Duterte tells soldiers he will step down if they don't trust him anymore
President Rodrigo Duterte told on Friday the government troopers if they feel that they have no trust on him anymore, just let him know and he will step down from office.
But Duterte was immediate in telling the soldiers not to believe all the allegations of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, his staunch critic, saying they were all "garbage."
"You know there's new trouble. Trillanes was with you before. He has been at me, against me since the election," he said during the 11th founding anniversary celebration of Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City.
Duterte noted that even his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, has been dragged by the senator into the controversy.
Prior to becoming a senator, Trillanes was a junior Navy officer. But he participated in at least two failed coup attempts against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
During the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Thursday, Trillanes and chair committee Senator Richard Gordon argued over the former's move to invite the younger Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio to the hearing on the P6.4 billion shabu smuggling from China.
Paolo and Carpio were tagged by a witness in the hearing that the two were allegedly involved in the corruption at the Bureau of Customs.
But Gordon and Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, both administration allies, have said solid evidence should be presented first against Duterte's children before they would be summoned to the hearing.
"Let us be clear because I don't want you to doubt me. Anyway, there will be a time for that. And if I think that I cannot lead you anymore with honor, I will tell you," Duterte said.
He added that if the Armed Forces of the Philippines has no trust in him, "feel free to write me a letter or may be a text. 'Step down as President'."
Duterte said he has no illusion of clinging to power.
"I’m ready to step down, especially on the issue of corruption," he said, reiterating that if anyone from his three children would be involved in corruption, he would leave his post. Celerina Monte/DMS