MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday called Vice President Leni Robredo "incompetent" and said he would not step down if she would assume his post.
"Kung siya mag-presidente? (If she will become president?) Look, I will not resign because it will make her president. My resignation is addressed to the people para makapili sila ng gusto nila," Duterte told reporters in Clark, Pampanga.
"Siya (she), I don’t think she can ever be ready to govern a country. Reason? Incompetence. She’s not capable of running a country like this, Philippines," said Duterte of Robredo, a lawyer and former Camarines Sur Representative.
Robredo, leader of the opposition, was once part of the Duterte Cabinet, serving as housing czar. She, however, quit her post in December 2016 over policy differences with the President.
In June, Robredo said she had no plans to take Duterte's place, adding that her political career "just happened."
Robredo had been thrust into the spotlight following the death of her husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, in a plane crash on August 2012.
A month earlier, Duterte had inquired about the status of the manual recount in the electoral protest of former Senator Bongbong Marcos against Robredo, after saying again that he wanted to step down.
In October 2016, a few months into his presidency, Duterte introduced Marcos to the Filipino community in Beijing as "the next vice president" if he wins his electoral protest.
Atty. Barry Gutierrez, legal adviser of the Office of the Vice President, in response, enumerated issues hounding the Duterte administration.
"Inflation: 5.2%. Bigas: ₱42/kilo. $1 = ₱53.51. Dagdag sa pambansang utang: ₱1.19 trillion. Sariling karagatan: bawal sa Pinoy. Trapik: palala pa. Patayan, tila araw araw na lang. Incompetent? Nagsalita ang magaling," Gutierrez said in a statement.