Duterte on succession: Let’s stick to the Constitution

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2017 06:37 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2017 12:44 AM

‘Pretender to the throne’: Pamatong catches the President’s attention

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday again addressed nagging questions about the real state of his health, this time reminding his troops that they should follow the Constitution's rules on succession in case he dies.

In a speech during the 120th founding anniversary celebration of the Presidential Security Group, Duterte noted that there were two “claimants” to the presidency.

Vice President Leni Robredo, he said, is the rightful successor to his post in case he dies in the middle of his term. This as he noted that Elly Pamatong, a perennial nuisance electoral hopeful, seemed to have claimed his “throne.”

“May problema rin tayong isa, because there is a pretender to the throne. Assuming that I die within maybe tomorrow, next year or next month, there are two claimants to the presidency,” Duterte said.

“Ang isa, nag-organize na at he has claimed he has deposed me - presidential candidate Pamatong. Sabi niya nag-take over na siya. Eh ngayon nandyan si Leni. Baka magkamali kayo ng kampo ha, dito tayo sa Constitution. There is a successor there,” he said.

Questions about Duterte’s health arose amid his prolonged absence from the public eye.

Duterte, the oldest to become President at 72, broke his 6-day hiatus on Tuesday, hosting Muslim leaders in a celebration of Eid al-Fitr in Malacañang.

Prior to yesterday’s event, Duterte last appeared in public on June 20, when he visited evacuees in Iligan City and wounded soldiers in Cagayan de Oro.

Earlier this month, Duterte was also absent from public events for five days, starting with missing the Independence Day rites on June 12. 

He appeared in public again on June 17, when he visited the Philippine Army 4th Infantry Division in Butuan City. At the time, he told reporters that the state of his health was “immaterial.”