(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 Operations Office
Presidential News Desk
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
DURING THE SIGNING OF THE AGREEMENTS WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN ISRAEL
[Delivered at King David Hotel, Jerusalem | 04 September 2018]
Kindly sit down. Thank you for your courtesy.
His Excellency Rafael Harpaz, Ambassador of Israel to the Philippines; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and members of the Cabinet; Davao… Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel Imperial; Davao City — Sara Zimmerman Duterte. You have to forgive her. She might be attending to her daughter.[Pakitawag nga ‘yung…] Our friends from the Philippine and Israel business community; other distingushed guests; ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, I have a guide of what to talk about. It’s a good one. But may I just say first to the Israel people and the government, thank you for allowing us to visit in your place and to see more of… Well, you know, every — dream of every Filipino, the middle-class and those who can really afford, it’s a kind of a built-in urging inside to visit the Holy Land.
That’s why you see many Filipinos including my wife was here but she’s sick and she was here again — twice to seek the solace and sanctity of the place.
So I would like to thank the President and the Prime Minister for giving us the invitation to visit you. No words are enough really to characterize our relations between Israel and the Philippines.
So much goodness and goodwill have been passed around throughout the years and we see that we have the best of relations between our two countries.
There will never be a time that the Philippines and Israel would have a conflict even in the space of hegemony of influence, geopolitics simply because, one is that we read the same Bible, we say the same prayer and of course our shared values.
So much have been said about me and about the criminals and the drugs and the ISIS operating in my country. And of course there is also the rampaging murderous bandits that abound in Mindanao.
I must have known that time I public — or I was a public prosecutor for nine years. I was doing trial work in court. And as a matter of fact, my favorite book is — I don’t know if it’s being used here but it’s Einstein — Goldstein rather. And he was one of those popular American Jew who wrote that book by Goldstein, called it “Trial Technique”. It’s about court strategy and practice.
I do not want you to feel that I am repeating a redundant statement. But you know little as we are as a country and however humble it may be the Philippines, the Philippine Republic has stood by your side in your critical years.[applause]
And in the same manner that you were around during the times of our despair and needs. Marawi was a shining example. I do not think that there is a secret there or that it should be hidden from the public.
But I’d like to acknowledge as I have acknowleged it everywhere that the equipments that you lent us helped the military of the Republic of the Philippines win the war against the ISIS in Marawi.
As I have been telling before, you know in front… I do not want to offend my military men. But I… There is a quirk something… During my first days of my presidency, I called for a command conference. And everyone had its time. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, its spokesman, then the time for the police to render their report. And there was a summation of all the things that we had to do.
But when my time came to speak and I said, “You know ladies and gentlemen, I do not mean to offend you but you have failed to mention to me the dark clouds ahead. I see them looming in the horizon.” And I said…
Good afternoon, Vice Mayor, your seat is here. [applause] May I introduce my daughter. [applause] She is a descendant of a Jew who were the ones who went to the Philippines to seek the sanctuary from the persecution in your… Her last name is — her mother’s name is Elizabeth Zimmerman. [applause]
So she is here and she whispered to me, “Is it possible for me to acquire dual citizenship in Israel?” [laughter] I said, “Of course, maybe they would accommodate you for indeed you are.”
So I said there is a big dark clouds looming ahead. And I… It is a very interesting story. I know that you are here for the signing but if you want to listen to me, this is how it worked — it played out.
Indeed I said there is this group Abu Sayyaf. They are bands of bandits who know nothing but to kill people even after the ransoms were paid. And they would decapitate people whom they capture in front of cameras.
And I said these are the people that the ISIS would go to and seek also the sanctuary and be careful, for the first time I said, “they will come.”
I was observing the movements of — in this place. How they went ahead with Mosul, Aleppo and all of these things. At one time they were there but it — it has been about so many years of fighting without a respite for the — to the good people of the Middle East. To those who do not want war.
So it came to pass — they were there. And the depredations doubled and this time they had the ideologues. And when a tribe, when a politician, or a bandit, he used to… I don’t know if he was the one who ran for office or lost. He was assigned as the… I forgot the name of… But he was the chieftain that was selected by the ISIS to do the organization and to bring the ideology inside Mindanao, an island in the Philippines.
And at that time I saw already from the reports that the arms were being passed around and we kept track of that. But what we actually failed to appreciate and I — being the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, I have to assume that responsibility that there was quite a failure of intelligence. And that we so — we failed to appreciate the ordnance that they were able to keep in the city and it lasted for almost four months of fighting.
And only because at times they prevailed because they were already occupying the buildings of that city protected by the cement and iron bars.
So the first day that the police went to the place to serve a warrant of arrest because of a drug case, they were met with resistance a furious one prompting the Philippine Marines to go there and help.
And on the second day of fighting while they were crossing a bridge, every Marine officer was taken down by sniper fire. And so we were not able really to determine from where the sound came from and all of these things. And even the accuracy ofour — of our fire — of our equipments because we could not really pinpoint its exact location.
Israel came in, it helped. They were there operated and some lent us the — able to precisely to know where the shot came from, from what building and from what room. That is how accurate the… So we were able to scan the buildings and if there is a fire, the blackboard that was being — has been recording the fighting would know that it came from that building.
And so little by little and at night, we had the visions so we could tell them moving around and we could fire with accuracy even without snipers. And I don’t know about the United States. I do not have any except that there is a little bit of…
You know it’s not easy to be a president of a country who has so many — million loose firearms in the hands of people who are not supposed to be in possession.
And I have to contend with so many troubles there and I’m sure that you have heard about human rights. You know I am a lawyer. I was baptized. I am a Christian and I believe in the value and sanctity of life.
But for the life of me, I can never tolerate banditry, the ISIS thing of just killing people, children and all. I only kill criminals. And if you ask me now, “Yes, I do.”
But you know when I was mayor, it was a troubled city, it was in Mindanao. The first thing I did after winning was that we are not in a position to be economically sound to build more roads and more bridges.
The first thing that I have to do is to build a city that would be comfortable for everybody. When I said comfortable, they will be freed of the killings, which was ever present. We lose three to four policemen and soldiers a day by assassination in the midst of the city.
And your intelligence people know that because they were there also. So I said, I’m going to build a city, do not destroy it. And for the drug people, do not kill our children because they are our only assets.
We are not rich. When we grow old, I have to go to my daughter because we do not have properties to sell so that we can pay for the hospitals, for the oxygen and for the antibiotics and all.
We have to… But it is… I don’t know, God’s will that we are just migrants in Mindanao. We never expected this kind of life. I come from a poor family because had we — had it been otherwise, we would not have to transfer from the Visayas to Mindanao to seek the greener pasture.
So it was the dream of my father that I carried along. So when I became mayor I said, do not do anything especially our children. Because until now drug is really flooding the country. It’s the Bamboo triad based somewhere there in the triangle of Burma, Cambodia. They are the ones now running the show of drugs in Southeast Asia.
Now, cannabis [ano ‘yung isa ‘yung…?] cocaine is finding its way into our shores. And it is a commodity that is for the — who can afford. It’s quite expensive. But shabu is just a chemical and you know what? One of the mixtures there is formalin to preserve the dead and some water to manufacture the shabu.
So it is really of our national interest to protect my young people. And when I became President I said, “Do not destroy my country and do not destroy our young. Otherwise you go kaput.
You know however or whatever the arguments of the human rights are, by count, by physical surrender, they numbered about a million, although the original computation was three million.
There are about to me three million drug addicts reduced to slavery who are now rendered inutile because the brains are rocker. And they cannot be productive citizens. And you have reduced them into slaves because they have to get the chemical called shabu everyday of their lives and nothing more.
And that is why I said, if you destroy my country, my God I will kill you. And if you destroy my — our daughters and sons… We are not rich. Some of us could barely send our childrens to school. I don’t know why this is so but God can answer that question.
Maybe it’s part of the universal equation of how things are. Nobody can explain that. It is only when you die when you begin to understand. When you travel the universe after, when you soar into the place where God is, then maybe the answer is there. But in the meantime, I cannot just sit there and pray whole day. I pray and I said go out — that is my order to the military and police — go out, destroy the apparatus, the organization. If you have to kill by all means kill. And there is only one everywhere the same philosophy is that you can only kill if your life is also in danger. So if the enemy wants to kill you, then feel free to kill him first.
It’s just one squeeze of a trigger. But I do not go to my troops and say, “be patient, wait for the idiot to draw his gun.” Because between the drawing of the gun and pointing it at somebody is just a matter of seconds.
And the human rights people have brought me to ICC and the problem I said I just kept quiet all along because I was a prosecutor. I said and I knew my law.
Would you believe it no lawyer, no lawyer at all, near or far from me, officially or privately, had the idea of what the — my defense would be. So I just kept quiet. But when the time came for me to talk I said, “You know you idiots there, you can never acquire jurisdiction over my person. Not in a million years.”
Why? Because they simply forgot and that was really a blessing. You know in all democratic countries, we do not pass laws that are sub rosa. We do not do it, a decree, secretly.
You publish a law. Now there is a law which says that it is wrong and this is your punishment. Without that, how can you now say that… Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
And then the guy must realize that there is a law but if you are ignorant of it and then there is no law at all because they failed to publish it in the Official Gazette. The Rome Statute talks about international court, talks about the office of prosecutors and talks about the office of the line agencies under their command.
But in the Philippines, it is important that before a law becomes a law — from the concurrence, we have to concur with the statute, with the agreement. You have to go to the President for his signature. And then the papers go to the Senate for concurrence. And then you send it back to me so that I can order the Bureau of Printing to print the law and publish it.
What they did was after the signing of the agreement by the senators because of their eagerness, they flew to Rome and attached the supposedly the law binding the Philippines now as a member.
But I just kept quiet. You know there are lawyers here. When I… In the morning when I was a prosecutor, when I looked at the papers, the first thing that I would ask myself is, do this court have jurisdiction over the case? So what are the elements? Publication is very important.
Without publication our Supreme Court said there is no law at all. And so I was just letting them. I said, “Go ahead, you criticize me.” I said, “Ah I will just dismiss it with a nonchalant” because they thought I was a madman, I was a despot.
Well, I said, “Go ahead and investigate.” And the time came and they said they would no publish it and even the indictment and they go to the UN. And then I said, “you know…” in front of my countrymen, “Do not believe in those idiots. They are a bunch of ignorant people.” And so that’s what happened.
You did not publish the law. So how do you supposed you can prosecute me? There is no law because if there is no publication then the Constitution applies.
In that document the Constitution which is binding to all, it is the Bible of every community, international countries who believe in democracy. You have rules the Constitution and is a sacred one.
In there says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the protection of that Constitution. So how would this apply to me?
I am now being charged of violating human rights. Now there is no such crime in the Revised Penal Code about what is extrajudicial killing. There is murder, homicide, everything but extrajudicial killing is very, very foreign to us.
Well anyway I said, in my case that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty without due process of law nor shall any person be denied equal protection. How does it operate? For me? Because they forgot to publish it or in the hurry. They just flew to Rome. They just wanted to go around and were in a hurry there to… They just went ahead and appended it.
So in the process of hurrying up, along the way they forgot the publication. And therefore to insist on indicting me under that Rome Statute would be now a violation of my constitutional right.
If they say that they can… We withdrew. We did not — there was nothing to withdraw because in the first place there was not even a law because the law has to be published so that people understand and know that there is a law. Otherwise, I will say ignorance of that law would excuse you.
There is always a saying when you go to another country, if you are a foreigner, sorry. But ignorance of the law excuses no one. But if your law shall require a publication and you did not and then that becomes a problem.
Now, how about the killings? Correct, I ordered. But who are the persons I ordered not to be killed I said, “destroy the apparatus of the organization.” So when you say destroy to the military man, that is really to dismantle the crime organization and if you try to resist and fight it out, then you are dead. Then that’s the long and short of it.
How do you suppose to — a policeman would say, “you destroy the apparatus of that gang there operating somewhere.” You have to go after them, arrest them and if they resist, then you kill them. Especially when you are sure that your life, in fulfilling your obligations as a police officer, is put in peril.
So that you might know because I feel that it’s important for you guys, especially the lawyers, to know where I stand. And that is my stand. I never ordered any police operation or military maneuvers against the Rotary, the Lions International or the Kiwanis.
I said, criminal. I do not like criminals especially if you destroy my country because by flooding it would have reduced my country to shambles. There are so many critics about the killer. I have a bad mouth, true.
I was just a mayor. I was not a political figure in our country. I was just a mayor of a small city down south. If look at the map, there’s Mindanao. If look at the map, your right hand is the east. From where you are, your left hand — left hand is the west. If you are in Thailand, they you go — face north, same.
So in my city, it’s down south. I was just a small town mayor. And I was never able to separate my personality because I am not a split personality. I never transform into something like a town mayor and being president.
And so I have a bad mouth. I curse, I throw epithets a lot when I’m angry. And I said… They say that, “You know this Duterte is not a statesman. He should not be going to anywhere, he will put us to shame. He talks like a gangster and he curses everybody.” Correct. Because I never studied to be a statesman, there’s no course of a statesman. [applause]
I studied law. I grew up in a place where there’s just a lot of trouble, until now. And our paradigm seems to be far different from the cultured ones in the — especially the four hundred of society, the elite.
I do not — they are not my enemies but I do not like — I do not mix with rich people. And they are the ones who are almost offended by my behavior.
I said there’s — the one thing there is that I won the presidency, my votes was 6 million over the next opponent. How — you ask me, “How did you manage to win?” I’m really sorry, you have to ask someone else.
Even though… I only had… No backers, no senator was helping me, nobody was giving me money because I was always fourth, number one is Roxas and Grace Poe and they would be sometimes first, but I was always in the fourth. So, how did I win? I don’t know. But one thing is sure, if you are really — if it is really needed by a country, they will forget money or they will get your money and forget you. [laughter]
That is how when you go into a vote-buying. Me? I had nothing. I had only five messages. And these are the ones now I’d like to talk to you about.
It’s hot here like the Philippines. [laughter] I only had… During the presidential debates, it was ran nationally. During the intermission, I was the only one who had no propaganda.
I could not afford it. During our several meetings in a debate nationwide and during the intermissions, the propaganda of every candidate was there because they had the money. I had none so I said, well, this is what I said to them, “If God wants me to be president of this republic, I will be the president of this republic. ” [applause]
Believe me. You guys, when you go for the premier or president, first do not forget to say in public, “If God wants me to president or prime minister of Israel, I will be.” That’s the only thing that I can say. But it was also the messaging. I had only five and this would apply to you actually.
One I said, there will be no corruption. So I’m very strict about corruption. And even fired several of my companions who were with me during the early days in 1988 when I became mayor. They were with me.
In the several elections maybe nine, I never lost a single election. Then, I said to them, “no corruption of any kind.” Now there are a lot of corruptions in the Philippines, true. But I’m trying my very best. I have fired several of my closest friends. I told my Cabinet members not even a whiff of corruption.
Then I said, “I will fight drugs.” And then I said, “I will not dirty my hands with money in politics.” My standing order to all of my Cabinet members who are here is — no transaction of any kind, any contract, any agreement between the Philippines and a private person. Or even a government office to government office. They will not reach my table.
It begins and ends with the Cabinet member. That is really what it is so that in doing so, I tell everybody, “if you are into business in the Philippines, there are rules to be followed.” But I’m going to make it simpler and simpler the rules when I go back. And I want it really to be graft-free.
And if there is anyone of you here now and I give you my guarantee, if anyone of you here would do business in the Philippines and you are given a hard time especially if you are being milked or extorted or being asked of even a piece of… Tell me. I will grant you an audience even in the middle of the night and hear you out. [applause] And I guarantee you.
Just remember the official with whom you are transacting. You name him I will call him and in front of me I will say to you, “Slap him.” [laughter] “Slap him twice on both cheeks,” because he is insulting you, he is insulting your character and for me, he puts my country into shame. [applause]
So they said that I am fond of jokes, no I’m not. So if that person you are complaining about is found without a head and then that is your maybe guarantee that the next time this guy or the other guys will give — I have no compassion about… I am quite… I am fond of slapping people in public.
It does not make any effort unlike when you box a guy you sometimes hurt your — slapping is just…
So that’s it, that’s my guarantee. You invest and pretty soon there will be an office who will just… As I have said I want this reiterated in front of everybody and even here. And that when you file your application, you are given a list of all the things that you have to submit and the things that you have to do.
Then file it there in that office, we will hand carry it to the office where it’s concerned. And we will tell you, “you deal with this person in that office. He was the one in charge of processing.” If there’s a machinery that you’d want to import, you just use the regular channels and if you want to participate in the Build, Build, Build, I don’t know if we still have the money but my Transporation secretary is here. Art, tumindig ka. You might be the one chosen to build the train from here to the Philippines. [laughter and applause] Tumindig ka Art. Tumindig ka.
So if you have… You want to have a Skyway across the Indian — or what you need in this route, then he is the man. He is the valediction of my class in the law school. He is really good. Even we were student… Even we were students, he was already a CEO of a large shipping company. He doesn’t have to steal. He has billions. He even financed my candidacy.
And we have also General Año. [applause] He is the… He was the former Chief of Staff. He just resigned — ah retired and I got him to be the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government. [applause] The police, PNP, is under him.
But the National Defense, can I request the — General Lorenzana. [applause] He is like — he is a very simple man. He was also the valedictorian in his class. I don’t know if he was the PMA valedictorian in the Philippine Military Academy.
Next to him is a seasoned politician who is in charge of labor, Silvestre Bello. [applause] Stand up. He is fond of not wearing socks. [laughter] I’ve been told that — tell me when is your next birthday and I will buy a pair of good socks.
I have with me the DENR. He is the environment guy, General Cimatu also of a… [applause] He is no stranger. He is retired but during his retirement days he was also taken in by President Arroyo before to come here in the Middle East to manage the situation during the troubled years. He went ahead because I told him go ahead because you know it with your fingertips the situation. And I had a briefing last night.
And so I have Secretary Medialdea [applause] also from… And the Department of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez.[applause] So as you can see those who are here are really — our Ambassador is here… Attorney Lambino, he is in charge of economic zone. [applause]
And then I have my Press Secretary Roque, Secretary Roque. [applause] Obviously you know that his hair is not true.[laughter]
And beside him is Secretary Cusi, he’s the Energy. [applause] And I said there are two Filipinos there who have Jewish blood, Senator Gordon. [applause] He has a lineage of a Jewish blood also. But in my family it’s Inday, my daughter.
So these are the guys that you’d want to — or if you want a nearer connect, then you can ask Inday is a dialect — it’s like Mary something like that. Inday is when you love your daughter, we called it “inday.” It’s inday. But she is Sara, Sara Zimmerman Duterte. [applause] Look at the size, like the — your soldier here, tall and…
So that was the second corruption. Third is that I would not meddle. For the life of me, I’m sure that Israel is — whenever I talk to — over the phone, I know that everybody is listening. And I would always tell the — the guy on the other line, at the end of the line, I do not use cellphones to talk about state matter. It’s always… I do not call them, I do not even know their numbers.
I want it — you to know that I am a hard on this rule of not using anything except the… If Inday is not here, then I can tell you the guys on the other end of the line. It’s always a promiscuous and lascivious conversation. It’s always with a lady.
And then I said… [Dick, why don’t you pull a chair and… Umupo ka na dito.] Senator Gordon has been the mayor of Olongapo City. His father was also the mayor before. He has been elected for several years and for senator this is the… I don’t know, how many times have you been elected senator, Dick? Four? [Senator Gordon replies: Twice, sir.]Twice, twice. So you have Senator Gordon.
Now I… The third is that I said I would talk to the enemies of the state, makepeace with them if possible. I’ve been talking to Murad, the MILF head of a revolutionary group, a large one in Mindanao and they have a — itself agreed to talk to us and participate in amending the Constitution if it’s possible from unitary to federal type and this will be the mechanism where we can fit it what we have agreed upon into some of the regional structures and changes that would be needed including the finance.
The other large group is Misuari. He has kept his faith as a Filipino. He does not want to fight and he is waiting for my cue. And I have been discussing this with my military men and he is asking for something which I have to discuss with the Filipino people yet — as yet.
So the communist, Maria Sison the head, I don’t think I can agree on him on any point because he has so many demands. He distributed in the so many issues that I presented several about governance, taxation and all. But if you sum it up, it would end like they are demanding a coalition government. I cannot I said agree with you because I cannot give you what I do not own. And that is a coalition government which is not simply allowed.
And if I do it, it will — the military will also kill me because my soldiers are into the ways of democracy. And communism is not acceptable to almost all of the people. They are just a minority but they are waging a war there. And what is sad is that for the many times that I…
You should know this because some of the CIA guys are here I know and so… You know the Communist Party of the Philippines has fallen into a trap of you know destroying itself. The leaders are aging and they are asking for more than what we can really give them.
And I said I cannot have that power. It belongs to the Filipino people especially in amending the Constitution. So we have this war going on. And they are the one, they are the loudest in shouting violation of human rights. They are rebelling and their target is to overthrow the government. That is why they are there the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The problem is they are the ones very loud. I lose something like three to four policeman a day to the drug syndicates all over the country. As I have said Bamboo triad is now controlling Southeast Asia’s commerce of drugs. Mexico is coming in — [Sinaloa] with cocaine and hashish and all.
They have mastered the art of the containerships that go around the world and you can find them in the compartment of where they hid it or placed it there and placed some many things that are not really — of no consequence but they contained drugs. Be careful because they are using [Sinaloa] is using the worldwide container whenever they travel and wherever they go to to any country.
So we have to… We have the NPAs, we have the Muslim insurgency and the drugs, but the most problematic also is the Filipinos itself. There’s — you cannot do good. It’s always wrong. And so we will just have to navigate where democracy allows us a space to work and produce results.
So that is how it is done. Then, I said that I will not talk to the NPAs anymore. Maybe we’ll have to fight. What is really painful to me and I would like to express this so that America will realize that long before I became President, we ordered 23,000 pieces of M16s because it was needed by the police.
And we were conscious ever of the abrewing trouble in Marawi. And of course they would say, “yes you have so many weapons.” Correct. But those were the weapons that were bought by Marcos during the early years of the [blackshirt?] revolution and they were used extensively during the wars. And they are still the ones that are being used by the police in some parts of my country.
Sometimes the bolt flies out or the barrel simply melts. There is no more accuracy before there is no rifling. With the so many thousands are going out of the barrel, a heated one, they lose the rifling inside which gives it the momentum for accuracy. As it travels along the open space it is continually making a…
So we ordered and America agreed but on last minute, some American legislators, I think senator or congressman, two of them, one senator, one congressman, spoke out against the — this export of these rifles to replace the old ones.
You know I said, you know America in my speech, one day you will realize that you are far more worse, ten times over than our problems and it’s drugs.
Look at America now. So we ordered that for the police. In addition to the fact that they were already some rumblings in the Marawi area in Mindanao.
But at the last minute they said, “we cannot give it to you because of one or two congressmen who spoke against you.”
So we needed… We needed those rifles. The need was great because there was already fighting somewhere in Mindanao. And as a matter of fact, when I realized that I could not get one even, I was forced to go to — not really force but it was a choice.
But to know otherwise I was supposed to go to China, so I talked with Mr. Xi Jinping and he was very honest. He’s good. He can talk, he can communicate and I said I have a claim against you. I have a claim against China for occupying the whole of the China Sea.
So this is the first time that a country has opted to claim an ocean. Not just territorial limits of 12 miles from the shores or the economic zones of 200…
So but I come here not to quarrel but to ask for your help. We can talk about this in a… But I said, “we will talk about this during my term. But for now, I said, “I’d like to buy some firearms.” I want the M16s if you have and they said, “no problem, I can give it to you, free.”
So he gave me some rifles and still because we were only given so much, we cannot ask for more because it was gratis. I had to go to Russia. It was in Russia.
When I was in Russia, that was the day that Marawi fighting broke out. And I said were it not for the help of Israel and some other countries — Indonesia. I don’t know about America. I never asked. We have this — not a love-hate relationship, but I just don’t feel like talking to them.
And I realized my military is really pro-American. You know why? Every graduate from the Philippine Military Academy especially if you are bright, these three generals here went to America to study at one time during their careers.
I am very sure, Roy Cimatu went there, General Año went there also. So they are more attuned to the American way and even in the handling of weapons.
So I said maintain your friendship. Me? Just leave me alone. I will not fight America, it’s too powerful, but I have a deep sentiment.
I cannot… If you are a CIA, kindly raise your right hand please. [laughter] Nobody is a CIA here? I want to talk to you after this.
You know, I said, however humble and little my country is, I am the head of state. Now, just because you are the President of the United States, you just cannot talk about me, the President of the Philippines and in a press briefing you criticize me.
And you say in public, “Mr. Duterte, I’d like you to know that you are a… It’s not acceptable in what you are doing in your country and simply it’s not the way you how things are done and blah blah blah.”
So I said… He asked me, “you were berated by Mr. Obama or the President of America.” “Really? What did he say?” “Oh well, it’s a lot to… He has a strong troll in his tounge. It’s not even — make sure what it is. But you have to sort it out what he said.”
And so, you just tell him, “You can go to hell Obama, you’re a son of a b****.” [laughter] Just because we’re in…
You have no right to do that. If you have something against me, go to the United Nations and file a case. Why do you have to blurt it out in the open in a press briefing? I am not a county, or a mayor here or a janitor of White House. You do not do it to us. That’s what I said.
You know, then came Trump. He calls me… I called him I said to congratulate, every head of state would always do that.
I called him and said, “Congratulations Mr. Trump on your…” “Oh, is this the President of the Philippines?” “Yes, sir.”
“Oh, I’d like to invite you to visit me here in America. You should come here so we could talk.” “If I have the time, Mr. President, but you know I run a very tight schedule.”
“Oh well maybe but you’ve heard that I’m going to the Philippines.” “Yes. I’m waiting with great expectations.”
So he comes to my country, he goes public and says, “Oh Rodrigo, you are my man here. I like what you are doing. You’re doing a fine job. Kkkkrrkk, killing people.” [laughter]
No he never said it. He just said that, “you’re doing fine”. And he said, I might follow you. Follow, follow me and you…
So, Mr. CIA, you’re after my neck. What are the values that I would enjoy to share with you? Here’s one president berating me, and another one praising me. So you’re bad, but Mr. Trump says, “Oh you’re good. You are my friend. You are doing fine.” “Oh really, sir?” “Yes! You go to America and I’m inviting you.” “If I have the time Mr. President, I’d go.”
So, ladies and gentlemen, if you were in my shoes, what is there to learn or to follow? If it’s values? Well, we all values passed from generation to generation.
That is why I said, nobody believes those who do not believe in God. It’s our concept of God comes from our parents. From the day we were born. So but their kind of values that are really very conflicting.
So in the end, I said to the media, “Well, Mr. Duterte, you have to… One praising you and one critize you, what would it be?”
And I said, “I really do not know. But I’d like to sing a song for you.” “What is that?” And I said, [sings] where do we go from here…? [laughter and applause]
You know you are friends of America, I know. Most of us are friends of [unclear]. Trump is my idol. Why? Because he walks the talks. When he says that I will do this, even how — he does not care.
So that’s the kind of thing that I also want. I do not care, I said, if I say that this is the way to do it then this is the way to do it. It has no personal agenda, it has nothing there except that the greater interest of the nation says that we have to be here. That’s all.
That is why if you happen to invest, you can talk to Mon and if it’s defense then Secretary Lorenzana, talk to him.
We are in the process of acquiring some little equipments and this is what I said and I’ll tell you in public. I have ordered the military and the police that when it comes to intelligence, equipments, you only buy… Do not go for the lowest bid, that’s b*** s***. You buy from something [garbled] Now everybody would be listening. It’s 4:10. Next event is 4:30. [laughter and applause]
Just tell them that I am good until 9 o’clock tonight. [laughter] No problem. I have a crowd here who’s listening to me so… [applause] And clapping their hands every sentence. [laughter and applause]
She’s my police aide. [laughter] She’s half Romanian, half Filipino. I’m one of the sponsors on her wedding. She’s good.
So that’s it. I know that you are for the return of your investments and if you do not dream of profits, then do not go into business. And that I said they are making profits.
Of course. If you go into business, the thing is that you have to get profits or not why go into that kind of activity?
Second, you want it graft-free. Third, easy to run your papers. And I said, if you are not familiar, just submit to me your application with a member of your — not really the Ambassador. The commercial attache would make representation. And we will get your papers and I would file it to the appropriate Cabinet person.
And I said, no asking, no nothing. You import your machines. Just pay the dues and that is all there is to it.
I have a very… It’s not quite good yet for some of my police but General Año promised us that he will also fend them from going around.
The thing really is I do not want corruption. For the 23 years that I was mayor of Davao City, of course I never lost an election actually, until I became a cong — I was also a congressman. Then, because of the term limits, I could not run for the fourth time, I asked my daughter, Sara, who is also a lawyer, to run for the mayorship and I settled for the vice mayor position.
And after that, I ran again. She took a long respite but when the issue of the presidency cropped up, I said to her, “I will never, never, never leave Davao with the — in the hands of somebody else.” It took me years to make what Davao is today. You can all go to Davao and see for yourself.
I would have wanted the entire country to be like Davao. It took me years to do it. I said, I’ve been mayor for 23 years.
And along the way, I fulfilled my promise to the people to make a Davao City that is comfortable for everybody. Now in the — by and large, the larger picture is the country.
Still I have about three more years to do it. I’d be happy if I could just eradicate crime, drugs and, corruption.
And I have been telling people, whenever I… In the Philippines, we can never have a country that is progressive and developed until we have fulfilled two conditions. You have to stop graft and corruption. There is corruption everywhere, there’s graft everywhere. We will never rise. Second is we have to have law and order. That has been the anchor of how I built my city now.
It was here… I had a growth rate of two, three percent when I first became mayor. Davao is hitting nine growth rate. Very high. Very — the highest of all the country.
But Davao City is quite just like here. Manila is very — well it’s an open city for you to enjoy.
But in Davao, when I was mayor, for the first time I said, “no more firecrackers, no more smoking, no more drinking”.
It used to be good… It’s a — the limit was 2 o’clock. When I became mayor, I said, 1 o’clock because you have to go home and sleep.
Here comes this lady, he reduced it further. It’s 12 o’clock. So 12 o’clock in Davao is like a holy Friday for the Christians. You do not see anybody walking in the streets.
I’m telling you the truth. You can ask your friends to take a footage with you cameras. See how Davao is. In daytime, we have hit about 2 million population. But at nighttime, people have become used to just being there and disciplined.
Well in the earliers we had to… Just like Dick Gordon, he’s very strict. You have to force it down the throat of the people. This is to our national interest.
If we don’t, then do not blame me. So I said, “this will be it.” And so… But Davao remains to be a target of the ISIS. As a matter of fact, in the previous years, the cathedral — church was bombed twice.
The airport and the warf suffered and during her term, the night market was also… We were able to manage.
And so that what’s really very important to us is crime detection and prevention of crimes because these things are very important and very crucial to our — the maintenance of law and order.
So I am here to invite you. Davao is progressing a lot. It has maintained its six percent despite of the trouble economic growth and if you want to participate especially in field of whatever — agriculture is also one, one promising.
Our weakest link actually economically is the agricultural sector. And we can learn much about this from your government courtesy of your citizens.
So we are here to ask for help and to invite you to join us in nation-building. You won’t have a hard time I know because we almost share the same — all as a matter of fact, in terms of values and in terms of our paradigm and terms with…
Do not believe in that thing that I am there to be a dictator. I will go down. I will go down the day my term ends. I will step down.
I said, I even offered to the military. And most cases about corruption also in the military. I was fed up so I said, “you know guys, I’m tired. I’m ready to go down. If you want me — if you don’t believe in me, then find another leader to follow.”
What’s my purpose here of standing if nobody pays attention to me? And so I’m willing. If you guys think that you have another leader in mind, tell me.
Problem is, there’s a Constitutional succession. I cannot talk about the Vice President. But certainly I would prefer that something…
If I go out, something more attuned with the — you know the ways of human frailty and human greed and the tendency of people to find the easier route and follow the normal course of uncorrect things. We have a share of that also.
Me? I have my faults, plenty. I have my share of… But never — in all those years that I have been in public office, when I was a prosecutor, when I was mayor, vice mayor, congressman, it was never a question or issue of money.
More of my… They said the criminals are being killed. But I have not for the life of me, ordered the killing of a particular person. If you happened to be there, sorry.
If you are into drugs, sorry. That’s your fault, you asked for it. So my guarantee really is my word. And if you go there, if you want a comfortable — maybe beginning, just tell me.
I will husband it — your project — whatever it is. There will be no corruption. There will be no harassments, no nothing.
It’s an ordinary day-to-day government business that you have to follow. And if you can do that and if you go there, tell me.
We would be happy. Somebody like you, gentlemen and ladies doing business in my city, contributing for the nation-building of the Republic of the Philippines.
Thank you and good afternoon. [applause]
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