WITHOUT a military component backing him up, President Rodrigo Duterte hinted at the idea of stepping down amid persistent rumors of him losing grip of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
In a televised public address, Duterte 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. I do not have the support of the military and so — ganoon lang kasimple,” Duterte was quoted as saying.
“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 added.
Duterte also cited the need for a coherent relationship between the President and the AFP — “If I cannot have the cooperation of the Armed Forces, then there’s no point in working for this government.”
However, the President insisted that the reported coup plot against him is just a pigment of imaginative minds adding that it’s no more than a rumor meant to destabilize. He went further by saying that he has done so much for the soldiers of the AFP.
“Anytime, kalabitin lang ako ni (Defense Secretary) Delfin (Lorenzana) ng apat ayaw na pati ako, o ‘di sige. Maghanap tayo,” he added.
The President, however, doesn’t seem inclined to believe that Lorenzana would ever take part in 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,” he further averred.
Rumors of the alleged planned withdrawal of the military for Duterte circulated a few days ago over the President’s silence over the West Philippine Sea dispute with China. The Palace and the military have dispelled the coup talk and assured the military remained loyal to the Constitution.