Duterte reminds AFP: Just ask if you want me to step down
MANILA, Philippines — While promising to provide all the needs of soldiers before the end of his term, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded the military that it did not need to resort to force to oust him.
All it has to do, he said, is ask and he would step down.
Speaking at the anniversary of the Philippine Air Force on Tuesday, the President said there may come a point when people’s patience about corruption “in the higher echelons of government” would wane.
“I know that the Armed Forces and the police will have to decide one day somehow [to intervene]. Do not do it, please, during my term,” he said.
“I told you before. All you have to do if you do not like me, do not bring your weapons and mechanized armor there. Just call me and we’ll have coffee and I am ready to say, ‘It’s yours for the taking,’” he added.
Loyal to the Constitution
Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson for the AFP, said on Wednesday that the President should not fear a putsch because the military “is composed of professional and matured servicemen and women who are patriots and loyal to the Constitution and the duly constituted authorities.”
Gen. Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police, laughed off talk of a plot against the President.
“I can assure the President and the public that the PNP has no such plan,” Albayalde said. —Reports from Leila B. Salaverria and Jeannette I. Andrade