Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte advised his armed forces to get rid of the establishment next time they stage a coup and to bring young blood to politics instead, on the condition that they’d all be killed if they “f*** up.”
“Drop all politicians, including me. I can always go home to Davao swimming,” Duterte said Thursday, during the swearing-in of newly appointed government officials in Malacanang, once again urging the military not to hesitate to oust him from power if they doubt his leadership.
The main “problem” with mutinies, Duterte pointed out, is that military coups usually only result in the appointment of seasoned opposition figures to top seats. So instead of “wasting” their time and effort, the president suggested the potential military coup plotters should pick around a dozen “bright young leaders” and propel the “best” to run the Philippines.
The young prospects should be given a good salary and be rewarded for their endeavors, but must be aware they won’t live long if they abuse their newly-gained power, Duterte believes.
This was not the first time the president dared the military to determine the political future in the Philippines. He made similar remarks as recently as last September.
The Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific witnessed over a dozen coup attempts since the 1986 overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos who ruled as a dictator for some time under martial law. The latest power grab attempts were plotted during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo more than a decade ago.
At present Senator Antonio Trillanes, a former navy officer, serves as the main opposition figure in the country. Duterte’s government believes he was complicit in failed coup attempts during the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula hotel siege. In the past, Trillanes was granted amnesty for his wrongdoings by former president Benigno Aquino III, which Duterte now disputes.