President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said any ouster move against him will not succeed without the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“Alam mo, itong mga plot, plot, plot na ito, ganito lang ang masasabi ko (You know, regarding these ouster plots, this is all I can say): Nothing will succeed without the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Duterte said in a media interview during his visit to wounded-in-action soldiers in Jolo, Sulu on Monday.
Duterte, however, clarified that he is not clinging to his position, saying the military and police can personally tell him if they are no longer contented with his works as leader of the country.
“If the military, the Armed Forces, and the police think na hindi ako bagay na maging Presidente, sabihan nila ako (If the military, the Armed Forces, and the police think that I’m no longer fit to become President, they should tell me),” Duterte said.
“Walang away-away. Kung sabihin nila na dapat palitan ako, larga ako (No more fights. If they say I should be replaced, I will go),” he added.
For the meantime, Duterte said he would just continue to fulfill his campaign promises to fight corruption and illegal drugs.
“Basta ako, nagtatrabaho ako according to my promise. Corruption, drugs, na hindi ako makinabang diyan sa… Walang transaction sa gobyerno umaabot sa akin maski sa Defense (I would just continue working according to my promise. Corruption, drugs that I will not benefit from it. No transaction in the government has reached me even from Defense),” he explained.
Recently, the AFP confirmed a conspiracy by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and other opposition groups to oust Duterte through a so-called “Red October” plot.
AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade said the destabilization threat is being orchestrated by CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison.
Last Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque backed the AFP’s claim but said the CPP-NPA and some critics from the opposition will not succeed in overthrowing Duterte.
Roque said a survey showing eight out of ten Filipinos are supporting Duterte’s war on drugs is one of major proofs that the plotters will have difficulty in ousting the President.
“Hindi sila magiging matagumpay dahil suporta ng taumbayan si President Duterte(They will not succeed because President Duterte is supported by the people),” Roque said.
Meanwhile, Roque said on Tuesday that he agreed with Vice President Leni Robredo’s claim that she is not part of any conspiracy to overthrow Duterte government.
“Well, siguro po (perhaps), as far as VP Leni is concerned, that’s a fair statement, because as far (as) I know, she was not amongst those specifically named to be part of the conspiracy,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
“She is after all the second highest elected official. She took an oath to support the Constitution and she should not and she’s expected not to support any unconstitutional means to remove the President,” he added. (PNA)