Duterte to soldiers on mutiny: 'Drop all politicians'

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2019 10:29 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday introduced yet another radical idea to soldiers if they want to oust him through mutiny.

Duterte, citing past military-backed revolts against former Filipino leaders, said the military would always resort to giving the power to a deposed leader’s opponents instead of grabbing the power itself.

The President said it would be more ideal if the military would just choose new set of leaders and “drop all politicians, including me.”

“The problem with you guys… is [when] you go on a mutiny, rebellion, you do it, you time it [when] there’s a disturbance… in society, a political turmoil… If you win, you give the power to the opponents of the leader you had just deposed,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang.

Duterte said instead of “wasting their time,” the military should “look for the best 10, 15 bright young leaders.”

“Drop all politicians, including me. I can swim slowly. I can always go home to Davao swimming. One kilometer a day would be fine,” he said in jest.

“[Assure] them of protection. Give them a salary of… ‘Okay, I’ll give you 10 million a month. You f*** up, we will kill you. You do good, we will increase your salary by the year, one million.’”

In his speech, Duterte again spoke of his desire to retire from politics. The 73-year-old former Davao City mayor is almost midway into his 6-year term as president.

“I’ll go home. I am ripe for retirement. If God wills it. I don’t know kung mag-abot ba tayo diyan (I don’t know if we will reach that). I’ve been 40 years in politics. Add it to the years of my father, I practically, well eating politics as a daily bread,” he said.

This was not the first time the President toyed with the idea of having the country placed under military rule.

Back in August 2018, Duterte said he prefers a junta to the lead the country if he is ousted by the military, as he belittled the capabilities of Vice President Leni Robredo, his constitutional successor.