MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged the public not to vote for Vice President Leni Robredo if she decides to run for president.
Speaking to reporters in Davao City, Duterte insisted Robredo should take up on his drug czar offer since she may have a better method to solve the country's drug problem.
However, he said people should not vote for Robredo.
"'Wag kayong boboto diyan kay Leni. Kawawa kayo," Duterte said.
He also lashed out at Robredo for criticizing him for saying that police officers should accept gifts if these are given out of gratitude or generosity.
"Here comes a lawyer, criticizing about sa pulis. Itong si Leni, wala nang magandang sinabi para sa pulis. Lahat ng gagawin ng military pati pulis, either masama, hindi tama. 'Yan ang problema ko kay Leni," he said.
(Here comes a lawyer, criticizing the police. Leni, she never said anything good about the police. She criticizes everything about the military and the police. That's my problem with her.)
The President, likewise, said it would not be a good idea for Robredo to be president claiming she does not know the law.
"Kung 'yan ang maging presidente, hindi alam ang batas, na ang pulis pala ay puwedeng magtanggap, according to the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law, nandiyan sa batas, mismo, punishing itong maghingi nang malaki, 'yung maghingi muna bago magtrabaho. Pero kung tapos na ang trabaho, the Filipino is always conscious about gratitude, that is a trait deeply rooted sa ating... may utang na loob ka," Duterte said.
(If she becomes president, she doesn't know the law, that the police can accept gifts, according to the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law, it's there in the law, it punishes those who ask for bribes. But once the job is done, Filipinos are conscious about gratitude, that is a trait deeply rooted in us, we have debt of gratitude.)
"Tapos ito, diretso, sabihin na ganito-ganito, 'wag kayong magkumpiyansa diyan kay ano, disgrasya kayo. 'Yan ang presidente, patay, sigurado," he added.
(Then she says a lot. Don't be confident with her, you'll be in trouble. If she's the president, you'll die for sure.)
Robredo, who used to be Duterte's housing secretary, has had a frosty relationship with the chief executive as they are usually at odds over policies and issues.
Duterte has offered the "drug czar" post to Robredo after criticizing his war on illegal narcotics as "obviously, not working."
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday said Duterte was serious, adding that should Robredo succeed, it would be "ultimately a triumph" for Filipinos.
Robredo, who heads the opposition, had doubted the sincerity of Duterte’s offer, saying if the President's anti-drug campaign was a success, he would not have passed on the responsibility.