(Note from MindaNews: This is the official transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech, released by the Presidential News Desk of the Presidential Communications Office)
Presidential Communications Office
Presidential News Desk
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
DURING THE PHILIPPINE RISE COMMEMORATION
[Delivered onboard BRP Davao del Sur | 15 May 2018]
Kindly sit down. Thank you for your courtesy.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; the National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon and the other members of the Cabinet; Senator Sherwin Gatchalian; the honorable members of the House of Representatives; the AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez and the other major service commanders; Northern Luzon Commander Lieutenant General Emmanuel Salamat; the officers and enlisted men and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; the Filipino maritime researchers of the Philippine Rise; and other distinguished guests.
Alam mo before I am through with the two pages. Ang layo kong biniyahe tapos ito lang. [laughter]
Alam mo ganito ‘yan eh during our time, the time-honored principle was really the 12 miles. And before that it was the three-mile and the longest where a cannon could reach any target in the open seas.
But of recent memory, nagkaiba-iba ang jurisprudence sa dagat. I have nothing against China but China claimed the entire ocean of China Sea.
So not only did assert its jurisdiction over the distance of the 12-mile limit territorial waters, and what would be known as the sovereign rights of a sovereign country territory, lumagpas na and they have claimed entire ownership, proprietary in nature.
So tayo naman nobody was really willing to create a ruckus there, here and there, tayo it was the Philippines — the Philippine Sea that was eaten slowly.
Alam mo maraming ano diyan geopolitics and a — a little bit longer than yourself na ito. But I’d like you to know what is the geopolitics involved there. Ganun ‘yan.
There was this arbitral ruling because of the conflicting claimants. You must remember that it’s not only China — in reality, not China and Philippines, but actually it involves so many countries: Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnamese and Malaysia for that matter.
And in the southernmost could be the Indonesian group of islands. Iyon ang status ng ano.
When China claimed the entire ocean as theirs, eh wala akong magawa, wala tayong magawa eh ‘yan ang gusto niya.
But we learned a bitter lesson there. So nag-file si… It has nothing to do with politics. Aquino filed for arbitration, he won. From the time the arbitration award was handed down to the time that he was nearing his end, there was sufficient time for him to act and do something.
And he was correct, and he is correct that the only power that can really stop China because so many overflights pati intelligence board says that something was afloat there.
There was a reclamation being done but wala naman tayong nagawa at hindi ko man panahon. ‘Yung panahon ko na, bumuwelo nang husto.
Before I went to China, so sabi ko, well, I’m ready to fight. But is it a battle that I can win?
Tinatanong ko sarili ko, there were people — justices in the Supreme Court were egging me to do something more drastic. Let me relay to you what happened during my first visit.
I was with my Cabinet, General Esperon, General Año, General Lorenzana, lahat kami sila Mon Lopez, they were there, Secretary Tugade at napag-usapan itong — we talked about the China Sea.
And suddenly I blurted that, “you know, Mr. President, we are claimants to that island and we have this arbitral award. Though I am not insisting on its solution now, I’d like you to know that I am going to China Sea to claim part of our territory and I will dig oil.”
I was that forward. Hindi lang ‘yung sinasabi mo na “pushing on”… Talagang sinabi ko harap-harapan in a bilateral, nandiyan kaming lahat.
And you know what? Si Xi Jinping, the ever cool na guy started by just sabi niya, “Well, we just restored our relationships. I think it’s a new era for us, a new day and if I may beg you not to bring this up forcefully because there will be a time that we will be discussing it.”
And sabi ko, “right, Mr. President, at least during my term I will raise the issue again.” Pero nagpipilit ako sabi ko those — “whatever is in the bowels the Earth is ours over there because that is our territory.”
Sabi niya huwag na muna nating sirain ‘yung pagkakaibigan natin. Nandiyan sila. Sabi ko na, well hindi nga dapat because I came here not really for that but because I wanted to buy arms because ang inventory namin you can visually see, the guns there. Pero ‘yan luma na ‘yan, loose bore, the bolts are already not good — not in good condition.
I need new rifles where I expect trouble one of these days. And what I had in mind was really Marawi because the intelligence reports were coming in very fast.
And even my relatives there sabi sa Lanao del Sur, mabilis na ang pasahan ng baril dito. So looking at the stocks sabi ko, kailangan kong pumunta ng China.
Sabi ko if you can just give me a little extension of time maybe you can grant or bigyan mo ako ng loan, 20-25 years payment tapos wala man akong pera dahan-dahan lang.
Tapos sabi ni Mr. Xi Jinping, “No, I’ll give it to you for free.” But then again iyan ang mahirap eh pag sabihin mo, “huwag ka nang magbayad, ibigay ko na lang sa iyo,” hanggang diyan ka na lang.
And the one thing the — in real geopolitics, you do not buy your arms from one source only because if you do that, you become a colony of your supplier. Kung lahat na ng armas diyan kanya lang, you arereduced to a vassal.
So I went to Russia, ganun din ang sinabi ko kay Putin, “I need to buy arms.” Sabi niya, “well, I understand your problem. Do not worry, I’ll give it to you for free.” And that was the time pumutok ang Marawi.
So ngayon ang sitwasyon is nandiyan ang West Philippine Sea. We are not giving up our rights. As a matter of fact, we are still insisting until now to the point that they are now willing… Iyan ang sabi nga ni Xi Jinping eh, “we would always find a solution to any problem”.
They are now offering for a joint exploration and development. Sabi niya, maybe you’ll have a bigger share, tingnan natin.
Ang tao naman basta ganun ang paano mo, you remain meek and humble, eh ‘yung ego niya mag-start to and then it turns to something basic like maaawa rin.
Sabi niya sige, so we are now negotiating. Eh kaysa magka-giyera ako sabi ko mauubos ang sundalo ko, pag-launch pa lang ng… Alam mo atin ito ganito kalaki, sus matamaan ito ng cruise missile, wala na, patay ang sundalo ko.
I will not do that. Ngayon ‘yung West Philippine Sea, kunin ko na lang kung anong makuha natin ngayon. Kung dito, there was this report that everybody was here exploring and because na magkaroon na tayo ng phobia, I came out right straight sabi ko: “Benham Rise is ours. As a matter of fact, I am renaming it the Philippine Rise.” Because according to the continental shelf long limitations, malaki ang atin.
Ngayon, I did not start that claim. Kasi noon historically, beyond the 12, ang tawag natin doon is the High Seas, international waters. We used to recognize that.
At ang sabi natin na bago lang, of recent memory man lang itong economic ano… It used to be the subject of negotiations for many years. Ngayon na-perfect ‘yan we were given ours. So it is not part of the sovereign property but of our share in the sovereign rights.
Ito namang China came up with something. Sabi niya, “no, there is no such a thing. This is our sea, our ocean, and everything is ours.” Patay na.
You have the right of innocent passage still meron tayo niyan but that was a principle which we adhered to. Ngayon with the claiming of the entire ocean wala na you have to seek — make overflights or when you are passing by that is what China wants.
Ngayon ginamit ko rin ‘yung Instik na formula dito sa atin. And mind you if you are a Chinese do not be offended because my grandfather, ang lolo ko Chinese. Ang nanay ko Maranao on my mother side. So ganun ang ano.
Sabi ko rin dito sa atin, no, no, hindi ako hindi — Philippine Rise is ours. I did not make any distinction between sovereign rights or a sovereign property. Sinabi ko lang basta amin ‘yan.
Eh ngayon dito agawan ng teritoryo eh. ‘Pag mahina ka eh maiiwanan ka talaga. So right away I claimed the entire whatever the land mass plus the continental shelf underneath the sea at kung ‘yang continental shelf natin umabot ng San Francisco, then we would start to claim the entire island — the entire place of California. [laughter] Aba malay mo kung hanggang doon talaga.
Sabi ko atin ‘yan. Now hindi na ako naniniwala ‘yung sabi na “oh it’s only sovereign right”. Kalokohan ‘yan.
You claim the whole is — Pacific Ocean, tapos sa iyo. Iwanan mo lang kami ng… And we have to seek permission. ‘Yung right of innocent passage is put in issue now.
When is it? When do we have the right? The right — unbridled right to just pass by or is it a right which you have to subject to the consent of the others? There is a gray area there eh. Medyo mahirap na ‘yung ganun.
So unahan na natin sabi ko and General Esperon said we will send the Marines, good, sabi ko. Magpunta ‘yung Marines natin and — fire at will pagka may mag-dive-dive diyan. Siguruhin mo lang Pilipino ‘yan.
But for the Filipino scientist unrestrained. You can use the… As a matter of fact, the Navy is at your disposal if you think that there are important undertakings to do. So be it, you can use the resources of the Republic of the Philippines. Wala naman — [applause] — for the country.
Mabait ang Navy natin pati Coast Guard, ma’am. So ganun lang. That is my thought about it. Iyong right of innocent passage has been lost in time. Hindi mo na malaman ngayon kung ano.
China has started it. Eh ako gaya-gaya lang rin sa China, eh di gawain ko rin. I no longer talk about sovereign or sovereign rights. And I do not make any distinction. Basta umabot ‘yan ng economic zone namin, amin ‘yan para wala ng… Sabi ko you have to deal with my soldiers para magkakaintindihan tayo.
So I feel very strongly about this because this is about 7 trillion, 4 trillion? Yeah, we have to think of the future generations. There will be commercial fishing here but it will be done strictly in accordance with accepted principles of the preservation of marine life.
Baka ang mga anak natin wala na. You know just around the corner. Few years from now they will take over and we must guarantee to them that meron pa silang makain, meron pa silang isda na masarap.So we will strictly adhere to safety and the accepted principles of commercial fishing.
Iyon ang — kaya ako nandito talaga. Hindi ako aatras dito, I will not. [applause] Basta ako whether it concerns the economic zone or the territorial accepted 12 miles — noon nga 3 miles lang because that is the farthest that a cannon ball could reach. That was before.
But the world is changing and… You know it has come to dog eats dog and pabilisan lang kung sino ang — mahirap. Na-ano, nandiyan na eh.
In a matter of few months China was able to build a garrison. And hindi talaga natin kaya. So ang sabi niya magkaibigan na lang tayo in the meantime tutal darating rin ang panahon. There is always a time for everything.
The changing — alam mo ang geopolitics dito ganito. I’m addressing myself to the Moro and to the Christians without any distinction. Itong ISIS is losing ground, land mass.
They are scampering everywhere and anywhere. Ang pinaka-mabango sa kanila to my mind is the Southeast Asian countries. I said no offended guys should — because sinabi ko sa inyo para sa lahat ‘to.
Ang ISIS naghahanap ‘yan ng teritoryo Southeast Asia. Ngayon sa Southeast Asia, sino dito ang pwede nilang tirhan?
Because the avowed claim of the ISIS is the — it’s so bankrupt and so corrupt. It’s an ideology of destruction and killing. Wala talagang ginawa ‘yan ke pumatay, mag-rape bata lahat.
At kung itong mga u*** na ‘to, if you give them a sanctuary somewhere here sa Southeast Asia, delikado. Why? Because sabi nila, kaya ako nakipag di ba sa kapwa ko Maranao eh? Hindi ba kalokohan ‘yang p****, you kill and destroy hanggang diyan lang kayo. ‘Di gusto niyong pumunta ng Pilipinas.
If they want to establish a base here in the Philippines, where would be the ideal venue? Alam mo kung saan? Because they want to kill all infidels.
In Southeast Asia, where are the infidels? Dito banda sa atin, it’s in Australia. It’s too far away. But nearest is the Philippines. What island? Mindanao.
Nandiyan ’yung mga infidels. Nandiyan ‘yung non-Muslims. Ngayon, it could not be Indonesia puro Muslims sila eh. But they are bombing churches there everyday, until today.
They started their radicalism movement there. It’s galloping. It could not be Malaysia in a total scale of war kasi Muslim. It could not be Brunei.
So where are the infidels? In Mindanao. Nandiyan ‘yung infidels. Tapos nandiyan ‘yung tubig nila because they’re the communities of Moro people. So dito ‘yan sila sa Mindanao.
Ngayon, pag umabot ‘yan at wala itong BBL, bumagsak, it cannot pass Congress for one reason or another ‘yung plebiscite, there will be trouble. I hope it could be a minimal ano.
But if puputok ito, itong Moro na Maranao pati Moro na Tausug they cannot get together diyan, believe me, I’m from a Maranao stock.
Hindi talaga nagkakaintindihan, magpapatayan ‘yan. Pero in the name of religion and in a war, my enemy is your friend.
Pag papasok nila ang ISIS, there is going to be a bloodbath there. Ngayon, hinayaan ko ang Amerika for really ako, I know that most of my soldiers and policemen, pumupunta ng Amerika. Most of you take graduate studies there or special training, alam ko ang ano ninyo, bond, I know the bond.
Kaya hindi ako nakikipag-usap diyan sa Amerikano. Ako kasi galit because of the hypocrisy nitong Amerikano na — at saka ‘yung bullying nila.
Sabi ko sa inyo kayong mga military and I told everybody dito sabi ko, you continue to dialogue with the Americans, I don’t want to talk to them. But dito lang ako sa China.
So may two options ako. In China, in front of the Philippine delegation, we will ne — China will never allow the Philippines to be destroyed. We will be there if you need us.
Naisip-isip ko wala naman tayong magawa dito sa China, might as well make friends with them. And the nearest that could makatulong sa atin kung mag-upakan talaga ito, patayan, will be China.
And China said, “we will be there.” Hindi ako sigurado sa Amerikano because ang Amerikano has lost its will to fight. Ang kanila ‘yung puro weapon rin na lang — cruise missile, maybe they also have the supersonic thing. But ‘yung boots on the ground, ‘yung pupunta doon tapos makipag-away tao por tao, takot ang America.
I am sad to say pero ang America cannot stand hardships. Magpunta ‘yan ng giyera sa Afghanistan, matapos na ang bakbakan uwi doon sa Green Zone, gusto ng kwarto na aircon, ‘yung kama na maganda.
Hindi ganun ang sundalo. Kung pareha ng sundalo ng Pilipino, eh magtapon ka ng Marine diyan sa dagat, eh di itapon mo. Three days mag-survive ‘yan. Amerikano itapon mo, one hour after, lulutang na ‘yan. Totoo.
Ang America takot pumatay, takot mamatay. Iyan talaga ang totoo sa America. They are deathly afraid of death and they do not want to kill.
Ang nalaman lang nitong mga buang na ito is for human rights and… Kaya they are deteriorating. They… What they do there is to send specialist but it is far from the madding crowd.
‘Yung frontline nandito, teach you how to operate a — kung ano-ano, but hindi mo maasahan ang America.
So naggaganun-ganun ako. I’m playing geopolitics with everybody. Pag kawala eh di sabihin ko China pwede ka sigurong magdala ng — ubos na ang mga sundalo ko, maybe you can replace it with about three battalions eh puro armoured ‘to lahat.
Might as well start with them in the front. But the assurances of Xi Jinping was very encouraging, we will not — ayan nandiyan ngayon sila — we will not allow you to be taken out from your office and we will not allow the Philippines to go to the dogs.
Siguro kasi freely elected leader naman ako. It could be a very justified statement.
Now, itong sumulat nito kawawa naman. [laughter] Basahin na lang rin natin. Baka nandito butasan ‘yung barko natin.
Last year, I issued Executive Order No. 25 which renamed the erstwhile “Benham Rise” to the “Philippine Rise.” Today, I am issuing a Presidential Proclamation formally declaring parts of this undersea feature as a Marine Resource Reserve.
Sabi ko ‘yung China, “bakit kayo naglagay ng marking-marking?” Sabi nila, “nagpermiso man kami.” Tapos ‘yung marker nila wala man kaming nalamang ibang dialect, Chinese, alang-alang ilagay namin doon German? Eh di ‘yung sa aming lengguwahe. Tinanong ko sila noong the last time when I was in Boao. Was it Boao?
Around 50,000 hectares of the Philippine Rise shall become a Strict Protection Zone limited to scientific studies — at this time only Filipinos. I do not want ano… Only Filipinos. Tayo man pinakabright eh, eh ‘di tayo lang. ‘Yung mga bugok iwan mo. [applause]Totoo man.
While more than [300,000] hectares shall be designated as a Special Fisheries Management Area. Sus kung nandito si… Ito, ito, ‘to Piñol, adre? Buti na lang ‘yung hangin hinay.
Today, we send off our team of talented and competent Filipino scientists who will undertake the Coordinated National Marine Scientific Research Initiatives and Related Activities or CONMIRA in the waters above the Philippine Rise.
I join the Filipino people in wishing you all the best as you embark on your mission to conduct mapping, surveys, biological investigations and assessment of the coral reef and fisheries stock in the area until November.
These activities will be vital [in] the protection and management of the Philippine Rise and its vast resources. I have complete faith in the capabilities of our world class scientists and I recognize the need to provide them with the necessary means to fulfill your mandate. Siguro tig-isang barko kayo ma’am, okay na? [applause]Tig-isang barkotalaga.
Indeed, these developments would not have been possible without the efforts of our dedicated public servants, scientists and legal experts who worked together to bolster our claim over the Philippine Rise.
When the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved our claim to the Philippine Rise a few years ago, we were not just granted access to the vast resources. We were also entrusted with the responsibility to protect it from abuse and misuse.
Let us therefore explore this [new frontier] fully aware of our responsibility to [properly manage] and conserve its natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations of Filipinos.
As send off our experts to explore and discover what our seas have to offer, may we all have a renewed sense of commitment to promote the welfare of our people, safeguard our national interest, [and] assert our sovereign rights over our waters and all other areas within our jurisdiction.