(Note from MindaNews: This is the official transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s interview, released by the Presidential News Desk of the Presidential Communications Office)
Presidential Communications Office
Presidential News Desk
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
[Tactical Operations Group in Region XI, Davao City | 07 July 2017]
[start of RTVM video]
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: … to be with the men, the fighting forces of government. I should show my face there.
Hindi naman pwede ‘yang peace time ka na pumunta.
Hindi naman ‘yung sabihin ko na, “you place yourself in jeopardy.” But somehow, during the fighting, you should show yourself to — that you are with — with one in our desire to protect the Republic.
Q: Sir, do you think it’s really a destiny for you not to proceed there, sir, kasi…
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, this is the second time. The last time, I was not able to go in because also of the weather. Dito naman ngayon, ganon rin ang nangyari.
And we were circling many times but we could not penetrate the — well, it was really squall. So, we waited in the camp for the skies to clear up.
But, pagdaan namin, wala. It was raining the whole day sa Marawi.
Q: Sir, from the reports from — I mean, from the reports we get from the ground, sir, are we planning to lift the martial law before the SONA, sir?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No. And, hindi ako ang nag-ano, eh. It’s the the Armed Forces and the police.
I consulted them and said it was critical. Ang magsabi sa akin na hindi na critical, ang Armed Forces pati ang pulis.
I do not have an independent study of what, how things are on the ground. It’s not my job. And I cannot do it physically even.
So, I have just to rely on the word of the Armed Forces and the police because they are the one keeping this Republic healthy and alive.
Pag sinabi nila wala nang delikado and everything is okay, then that is the time that we will lift the martial law. Otherwise —
Q: Thank you, sir.