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Rody: Congress, AFP nod needed for my resignation

MANILA, Philippines — As critics and political foes of the administration prepare to launch mass protests on Sept. 21, President Duterte said last night he would not hesitate to step down if he feels he has lost the confidence of the public.

But Duterte emphasized that his resignation should be approved by both houses of Congress and the military.

“I was elected constitutionally, I did not cheat, so I will submit my resignation to Congress, but subject to the concurrence of the military, because the military will see to it that the succession under the Constitution will be followed,” he said in a late night interview over state-run PTV-4.

He said losing the confidence of his 16 million voters should be enough to convince him to quit the presidency to prove he’s not clinging to power. 

In the interview, the Chief Executive also urged all those who want to join tomorrow’s rallies to peaceably assemble and practice their constitutional right to seek redress from government.

He has decreed tomorrow as National Day of Protest, which is also the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

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“I don’t know if you want a joint voting or not, I don’t care. As long as it is subject to the concurrence of the military,” Duterte said, referring to a condition for his quitting.

Asked why he was declaring his readiness to resign, Duterte said it’s “because I want everybody to understand, including the supporters, hindi ako hangal sa (I’m not mad about the) presidency… na hindi ako mamatay (I won’t die), as a matter of fact I never thought that I would win,” Duterte said.

Leftist groups, political opposition and critics have vowed to mobilize on the martial law anniversary to dramatize their protest against Duterte’s veering toward dictatorship as well as the rising cases of human rights violations in the conduct of his war on drugs.

Duterte said he does not care if the protests last three days, a week or even a year. 

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