He is ready to lose the chairmanship of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, but he will stay with the majority bloc in the Senate, Senator Richard Gordon said Sunday.
“Of course, I am not picking a fight with the President. I am not fighting with [Senate President] Tito Sotto, said Gordon when asked if he would remain a member of the majority after receiving a tongue-lashing from the President.
President Rodrigo Duterte had slammed Gordon for criticizing his appointments of retired military officials to several Cabinet positions.
Instead of meddling in his job as President and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Duterte said, Gordon, whom he called a ‘‘smart ass,’’ to focus on his stomach as he looked like a tadpole.
Duterte further ridiculed Gordon’s looks, saying he walked like a penguin who was ‘‘a fart away from disaster.’’
But, saying Duterte was a friend since they had been together as mayor, Gordon surmised that sycophants might have provoked the President into taking potshots at him after describing as ‘‘dangerous practice the President’s apparent militarization of the Cabinet.
“I didn’t know. Some sycophants could have provoked him. Perhaps due to exhaustion he [Duterte] got mad, Gordon said.
“Alam nyo naman d’yan, maraming nagpapalakas, magaling manggatong, said Gordon, adding he was just trying to help the President succeed.
“I don’t take the side of the President only because he is my friend. It’s a principled stand, Gordon said.
“If he’s right, I will support him. If there’s no evidence against him, I will be brave enough to say, ‘No evidence! If there is, I will [say so].”
Gordon also said he was not looking to meet with the President to discuss their recent squabble, given that he really was not offended by Duterte’s insulting remarks.
Gordon has repeatedly stressed he took no offense from the President’s expletives towards him, even stressing that he remained a friend.
The President has also cautioned Gordon against running for vice president, saying he would ensure his defeat.
If Gordon wanted to be vice president, the President suggested he put up a corporation and make his family members incorporators to get himself elected vice president.