PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte taunted the Liberal Party’s thinning members who, he said, were allegedly behind the plot to steal the presidency from him.
He said no one wanted to be part of the group after it lost badly in the last elections.
“Who wants to be part of the Liberal [Party] now? None,” Duterte said and drew loud cheers from the audience during a speech at the inauguration of a medical facility in Cabanatuan City.
“But [who are] friends with Duterte? See? They’re many.”
Duterte earlier accused the opposition Liberal Party, now led by Vice President Leni Robredo, of plotting to oust him.
But he said he remained unfazed by the plan of the “yellow party” to unseat him.
“So you’re taunting me with this ‘Oust Duterte.’ These yellows, in Bisaya they’re yelo [ice]. But they have long melted, after the elections [they] melted.”
Since the 2016 elections, the membership of the then ruling Liberal Party has thinned, with many transferring to the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan that controls the majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Nevertheless, the LP remains part of the majority bloc in both chambers of Congress.
Duterte said that he was ready to defend his post.
“I’ll give you a good fight, I’ll give you a bloody nose,” Duterte said.
He said his sour relationship with Vice President Leni Robredo stemmed from the Liberal Party’s plan to oust him.
He accused Robredo of joining anti-Duterte rallies, only to show up for a Cabinet meeting the next day.
“You are part of the crowd that says you want me out,” he said.
Robredo and the Liberal Party have denied plans to unseat the President, but Duterte says he is convinced the “yellow group” could not accept defeat.
Duterte won a landslide victory in last year’s presidential race, obtaining 16,601,997 votes or over six million votes more than Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.