PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte, who has repeatedly shunned constitutional succession in case he steps down before his six-year term is over, said he would rather have former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. or incumbent Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero succeed him.
"Wala akong galit kay Robredo. Panalo na ako. Hindi ako nakikipag-away ng babae. Hindi nga ako sumasagot kung ano ang sinasabi nila. But sinabi ko, I think deep in my heart, if you follow the succession and Robredo takes over, hindi niya kaya," Duterte said in a speech before the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas on Tuesday, August 14, referring to Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo.
(I harbor no ill feelings toward Robredo.. I already won. And I do not pick a fight with a woman. I am not even responding back to her criticisms. But I said, I think deep in my heart, if you follow the succession and Robredo takes over, she cannot do it.)
"Hindi niya kaya, that's my honest opinion ko lang. Kung na sino lang sana diyan, in the likes of Escudero or Bongbong Marcos," he added.
(She cannot do it. That's just my honest opinion. Perhaps, someone can replace me, in the likes of Escudero or Bongbong Marcos.)
Both Marcos and Escudero ran for vice president in the 2016 national elections but lost to Robredo. Marcos, who was defeated by 263,473 votes, has a pending poll protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Duterte, 73, made the remark amid his desire to step down from office because of exasperation over his failure to stop corruption in government and eradicate narcotics trade.
"Ako po ay sawa na. What is inside me is not really anger kasi wala ka talagang magawa eh. It's the frustration that I cannot comply with my promise, number one [is] corruption," he said.
(I'm already tired. What is inside me is not really anger because I could not do anything. It's the frustration that I cannot comply with my promise, number one [is] corruption.)
"I've been trying to fire people, hindi lang ninyo alam. Marami ako pero still corruption, it does not only persists, it flourishes. Sabi ko hindi ko talaga kaya," he added.
(I've been trying to fire people, you just don't know that. I have fired many but still corruption, it does not only persists, it flourishes. I really cannot stop it.)
In a weekly economic briefing held Wednesday, August 15, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III noted that it was not the first time the President expressed his plan to give up his post.
Duterte nevertheless has the "sheer political will" to deal with the "very difficult" problems being faced by the country, the Health chief said.
"That's not the first time the President has said that. I think to me, it's really just venting out. Sometimes, out of exhaustion, sometimes, out of frustrations. He expresses some of those frustrations, even during the Cabinet meetings, [which include] the fight against corruption, the fight against illegal drugs, and the crime that is attached to it," he said.
"So I think the President needs all the support that he can muster. You know, he's strong, to think that the President is going to solve all the problems for us. I think please disabuse our minds. We need everyone in government to really rally behind and support the government in all of his substantive initiatives," Duque added. (SunStar Philippines)