PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
PRESIDENTIAL NEWS DESK
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
DURING THE WALLACE BUSINESS FORUM DINNER
[Delivered at Malacañan Palace | 12 December 2016]
[Live stream starts]
A document signed by even with the Norway guys who provided the good offices of — to sign it and I will consider. But do not make too much demands because I am the Republic and you are the rebels.
And if you are not ready to accept that kind of mindset at this time, I am ready to, you know, terminate the talks.
You don’t make so much demands that are really too — and we have to (garbled) the views of the military and the police.
And, I have to be, not really fair, but some sort of a tactical move that would be understood by all. Including I said the military and the police and 130.
And also, today, we took consideration of the Maute rebellion going on in Lanao. And they said that they are willing to pull out…By the way, Ben, my classmate. He helped me a lot. Atty. Lopez, he is a classmate of mine. Thank you to the—
And they demanded that we stop the offensive. They are in the forest. I don’t where and I said they would stop fighting, provided we stop the offensive or not, they said that they will go down upon Marawi to burn the place. And I said, ‘Go ahead, do it.’
We need to do a lot of constructions in this country. There are a lot of materials there and we will be glad to rebuild and rehabilitate every structure that you destroy. As long it’s confined in the areas of Lanao, I don’t really care.
So I said, ‘No, I will not stop the operation.’ As a matter of fact, we will go ahead and — that’s stupidity.
Well, anyway I reckon that you did not maybe listen to my campaign. I was just an ordinary guy. Part of the establishment is coming in for the cold because I was not a national figure and I hardly, you know, except for Rudy, who is also my classmate.
These are the guys that I see now. My crowd was very limited. I’m a probinsyano. A Hillbilly style that’s from the province and, I said, the only guys that I know would really be the Davaoeños
For example, Sonny Dominguez who’s there. Are you really… You want to go home ahead? We grew up together. We grew up together actually. He’s my childhood friend and he was our consistent valedictorian from kindergarten to maybe college because I, I was left behind. It took me seven years to finish high school. That’s why.
And, Rudy is a cum laude. And also Ruben. Me, I got only 78 but it’s okay. It’s historical actually. Since grade 1, it’s always in the line of 7. I never got a grade… Few times. College of law, yes. I remember criminal procedure. Bernie Fernandez. I just appointed his son to take his place in the Sandigan.
But in high school and college, mostly 78, 79. But it was okay and I survived it along the way. But I got the best of the minds. Tugade is a billionaire actually and I think he was the valedictorian of the class.
And a lot of them are really with honors. Graduated with honors and sadly, even Sonny who was the voice of America champion during our time, national, studied abroad and all the guys. All the bright guys are actually working for me. They are just my, you know—[applause]
When the 75 talks, the 95 listen. [laughter] That is good. It’s the quirks of life, really.
But, let me dwell first on…We are getting short of time. Let me dwell on what I promised the people of the Republic of the Philippines. I said that I will end corruption. And I’m doing everything actually.
And, if there’s a consolation to you, I have opened the PTV of the government. There’s a time there after the news, it’s only a plain screen and you can call 8888 and you tell me what the problem is, text it, I will read it. You might want to just also not divulge your…It’s okay with me.
Tell us the office that you’re dealing with and the guy that’s pestering you. Tell me about your complaints and I will act immediately. So in that way, the people of the Philippines would see who are the corrupt officials of this government.
I am really bent on giving this country a respite of the so many years under a corrupt administration. I am not… I am not the nice guy in the neighborhood. But I feel that at this age, at 72, I’m about to end my
I’ve been mayor of Davao City for 23 years. A congressman and a vice mayor to my daughter. I feel that this is would really be my last hurrah and I’d like to give the country what they have been desperately craving for and that is a government at least with less corruption or none at all but you know, it’s hard kind of — hard thing to do.
And so I’m doing everything. And I just fired about 92 officials of LFTRB and LTO. It’s because of this regulation. If I were to make a choice actually, I would maybe order the least intervention of government into the private lives or sectors.
The more regulation, there’s more corruption. It’s actually a temptation to corruption. And so when I became President and this is the rule.
When I was a mayor, I applied for a small railway to run the Davao City streets because it’s being congested. You know what? I applied NEDA, because you have to get the approval of NEDA without a sovereign guarantee. It took them about until now, to do, throw it to the basket. It takes you about three to four years, it’s because of corruption.
When I became President, all of them, Rudy and their son, I said, ‘all the departments, you only have one month. Either you approve it or disapprove it but do the action within one month.’
And for the local governments, I said, ‘I’m not pulling my own chair but follow the practice of Davao.’ All of the things there, for example, a business permit, electrical connections and everything, three days.
Now, if you feel that you’re getting the go around. You are free to come here just make an arrangement if you have — or secretary for technology, or anybody you know in government. I’m sure you know Bingbong, the Executive Secretary.
If you want, I said, if you are getting the go around, give me your papers, here in Malacañang and I will do the follow ups. I’ll give it to the Secretary because they have one month to act on it.
So that’s it. If you do not have faith in a certain department because you have a horrible experience there, and if you think that you have antagonized
some people there, give me your papers and I will do the walking for you. Simple as that.
I am…There are things cropping up now. You will hear it but we’re still investigating. And I said that there can never no friendship in this kind of setup. This is not mine to give.
As you are one to say, if you are there in public service. I would not broke any kind of…Just tell me.
You’re free to do it either through a letter or whatever or to Peter. I’m sure he would do it for his country, he’s a Filipino. He is already a Filipino. Just give him a memo or syllabus of the things that have been happening and I would be very glad to take it all from you.
This is the guarantee that… Now, as I said: No corruption. The slightest of whiff of a — if you feel that you are being milked or you’re being ano, even just— I will take it from there.
I have a list of persons who are in the…Sadly, these guys were assigned in Davao and I know that he was corrupt.
He has assigned elsewhere but I heard a report from the National Intelligence, it’s the intelligence body of the government, that this guy working for the BIR is corrupt. So I’ll just bring it up with Billy Dulay.
Billy Dulay is… He is from Baguio. And he stayed in the YMCA dormitory where I was also staying. He was with Bello and I was — my roommate was Yasay.
I’m quite surprised now because I’ve never since our new meeting, I would hear this guy, [modulates his voice] ‘Well, I just reported from Washington and strange I have to do and then…And I have to go because there’s another conference…’
Who is this guy talking here? Is he an American? Throw him out. Only Filipinos are allowed here. [modulates voice again] ‘He was really from Washingtong DC, you know.’
Oh is he an American? Pagtingin ko si Yasay pala. [laughter]
He talks like really a… He has that drawl. I don’t know where he got it. But he didn’t have it during my college days. There was terribly wrong somewhere. [laughter]
What I know is that during the Martial Law years, he was one of those to be arrested by the military. He was in the list and he was able to escape on time together with Maceda. And they practiced law in America. That’s what I’ve heard.
So no one heard this guy talks like a… But of course, he’s been used to it because he’s teaching in the Western universities. He’s quite an accomplished lawyer actually. He’s bright. But he works for me. He takes order from me, from the 75.
Now, let me go to this issue of extrajudicial killing. You know, I said I will try to stop corruption. I will deal with the drugs harshly. That’s my word.
And if you’re listening to the debates during the three rounds of debates during the campaign, that’s what I said: I would be harsh and criminality.
Now, I was very strict in Davao about criminality. And I was a prosecutor for almost eight years doing trial work. I was teaching Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence, Criminal Procedure in the Police Academy.
So it would not surprise you that when I came to the office of the mayor, I was quite really. You know, given my background. I was very strict. And Davao City at that time was a very troubled place.
Seven o’clock and you can ask anybody from Davao –– it’s everybody’s asleep. There was not a single entertainment hub there except for the bars in the slum areas.
And there are a lot of killings. Military men killing the NPAs and NPAs. They are being killed left and right. We used to lose in Davao City two, three policemen a day.
So when I became mayor, I had to tackle the problem of law and order and the first thing I did was really to talk the communist. And I told him that, ‘you know, I do not a want a quarrel with you.’
We became friends because when I was a prosecutor, I was only assigned three cases to handle. Because nobody would touch a — the case with a ten-foot pole. And that was military offenders. police offenders and rebels — rebellion.
Those were the only things that I had to worry when I was a prosecutor. I was not assigned to any other cases because nobody I said would touch the rebellion cases, especially against the military.
So, I… They know me well because most of the policemen were also my students. So when I became mayor, I told the… I was prosecuting the rebellion cases. So that whenever there’s a hearing, we became fast friends because, you know, you have to be courteous to everybody and I would go to them and shake their hands.
So when I was appointed OIC vice mayor, I was taken out from the prosecutor’s office and they made me OIC vice mayor of Davao City.
That was when Corazon Aquino ordered the release of all political prisoners. And you know what happened? They all came to me. And said, ‘we need your help because we cannot go anywhere anymore’.
So I provided them with all the jobs. And Evasco, the Cabinet Secretary. He was an NPA together with another priest, Fr. Dizon of Leyte. They went to Mindanao to become NPAs.
And they were chanced upon by the Scout Rangers and arrested and there about to be—And so when I learned, because I was the only one also assigned to do the preliminary investigation, somebody said na ‘better hurry because they will…’ they call it “salvage”. It’s not a ship to be salvaged. But the term salvage is to…And, I said, ‘look guys, he’s a priest. Do not do it.’ ‘No, no, no,’ sabi nila. ‘Do not do it.’
And so eventually, when he was released, he went to my office. But he’s a priest and he’s good at organizing. He became my technical assistant.
When I was elected mayor, he was my chief of staff. For so many years, then eventually he went back to his own province in Bohol and became the mayor of his municipality.
And now he’s a Secretary of Cabinet of this Republic. That’s how it is. So but at that time, I told him to talk to your group. I said, I do not want to fight with you. But if you continue assassinating police here and military men, there will come a time when we’ll have to face each other. And, I just hope that you know it would not be a violent one.
But since I am the mayor, I have to guarantee to everybody that. And so with the criminals, I said, that’s a very simple…Do not do it in my city, if you destroy my city, I will kill you. And I told the drug industry people. Do not do it here in Davao City because if you deprive society of the next generation of the youth, I will kill you.
It is a matter of preserving people. When I was talking about I was only a mayor. So when I became President, I may had the same statement. And you guys are lawyers. There is nothing wrong when I say that if you destroy my country I will kill you. If you destroy the youth of the land, I will kill you. And so? It’s a threat? If you are committing a crime, if you are destroying my country, you are a threat and I could do away with you.
And that is what was being used by…She is mouthing it almost everyday she gets a chance to say something — the wife of Samson. The wife of Samson.
Look guys, you know the Philippines. I am sure you were here already. I was adopted by the PDP, a moribund political party. It was not really moving except for the father and son, Pimentel and the Senate President. I became the candidate. I only had two governors in the entire Philippines, maybe three. But only two really confirmed, two ladies: Imee Marcos and one lady in Mindanao and only because of love.
And I didn’t have a single barangay captain or even a city mayor. Even in my own region of Davao which was used to be One Davao. No governors supported me. And in the Visayas, I am zero even my father is a Cebuano. Even in his hometown, our hometown. The Duranos were for Poe.
So, after the elections and when the results were…And I asked my wife, ‘I didn’t have any money.’ And everybody will tell you that I did not…There are some I am not trying to offend you, I am not…Wala, wala, wala akong…Because I had this believe that I do not want to be burden with any and yet I won and by margin of six million. Saan ito galing? Where did this come from?
I never talked about any leader of giving money to run the campaign. All I did was to go around the country with the money that was — Sonny Dominguez was one of the financiers because he was my classmate. And I said, there must be something in this…I could only attribute it to God. So my victory rea lly was a destiny.
And so to all the people that are really urging or may ouster, a coup d’état here, impeachment diyan, go ahead. Because if I am ousted or impeached or whatever, that is part of my destiny. It only means that God made me President but he said, you’d only be president for two months? Six months? One year?
I have no illusions about being ousted. I am old. I do not crave for power. As a matter of fact, I almost — that do not be offended you guys Filipinos.
If I were to get back in time, I would never. Iyon lang kung pabalikin ako sa kahapon, ayaw ko na. And I think I have no used for it actually. Without saying that kayo nangailangan sa akin, it’s not that but there are so many…I have no use for the presidency anymore. I am tired of politics.
You know, I have enough adulation and the clapping of the hands for 23 — 40 years of my political career excluding this one, so six years. I have enough of that praises and everything to last me a lifetime to make me happy. I do not really personally now come to realize need to be president.
But what prompted me to run was because I was looking at the political landscape and nobody there was talking about Mindanao. They were talking about technology and improvement, infrastructure, mounting all the promises that a politician usually…But nobody was really very serious about Mindanao and drugs. Because when I was mayor, I was really very strict. And if you’d ask me that were there some dead persons along the way? Yes, of course. When you fight crime, there is always death. But you know, if you are asking me now if I killed people on bended knees with their hands tied at their backs, that is not mine. That is not mine.
Remember, during the campaign that there are police generals into drugs and you might want to resign just in case I become the president because I will mention you publicly. And if you kindly remember about a few weeks before I became — I took my oath of office especially I became the president — there were already so many killings everyday.
Go back in time for me and read the newspapers at that time. It’s very easy you can…There’s a new technology you can just backtrack. Why? Why is there a widespread killing and even after I became president? You should know the answer. We do not, you know, we do not wrap people with plastic tape. We are not producing mummies in the Philippines for export. Those are indications of torture.
Why will I torture when we are going to arrest you because you are committing a crime? There’s no need for us to torture or rather you just shoot him and fire a bullet in the head. Why go into this charade of wrapping people? You don’t indicate that there are tortures and forcing people to say something. Maybe, who are the people that you have talked to about this industry?
At I must admit that a third of the killings really happened during police encounters. And I know it because I am not trying to said pull my own chair.
But in Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys that, if I can do it why can’t you? And I go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. Talagang naghanap ako ng engkwentro para makapatay. Eh ‘yung what happened now is ano…But, if they are…If they say that they are…If I am afraid to stop because of the human rights and guys from, including Obama? Sorry, I am not about to do that.
You arrest me, oust me? Go ahead. So, God said that you are mayor but you have given a mission to do something but it’s only up to them. So, fine. Oust me, good. Assassinate me, better. I have this migraine everyday
I had a bad sleep, the last one was this. And I hit the…I have a lot of issues with my spinal. My doctor would want to operate but you know my wife was a nurse and she used to work in the States, United States, and she said, since a lot of operations for the spinal that went awry, that went wrong.
So that if you guys see me always with a sad mode, I am actually pushing a nerve here to relieve the pain. And even if when I’m doing my arms sa kimbo and sometimes I do this…It’s actually pushing something here to relieve the pain. I cannot afford the operation, it’s not because I do not have the money. I have the money to pay for it. It’s because my wife said that when — nerve cut is, you are dead forever.
So those are the issues that I cannot decide by myself because I’m married to…Someone says that I should not have it and I used to press something here, fentanyl, it’s a pain killer. It’s being used by patients with cancer. I was only given a fourth of that square thing.
There was a time that if I took two… But not no more because…Of course, my doctor learned that I was using the whole patch because I felt better. When he knew it, he made me stop and he said, stop it. The first thing that you would lose is your cognitive ability
And if you are noticing it, he said, because you are, you know, abusing the drug. Take, use it but I have a pain also with the…I have a Barrett, it’s a (inaudible) thing, the GERD, they call it. And I have might as well tell you about my medical history. Don’t believe in cancer. What I have is really Buerger’s disease. It’s an acquired thing that you get from smoking because of nicotine. Nicotine constricts the vessel. Alcohol dilates the vessel.
You can lose your…Just like diabetes, you can lose your pants and even your thing there, doctor said, you’ll lose it forever. Yeah, yeah. It’s blood. It’s either it’s filled with blood or there is nothing to pass it all there because it’s all constricted. Something about Buerger’s disease, you just stop smoking especially guys with cold hands, they are prone to — if you smoke you are prone to…It means to say that your whole system is not really working well because of blood circulation. But back to this thing about…
You know the PDEA, I’m sure you were already around. PDEA said that during the time of General Santiago, he was here in an another event. He said that there were already four million Filipinos — ah, three million, sorry, addicted.
And that was a figure he gave two years ago or three years ago, two and half, three years. My count has not been made public. But I’m nearing the 800 already. As they surrender to the barangay, to the police, to the mayors. And I am sure that I will breach the million mark by the end of the year.
So with four million drug addicts spread all throughout the country, with so many municipal mayors, city mayors and policemen into it, the industry, what am I supposed to do?
This is a matter already of a national security threat. Four million addicts is four million addicts. I’ll show…You want a visual thing about the drug industry? Ibigay mo nga sa akin ‘yan. Para maintindihan, so that you’d understand na this Duterte ‘is a killer’. Far from it actually. I am trying to preserve my race. God I am trying to save my…You want a visual thing? Okay. This is the drug industry of the Philippines.
You know what? It’s there. Region 10, Mindanao. You have a congressman there, if you have a good sight. One mayor, ex mayor, another mayor, another mayor. Each page is — with the list of names.
You know how many is it? 6,000. Mayors and it’s there — Representative Vicente…Mayor Lawrence…Actually, if you want to know more Lawrence of Lanao.
Senate, I…’You are into a fishing expedition.’ Of course not. You are persecuting. None of these are personal. There, the one, a Caucasion looking, ulol. Loot, general, ‘di ba I mentioned. There are two generals here.
You know, this is the drug industry. Sabi ko nga eh, you worry about the 3,000? Dead? A third of them during police encounters, I don’t know about the rest. And you do not worry the drug industry?
Four million. And you worry about the…You are sad about the mayor who was killed inside the cell. And you want to pull down the PNP because that son of a bitch died? A mayor violating his oath of office. He was doing drugs on the western side of Visayas. Odicta who was also killed with his wife many months ago, was playing the eastern side.
I provided the Speaker and the Senate President and I said, it is beyond me. Even if you give me carpet authority to kill everybody, I will run out of bullets and of time. Hindi ko kaya.
Were if not for the good soul of a Chinese philanthropist, a billionaire, then I would not have the rehab center. You know, let me tell you, there is a, ‘this Duterte, why don’t he just put then in a rehab?’ And, what I’d like you to know is that I came into the presidency midterm. I am operating on a budget that was prepared by Aquino the previous year.
And so how was he supposed to know? That because all their inaction, the industry flourish into millions. So there is nothing there. And everbody you know that it was a bottoms up thing. The sloganeering bottoms up.
And so what is really left in this building is just enough operating expenses. That’s what it is. Bottoms up, we just had an election. So we’ve hoard so many tractors and everything there and some of them were not delivered to the beneficiaries, why? Because the law which allow them to buy these things is that the farmers would have to pay 15 percent.
Farmer, Filipino farmer. Where will they get the 15 percent? So I told Piñol, ‘there are so many tractors here’. ‘But COA says…’ Sabi ko, ‘never mind, COA.’ COA, COA, you give that for free and so we deliver it to Basilan. Never mind COA. I will — constricted brains, that’s what they have there. Why do I sacrifice the Filipinos there? Because they cannot pay the 15 percent and you withhold the — this kind of stupidity.
And so ganun naman — it was given to them. So those were the things that were left behind. And bottoms up was bottoms up. Talagang ibinuhos niya, they used the money of the government. Everybody knows it. And that is always the case. That’s why I said I am not pretending to be someone.
In the Philippines or even in my province but I will just try to give a respite to the Fiipinos. Hindi naman ako tumanggap ng pera so I can have my way. I didn’t receive any so wala akong utang na loob. Meron pero kakaunti. Sonny Dominguez, he does not need it. He has the hotel there to make him happy for the rest of his life — Marco Polo.
I don’t if a stockholder, those were here. Nawala na eh. Where is he? I thought so because he was winking at the guard across the room. Ah nandiyan? You can backbite him because you are allowed to do it.
So iyan ang…I have to do it. And it’s not really…The ones that…For all I know there, it’s a turf war just like in Lanao. Do you think that the drug — they said they are the largest producer ng drugs.
Why? Because Maute and the rest are fighting it out for just like the cartel. And if you read Ioan, I forgot the…He has a good book about South America. And iyong…And the new one is — there’s a sequel to that. And there’s a new book.
We are already in the state of narcopolitics. Two, three, generations ago nandiyan na, it was already…We were already there. And with the election of the wife of Samson, the portals of the national government opened to the creeping insidious and virulent drugs.
Ang masama diyan is Secretary of Justice running the drug industry inside, until now. If you want to order…They are now in prison but they were distributed all throughout the country. It’s being run now. That is why the next orders that if there is a cellphone found in the cells of any jailer, you are out, I will fire you.
I will file all of the superiors there because the drug industry just like in America, is run by the inside, they have the contacts. They are the lieutenants. The big ones are already out of the country. There is a big digital map and they would just say, ‘in the Paco area or Sta. Ana or Tondo, there’s this money.’ ‘You pick it up there and that…’ And it’s real time, they deliver it there. You get the money from this guy in the corner standing.
So how do you fight it? And even China is having a serious problem now with drugs. Iyan ang mahirap talaga. They are really having a headache now because…You know, cocaine and heroin, you to have the poppy. But drugs you can use, cook it inside your — and it’s happening now in America, they are realizing it.
But with all of the posturing, I really do not know why…Well, in other countries especially the (garbled), when there are killing they will do the cleansing here or the just like in the Middle east, huwag na lang tayo, let us stop killing ourselves.
They are also doing it for religious purpose. Me, I am fighting here criminals, all potential users, and if you are a user, you must be — you must be a pusher, if you are a user. Why? Unless, of course, you are the son of Ayala and Gokongwei, then you have to have somebody to contaminate to support your…You have to have the fix of the day.
So I am having a very serious problem here. And I do not have a…I said were it not for that kind human being from China, I would not have this facility good for 10,000 people. Diyan nakakaawa ang Pilipino.
Then they attack me for human rights. You know, in every demonstration…Let me tell you frankly, in every demonstration, it’s the yellow who’s shouting for my ouster. But you will never hear it from the communists because I am the president belonging to the left actually.
And everybody would tell you that I was crossing the ideological borders even before I became mayor. Find a policemen or soldiers who was — who was taken hostage there. And they would tell you the person who would go there to the mountains to retrieve them.
The Reds would never demand my ouster. They will die for me believe me. That’s the reason why I was able to convince them for a talk. There have been a…It’s starts with the good intention pronouncement and everything and at the end of the day, it ends with a stalemate.
So I do not believe in that shit that…They will never go for the ouster. Look at their posters. They would just condemn the burial of Marcos. But that was really their line, their favorite lines actually because Marcos was their enemy.
But for those who cannot forget, you are condemned to — enjoy your grief until you die. Marcos when he was buried in Hawaii, you know, the Americans were very strict with that, you cannot go around the law and preserve a body there it’s not allowed. You have to go inside the tomb.
And Marcos when the time they got him out there, bring it to the Philippines, he’s just ashes. Or at the very least skeletal remains. And by the time that he was buried there in Libingan ng Bayani, he’s just ashes. So and I…And they would just paint me as a bad guy.
My mother led the Yellow Friday Movement in Davao City. You can ask everybody and anybody. Sonny would tell you. She was the only one in the plaza bullying at the military because all of the audience were policemen and Philippine Constabulary at that time.
And so my mother was the only who stood up and bullshit them in public. And they were only four of them walking in the streets every Friday until it blown into something big and eventually the revolution. Baka hindi nila alam iyan. The Reds would never…
And you can go to the mountains and ask the regular armed NPA. And ask them, ‘who is your idol?’ So, let me disabuse your mind about this.
Well, actually there are two groups there. The group of the yellow who cannot accept defeat. So they keep on making noises and making contacts with this lady there, I would not mention her name because she is a lady.
And she only make it big because married an American, a black one, millionaire and she inherited the money. And now she is talking as if she is…Ako I said, I would like to…I take your questions.
But let me just end my story because I like this adage which he said when he was the president of the United States of America, and he is also one of the few heroes that I admire. One is Rizal, my father, then this guy and he said: ‘If I were to try to read much less answer all attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how, the very best I can and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. But if the end brings me out wrong, then angels of God swearing I was right would make no difference.’ — Abraham Lincoln
Great statesman. And for my…I just two. There was this saying, the words in dormitory. And it’s always there and I have memorized it over time and, he said that: ‘I expect to pass to this world but once, any good therefore that I can do to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
So for those of the bad guys, p***** i** papatayin ko talaga kayo. Pero all of the gangster and with the ill and tensions of this Republic, do not try to f*** it guys, you lose not only your pants but your life.
I will not hesitate. If it is my country, the interest of my country and the people, if it’s the one at stake, you can be very sure. I would not…I have no doubts in my mind that I know what I should do.
The threat of drugs and terrorism is very real. If the ISIS loses the land mass and if they are driven out, they would start to spread around the world. And they have always dreamt of this caliphate in Southeast Asia and obviously it’s Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines because of its Muslim population.
I am not saying…The Moros, no, they do not have anything like that except the Maute who said that they have pledged allegiance to…Terrorism is very real. And if finally the ISIS is defeated, it will just sprout everywhere, just like any — because it’s — a dialogue.
What happened before in Malaysia, many never got it really correct. What happened in the southern states including Mindanao, Malaysia na, there was this insurgence of Moro nationalism. Because they were the…They are the originals there in Mindanao. When Magellan I said arrived, Mindanao was already 100 years ahead at may poste sila, there was a post in the fight against imperialism, the Spaniards and the Americans, Islam was there rallying point.
So that thing there is not new. It’s the insurgent, Moro nationalism. It is, was their land. So that you have to make concessions. Now, believe me they are…The barest minimum would be really federalism and mark my word, I would not be here for all the time.
If we do not adopt federalism, there is no way that peace can be attained in Mindanao, now or in the future. That’s why those who are resisting federalism because they want to maintain the unitary type, this is actually a structure for despots and kings and authoritarianism.
And I don’t know why the Americans when they left us in 1946, coming from a federal country, did not give it to us. Was it because of the parity rights which they were interested because it was attached in that Constitution that the Americans would enjoy the same privileges to exploit and develop natural resources just like a Filipino. Or it was really with a good intention and we are an island separated from one another, 7,000 of it actually it would really good to have a strong president.
But if I may suggest I am telling you now, and you have my word: If they can come up next year or the sooner, whatever two, three years from now — my term is six years — but if they can craft a Constitution creating a federal setup, a country, and providing for a strong president just like the type which France has, then I am willing to step down without waiting for the six years. Because then I said you would have — you would need a president, it is not good for a fewer parliamentary type just like in Britain because it is not responsive at this time.
Remember the double-decker was blown up by the ISIS. We were at that time already. Britain at that time could hardly move because of a parliament and it’s a collegial body and collegial decision. So the prime minister could not even say a statement of why, where, how. It’s not good.
You know in times of…You know, to have a strong president I said, a federal type, a strong president, you might want to just give him a few of the powers, five powers but…To dissolve the parliament, create a call for Constitution, be the commander-in-chief of all Armed Forces because you need it at this time in our life.
And maybe two additional powers. But always there has to be a strong leader at this time. It cannot be a parliament or something which you have to discuss after. It belongs to one man and it’s all commander-in-chief.
That is what I am advocating but for me I said, I told Senate President Pimentel and they were here during the National Security meeting, Speaker: ‘Go ahead, make it fast. And if you can create that model two or three years, I will step down as President of this Republic.’
No problem, no problem at all. That’s why I said for those who are asking for my ouster, do not dream about it. Eventually I will. If you do not like me, go for the federal type and you are freed of my presence in government.
I’d like that thing to disabuse the minds of the people and to remember it. I have no illusions at all. I am good at this time already. When I go back there I have to ride on that motor boat. I live in the small house there in the — just across.
I do not stay here because I said they do not — the ghosts here do not wait for nighttime and darkness. They are there women in daytime as early as 8 o’clock in the morning. And if I stay at, I don’t know where it is, you’ll just might feel that someone is beside you.
If it’s wide lady, I will willingly oblige (laughter). The problem is when we begin to chat there is a Caucasian there because — the ones who stayed here were the Spaniards and the Americans, they find a man with the bird with the pipe in his mouth and that would be scary.
Most of the presidents here in the past — were the Spaniards and the Americans. And there’s, somewhere — the stage where the mother of our national hero then the —Spaniards, governor general at that time, who spares his son’s life.
And there is a splice there where she knelt down and cried pleaded for mercy. National hero natin. The only thing about her is the memory. Otherwise, it’s all wood. It’s not a palace actually it’s full of rooms there and here.
But I am glad that you have a chance to visit me or the Palace for the first time whichever is convenient to you, to see me first or the Palace, it’s okay but that is my story, true to life.
Thank you and good day. [applause]
PRESIDENT DUTERTE … especially important questions of the day. Maybe the burning questions of the day. About the Constitution, I am ready to reverse the 60-40. As long as Congress is also ready, I will go along with it.
But you know, there is something which is really, it’s a fundamental irreconcilable difference with me and some of the congressmen because even the Speaker before, who was my political enemy, already agreed to sell lands — lands to foreigners. I am sorry but I am not ready for that kind.
You know, because I said, most of the Filipinos are poor. And with the growing economy of the super giant, China and the rest, you know, they can always come here and buy the land and they can buy the whole of Tondo and relocate there and we’ll have with nothing and everything sold.
So papaano tayo? In the future, we’d be standing or living on a lot of the subdivision owned by the foreigner.
At this time of our financial life and civilization, you can easily sell the land even for a pittance. It would come to other people almost as free and then what happens? Where will I go if everything is already owned?
And even if they say it’s agricultural land, they can gobble it up. Even if they say there’s a term, still and there will be a time where we would have lost control over the lands to others. Yes Peter?
Mr. Wallace: I agree with you on the changes in the Constitution, I think it’s very important. What timing do you see to be able to achieve it realistically? Given a Congress that doesn’t know how to do anything?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You know, given my term, six years, it’s still very early. I can afford a Constitutional Convention. But just the same, everybody who has the money will prevail. And those who have the money will prevail. And you’ll still have a convention that’s really full of vested interest. Wala kang makuha dito because mahirap nga. Given the electoral experience of our country, we have not matured politically.
And in an election, those who have the money and the connection and those who are the relatives of the incumbent congressman will still prevail. The wife, the daughter, the son again and we will have an almost feudal setup ready to come up with a Constitution.
And to me, I would rather that, maybe not me but almost a commission of seven justices or a mix of the lawyers. Ben Lopez could be one and a commission and they would write a proposal, a draft of the Constitution and it will be submitted — the final draft would be submitted to Congress to debate on that. But never to change the things that we’d want because there is one contentious issue.
If you call for a change in the Constitution, it’s a — you open the floodgate. You cannot not control what matters to be changed, what are to be modified.
But if they are ready to honor that the only change, put it off to some other time, the other items there. If they are willing, concentrate on the economic provisions.
Maybe, I said, the equity can be increased to reverse, 60-40 or 70 if it’s a foreign corporation. But to sell the land, I will not. For the life of me, I will not agree to that. I will lose my country to foreigners.
Mr. Wallace: Well, let’s leave out the land but at least on the other issues, and particularly for me, public utilities, I see no reason why we can’t have 100 percent foreign ownership and control and operation of —
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I’m ready to do it. Just pay the taxes and get the profits and go away after but you know, I am more after the opportunity for Filipinos, Peter. Itong work. that is my, that is the, my purpose. You build something here and there has to be something that moves economically and for me, it’s alright. As long as people — the worry here is unemployment, actually. It’s not because of how much would you invest there or not. I’m ready to let go except selling of lands.
Mr. Wallace: Can we get it done for plebiscite on 2019, do you think?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Now, let me just put it this way: If we do it 2017, maybe 19. So 19, 20, 21 —
Mr. Wallace: In the midterm election, we can have a plebiscite to change the Constitution at that time while we have the midterm election?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes.
Mr. Wallace: Yeah? We could do that?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: We could do that. Yes. Possibly. I have no objection.
Mr. Wallace: Okay. Does somebody have a question they’d like to, to raise? Don’t feel frightened, he’s not gonna kill you. I don’t think…
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes sir?
Mr. Wallace: Richard, there’s a microphone here, they just brought in, if you’d like to get up behind you. Just say who you are and company, please. Okay. Slowly and carefully the question. When you are in your 70s, it’s a little difficult to oversee everything properly.
Q: My name is Richard Barclay with Manila North Harbor.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Can you please move a little bit — you can bend your head or bring it up.
Q: Is that better?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. That’s better.
Q: My name is Richard Barclay, I’m from Manila North Harbor. I would just like to ask, Mr. President. There has been a talk about reducing monopolies, duopolies and allowing people to choose the most efficient way of moving their products or goods or transport in and out of the country or within the country. It seems not to be moving as fast as what it could be even though there are some laws in place. I wondered what your thoughts were on, which you mentioned some time ago when we spoke several months ago.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. The only way to have these things cheaper, actually, electric and telecommunications, is to open up for competition. So we’ll just do away with monopoly in the sense that you allow other players outside to enter into the picture. And that would lower everything, including energy. I’m sure of that.
I’m not trying to — Rudy here is a — he used to be the Vice President of Globe but he’s now a Cabinet member so his interest is for the people.
I am ready to open the, these things about public utilities, especially energy and technology.
Mr. Wallace: I think the issue with Richard is that there are two operators in Manila Port and one of them controls all the cargo and the other is not allowed to control cargo. So it can’t handle cargo even though it has the capability to do so.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, we’ll have — I said, competition. But you must have something there also big enough to accommodate all players. That is why, for example, whatever it is in the import-export business, or in the handling of the [unclear] and everything, you must have something there bigger than what you have now.
But I said, if you open everything to competition and even the building of new warfare, and allow competition to come in. It would surely redound to the benefit of the ultimate beneficiaries, the Filipino people.
Mr. Wallace: Somebody else have a question?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I’m ready, I’m ready for that.
Mr. Wallace: Can we get a question please? Everybody too scared? Craig, you wanna say something about the IT-BPO industry? Cause I think that’s a major problem that we’re worried today and I think it’s a real worry but I think it’s a perceptional worry. Perhaps you can explain that.
Q: Mr. President, I’m Craig Ryans with Sitel, which a big IT call center. We work in the business process outsourcing industry. And we’ve been lucky enough to have opportunities to meet and understand some of your views on the development of the industry in the Philippines, its importance to the growth of jobs and, especially in the provinces. I’ve had an opportunity to speak with Secretary Salalima this evening as well as with Director General [unclear].
One of the biggest concerns that our clients have right now is — it is something in the change. Is the administration going to change the policies, the investment incentives structures? Will there be some sort of a change in the development, in the ability to continue to develop the industry that may spook or create concern from some of our investors?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Forget your fears. This is a democracy. We follow the free enterprise. There would be changes, there would be changes for the better, not to kill businesses. You can stop worrying, it’s actually a product of the other side, creating — they would like to create an economic situation whereby there would be a tilt of balance there somewhere and destroy the economy and blame it on me.
I am a lawyer and I believe in free enterprise, I believe in democracy that’s why I ran for President. I’m duty-bound by the Constitution. And about the outsourcing there, I would even guarantee to you that the Philippines would honor its contractual obligations.
Unlike the previous administrations, they were known for the notoriety of not honoring contracts or bending the rules. It will not happen during my term. I assure you, it will not happen. Bending the rules for the favor of somebody, that’s b*** s*** to me.
This is a free enterprise. You can come in, invest, and do not worry about — well of course, taxes but that is not a matter within me, it’s Congress who fixes how much you pay.
But if it is a matter of erasing you from this place, in fact, I’m encouraging you to place more. Davao City is one place where there is a great activity of outsourcing, especially BPO. Forget it, do not believe in that garbage. I mean, I am not that stupid. They would like to picture me as one but you know, I’m brighter than them. You know why?
Because if they are brighter than me, then they are now here in Malacañang lording it over.
Mr. Wallace: I’d take it a little bit further, in fact, on contract violations by the last administration. President Duterte has already ordered his Cabinet to correct all those violations of the last Cabinet, of the last administration. So those contracts will be corrected and I think this is a very positive step. Karen?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: We will honor contracts. You can bet on it with my life, not yours actually.
Mr. Wallace: I think we need you alive to stay around.
Q: Mr. President, I’m Karen Batungbacal – De Venecia and I’d like to thank you. I’m on the Board in the BPO organization called, ITBPAP and thank you very much for all your support. You wrote a wonderful letter of support for our industry, which we announced during our October summit and we truly appreciate the support of both Secretary Dominguez, Secretary Lopez and Secretary Salalima of DICT, who at any time, had been very willing to answer questions, engage with us, work with us. Secretary Pernia as well. We thank your government for continuing to support us —
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes ma’am.
Q: — so, and we do look forward to bringing more jobs here so and to all the parts of the world — of the Philippines. Thank you very much po.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Come on, guys. I am sure you know somebody from Davao and you must know that, how vibrant the industry in Davao. I said, I was mayor for 23 years. I’m not pulling my own chair but I would say that I’m one of those who made what Davao is today.
The growth rate, it’s nine percent. The highest. So why would you drive away investors here? Do not believe in that garbage. Always, there’s the Constitution and we’ll follow contractual obligations.
I will not condone bending of the rules — that’s the thing which I will never do. I assured you, there is no graft and corruption. Tell me, I said, you have Peter here as the conduit, if I may use the word, and just tell me what happened or you have Ruben Lopez there. You have Rudy. Just tell them the truth, the plain truth and I will take care of it.
Or if you do not like the Secretary or if you do not want to talk with those people because of a bad experience in the past, you give me your application and I said I will run it, I will run the grid for you.
Mr. Wallace: Any other question, please? Yes, David?
Q: David Strachan, New Zealand Ambassador. Mr. President, it was a pleasure to have you in Auckland a few weeks ago. I hope you come back. And it was also a great pleasure for me to be in your hometown in Davao a few weeks ago. I stayed there for five whole days and I saw it, seen a tremendous amount of dawn it was some — in your economy and it was great to get to know the people of Davao so you know, you’ve done a tremendous job there, well done.
But I would like to ask you about a really big year, next year when you will be the chair of ASEAN. What do you hope to achieve in that year? What’s your impression so far of ASEAN? Thank you.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, one thing is that we lack the connectivity. We have to have our own BIMP-EAGA. We have to create an economy over there. The reason why the Abu Sayyaf really prospered is simply there was a time when there was this barter trade and nobody was messing up with them.
Of course the organized crime there were done by some people in the government, especially policemen. That’s why there was this thing about a firefight and General Batalla was killed there because somebody went up to his — that he was a policeman and this barter trade was good, it provided livelihoods to many people, especially the Moro.
But what was wrong was that there was some control and monopoly in the flow of goods there because of the corruption of the police. So the Philippine Constabulary and they are up to this kind of thing.
You know, the policemen, not so much about the army. Because the army does not exercise, it does not enforce the laws, they are just in the camp and they go out with the permission of the camp commander.
Well, there’s less worry about the army. But police, they go out there every night to enforce the law. And because of a maybe—do you know that entry pay of the police everywhere is 14,000? That’s the entry, that’s the salary.
So what I did is I doubled the salary, they were be the first to—they will get it in maybe in tranche but I intend to complete it by—if I have the money and if I can borrow somewhere. The only way to really improve them is to double their pay. And I promise them and they would have it little by little.
Next year they would have a bit of an increase in the allowances and everything. Because you cannot do it with one stroke about, they have worry about the other police, Coast Guard and everything, but they are included.
But how about the teachers, how about the non—you know, the workers, the social workers and everything. I cannot cope up with the present financial standing the government. But I just the made it a priority so that I can stop the corruption of the police. Thirty percent of the police workforce is corrupt. That’s my headache, that’s why you have to deal them, well because they do not have the money. You have to deal with the — with an attitude.
And I said that if you are the ones into drugs, I will just have to kill you. You will be the one to go first. And a lot of them have lost their lives since then. You will be the one to go first, you will be the one to go first. And a lot of them have lost their lives since then, here during my administration.
But you know, if it is really a matter also of extrajudicial killing, I’d like to informed—‘yung appeal na—you know in, in Mindanao where shabu is being cooked incessantly 24 hours a day. It’s — I declared a state of lawlessness to justify the entry of the Armed Forces to mix it up with the police and exercise police power.
If it is really a judicial—extrajudicial killing, I have members of the police killed in police operations, 30; wounded, 60. The Armed Forces, because it is in Lanao, people there are well armed. Killed in action, eight sa – 58. Then the wounded is 256. So if it’s extrajudicial killing, how come I’m losing this many of my policemen and soldiers? To them extrajudicial killing is just simply tying him up, tie his eyes and then shoot him? Or just a casual manner, ask him and shoot him in the head.
I have lost government men and they were all saying that it’s about extrajudicial killing. At least it’s not my, my cup of tea. Killing. Marami akong namatayan ha, I just gave you the figure. That’s why you see on TV, flying there and there everywhere to just visit the wake of these guys, to show my solidarity. And every time they are wounded, I fly to Jolo and Basilan to pin on them the Medal of Valor.
Mr. Wallace: I think one of the things that’s driving us mad is the traffic situation.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes sir.
Mr. Wallace: — and you have asked Congress for emergency powers.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ayaw eh.
Mr. Wallace: — To bypass a lot of the bureaucratic restrictions to getting infrastructure built quickly. But Congress is acting like the usual bloody it is that they are and enough moving fast. How can you convince them to do so?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I do not know what got the—the vote of some people there. But they do not like Tugade.
Mr. Wallace: I do.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: But he’s good, he’s a —
Mr. Wallace: He’s a good man.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: He’s the valedictorian of our class, he’s really good. He was the top honcho of the Delgado Shipping while we were still students. He was already a top executive of the Delgado shipping. And he is very good, he has a very structural mind. I don’t know about this –but they do not want, maybe this year the agony, they enjoy. It’s called political masochism.
Mr. Wallace: Maybe he’s too clean… Maybe, count the influence.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: So there’s no movement at all, and I’m sorry to say to the Filipinos, we are trying. We want to borrow money because we need money to improve things there down on the road level. But we haven’t been getting any positive ano.
So I talked with some of the Chinese businessmen representing their government. And they say that the, well maybe we’d give you a soft loan of a 25 years and renewable for another 25 years with the grace period of almost 7 years. And it’s a—I said if we, that, if that is it goes on the terms, it’s actually giving it free.
And China, I think is — I think the attitude of China is really to help. So whatever there is to it, I will just on face value and say, thank you and please give to us. I have lost hope of getting the money from Congress to allow us to borrow and—I said I’m not really sure why could be the reason.
Some do not like Tugade, but he is very good person. He is just business like, he talks like an executive but I said we were still students, he was already with the Delgado brothers who owns CEU at that time.
Mr. Wallace: I agree. Somebody else have a question? Yes Joey.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, then I’m — your next. Yes sir? Governor Leviste?
Q: Good evening, Mr. President. Mr. President I’ll use three percent —
Mr. Wallace: You are, who are you?
Q: Oh sorry. Mr. President, I’m Joey Leviste, I’m chairman of Oceanagold Philippines. Number one, I’d like to just thank you Mr. President for your call for responsible mining, for your balanced policy on mining, and Mr. President, your standards are that of Australian and Canadian mining companies.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Canada is here.
Q: And a thank you for that Mr. President. And we trust that the DENR will follow your guidance.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ah okay, you won’t have any problem with Gina if that is the standard you follow. Ang problema kay Gina, she has not gotten the nod of the Commission on Appointments and I don’t know, I still have so many — Ubial.
I’m just thankful that they were not rejected outright so just bypassed. In Congress, if you are rejected then that is the end of your career in government. Ito naman si Gina, but I am sure that we will be reasonable.
My office is always receptive to any abuse of authority or if we exceeded the normal limitations of our discretion. And I will see to it that everything is fair. And if it does not follow the Canadian or a Australian practice, then nothing is —but probably it would make a lot holes in the land and somehow there has to be a trade off there.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: …There is always the downside about mining. We can never neglect anything that you say ‘no damage has been done.’
To a certain extent there is always…If you try to dig even up or down, there has to be some well, of course, a (inaudible). If you guys have been there in Diwalwal and you should visit it just to see a tourist attraction there. The water after the— if it’s out of the washing machines there, it’s actually black. Not brown but black.
So one day, I think somebody should decide to just but you know there are about already, almost 150,000 people there scattered around the mountains of the provinces of Davao Oriental and Caraga and even as far as Agusan.
If you ride on a helicopter, a low flying machine, you’d see that it’s almost the cap of Coca-Cola. It’s placed there. Full of holes until…But in Davao City, early on, I stood my ground, I said, ‘I will not allow mining in my city.’
My daughter who is now the mayor and who has been mayor at one time in the past, she’s really very strict about environment, she does not want any mining and I respect her decision because I was the one also who stood my ground when there was this application and I said, ‘No. Not in my city.’ You know why? It’s not because of the whatever you destruct there because it’s money, it’s because I do not like the way of doing it in north Davao. It’s the survival, of course, the number of arms — who are you? General of this unit and it’s all arm there. It was the men and the arms would prevail. And they would just go outright and confiscate a hold there and a hold there. No hi, no ha.
I said, ‘You cannot do it here in Davao because I will not allow.’ I do not allow oppressors to rule the day in my city.
Q: And, Mr. President, we also want to thank you for the — your appointment of DENR Undersecretary Luis Jacinto. He has been very positive in helping us at the industry. And we think he’s a perfect appointment of the President.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I don’t know about, you know, Gina because she has her own mind. I would not want to intrude into her ambit of set of whatever. You know, Jacinto was a Bureau of Mines director of Region 11 to which my —
Then I got him because of Chito Ayala. He was working for Chito and I said, Chito said that, ‘get this guy, he is very brilliant.’ Actually Jacinto is a valedictorian. UP ‘yan. He is very bright. And he is coveted by some of the…But he has — thank God he has chosen to serve the people.
Many corporations there wanted him — to get him to work for them. You know but he successfully was able to…That guy is from UP. He graduated valedictorian.
- WALLACE: I’d like to consider splitting the DENR because I see a real conflict there. We should have a Department of Environment responsible for ensuring that the environment of the country is well looked after and the Department of Natural Resources to look after the development and control of the mining and natural resources industries. Two separate departments because at the moment you are doing one thing against the other, it’s a conflict.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, it’s a very long story but someday I’ll tell you how it happened. I am not saying that she is not qualified. What I am saying that what led me to get her into the government services is…When I was a president and waiting for my inauguration, Gina came to me almost four times in the temporary office which I was holding for a while.
And she would go there late, about one o’clock, two o’clock, because I was entertaining all sorts of people. And she would open her laptop and say, ‘look, Mr. President-elect, you should — when you become the President look at the spillage there, look at the deterioration, look at the rice fields there…’ And I said I agree because it’s visual.
Then one day she would go there with a group and then she would open the laptop. ‘Well, Mr. President, may I remind you not to…’ No, no, no. Do not forget about this thing. And new pictures taken all over the country. Third same story, and we used to…There was a time we talked until six o’clock in the morning, really. Even if you ask her. So I said the fourth time, I was really tired. And she was also showing me again her pictures. And they were all true. I agree because they are real photographs. Real time in the sense that they were taken contemporary times.
But I was so — and then I said, ‘Ma’am, you know, you might want to be the Secretary of DENR para this can be…’ I made the proposal without really…Not even a single na tatanggapin niya, that she would accept it. Imagine Gina Lopez of ABS-CBN and they are there criticizing and also, you know, promoting vested interest and let us be honest with ourselves.
She said, ‘really, Rody?’ And I said, ‘yes.’ Because there were — still the guards were still there and a lot of people are waiting for their turn. And I said, ‘yes.’ Because I never thought it would happen, you know. [laughter]
But I am not saying that she is not qualified. That’s what I am saying that it was a far-fetched idea of her accepting the position. She said, ‘yes, of course.’ I do not want to embarrass her, mapahiya eh. Sabi ko, ‘yes.’ Siya, ‘okay. I’ll consult my family and I would let you know.’
The following the day, kaagad, ora mismo, she called Bong and she said, ‘Bong, you tell the mayor that my family agreed for me to work in government.’ Tinanggap, kasi pumayag raw, the family agreed that she would work in government. Sabi ko, ‘Ha? Patay na.’
So when she…Sitting right or left but I mean she was not also exceedingly abusive but there were times that I have to whisper to her and then you are still…Bago lang eh, bago lang. So when you are developing, you are not developed yet — as yet to mining and all. But she would listen. But sadly when she was bypassed again and I do not think that she’d ever get the confirmation. I don’t know about this Ubial of the Health.
Marami pang hindi pa naano diyan. But Gina, in the meantime let us just concede good faith on her but this is really in good faith. But as to…I hope she would listen to Jacinto.
Jacinto worked for me as my CENRO, that’s the counterpart to the DENR in the city government. For almost 20 years. I said I have been mayor for 23 years. All along, he was the…But one time I transferred him to the city’s engineering office just to place things in order. But he is very good. He is really very good and he is very knowledgeable. And he used to write my speeches, policy speeches. Kasi this — he is good here. I got him because he was also and I brought him to the national.
Sayang hindi — It’s sad that people there upstairs do not know his — or does not know his…Gina does not know his capacity — the capacity of him to work. He knows his business. He started with the Bureau of Mines as director. Fingertips niya ‘yang ano. Mining? Fingertips. He is that good. Geologist ‘yan sa ano.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Salamat ho.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Mina, may I help you? You were raising your hand?
Mr. Wallace: In the past couple of hundred years, we have gone through an industrial revolution, which has completely changed the world and we are entering now into the IT revolution, which is going to change the world even more.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I have a very competent — Rudy here is —
Mr. Wallace: That’s what I’m getting to. We have here the Secretary of DICT, a totally new department with a totally new mandate to completely computerize the government services and to develop the private sector in IT. Now, I don’t want to take away from your time tonight ‘cause we invited the Secretary in January to speak to us — I just like to get it here from you, if you agree that this is gonna be one of the mayor sectors for the Philippines to develop in the next six years.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, Amina? How are you?
Mr. Wallace: Yeah, Amina.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. First of all sir, you mentioned about the national security concerns and I have first of all, I just wanted to say that we have been proposing that when you chair, when the Philippines chairs ASEAN, we should really have a conference on prevention of violent extremism. Singapore has had it already, Malaysia has had it, Indonesia. And I think this time around, let’s really look at ways to prevent because you’re right, when you — when they’re here already and you counter it, that’s too late so we need to stop it and make our communities more resilient.
But the question I wanted to ask you sir, since we are going to be chairing ASEAN and it’s the 50th year of ASEAN, what are we going to do with the BIMP – EAGA initiative which was intended to be one of our drivers but we just sort of slept in the last six years?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: It has to be trade and commerce. That’s all about it. You know, we open the connectivity, there is none at all at present time.
We have to improve on it and when it is there, you can take advantage of how it can improve our trade relations with everybody.
There’ll be a lot of discussions there of the products of, and of course what you are selling. But what I would like to stress is that, I mentioned it in passing because when the trade, the barter was still there, there were no Abu Sayyafs. And it was when government choose to close it, yun, nagka leche-leche na ang – it was the time that we were facing so many banditry, plain banditry.
But I promised the people there in Jolo [unclear], I will — just we talk.
The only way to prevent extremism that would get hold there and become really profound is to win the people there and for them to just say that you know, hindi talaga tama yan and I’m sure that we can do a lot of —
That’s why I said you have to open opportunities for them also to – it’s useless. I mean, to be talking about improving their lives and you know, avoid extremism without really doing something positive.
They would still stay the same. Ganun pa man. So just like in Lanao, it’s there, itong ISIS talaga, they have raised the flag so — for that group, wala na but the others, sabi ko wag kayong magsali diyan because it is danger for everybody. It is a red flag for trouble for all times. I do not think that ISIS will disappear in the next five to seven years and there will be trouble.
The pronounced position of the extremist was to establish a caliphate. So that is a very, you know, a fertile ground for terrorists. As a matter of fact, we have five now, that’s led by a Malaysian guy and three Indonesians and I think another Malaysian. Sila yung nagko conduct ng mga lectures and doctrinization that’s why there’s a [unclear] about occupying a government structure.
Eventually they were out by the time the sunset but they are now demanding, and they are even terrorizing, they say that they would burn, they must be crazy, they’re trying to burn a Muslim city, a Moro city. But that’s a headache actually but I’m trying my very best that is why I’m, the first to be rehabed there is your hospital in Jolo and in Basilan, I’ve been there twice already.
Q: We would like to thank you, sir —
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: — In Basilan, Jolo very open because I never — there are lot of wounded, I go there just to visit them also.
Q: So sir, palalabasin ho natin ang BIMP-EAGA?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: ‘Yan talaga ang dapat. So, it should be a thing that we have to develop in front of the ASEAN and the trade that— because we include Cambodia as far as Cambodia that’s why I’m going there tomorrow just to talk about, ‘Hey guys are still interested in—‘because it has to be an inclusive thing for the ASEAN. It should include all.
Q: Maraming salamat po.
Mr. Wallace: Another question? Yes, Philip.
Q: Philip [Sy?] I’m a hotel chairman. I have three things I’d like to say thank you to you. First is you are our savior for the drug menace. I congratulate you, please continue with your good work. The second is a —
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: We can’t call because I’ll be competing with Jesus Christ. Let’s put down a little bit a—I’m just a working, actually I’m just doing my duty, that’s all.
Q: No, I think you saved us from this drug menace. I sincerely believe that. The second thing is I’d like to said thank to you, is because we just successfully concluded a global investment forum with your support and also for about fifty speaker, half of them is a government official. We have 600 visitor, visited our forum. And one of the top speaker is Mr. Peter Wallace is a one of our speaker.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: The most in demand. Moderator, planner, whatever you want him to be. He can fit into any of those category.
Q: The third thing is I took up your challenge. In the last six months, I have prepared five project study. I’ll submit it to you tonight. It’s with your Secretary Bong Go and the first one is Benham Rise opportunity. The second one is moving national office from Manila to Lucena. The third project is one-stop shop for DA using FTI. The fourth project is one-stop shop for DA using Smokey Mountain. And the last one is Foreign Investment Authority.
So I prepared five project study, it’s about this thick. If I’ll have a chance to present it —
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: That thick?
Q: Yeah. I —
Mr. Wallace: The President doesn’t have time to look at that thing.
Q: I surely I like to help you in government but I spent time in airport doing it. I think it will be helpful. And the last thing, I pity you with your headache but I’m just recommending you, because I study acupuncture. I think acupuncture can stop your headache and your nerve headache. They can stop the nerve pain. Please try the Chinese doctor acupuncture. I recommend it.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Actually, thank you. But I want to be cured but not to be cured. I save more time just — I cannot turn my head anymore so — I can save time just by looking at the lady there. [laughter]
Q: Because the acupuncture is they cut the nerve. They can stop the pain. They can stop your coughing by just simple putting needle on your head.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: They must take it the wrong way. Do not open your finger. Here. here. Not here because you might —
Q: One time I had heavy coughing. They put it, they put the needle here, he was able to stop the coughing. Please try it.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Delikado ‘yan. I, I…somebody advised me to consider it. I will try…and the thick paper, the thick…that’s why I said I hired bright guys to read it for me. Sonny and the IT manager would do it for me. They will make the recommendation.
Mr. Wallace: I like to just mention to the President that we had a round table…we call it round tables in early December and we asked them—the members here what they thought of you and 73% thought you were doing a pretty good job. That means 27 thought maybe you weren’t doing such a good job. You need to be tougher so…
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Do not come back here if that is the score you gave me. (laughter)
Mr. Wallace: So are you really going to be even tougher?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I need a better.. to find a way to increase the score, guys. I’m governing this country to help you, really. I said this is a free…it’s a democracy. This is a free enterprise. The Constitution has almost copied verbatim from the Constitution of the United States. So, in all of the interpretations there, we rely on the interpretation of the courts of…especially in Mercantile law—commercial.
Mr. Wallace: One of the other things that we asked was are you continuing with expansion plans and investments despite the negative publicity that’s going on overseas, the answer was overwhelmingly, ‘yes’ and I was talking to Jacques Reber of Nestle who earlier, ‘Jacques, you have some substantial investments you’re going to put into this country in the next few years, right?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You have to be. You should know better. You’re businessmen. You do research. And from where I came from, you might also want to ask a few questions there. I do not have a record of wrecking businesses. But I am strict in, for example in a lifeblood of the nation taxes. Just pay your taxes and you can forget the BIR, truly. I don’t even want them, they’ll bring into your records. If your accountant is right and he computes correctly, forget about the BIR…and the Customs.
I said if you have some importations and you have problems there, you just call me and I’ll…anyway the Customs have collected more than their quota for this year and you have there — Faeldon who used to stage a mutiny there…there in Makati. Just pay your taxes and forget about BIR and harassments. Nobody will…not during my watch. I do not like oppression. And that goes for everybody. I do not like people in government asking money.
I say that is why I doubled the salaries of the soldiers and the police. All you have to do is just to assert. Don’t…you don’t ask anything from me. I ask everything from you to work for government. And that’s it. And if you need to talk to Sonny, to Peter, the IT secretary.
So that’s the business now. It’s technology…and you have Sonny…Peter, the guardian—not me, I am not considered…’thank you for being a guardian…’ oh, Jesus Christ! Please, I am just working…you have me in your pocket because you pay my salary. That’s it. It ends there.
So, you might want to start standing up. It’s about 11:40.
Mr. Wallace: Your breakfast time, I think.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I still have to pack, Peter.
Mr. Wallace: Yes…what time are you leaving?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: PA, ha? It’s not the “F” one…’pack’
Mr. Wallace: Yes, yes I caught it.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I don’t have anybody there at the other side. It’s a lonely place actually. That’s what I said when I said, if given to go back in the hands of time. My family is there. My daughter doesn’t want to study here. There’s the Holy Spirit, I told her. I showed her the place but she doesn’t want it and so the mother stays with her daughter and the other one stays there with me. So I have a visitor there always because it’s a terrible thing to die alone in bed. You suffer heart attack, nobody will shout for help.
That is a tragedy. You must have somebody to shake you and.. Are you still alive? But it’s a very lonely crossing everyday.. Everyday. And it’s a new.. at almost… a tugboat diyan sa — looks like a tugboat to me.. newly painted only.
So I would like to say.. I’d like to talk to you until morning time. I’m used to it. The only problem is our flight is for Cambodia is and there are still seats available. And if you guys want to hop in, you’re free to… If have the passport and the, of course the visa, you can ride with me. They always lend me the newest plane.
Mr. Wallace: Yeah.. I bet —
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: The last time, they give me the 777. It was a sleek plane, a fast one. But that would be the last actually in long trips like Peru and you know why?
So there was this awful criticism about me. That I was not there. I asked Yasay to stand in for me. I was there. I attended the meetings actually. Do not believe those idiots there outside. But you know, Obama was there. And because we had an exchange of words, I was just trying to avoid an awkward situation.
I would not know if you would accept my gesture of a handshake or me deliberately getting out of the way to avoid him. And you can tell it by just looking at the body language of people. You would know. And because I did not want to create a scene, an awkward situation, I just stayed on the sidelines. That’s the truth. I was avoiding an awkward situation especially an international awkward behavior. So deliberately, I just said —
I did not have a bum stomach. Do not believe it. That was just an excuse but really I avoided it. I would not know how to react if he would just push my hand because we had a very hot exchange of words. And the, mind you, do not believe in this.. I mean, if you want to.. They keep on hammering on criminal liability, about International Criminal Court.
You know, the United States, the State Department, the Office of the President of the United States keep on mentioning about extra judicial killings, using a term there when after all, America is not a member of the International Criminal Court.
Russia just pulled out recently if you, five days ago Yeah. They got out of the.. and Russia was correct…you spent billions of the people’s money because we are contributors and they were only for this ..for the time that they were there, for the longest time.
They only came up with four verdicts and it was in the amount of one billion was spent. So what ..four verdicts? Never had an idea and there was one who was acquitted actually about two years ago.
One billion was spent and they came up only with four verdicts. What a way to spend the people’s money. They might as well prosecute him on his own court because he is a criminal like me, if you think that I did something wrong, I’m a criminal then you know, file it in the Ombudsman.
I think there is a charge there by Matubato. Anyway this is democracy, you are entitled to be a fool once in awhile. But again, I would like to thank you for your presence and if there’s a need— if there’s a disturbing need— development that would come up, that would affect — you’re free to come back here and we’ll talk again. I’ll take care of the dinner, I’ll answer for it. But not really a — it’s the people’s money.
You know, I’ve ordered. It’s already one viand, one soup and one — is that what was served? One viand, one rice, one soup.
And I’m the only guy — you know when I was there — you know Peter? On the first day, I noticed that everything was lighted up and the air condition was on.
I said, why are you not putting off the lights? Why — it’s cold, it’s night time, it’s always been that way. Wag ka nang — even I said, put out the lights. You can only have a lamp shade there in the sala.
I’m not saying that they are wasteful but if that was the practice, that was not good. All the lights on and just because you are part of the Palace?
It’s not good. People are hungry and even if you say it’s only, it would not make a dent, still the principle behind it is not good.
So I said, every light should be put off and give the three sorcerers to walk around in darkness, nobody is here. And maybe the guards. So that’s how it is.
I’d like to thank you again and I’ll see you next time. Peter?
Mr. Wallace: Thank you. Thank you, sir. [applause]