Statement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on his camp visit to Catbalogan City, Samar; The ongoing peace talks with the Community Party of the Philippines; and tax evasion
Hotel Elene, Lanang, Davao City
08 August 2016
Well, I’d like to make a report of my trips or the trip today.  I went to Samar – Catbalogan – and visited the military camp.  The camp houses the 8th ID Division – Infantry Division – of the Philippine Army.  Long hours, but I was able to talk to the men and, of course, to the officers.  And we are doing well.  Samar is getting prosperous and we expect that with the lowering of the insurgency war, we might fully develop within the next few years.

What is really needed now is to have peace in the land, and I am determined to get it with or without the personalities that represents or wanted some recognition in the past.  So we’re giving them the official blessing to be here or outside to talk with government people.

But let me just be very clear.  I am not up to something like declaring another truce or ceasefire.  And I have to see the two panels talking about peace.  And maybe if they are willing, they want to address the ceasefire issue, they can go on.  But I’ll take my time because I do not want a repeat of what happened.  I really wanted just to show to them the good faith on the part of government by going ahead with the ceasefire on its own.  By ourselves, we decided that it would be good if we’ll have a ceasefire, but then something went astray. 

And I would like to repeat my request.  It is not an order, because I cannot order the Communist Party of the Philippines.  I am not a party member.  But I would like to see a war – kung hindi naman talaga mapigilan na they stop using the landmines – iyong mga NPA.  You know, minsan pinaputok iyong truck – this has happened in the past – many times – from outside of Davao City, iyong mga truck na sinasakyan ng mga sundalo.  At perchance, ang problema diyan is iyong mga sibilyan, and usually iyong mga pamilya ng mga sundalo na umuuwi ng kampo.  The Filipino soldier would like to have his family beside him, and just a matter of going out of the camp to declare a war there somewhere – a battle – but it does not really include killing family members or innocent persons.

So parang I am really talking to you with sincerity.  Because if you continue to use the landmines, I will withdraw from the talks and there will be no ceasefire and there will be war again.  I am prepared for another 45 years.  We have been at it for 45 years already.  It’s time to give the Filipino a break.  They can go about anywhere, the soldiers and you, guys; NPAs can come down and share the blessings of the democracy.  And maybe in the fullness of God’s time, we can truly enforce a peaceful resolution, and make our country progressive and the people comfortable if not happy.  So that’s one.

My decision today is just waiting for the list of big taxpayers.  I hope you, guys, who have not been paying your taxes, especially kayong mga mayayaman at iyong mga oligarchs, kindly settle your tax cases.  I would hate to read your names in public and maybe authorize your arrest.  Iyong mga bigtime tax evaders, it’s a criminal, you know.  You enjoy the blessings of prosperity.  You enjoy the progress and the progressive peripheral provinces and cities; you have the money; you get profits.  But then the thing is that you don’t pay your taxes.  Nagpatong na iyong utang ninyo sa gobyerno and you expect me to give you security?  Expect me to use the roads, the ports, the airports and everything that government produces for the people? Nakikihalo kayo, nakikisali kayo – mayaman kayo.  Eh ang problema hindi kayo bumabayad ng taxes na tama. 

If you do not want harassments from the BIR – and I promise you – magbayad lang kayo sa tamang taxes, just pay the correct and your even calculations.  Bayaran mo lang iyan at I can assure you no harassments at all for the rest of your…  But there has to be… I will not authorize BIR agents or people going to your business place – magbukas tapos tingnan na naman iyong record – it will not happen during my Presidency.  Hindi ko talaga papayagan iyan.  Kilkil tawag sa Bisaya niyan – extortion.  I will not. 

And those people in the BIR now, I have faith in Caesar Dulay.  Kayo, huwag kayong magkamali – even a whisper.  Ngayon, kung nasanay kayo noong past years, well and good.  You’re now comfortable with your, whatever, kwarta ninyo na, sa Bisaya pa na kupras, kinita ninyo – your beautiful homes, cars and everything.  During my watch for twelve years – stop it. 

Customs ganun rin – smuggling.  Naintidihan ko si Nic diyan, Faeldon – because huwag mo lang ano, pahirapan mo talaga.  At kung mag-ano itapon mo na lang sa dagat, kung ayaw maniwala. 

But I said graft and corruption has cut across our lives if you people act getting richer every day, not paying their taxes at the expense of…  Kayong mga tao, every time they write, every time they go to the markets, every time that they buy even a pencil or a notebook, they pay the taxes.  They pay also taxes indirectly and yet sila iyong naghihirap.  Kayong nandiyan na mayayaman, mga oligarchs, I will allow Dulay to look into your… and if not, we’ll file a case correspondingly. 

Panahon na medyo may, hindi naman pagbabago, slight correction of our lives.  At saka iyong contractualization, itong may mga maraming franchise, concessions, mining – I will review everything.  Let alone Gina Lopez – I will be – sisilipin ko iyong lahat ng ano.  I’m not into harassments.  I’m not into for money.  My God, you can keep your money.  But I want a fair arrangement between you and the government which I represent.  It will be fair for everybody.  Wala akong ano…

I won the Presidency almost just… iyong aming partido that was very small.  We didn’t have the money, we didn’t have the machinery.  But from the looks of it actually it was the Filipino ang machinery ko.  And from the sheer – ayaw ko kasi magyabang – pero I’m reading the sentiments of the Filipino from the votes that they cast last election, there’s a message.  The government should be accountable to us, the people.

Government should serve the interest of the whole population not only to a few. 

Government must see to it that there is no wrong committed against the people.

Government is the people.  Balik-baliktarin mo government people iyan – the people of the nation… representante ng… That’s why government is defined as an agency through which the will of the people is expressed.  So ganoon po.

And I ask for your understanding, and I ask for your cooperation.

Hayaan mo na ako, I have a problem to solve.  Do not point to me whatever mistakes that I commit for I hold myself responsible for all the mistakes.

The campaign against drugs will continue.  It will be sustained ‘til the end of my term.  Kung mag-survive tayo diyan, magpasalamat kayo.  Pag hindi ka nag-survive o ako ang natapos – ganun eh – just the same the fervor will be there because it is part of nation-building.  This country cannot go if there’s so much drug, criminality and corruption.  It has to stop. 

Maraming salamat po.