(Note from MindaNews: This is the official transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s media interview, released by the Presidential News Desk of the Presidential Communications Office)
Presidential Communications Office
Presidential News Desk
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
FOLLOWING HIS MEETING WITH THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY
IN THE REPUBLIC UNION OF MYANMAR
[Horizon Lake View Hotel Lobby, Nay Pyi Taw,
Myanmar | 19 March 2017]
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Good evening. I would be glad to take your questions.
RG Cruz (ABS-CBN 2): Sir, good evening, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes.
Mr. Cruz: Does the Pres — do you support the impeachment of the Vice President Leni Robredo amid criticism from Senator de Lima that it is stupid and an arrogance of power? And will you bring to court all of those who are behind the supposed concerted efforts to destabilize your administration amid the claim by Speaker Alvarez that there are plans by the Liberal Party to oust you the way former President Estrada was ousted?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, it’s all politics actually. In the matter of going after them, it has not reached that level of violence, destabilization. It’s more of publicity. And for as long as it is really a peaceful exercise of the freedom of speech and freedom of the press, there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s guaranteed under the Constitution.
The talk about destabilization I think is a bit too… well it is just an exponential word actually. It has no limit. But actually you have to have the kind of situation where there is already violence committed and imposed on the population whether they are with you or against you.
Pagka ginulo nila ang bayan, just like what is happening in Mindanao… If it goes out of hand and children are already targeted for killings, ibang istorya na iyan. But as far as just being criticized, I would allow them. I cannot do anything because the Constitution guarantees criticism. And to peaceably assemble and maybe to redress whatever grievance and I don’t see anyone except that they would want me ousted.
Well that’s… I said I never denied that in the campaign in the war against drugs, a lot of people have been killed. I do not deny that. I admitted. But huwag naman ‘yung wala akong pakialaman that even families. I do not do that. I mean for the life of me, I cannot imagine giving an order killing people who are innocent or even a criminal on bended knees or without stretched hand in surrender.
Those who choose to fight the government will have the response that they want. But never I said you, can ask anybody: I never ordered anybody in private or in public which is… ang sinabi ko, papatayin kita, ako iyon. And that is just a rage in my heart.
You have listened to all my speeches kako para makita nila kung gaano ako kagalit sa droga and for what it has, the drug itself has caused shabu to my country. And the many, many, many hundreds of thousands are already addicts and those which shrunk brain who have no more use to society. It’s just a burden actually.
Mr. Cruz: Thank you very much, sir.
Dano Tingcungco (GMA 7): Good evening, sir.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, good evening.
Mr. Tingcungco: Sir, just to clarify and just to be very clear about it dahil po nabanggit ninyo ito dalawang beses. Una, kanina po sa Davao before you left, pre-departure press conference pati po ngayon earlier dito po sa ating address sa Filipino community dito sa Myanmar.
Sir, pwede po ba nating ipaliwanag ng konti pa ‘yung inyong ibig sabihin sa sinasabi ninyong hindi na… parang hindi na mapipigilan ang China na ituloy ‘yung kung ano man ‘yung construction sa Scarborough Shoal.
Now, this is in light of two things: ‘Yung mga ilang mangingisda sa Subic, Zambales ay meron pong hamon sa inyo na ipakita raw po ninyo ang inyong katapangan at maglagay daw po tayo ng watawat doon po sa Scarborough.
Another thing is ito pong si Representative Alejano ang nagfile po ng impeachment complaint po laban sa inyo ay kinoconsider daw po niya na magfile ng supplemental complaint kaugnay po dito sa Benham Rise.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well for what? If he wants to fight with China, he cand lead. I would be glad to send him as the first batch of delegation of Filipinos who’d want to take the Spratly Islands and all of those they occupied now.
Sige. Siya ang mauna. Maraming galit na nangyari sa ganon. Ako, it would be a slaughter for the Filipinos to do that. ‘Yung kanyang tapang-tapangan, huwag munang… do not compare me with you. You are all cowards. Alam ninyo nakita ‘yung kagitingan ninyo noong nagmutiny kaya mga walang hiya kayo.
You just disturb the public peace, shouting invectives against government. Nagwara-wara kayo ng mga armas doon. Nag-agaw kayo ng hotel. That is the only one you are capable of doing: to invade the hotel and then thereafter to surrender. Huwag mo nga akong pakitaan ng mga yabang kahit ano. I mean, ‘yung ano ba ‘yung ginawa nila — yung grupo nila?
What have you done to the country? Nothing. Except to make noise and that really happened during your mutiny. Na hindi kayo kasi pinapa… You were forgiven by a President na ewan ko. And you enjoyed your freedom now because of one man but what you did to the country was really something out of.
Tapos kayo mayabang. Ano bang pinagyayabang ninyo? Na you had your chance to show your bravery. Do not s*** with me.
May panahon na na dapat lumaban kayo, ‘yung itlog ninyo dumating naman diyan sa bunganga ninyo. Tapos sabihin niyan ‘bravery bravery.’ Eh di noon lumaban na sana kayo. Pinandigan ninyo ‘yung sarili ninyo. Don’t… If I were you, stop boasting about bravery and all of these things. You are incapable of doing it. You’ve had your chance to show to the Filipino.
Your bravery was tested and you failed miserably. So do not talk about bravery and all of these things. You are actually a shame. Pinag-aral kayo, ginastuhan ng gobyerno tapos ganoon ang ginawa mo sa bayan.
Mr. Tingcungco: Pero sir ‘yung inyong nabanggit po tungkol po doon sa construction sa Scarborough Shoal and hindi po mapipigilan, sir para lang po sa benefit ng ating mga kababayan na hindi po narinig marahil ng buo ang inyong nabanggit, ano po ang ibig sabihin nito?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi nga natin mapigilan kasi hindi natin kaya ang China. Hindi nga mapigilan ng Amerikano. In the first place, pag umpisa pa lang niyan, hindi na pumunta ang Amerikano, natakot na.
‘Yun may mga armas ‘yun baril, eroplano, lahat. Ngayon tinutulak nila tayo para makipag-away. And it would be a massacre.
First hour pa lang ubos na ‘yung, naku. We are not in a position to declare war. But I said to China that someday during my term as President, I will have to confront you about the arbitral ruling and that would be maybe, during the time when you begin to extract minerals and the riches of what is inside the bowels of the earth.
Entitlements lang naman, hindi naman teritoryo. Eh ang teritoryo, it is not within — I said repeatedly it is not within our territorial waters. But what we are trying to achieve is that we are also recognized to own the entitlements. Ang nakuha lang diyan is the economic zone but ‘yung structures na ‘yan has nothing to do with the economic zone.
It might impede but actually it’s a construction that would disturb the navigation of the sea. That is why it’s very important for China and the rest of the nation, especially the ASEAN, to come up with a Code of Conduct.
Mr. Tingcungco: Sir, maraming salamat po.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Masyadong bilib diyan sa mga… in the likes of. Susmarya.
Jervis Manahan (PTV 4): Good evening sir, I’m Jervis Manahan from PTV. Sir, one of your allies in the House of Representatives, si former President GMA, has just been ousted as deputy speaker. So do you have any plans of appointing her in your Cabinet?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No. I don’t she will accept it. She cannot be working under a President when she was already a president. That will be quite a tall order for her to do that. But representing the people of the district of her own province would be somehow acceptable to even everybody.
Marami nga silang ganoon eh, but ‘yung magtrabaho siya Executive department under my direction and control, I said that’s a very tall order for her. So I will answer the questions for her also, including mine. Ibig sabihin, hindi tayo darating pa sa panahon na ‘yan.
Mr. Manahan: Sir, would you consider her to lead the constitutional commission para po sa pagbuo ng federalism in the House?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Maybe. Maybe. Maybe, baka ayaw rin niya eh. But maybe.
Mr. Manahan: Thank you very much sir.
Roy Mabasa (Manila Bulletin): Good evening Mr. President.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes sir.
Mr. Mabasa: My question dwells on the relationship with the United States. You mentioned earlier that you are willing to give it all to support your counterpart, Mr. Donald Trump. In that context, I would like to know the… your appreciation of our present relationship with the United States in that context.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I think we’re headed for something that is very… an understanding platform for both countries. You see, Donald Trump is a realist. He is a guy who knows what is real, what is not, and he does not engage in theories. And even in the matter of human rights, he takes into account everything.
That the view of the United States and the rest of maybe the EU countries are far different from the Orientals. And they are… at face value, what they are now saying is that do you want everybody to follow.
They are trying to impose their culture and their beliefs, whatever it has gone to. And in the matter of the gender, there seems to be no, it’s always the citizen globally. It does not say anything about being a national or a citizen of this country and that could be fatal.
Because then you impose the rules because he is a citizen of the global countries. You know, you are trying to be a dictator. You dictate upon nations what, how, and what you believe in. That is not acceptable to Korea, Japan and the rest of the ASEAN countries and also with Putin and Xi Jinping.
Eh huwag kang magsabi na ganito na protektado. That is why they are trying to protect everybody. That is why they worry about the human rights even if it is not a citizen of their country and dito, what is very sad is they believe in the propaganda.
I said I have made my admissions and I bind myself to it. But certainly, killing other sectors who are not at all connected with the… you must be an insane person to do that. I’m just interested going after the drug guys. I have nothing to do with what’s your business, what is your… anong karnabal na gusto mo sa buhay mo.
If you have Carnival there, fine, you go ahead. But dito sa akin droga. I’m trying to protect my country. I’m trying to stay loyal to the oath of office, to protect and preserve the Filipino nation. That’s the long and short. I do not need to read the Constitution about martial law, about suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, far from it. Actually all I have to do is just to remember my oath and I would do anything to protect the Filipino and preserve my nation. ‘Yun lang ang trabaho ko.
Mr. Mabasa: Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: ‘Yung hindi nakakaintindi, talagang magulo ito. At gugulo ito kung ayaw nilang intindihin. Basta do not do anything that deprive us of the happiness of our children and destroying — Iisa lang itong bayan ko. Eh kung sisirain mo, talagang mag-ge-gyera tayo.
And I’m warning the Mindanao guys: do not tempt me to declare martial law in Mindanao for starters. Because if I declare martial law, I will finish every problem of that island. Tatapusin ko na talaga lahat para wala na ‘yung next generation, wala na.
At magkakaintindihan na ang lahat. Ang Moro, kontento, ang Kristyanos, kontento sila sa buhay nila. And it’s gonna be a progressive island. But if I declare martial law, I will finish, I will finish all what ails the island. Ayaw ko. So do not force my hand into it. Because if I do, wala nang atrasan. Tatapusin ko talaga to the last period. So, ayaw ko. Do not force me to do it. Okay? Salamat po.