MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday responded to Vice President Leni Robredo’s comment that the military has given her assurance that it will not support a revolutionary government in the Philippines.
Robredo, who met with newly installed AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero and Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana, said she was assured by both officials that they will not support efforts that go against the Constitution.
Duterte, the commander-in-chief of the military, said Robredo was “correct” and the Armed Forces must “listen” to her.
“Tama siya. Tinanong ko ang military. Sabi nila, ‘Hindi kami susuporta ng revolutionary government.’ Sabi ko, ‘Why?’ Sabi nila, ‘Dahil sabi ni Vice President Robredo.’ ‘O bakit?”’Sabi niya, ‘Mas gusto namin siya. Babae at saka hindi nagmumura.’ Ganun,” Duterte told reporters in Da Nang, Vietnam, where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
“Pero tama siya. Ayaw ng --- Gusto ng military siya ang… Dapat sundin si Robredo,” he added.
Duterte first floated the idea of setting up a revolutionary government last month amid alleged destabilization efforts by his enemies, which supposedly included communist rebels, the rich, and even the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Duterte said he will set up a revolutionary government and declare all positions in government vacant if the country descends into chaos amid what he believes are efforts by his political enemies to destabilize his administration.
United States Ambassador Sung Kim has since denied Duterte's allegations that the CIA was behind efforts to oust the chief executive.
Some senators, particularly those who are members of cause-oriented group Tindig Pilipinas, also criticized Duterte's pronouncements, saying only a "paranoid and insecure little man" would feel the need to declare a revolutionary government.