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Duterte thinking of stepping down

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte expressed frustration over continuing corruption in government as he floated again the possibility of stepping down, with four years more left in his term.


Duterte revealed in a speech before business leaders in Malacanang that he had told the police and military that he was considering stepping down because he was already tired.


“Sinabi ko sa mga sundalo at sa mga pulis: Guys, I want you to know that I am thinking of stepping down because I’m tired,” Duterte said.


“I am not angry [with] anybody. My chase against graft and corruption seems to be endless, and it has contaminated almost all government departments and offices,” Duterte added.


Duterte made the disclosure after he sacked a general and 20 military officials, including top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), over alleged corruption activities such as anomalous and ghost projects at the V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City.


In the same event, Duterte approved the dismissal of a military official, Major Hector Marana, who had been court-martialed for the malversation of P15 million in allowances of cadets at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).


A week earlier, he dismissed the entire board of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation for anomalous lease contract of a Manila Bay reclamation area property for 70 years to a Hong Kong-based company planning a casino resort there.


Duterte cited continuing corruption in government despite his campaign against it as a reason for his thinking of stepping down.


“My chase against graft and corruption seems to be endless and it has contaminated almost all government departments and offices,” he said.


 Duterte’s statement actually was a repeat of similar announcement in the past.


He has previously said that the police and military are free to seize power from him if they deem him no longer capable of leading the nation.


The President had also said he would step down if he succeeds in shepherding the country towards federalism.

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