Like Job, President Rodrigo Duterte believes that God gives and takes away.
So if God wants him to finish his entire six-year term, it’s tough luck for his opponents. They just have to endure it.
In a speech in Batanes province on Friday, Mr. Duterte talked extensively about how improbable his victory was in May’s presidential election—no financial resources and a national political machinery—and, after 100 days in office, he said, “I tend to believe now, that it was God who gave it to me.”
‘Part of my destiny’
And since he became President due to divine intervention, Mr. Duterte said it was easy for him to brush aside rumors of his imminent exit, either through impeachment or coup d’etat or assassination by the Central Intelligence Agency.
READ: Duterte: ‘Susmaryosep,’ CIA is planning to kill me
“Don’t scare me, you people from Manila with your plan to hold a rally next year and remove me from office. Because if I go, that is part of my destiny. That is what it is so don’t come out in newspapers warning Dutere about a coup d’etat or others,” he said.
“If I become President for just two months or two years, that is part of my destiny, what God gave me. So I just let them threaten me with launching a coup d’etat or people power, these sons of a…,” he said.
“But if I reach six years, you’re all dead,” he added.
As God was his main backer, Mr. Duterte said he owed nothing to anybody, even the “rich” kingmakers who refused to contribute to his campaign until they were sure of his victory.
But by that time, Mr. Duterte said it was too late and he rejected their contributions.
Not new to intrigue
He said he was not new to these kinds of intrigue in office, starting with his more than two decades as Davao City mayor during which time allegations of his ties to liquidation squads hounded him.
He said he got through the worst of what his political rivals, the “yellow,” threw at him in the elections, especially when they realized that he wasn’t going down in the polls before Election Day.
He said this was the time when “garbage” like the death squad allegations and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s exposé on billions of pesos allegedly stashed in his undisclosed bank accounts started to come out.
“If I had that much money, you won’t even see me here. At my age of 71, I’d rather travel anywhere,” he said.