YOU will ‘bleed.’
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday warned those behind a supposed plot to remove him from Malacañang to brace for a bloody fight.
“Those talks of ousting me…probably I’ll give you a good fight, you’ll get a bloody nose,” Duterte said in the first of four media interviews Thursday, aired over CNN Philippines.
Speaking for the first time after The Manila Times report on Tuesday that said former US ambassador Philip Goldberg had left behind a “blueprint” to undermine and eventually oust him over a one-and-a-half year period, the President accused the ex-US envoy and Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo of being involved in efforts to remove him from office.
The US State Deparment has denied that such a blueprint exists.
Duterte claimed some US diplomats were really working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and that Goldberg had a history of undermining foreign governments, having been expelled by Bolivia in 2008 for fomenting civil unrest against the government of Evo Morales.
“I have some inkling how this guy (Goldberg) works. Most of the American ambassadors are professionals who do spying; they are connected with the CIA, while others have the forte, really, to undermine governments,” Duterte said.
“He was expelled in Bolivia…there’s a Time magazine analysis how the elite of that country hates the native president (Morales),” Duterte said.
As for Robredo, Duterte said she was ousted from the Cabinet because she was part of the group of people that protested the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in November, which he claimed was also working for his ouster.
“Her ouster from the Cabinet was ‘fait accompli.’ The problem is, she is out in the streets [protesting the burial]. The problem is, they are demonstrating, those who are for ousting me,” Duterte said.
“She’s there. She is part of the crowd. She may not be asking for it herself, but she is a part of the crowd that wants me out,” he added.
Robredo, who resigned as housing chief on December 4, issued a strong statement against the November 18 burial, although she did not join the rallies against it.
Duterte reiterated that while he was not clinging to the presidency, he was determined to finish his six-year term.
“I have to honor the contract with the people. If you scare me and that you are happy to see me out, I view life as a matter of destiny. With little money and no machinery, I won the presidency, so there has to be something in there. It’s my destiny,” Duterte said.
“It’s a message from God. God must have put me here. I accept anything that God gives me. But if you mess up with me, I would give you a bloody nose,” he added.
Duterte also said he was not sorry over the more than 6,000 people, including children as young as 4, killed amid his war on drugs.
“If you want to do something [on the drug problem], then that’s the only [way]to deal with it. That’s the reality. I know, these people [who are killed]are so high that they will be willing to fight it out [with the authorities]. These people are committing crimes due to constant use of shabu,” the President said in the interview with CNN Philippines.
“I’d be lying if I say there is not one [innocent]hit in the crossfire, but it is part of criminal law, it can be justified by government forces. Maybe the government will be liable in civil cases, but criminally? No,” he stressed.
Duterte argued that killings were not rampant before he became President because local officials, the military and the police were all in cahoots in the illegal drug trade.
He boasted that he could go relentless on his war on drugs because he was not indebted to any local official, soldier or police, save for four people—Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos because of his promise to give a hero’s burial to the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, Bukidnon Gov. Jose Zubiri, and two others whose names he did not mention.
“Patayan ito [This is a fight to the death], because I know the problem. If you want the killings to stop, then stop doing drugs. Everything will be okay,” Duterte said.