By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday, Aug. 30, said it would be better for Filipinos to choose a dictator the likes of the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr. than letting Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo run the country because “she cannot hack it.”
“If I stop now my crusade against drugs and if there is no order in this place, the Philippines, and corruption will continue, patay yun (it won’t work). I said you’re better off choosing a dictator the likes of Marcos. That’s what I suggested,” Mr. Duterte said in his remarks at the 49th Charter Day celebration of Mandaue City at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex in Cebu on Thursday evening.
He added: “Puwede kayong magkaroon ng (You can follow the) constitutional succession, si (Ms.) Robredo, but she cannot hack it.”
Last Aug. 13, Mr. Duterte said that once he resigns as president, he prefers the “likes” of Senator Francis Joseph G. Escudero or former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. as his successor over his constitutional successor Ms. Robredo.
Also during his speech, Mr. Duterte said he “stands by [his] words” that Ms. Robredo’s hometown, Naga City, is a “hotbed” of shabu.
“Ang (It’s her) brother-in-law niya ang nagdala ng (who brought) drugs sa (to) Bicol. Totoo yan. Siyempre (That’s true, of course. [They are just in] denial,” he added.
Last week, the city council of Naga has issued a resolution declaring “indignation” over Mr. Duterte’s statement. At the same time, the city council extended an invitation to Mr. Duterte to visit and “walk our safe, peaceful, and drug-free streets.” The city, an independent component city within Camarines Sur, is the hometown of Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, who belongs to the opposition party. Her late husband, Jesse M. Robredo, was mayor of the city for six terms starting in 1988 and later appointed as Interior and Government secretary under the previous administration of Benigno S.C. Aquino III.