Filipino-American philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis on Wednesday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to resign following his decision to ease out Vice President Leni Robredo and his failure to keep his promise to rid the country of drugs and criminality “in three to six months.”
Duterte had identified Nicolas-Lewis as one of the moving forces behind a plan to launch protest rallies against his administration.
Following Robredo’s decision to quit her job as housing czar after Duterte ordered her to stop attending Cabinet meetings, Nicolas-Lewis, a top campaign financier of former Interior secretary Manuel Roxas II, urged Filipinos to reject Duterte following his alleged ouster plots against Robredo and after favoring the former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“President Duterte wants Bongbong Marcos to be your president. Be afraid, be afraid. After they looted the country the Marcoses will be the ruling body again,” Nicolas-Lewis, who was in New York, told ANC.
“The 16 million who voted for Duterte did not vote for Bongbong Marcos, so be careful. We should ask for the resignation of President Duterte now and not wait until Bongbong Marcos succeeds in his nefarious plan to unseat VP Leni Rodredo.”
Nicolas-Lewis even cited a a recent trip of Duterte to China when he even “joked” that if Marcos won his electoral protest, the Philippines would have a new vice president.
Nicolas-Lewis said that while she was impressed with Duterte for his “sincerity” in solving the drug menace, he still failed in his most famous campaign promise to rid the country of illegal drugs.
“I was impressed at his sincerity. Then I thought he was sincere, that, what keeps people poor in the Philippines is drugs, corruption and injustice. But now what do I see? He’s killing and killing and killing. I would say he is a murderer in that sense,” she said.
“So his promise I will resign in six months if the drug epidemic is not solved, he should be true to that promise at least, no extension, resign now, President Duterte.”
Duterte had earlier identified Nicolas-Lewis, the widow of Richard Lewis, the richest African-American businessman in the 1980s, as behind the moving forces behind a plan to launch protest rallies against his administration but is not worried about plans to topple him from power.
“Next year, there will be mass demonstration, for all I care. Do not give me a reason to go out because you might have…you might get your wish,” Duterte said in a speech at Manila Hotel last November.
He also mockingly told Nicolas-Lewis he’d follow her advice and give her own advisory staff.
Duterte had warned his critics that he would deal with them as soon as he finished addressing the country’s pressing problems.
“We are nearing 2017. To the opposition, just wait for your time. Anyway… you’ve had your days,” the President said.
“I’ll be straightforward and continue until no Filipino is silly enough to shame us all.”