Duterte says he’s willing to step down if military, police no longer support him
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday admitted he felt “downhearted” when he learned of talks that some military men planned to withdraw their support to him.
He even said he would willing to step down if he would no longer have the support of the military.
“I was really downhearted because I expected the military to perform. I said: I am here because I thought I could be of help to the nation, to the Philippines,” he said in Filipino in his weekly public address, “Talk to the People.”
“If we cannot work together, maybe we cannot work together on bigger things. What’s the point?” he added.
Duterte said that, during a command conference with the heads of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana handed him a document, which, he said, was “puno na kabalastugan” – that is, “full of buffoonery.”
However, Duterte did not disclose any details as to the contents of the document or who was behind it, but he mentioned that a general was involved.
He said he told the heads of AFP that if they and the police would ask him to step down, he would resign and go home to Davao City.
“I told them: ‘I do not work where I’m not needed. Then it’s up to you to explain to the Filipino people why it’s like that,‘” Duterte said.
“If I cannot have the cooperation of the Armed Forces, then there is no point in working for this government — none,” he further said.
He also repeated the reason why he preferred appointing retired military generals, rather than civilians, as government officials.
“Because if I rely on civilians, we’re dead. So if I want things, it’s really the military,’ he added.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the president was unbothered by reports that some military men were withdrawing their support for him.
Roque also dismissed these reports as mere hearsay, and the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines called it “fake news.”
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