[Related comment: "Seares: The 'ifs' in Duterte's threats to quit," SunStar, July 9, 2018.]
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte Monday night, September 28, in a televised speech, offered to resign because of his failure to address the problem of corruption. "I offered to resign because of endless corruption," he was quoted as saying.
What made that offer not similar to the earlier many publicized plans or threats to quit since he assumed office?
The list, and counting
The digital news site Interaksyon of TV-5 made last June 11, 2018 a count of the offers or threats to resign made by the president. The various times that he jolted the nation with the prospect of cutting his term short included these conditions:
 If he could no longer curb illegal drugs and corruption, a promise he said he'd fulfill in a span of three to six months from the day he assumed office;
 If the Constitution would be amended for a federal form of government;
 If he or his children were found to commit corruption;
 If his critics proved allegations he had undeclared accounts totaling more than P2 billion;
 If he lost the trust of about 16 million people who voted for him in 2016, perhaps expressed in a poll or survey;
 If Congress did not approve the doubling of salaries of soldiers;
 If the Bangsamoro Law did not pass;
 If the UN special rapporteur proved he had a hand in the ouster of then Supreme Court chief justice Lourdes Sereno.
The list has not been updated but since the second quarter of 2018, the same threats or offers are occasionally made. And mostly, they are explained by Palace communicators -- or the public, such as the bishops in August 2016 when Duterte first threatened to leave because of his failure to address corruption.
The usual explanation is that he was expressing frustration.
Was joking, as the bishops thought. Or the condition was not met or the term was revised, such as the extension of deadline on drugs and graft to cover the rest of his term.
Last Monday's threat to step down ahead of his term in 2022 is a revision of the revised version.
This time, Duterte told the nation he had summoned everyone in the Cabinet and told them he was getting fed up. In his years in government, he told them, there had been "no end to this corruption." "It's really hard to stop it. Up to now, it's being committed every day. Can you stop it? You cannot. There's no way, I'm telling you."
Did that mean he was finally throwing in the towel because of corruption and leave to go into the sunset?
Not leaving yet
Not quite. He added that he would be willing to appear before Congress "to discuss how they could fight corruption." He would talk first, "then we can discuss how we can cut corruption."
Maybe again the president was just highlighting, bringing into bold relief, or dramatizing the problem of corruption.
And apparently the threat to resign is included in the package of tools and devices.
But here's why many people don't give much weight to the chance of the president not finishing his term:
 He would hate Vice President Leni Robredo to succeed him and serve the rest of his term. He has made no effort to conceal his "loathing" of a Leni presidency, even if only transitional.
 He would need to have a "friendly" president after him. If he could not extend his stay, by constitutional means or other devices, the next leader must be a president who will treat him fairly and won't think of sending him to jail.
Weapons on corruption
A sobering thought on corruption: The president, with all the powers in hand, would not need more weapons to fight corruption. And, if he'd want additional firepower, he wouldn't need to appear before Congress. He could send the proposal and the administration's super alliance could approve it without much thought. Or Congress would debate the problem to death.
Palace bright executives and Congress smart legislators could work together to improve the weaponry against corruption.
The president picked the people who are suspected of committing the fraud or expected to stop the looting. He could be more careful and thorough in vetting their integrity, not just relying on their being class/school mates or former generals.
He could be tougher in punishing them ("on mere whiff of a scandal"). He could dump what appears to be a policy of removing suspected thieves but giving them other jobs elsewhere.
By the way, they seriously want to end corruption but they have a bizarre way of showing their resolve. The ombudsman, with the Palace support, has barred access to public officials' statement of assets and liabilities and stopped life-style checks. If the method is faulty, correct but don't discard it.