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Malacanang confirmed President Rodrigo Duterte was ready to cut short his term but only if Bongbong Marcos would be declared vice president.

In a press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte was not bluffing when he declared he was tired of the presidency and he wanted to step down but not until Vice President Leni Robredo was replaced.

“What he actually said is a real statement of exasperation and a genuine wish to step down if there’s a better leader or if there’s a qualified leader to take over. And he has said that he thinks Senator Bongbong Marcos is one of the better qualified leaders to succeed him. If there’s development and he will win the protest and he becomes vice president, yes, he will make true his word,” said Roque.

“If he becomes vice president, perhaps the President will make true his word na he will step down. Because what he is worried about is, if we were to use constitutional succession, then the successor may not be qualified. And then he expressed a preference on who he thinks will be qualified. So if he wins—I think he has said it before. He has said it before that if he wins the protest and he’s declared as vice president, he is willing to step down,” he added.

Duterte had earlier dismissed Robredo as incompetent as his successor and that he does not favor a constitutional succession.

“I think deep in my heart, if you follow the succession and Robredo takes over, hindi niya kaya,” Duterte said in a speech on Tuesday night.

“Hindi niya kaya, that’s my honest opinion ko lang. Kung sino lang sana diyan, in the likes of (Chiz) Escudero or Bongbong Marcos,” he added

Marcos has a pending poll protest against Robredo.