Duterte ready to rumble vs oust-plotters in and out of PH
MANILA — He may say that he does not need the presidency, but President Duterte would not give up his post without a fight either.
Mr. Duterte said on Thursday, he was not brushing aside reports of a supposed ouster plot against him.
Recent reports linked former United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg to this supposed ouster plot, although the US had denied this.
Asked in a television interview if he took seriously the reports of a plot to unseat him, Mr. Duterte replied: “In the sense that I may be looking at it as a possibility, yes.”
Duterte has said he is not desperate for the office, but he has a job to fulfill and would fight for it.
“If you say you’ll oust me, probably I’ll give you a good fight. You’ll get a bloody nose, that’s for sure,” he said.
He told those who want him out that he would honor his contract with the people.
“This is my message to the United States and to everybody, to those out there on the streets, and for those who are demanding my resignation: you know, I feel that I have to honor the contract with the people,” he said.
On allegations of Goldberg’s involvement in the ouster plot, Mr. Duterte said many of the US Ambassadors were not just diplomats but also acted as spies for their country and were connected with the Central Intelligence Agency.
“The ambassador of a country is the number one spy. But there are ambassadors of the US whose forte is really to undermine the government,” he said.
He said Goldberg did this in Bolivia, from which he was expelled for undermining the country’s President.
“And Goldberg started to dig under, to erode the foundation of the presidency and he was expelled, persona non grata,” he added.
Mr. Duterte earlier lashed out at Goldberg for criticizing a rape joke he had made during the campaign.
The President accused the envoy of meddling in Philippine affairs, and later called Goldberg gay.
In his third live television interview on Thursday, Mr. Duterte was asked directly if he was convinced that Goldberg was in on the plot against him.
He replied: “Yes, because the history.”
He said a magazine article had analyzed Goldberg, who he noted was ousted from Bolivia for undermining the President of that country. SFM