Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has challenged Mr. Duterte to abide by the Constitution and formally ask Congress that he can no longer officially discharge his duties as president, notably in resolving the illegal drug problem in the country.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of the administration’s war on drugs, made the remark after Duterte dared Vice President Leni Robredo to take over the government’s war on drugs for six months and prove that she is “better” than him.
“I throw back Duterte’s challenge at him. Follow the Constitution. Transmit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives your written declaration that you are unable to discharge the powers and duties of your office, and let VP Robredo take over,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 636.
“That is the only manly way to stay true to your challenge to VP Robredo to fix what you have not been able to fix the past three years of your miserable term,” she added.
Mr. Duterte recently lashed out at Vice President Robredo for her recent call on the government to re-assess the administration’s all-out campaign against the illegal drug trade and offered to put her in charge of law enforcement for six months.
According to Duterte, he will give Vice President Robredo full power over all anti-illegal drug activities to see whether she is capable of putting an end to the long-standing issue which his administration failed at solving.
He likewise claimed that he has already directed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to transmit a formal letter to Vice President Robredo, informing the Vice President of his decision to let her take over law enforcement for six months.
“Duterte must first relinquish his post entirely to VP Robredo, who will then be Acting President throughout the over-acting phase of Duterte’s spoiled brat persona, and not only take over law enforcement functions,” said De Lima, a former justice secretary.
De Lima pointed out that Mr. Duterte has again resorted to attacking Vice President Robredo because he cannot admit that he miserably failed the millions of Filipino people who believed in his fake promise to rid the country of illegal drugs in six months.
Recall that De Lima also made a similar call to re-assess the strategies of the anti-drug war campaign of this administration considering that its current “war” characterized by summary killings of mostly poor suspected drug offenders has clearly failed.
“You failed. And now you mock VP Robredo when you were the one who bragged everything is solvable with the 6-month Duterte formula of wishing that things would just fix themselves by the sheer power of your stupid jokes and equally idiotic ramblings,” she said.
“Niloko mo mga tao na six months solb lahat ng problema. Ngayon hinahamon mo si VP Leni na gawin ang hindi mo nagawa? Sino ba ang nangako sa taumbayan na ayusin ang Pilipinas sa loob ng anim na buwan?” she added.
As early as the beginning of his term in 2016, it may be recalled that Duterte promised to resign if he could not rid the country of drugs and criminality after three to six months, but he still sits at the President’s throne in Malacanang to date.
The lady Senator from Bicol also reminded Mr. Duterte that it is not Vice President Robredo’s fault that he miserably failed his war on drugs that has already killed an estimate of 27,000 individuals without the benefit of the due process of the law.
“To challenge VP Robredo to succeed where you failed? Aba, wala sa usapan yan. Kasalanan ba ni VP Robredo kung saksakan ka ng yabang? Eh ang totoo pala ay wala ka naman palang lakas o kakayahan para tuparin ang iyong salita,” she said.
De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the present administration, has repeatedly dared Duterte to resign if he cannot stop the killings in the country even as she urged him to give a direct, categorical order to the entire police force to stop the killings, but to no avail.