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Cabinet shocked at Duterte’s decision to step down in 2019

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President Duterte on Monday announced to his Cabinet that he has changed his mind and now wants out of Malacanang if possible by next year, as soon as the “transition president” is elected.

Such is a major shift from his earlier pronouncements on his willingness to serve as a “transition leader” until his term ends on 2022.

“Now, ayaw na nya to go until 2022,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said to reporters in an interview after the Cabinet meeting.

The announcement shocked the Cabinet members especially it “means we all end our stint in the Cabinet with him.”

“This is the first time na nagsalita talaga ang President na ayaw na nya beyond 2019. So ako mismo nalungkot ako dahil parang definite statement na yun na magbibigay na sya sa isang mas batang lider,” he said.

“So if the (new) Constitution is ratified, that’s it for all of us in the Cabinet,” he said.

The President said he already asked the consultative committee which submitted its proposed federal constitution, in a meeting prior to the Cabinet meeting, make a last-minute revisions to include his proposal for the election of the transition leader as soon as possible.

“At handa na siya bumaba ng pwesto pag naaprubahan na ang bagong Saligang Batas. Sabi nga po niya pag naaprubahan na dito sa 2019, bababa na siya sa pwesto at nais na niya maghalal ang taong bayan ng bagong pinuno na maninilbihan ilang transition president,” Roque said.

The reason given by the President is to put to an end speculations on him seeking an extended stay in office under the called Charter change (Cha-cha).

“At pangalawa dahil siya ay pagod na pagod na. He said he was very tired, he is old and siguro itong electing a transition leader would enable a younger leader to take over,” Roque said.