Duterte to turncoats: Don’t adore me
DAVAO CITY—With lawmakers making a beeline for the camp of Rodrigo Duterte, the presumptive president-elect reminds them that they owe their loyalty to the Constitution and not to him.
“Do not adore me … Pati yung mga congressmen na bumaligtad … You do not owe loyalty to me. You just maintain your loyalty to the Constitution,” Duterte said in a press conference here on Thursday.
Duterte said the lawmakers who had jumped ship to become members of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the political vehicle he rode in his ascent to the presidency, should place their loyalty to the country.
With the shift in political allegiances at the House of Representatives, PDP-Laban is said to have gathered more than 260 allies of the expected 290 members.
PDP-Laban has signed coalition agreements with the 32-member party-list bloc, Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition, National Unity Party, and Lakas-CMD. At least 80 lawmakers from the erstwhile dominant Liberal Party have also expressed their desire to join Duterte’s political party.
Duterte also warned his Cabinet appointees not to use their posts to launch their political careers.
“Sinabi ko sa mga choices ko, don’t use the Cabinet post as a launching pad for any political ambition you have. I-fire kita. Talagang sabihin ko, umalis ka,” he said.
The incoming President said once his Cabinet appointees used their posts to give favors, it would open the floodgates of corruption.
“Trabaho lang tayong lahat, do not glorify me, do not adore me, you adore the country, pareho tayong lahat dito na trabahante lang,” Duterte told would-be members of his official family.
Duterte is still vetting his appointees to various Cabinet posts. In the same press conference, he said the Communist Party of the Philippines had given him an “impressive” list of nominees for the four Cabinet portfolios that he offered them.
His official family so far is composed of former government officials, law school classmates, and key persons during his presidential campaign. It is also predominantly male. RC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.