resign because it will make her president,” Duterte said an media interview after gracing the National MSME Summit 2018 at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.
Duterte said he preferred to hold general elections to determine the transition leader, who will head the proposed shift to a federal system of government.
“My resignation is addressed to the people so that they can choose whoever they want,” Duterte said.
“I would like the Filipino to choose a new leader, specially if it is a new structure and I have been an official of the structure of type of government which, since time immemorial, [is] unitary,” he added.
He said people might want to elect an experienced individual who would have the competence or enterprise to form the federal type of government.
Duterte said his suggestion to the Consultative Committee (ConCom) and to Congress as well is to revise the transitory provisions of the ConCom-proposed federal Constitution to prove his critics wrong that he wanted to stay in power beyond 2022.
“They can amend and make it a provision there that I will be co-terminus with the effectivity of the federal Constitution. Once it is implemented, they can, I said, provide a provision there that the Office of the President shall be declared vacant but you have to call for an election,” Duterte said.
“I’m willing to step down, call for an election, get a new leader and go on with the transition. That’s really fine with me,” he added.
The President believes his critics are the ones who are hungry for power and wanted to be a dictator.
“They are the one who will become dictator. That’s what they want. They are doing nothing but to invent malice in their minds. Or better still I will invite them to resign with me. Or not really resign but to agree to being, not really dismissed but to cease from being president and vice president,” Duterte said.
When asked to comment on Robredo’s plan to unite and lead the opposition, Duterte said: “She? I don’t think she can ever be ready to govern a country. Reason? Incompetence. She’s not capable of running a country like [the] Philippines.” PNA