President Duterte is famous for many things (aside from the fact that he’s, uhm, well, the President). He, according to BBC, is the Philippines’ “strongman.” He compared the mechanism of his drug war to the Holocaust, shamelessly serves sexist comments on women, peppers almost everything with curses, and even puts frequent threats. Just hours before his SONA this year, President Duterte called another threat. He won’t attend the SONA unless Alan Peter Cayetano, his former running mate, is elected House Speaker, he said. Oh boy, here we go again.
His “promise” sounds exactly like the many ones he said since he started his term, mostly related to his resignation. If you’ve ever forgotten about it, we’ll help you look back at the times he wanted to resign.
I am your father
Remember when he blatantly showed how much he wants to insert his family into his political picture? Early this month, President Duterte said that he’d only resign if his son, Davao City First Rep. Paolo Duterte, would vie for the House Speakership. If you squint your eyes at that, you’d probably squint them more at how his homeboy Salvador Panelo said, “Pwede ring magbago isip ng Presidente, pwede ring magbago isip ni Congressman Paolo Duterte. Tingnan natin, let it evolve.” Uhm, sure.
Alexa play “Womanizer” by Britney Spears
A photo of President Duterte kissing a Filipina OFW in Korea probably surfaced on your feed at least once. He has always targeted women in his actions, and this was no exception in connecting this to a threat to resign. In June 2018, when several netizens rallied against Duterte’s nasty patriarchal gimmick, he claimed that it was just “a simple kiss” that meant nothing, and even said that if enough women would sign a petition against the act, he would step down from his position. We’re pretty sure a lot were enraged, but nothing really happened.
What if God is one of us?
In July last year, President Duterte made it clear that he believes in God. So, that eliminated people’s assumptions that he was an agnostic or an atheist. But what baffled everyone was Duterte’s challenge: If anyone can prove him God’s existence, then he will quit being President. The catch? The person who’ll take this quest should have a selfie with God as proof. He wanted someone to “come down from heaven” to prove it. But yeah, just yesterday in his SONA, President Duterte said that he doesn’t exactly believe in a god, but in a “universal minder.” Is he planning another challenge this time?
I hate drugs
During the presidential elections, one of the things that made Duterte stand out in a sea of candidates is his oath of a drug-free Philippines on the sixth-month mark of his term… which obviously hasn’t been successful, according to Duterte himself. Well, he eventually took this battlecry back in August 2017.
“I feel so bad [about] all these things. Kasi nalaman ko, paano ko ma-control in three to six months, ang mga general na pulis nandiyan. Tapos ‘yung mga Bureau of Customs na inaaasahan ko, putang ina, nasa droga.” He later added that his critics were right—he didn’t know what he signed up for, and he was all too familiar with the “template” he used for Davao. But get this: In November 2017, he dared himself that if he wouldn’t be able to curb illegal drugs in the country, he’d definitely resign. He just said he would, no stated deadline whatsoever. If this was a chatbox message, could we please bump it?
Read more: A YA novel about Duterte’s drug war exists
“I’m tired. Gusto ko na ring mag-resign. I’m not happy anymore,” sounds like a rad Twitter bio. But it isn’t. This is the latest threat we received from President Duterte, and he even mentioned this during yesterday’s SONA. Not that we’re surprised. If anything, we’re far from that. It’s just like he repeated what he said back in Oct. 2015, when he was still Davao mayor and people were rooting for him as the next leader of the country. “I want to retire, I am tired,” he said. “Give the presidency to the one who wants it, I don’t.”
But we learned from the past, didn’t we? The next time Duterte says something about stepping down, we all know it’s most likely a tease at best. Or for show. Almost everything about him on TV is peak drama, just like his grand entrance yesterday via helicopter and some magical music in the background. Kadenang Ginto or Ang Probinsyano could never top that.
Art by Julia Cruz