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Sharing batting duties

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President Rodrigo Duterte – for the nth time – is hinting he wants to step down from the presidency with still four more years left in his term. In a speech, the President said that he is already “tired” and that should he be ousted from his post, he would prefer a military junta rather than give the presidency to his imminent successor, Vice President Leni Robredo.

“I told the soldiers and policemen, ‘Guys, I want you to know that I’m thinking of stepping down because I’m tired, well I’m not angry with anybody,’” Duterte said. Previously, he declared that the police and military are free to seize power from him if they deem he is 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. We understand that a President’s job is tiresome and Duterte in his twilight years. Age is becoming a factor, whether we like it or not or whether the President admits it or not.

Duterte also expressed exasperation over the continuing corruption in government despite his campaign against it and the almost endless problem on the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.

“My chase against graft and corruption seems to be endless and it has contaminated almost all government departments and offices,” Duterte said in the same speech.

Duterte’s statements — despite sounding desperate — are understandable. Who wouldn’t be tired of the seemingly unsolvable problems that afflict the country, from drugs to corruption to the topsy-turvy economy?

It almost sounded that the President was on the verge of giving up looking for pertinent solutions to the country’s ever-growing problems.

But to express that he is already exhausted and toying with the idea of giving up the presidency because of some “frustrating” things during his first two years in service, that only goes to show that the President is, after all, only human.

He is human in the sense that he still feels despair — not for himself but for the nation — as there seems to be no potent solution to the problems concerning the economy, peace and order and graft and corruption.

But make no mistake about it: Duterte may be tired, but he has not lost his wits just yet, as he still recognized the fact that there will be no leader with sheer political will to continue what he had started.

True to his being frank, the President yet again belittled the capabilities of Robredo who, he said, “cannot improve on anything here.”

“The problem is, I cannot suggest to them that you follow the succession which is really (in) the Constitution… I am hesitant to suggest a constitutional succession,” Duterte said. “I would suggest to the military, grant a junta… line up here, I’ll put you in your proper place,” he added.

Last month, Duterte also chided Robredo, saying the Vice President was “incompetent.” With these statements, we would rather think that the President is most likely just upping the ante on his quest to give the nation a better life before his term ends.

Duterte may just be egging on his cabinet to step up the plate to share batting duties with him. If the President is really tired, isn’t it about time that we, the people, give the country’s feisty leader a helping hand in shaping our future? He needs all the help he can get.

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