Palace: Duterte ‘knows what it takes’ to be president

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte | Malacañang photo by King Rodriguez

BEING the chief executive of the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte knows which qualities his successor should have to lead the country, Malacañang said Wednesday, February 17.

“Dahil siya ay naging president, alam niya ‘yung mga kakayahan na kinakailangan para maging president (Since he’s the president, he knows what it takes to be the president),” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

This comes in defense of Duterte’s latest statement saying that Vice President Leni Robredo is not qualified to be the next president since she doesn’t know her role in the government.

On Monday, February 15 Duterte lashed out at Robredo for criticizing his demand for the United States to “pay” for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and likening it to “extortion.”

“Every time she opens her mouth, she forgets that she is a lawyer. Being a lawyer, she should know that the Constitution says that that is my function. It is not their function.

Whatever I want to say for the sake of the country, there’s a purpose for it,” he said
“You, ma’am, I’m sorry to say, you are not really qualified to run for president. You do not know your role,” Duterte added, addressing Robredo.

Robredo, in response, said: “Hindi naman siya ang magde-decision kung qualified ako o hindi, pero ‘yong taumbayan (It is not him who will decide if I am qualified or not, but the public).”

Roque agreed that the decision depends on the public, but pointed out that Duterte is included in the public she’s referring to.

“‘Yan ay desisyon ng taumbayan pero kabahagi po ng taumbayan ay ang Presidente na siya ay boboto rin. (The decision will come from the people, but the president is among them since he will vote, too),” he noted.

Last month, Duterte claimed that women are not fit for the top government post.

“Alam mo, the emotional set-up of a woman and a man is totally different. Maging gago ka dito. That is the sad story (You know, the emotional set-up of a woman and a man is totally different. You will become a fool here. That is the sad story),” he said.
Robredo has yet to announce her political plans for 2022.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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