Duterte believes the 'likes of Escudero, Bongbong Marcos' will be better successor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 14) — President Rodrigo Duterte said the likes of Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero and former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos are better off as successors to the presidential post.

In a dinner with Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) officials Tuesday night, Duterte said Vice President Leni Robredo does not have what it takes to lead the country.

"Hindi niya kaya, that's my honest opinion ko lang. Kung na-sino lang sana diyan, in the likes of (Chiz) Escudero or Bongbong Marcos," Duterte said during the event in Malacañang.

(Translation: She cannot do it. That's my honest opinion. If it were other people, in the likes of Escudero or Bongbong Marcos…)

Escudero and Marcos ran against Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential race.

Earlier on the same day, Duterte, at the launch of the 'Pilipinas Angat Lahat' program of entrepreneur group Go Negosyo, said he has little confidence on the governing capacity of the Vice President.

READ: Duterte: Robredo cannot do anything to help PH

Duterte said he is 'hesitant' to suggest a constitutional succession, and that he doesn't think Robredo "can improve on anything here."

The President clarified he has nothing against the vice president.

"Wala akong galit kay (Leni) Robredo. Panalo na ako," Duterte said.

(Translation: I have nothing against Robredo. I already won.)

"Hindi ako nakikipag-away ng babae. Hindi nga ako sumasagot kung ano ang sinasabi nila. But sinabi ko, I think deep in my heart, if you follow the succession and Robredo takes over, hindi niya kaya," he added.

(Translation: I am not engaging in a fight with women. I'm not even replying to what they are saying. What I said, I think deep in my heart, if you follow the succession and Robredo takes over, she cannot do it.)

Duterte had earlier expressed his doubts about Robredo, citing the latter's 'incompetence' as an official.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party (LP), Robredo's party, said it is not up to Duterte to decide on who will take his place when he steps down.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the party said "the Constitution clearly provides that it (successor) should be the Vice President."

"The repeated threat of resignation also denigrates the presidency and the mandate given by the voters," the statement read. "The highest post in the land should not be treated like a club membership he can drop when he feels tired."