President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said that the public should not worry about his successor if something happened to him because the Constitution already secured and provided for it.
Duterte, in a speech at the change of command of the Presidential Security Group, mentioned how lawyer Elly Pamatong already proclaimed himself president in his place, eliciting laughter from the crowd. He referred to him as a “pretender to the throne.”
“There are two claimants to the presidency. Ang isa, nag-organize na at he has claimed that he has deposed me, presidential candidate Amato—si Pamatong. Sabi niya, nag-takeover na siya,” he said in jest.
Pamatong in a viral video said he already assumed the presidency after Duterte skipped the Independence Day rites, saying the President already died or was dying at least.
Duterte pointed out that according to the Constitution, his rightful successor is Vice President Leni Robredo.
“Eh ngayon, nandiyan si Leni. Baka magkamali kayo ng kampo ha. Dito tayo sa Constitution. There is a successor there,” he added.
However, Robredo’s vice presidency has been challenged by former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a Duterte supporter, before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Duterte’s absences in the public eye have sparked speculations about his health.
After missing his supposed first Independence Day ceremony as the Chief Executive, the President was seen in public again on June 17 in Butuan City. He then explained that he just rested and talked to someone while he was away.
He then went to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities on June 20, before staying under the radar again as he went about his business for the next six days. Duterte returned to the public eye again on Tuesday, as he attended some meetings and hosted an Eid’l Fitr celebration in Malacañang.
Duterte used the 120th founding anniversary of the PSG to once again dispel rumors about his health, saying he simply took the time off to rest.
“Kaya you should be worried about my life a few days ago, comatose na raw ako. Wrong spelling lang po ‘yun ng media, it’s really ‘kama.’ If I am not around and you do not see me, siguradong nasa kama ako,” Duterte said.
“Kung ano ang ginagawa ninyo—o ako pala, tayo, wala akong—wala silang pakialam,” he added.
Source: GMA News