Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has warned that he will close down Congress if he would face impeachment attempts as President.
Duterte gave the warning in reaction to Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th’s pronouncement that the tough-talking mayor could be impeached if he wins the presidency in the May 9 elections over allegations of hidden wealth.
“’Pag i-impeach ako, sabi ni Trillanes, eh ‘di isara ko ‘yang Congress. Eh ‘di wala nang mag-impeach sa akin [If I will be impeached as Trillanes says, I will shut down Congress. So no one will impeach me],” Duterte told reporters in Bataan province, north of Manila, on Thursday.
“The congressmen will ask ‘Why do you want us closed?’ I’d tell them ‘p–ina’ because you want me impeached,” he said.
“P–ina” is a contracted expletive in Filipino.
Duterte said Congress would have no say if he decided to form a “revolutionary government” if he becomes President.
“In every revolution that succeeds, siya ‘yung tigas [the President is in charge]. He now becomes the authority,” he added, before bringing up the case of late former president Ferdinand Marcos.
“Tingnan mo si Marcos. Pero kaniya, martial law, iba yun. Dictator? Ah, eh ‘di alangan.
Ako na ang Congress, ako na ang Presidente, dictator ka talaga [Look at Marcos. But it was martial law for him, that’s different. Dictator? It’s not unlikely. I am Congress. I am President, you are relly a dictator],” he added.
Trillanes, who alleged that Duterte has bank transactions amounting to P2.4 billion, has vowed to impeach the mayor right away if he wins in the May 9 polls.
While Duterte has admitted to owning some accounts as alleged by Trillanes, he said these only contained hundreds of thousands of pesos, savings from his previous stint as a congressman.
He told his supporters not to believe Trillanes, whom he dubbed as a “mercenary.”
The Davao City mayor said that if he truly had amassed hidden wealth, then he would not have to run for the presidency but could have used this money to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
Duterte led recent presidential preference surveys with barely more than a week before the elections.
He obtained a 35 percent preferential rating compared to second-placer Sen. Grace Poe, who got 23 percent.
Trillanes is lagging behind at fifth place in the vice presidential race, where Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leads with 29 percent.