Duterte may step down if Bongbong Marcos wins in VP poll protest: Roque
President Rodrigo Duterte might step down from office if former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr would win his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it was a "genuine wish" for Duterte to quit from his post because of his exasperation over the problems of illegal drugs and corruption in the country.
"Well, what he actually said is a real statement of exasperation and a genuine wish to step down if there’s a better leader or if there’s a qualified leader to take over. And he has said that he thinks Senator Bongbong Marcos is one of the better qualified leaders to succeed him. If there’s development and he will win the protest and he becomes vice president, yes, he will make true his word," he said.
He reiterated Duterte was worried that if he quits from his post now, Robredo, who is his Constitutional successor, might not be qualified.
Marcos has filed an election protest against Robredo in relation to the vice presidential polls in 2016.
The Presidential Electoral Tribunal has been conducting a recount of the votes from some areas where cheating allegedly took place in the last elections.
In a recent speech, Duterte said that he was willing to step down as president if his successor would only be the likes of Senator Francis Escudero or Marcos.
He did not mention the name of his defeated running mate and now Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
This prompted some quarters to wonder why Duterte did not include Cayetano as one of his possible successors.
But Roque said, "Let's see what Alan Cayetano has to say about that...but I'm sure his number one preference is Alan Cayetano. He ran with Alan Cayetano."
"I guess he’s just emphasizing that there are more people qualified, okay. I don’t have to interpret what the President says as far as the Vice President is concerned. Let’s not belabor the point," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS