MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte suspects the Liberal Party still wants to oust him because they “cannot accept defeat.”
“Yung mga Yellow diyan, nagdedemonstrate kayo (You Yellow, you are demonstrating)…You want me out because you cannot accept defeat,” said Duterte on Wednesday night, December 7, during the United Nations Convention Against Corruption event at the Palace.
“Pulitika ito eh (This is politics). They wanted me out, syempre yung (of course the) Vice President – kayo, you had your chance,” added Duterte, mentioning Vice President Leni Robredo, the Liberal Party member with the highest position in government.
Days ago, Duterte had told Robredo, through a text from Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, that she should stop attending Cabinet meetings starting December 5. The move convinced Robredo to resign from her post as housing czar.
The Palace said Duterte’s decision to bar Robredo from Cabinet meetings was due to their “irreconcilable differences.”
Robredo previously denied any Liberal Party plans to oust Duterte.
In the midst of his rant about the Liberal Party, Duterte contrasted the political party with Leftists who he claims support him.
“Pero pag sabi mong Left, they would never even allow me to step down two steps to the ground. ‘Yang mga komunsita, ‘yang NPA (New People’s Army), puro Duterte ‘yan,” he said.
(But when you say Left, they would never even allow me to step down two steps to the ground. The communists, the NPA, they are all for Duterte.)
Duterte’s Cabinet counts among its members individuals affiliated with the Left, including Cabinet Secretary Evasco, a former NPA rebel; Agrarian Secretary Rafael Mariano; Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo; and National Anti-Poverty Commission chairperson Liza Maza.
The Duterte administration is also pursuing peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines in Oslo, Norway. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.