(Note from MindaNews: This is the official transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s media interview after the submission of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law on 17 July 2017. This transcript was released by the Presidential News Desk of the Presidential Communications Office)
Presidential Communications Office
Presidential News Desk
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
FOLLOWING THE TURNOVER OF THEPROPOSED BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BY THE BANGSAMORO TRANSITION COMMISSION
[Rizal Ceremonial Hall, Malacañan Palace | 17 July 2017]
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: One statement that I am happy as President of this country, of this Republic, to have received a copy of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
And I made my assurance and [inaudible] passes the legislative grid. It takes time but I will also try to hurry up so we’ll have something to show to the people at least before the year ends.
There’ll be a lot of debates but we hope that everything will be — well — strengthened, especially those objectionable materials or the things that were in the previous laws.
Titingnan natin. But I assure you, I said I’m committed to the na — to what we call the Bangsamoro nation.
Q: Sir, will you certify it as urgent?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, certify. And I have requested both the Senate President and the Speaker to consider it immediately.
Q: Sir, have you made your decision on the martial law?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am awaiting for the recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP.
Wala akong independent study. I am not on the ground to assess everything. I am… I rely on what is reported to me by the different departments, particularly the Armed Forces and the DILG, which has the bureau of police.
Q: Sir, nai-submit na daw po ng Department of National Defense at tsaka ng PNP ‘yung kanilang recommendation. So, hindi niyo pa po ba nababasa?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi pa po. Hindi pa po. I just came in last night. Galing ako ng Mindanao.
Q: So before July 22, there will be a decision, sir? Kasi that will be the 60th day, July 22.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ah, basta maghintay lang ‘yan sila diyan. July pa.
Q: Sir, ano ‘yung primary consideration niyo?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I said if the police and the military would tell me that it is safe now for everybody, then that’s it.
What’s the use of declaring? You have experienced martial law under me, so what? Anong nakita ninyo?
Wala namang ano except that the military must be empowered to deal with the problem.
Q: Sir, how many more days ‘yun Marawi?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ah, ewan ko lang. Wala akong… I have to confer with… I have to maybe confer with the — last minute — kay Lorenzana pati kay Chief of Staff Año.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No. The most important sector is the press sector, always pressing.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Of course. The only entity that can really say with certainty na “it’s safe” is really the police and the military. No one else.
Q: Kapag po ba nag-SONA tayo and we are still in martial law, para pong masama sa [inaudible] or okay lang?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You have experienced martial law. Mindanao has experienced martial law.
Eh ‘di, anong nangyari doon? Actually, there is a martial law, except for the criminals and terrorists.
If you’re a law-abiding citizen, like you, Pia — stop talking there while I am talking — it will be good for you, safe for you to go around.
Q: Sir, are you open to reducing the scope of martial law?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I have to read, I said, the… I cannot answer properly the question. But I’m ready to comment on the charge against Aquino.
Trabaho ng… Hindi naman trabaho ng abogado ‘yun. You know…
Q: Sir, what do you mean hindi trabaho ng abogado ‘yun?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi trabaho ng abo…. B**** man ‘yung rekomendasyon na ‘yun.
Q: Bakit, sir?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You know, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of all Armed Forces. Okay?
The police is a civilian entity under DILG. Correct? Yes. But he is also the chief of the Executive department. Ang police under ni Presidente, ako ‘yon — para mas madali intindihin — ako ‘yon.
If I order an operation and from my mouth I would say, “Go there and fight or arrest this person or maintain order.” That by itself is like the Commander-in-Chief, Chief Executive ka.
Ngayon, ‘yung ginawa ng mga pulis pati ni Purisima kung sino doon, kanya ‘yun, because hindi mo masabi usurpation of authority because lahat na ‘yung sinabi nila are merged in one person, the Chief Executive, the President.
He can call anybody to help him fight a criminal operation there. He was not using the administrative talent — in appointments, in signing, there was… He was just asking for the advice from a professional police.
I do not see anything wrong there. Nothing was signed, nothing was agreed by Purisima except that he was helping the President implement the law.
Ngayon, kung sino ‘yung utusan niya wala kang pakialam because he has the trust. Wala man… Purisima was not in the operation. He was putting inputs doon sa…
So pagka by ‘yung usurpation, all of those powers are vested in the President. The charges are… They are there to ensure its failure.
Q: Sir, ibig sabihin mukhang kulang ‘yung charges kay President—
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi kulang. Wala, mali lahat. Alam mo it was a… Let me look for the proper term.
Q: Command responsibility, sir?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yeah, there was command res… Sabi ni Presidente it’s admitted. And he can call anybody he wants.
Pagka sabi niya, “Halika dito, Alan Purisima. You are my Chief sa PNP. Tulungan mo ako dito.” What’s wrong with that? He was not usurping. He did not took an oath there and said that, “I am assuming as…” Wala man.
He was just being consulted. Kaya ‘yung charge kay Aquino will fail. ‘Yung usurpation, those are…
Lahat ng powers doon and all of the offices there participating are merged into one person and that is the President.
The President is the sole organ of the presidency.
Q: So, sir, ibig sabihin niyo ho parang moro-moro lang ‘yung charges?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Alangan. Acquitted talaga ‘yan. Ako ang — defense niyan, so what’s wrong? Usurpation?
Lahat ng powers ng lahat ng Cabinet ko pwede kong angkinin akin. You step aside and I will assume… And he was the… He was the person who ordered the operation.
Ngayon kung magsabi siya na tulungan mo ito because… The President remember is not a military man like me. Kung magtanong siya kay Purisima because he has the trust of Purisima.
What’s wrong kung magsabi si Purisima, “Dito sir, dito ‘yan.” So it was… It was neither a misadventure but I would say that Murphy’s Law.
It was a success in the sense that they were able to secure the fingers at the cost of 44 lives. Parang military failure — operation.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala na… Bakit gusto mo manalo ka lahat?
Q: Sir, whose fault is it?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Failed.
Q: I mean, sir, legally speaking?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Failed. Wala… Kasi sino naman… Eh kung nagkulang sila sa maneuver. Ano bang…? Maybe ang sabi doon ‘yung isang charge na while all of these fightings were going on and the soldiers were being killed, they never called on the — or no one advised them to call for assistance from the cannons of the Army, which were just nearby or the choppers of the CASF, mga TOGs. There’s one, there’s two, there’s three in every place.
Q: Mr. President, ano po dapat — bilang isang prosecutor — ano ang dapat na i-kaso kay Aquino?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala ako… Wala. Talagang failure. Hindi naman lahat manalo eh.
It was a[n] operation. It was a success in the sense that they were able to get the fingers of Marwan.
And it was given directly to the FBI, so they’re waiting there. Totoo man ‘yang istoryang ‘yan.
Q: So ano ang nakikita niyo, sir, na dahilan doon sa pagsasampa ng — pagrerekomenda ng Ombudsman na kasuhan ang dating Pangulo?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala. Sabi ko, b**** ‘yung nagdesisyon. There are maybe siguro another damages but not criminal.
Kung ganyan lang ang kakayahan ko, mag-order ako bukas. O tapos patay lahat. Tapos sabihin mo, “inorder ko.” Eh ‘yan lang ang trabaho ko eh. Ngayon kung manalo o hindi, depende na ‘yan.
Pero papuntahin mo doon ng walang baril, papuntahin mo doon ng walang bala, anak ng p***. Murder ‘yan. You know that they will be killed there. Pero kung armado naman lahat.
You know, charging Aquino for that… Silly. Actually, my term there, it’s a silly charge.
Kasi ‘yung mga failure, usurpation — those positions, when the President assumes the role there, sabihin niya, “I take over.” ‘Yung role mo there is whatever na ni-usurp is perfectly legal because the President has control of all departments — Cabinet.
Control, because he has the power to override, or change, or amend your order. Kumbaga si Tugade mag-order, sabihin ko, “Huwag ‘yan, ito ‘yung gusto ko.” O si Delfin Lorenzana magsabi, “Magpadala tayo doon.” Sabi ko, “Huwag, hindi pa panahon.” Tapos may nangyari. That is my prerogative.
Q: Sir, last na lang. Among…
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: So the President has the privilege of being a failure and being a successful commander.
Q: Sir, just last one. Between Aquino…
Q: Did you tell him that when you saw him in Zamboanga?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala pa akong ano noon, ma’am. Wala pa akong alam noon. Lahat tayo [inaudible] fighting.
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: That doesn’t mean that I know the wherewithal already.
Q: Sir, between Aquino, Napeñas, and Purisima, sino po ‘yung dapat talagang should bear the brunt?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala. Talagang talo, malas. But the shortcoming is the burden of Aquino. May shortcomings doon.
There was no assistance, reinforcements, the military air assets, the cannons there, it could have reached… But then you cannot do it, because you will also kill the people, the women and children there.
Magkagulo tuloy. At tsaka pati ako, I will object to that. I will never order an operation against a certain place that would kill… Diyan sa Marawi, be careful. Do not… Do not kill civilians there.
Q: Sir, when you said “we are going to win in Marawi”. What do you mean by “winning?”
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sa lottery na lang siguro. Wala pa man, sige pa man away.
Q: Sabi mo nga kasi ‘di ba, “we will win in Marawi.” So what does it mean exactly?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, it means that eventually, we will prevail. But at a cost, hindi libre ‘yun eh.
You have to pay with lives there and you have to finance the money.
But what I’ve been saying is be careful, do not kill the innocents and the civilians.
It is all right to go against the terrorists. If need be, you can bomb the whole place. I don’t mind.
But skip the thing about, you know, hurting children and women.