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Not happy with being president, Duterte says he won't perpetuate self in power

President Rodrigo Duterte applauds as he is serenaded by singers Hannah Castillo and Christiani Rebada who performed a rendition of one of the President's favorite songs 'Ikaw' during the opening ceremonies of the Buglasan Festival 2017 at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on October 13, 2017. Also in the photo are Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino and Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. Richard Madelo/Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday reiterated that he does not have any plans to cling to power despite incessant talks that he would set up a revolutionary government in the face of alleged attempts to remove him from power.

Talks about the possibility of a revolutionary government flared over the weekend when Duterte threatened to set up one should alleged destabilization moves result in anarchy and lawlessness.

READ:  Critics slam Duterte's revolutionary government threat, Palace hits back

Duterte has in the past weeks constantly talked about the alleged efforts by political opponents, communist rebels and the clergy to oust him from power just 15 months after he won the presidency on an improbable campaign.

His daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio of Davao City, claimed that the threat of destabilization was as real as the threat of extremism, something that the first family's critics labeled as just a "fruit of their imagination."

Jose Calida, the solicitor general, also publicly divulged that a coalition of people was taking steps to remove Duterte from office.

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In a speech in a federalism summit in Camarines Sur, the president underscored that he was not happy with being the leader of the Philippines and would walk away if he could.

The tough-talking Duterte, 72, who has launched a relentless anti-drug campaign that has supposedly killed thousands in its wake, said that the pressure and amount of work were enormous, making the conditions surrounding the presidency prohibitive especially for someone at his age.

He also emphasized that he would not dishonor his family by trying to cling to power through a revolutionary government.

"Nobody is interested in this government to go beyond my term. I do not intend to perpetuate myself ," he said.

"Their claims that I would set up a revolutionary government because I would like to cling to power, son of, if possible I would have walked away. It's just dishonorable," he added.

At the presidential palace early on Tuesday, the chief executive's spokesperson clarified that a revolutionary government was not in the offing and that he was simply "saying that if this happens, if it leads to anarchy, this is what the alternative could happen."

Ernesto Abella, a spokesperson for the president's office, said Duterte was within his rights and jurisdiction to protect the state and the Constitution, and that he was prepared to do what is needed to do this.

Abella also defended the president from criticisms that his destabilization claim was baseless as Delfin Lorenzana, the defense secretary, and Gen. Eduardo Año, the military chief, said before that security agencies had not monitored any such moves.

"You know, the president has his own sources. He has his own sources, internal sources which may not be directly available to others," Abella said.

However, for a political analyst, the reverse is true as the president tends to get "emotional" when criticized by the opposition.

"Sec. Lorenzana is more credible than PRRD (Duterte). He knows the situation better than PRRD," Dennis Coronacion, a professor of political science at the University of Santo Tomas, told Philstar.com.

"How could the defense chief not know anything about the plot to oust his boss?" he asked.

Vice President Leni Robredo, a former representative in Camarines Sur where the president delivered his remarks, questioned the basis of talks about moves to remove Duterte.

She said that issues like this would just result in chaos and division among Filipinos.

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