Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 10th Anniversary of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom)
Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City
26 August 2016
Kindly sit down. Salamat.

You know, I thought we nearly lost our Defense Secretary. There was a Cabinet meeting about four days ago and we were discussing the vacancy sa—in the United Nations and the ambassador also to the US. Eh, nagtuturuan sila. I could not afford to lose anybody in the Cabinet. Mas lalo na si Delfin. But I don’t know if they were just joking. But somebody pointed to him and he said: “Del, ikaw na lang ‘yung—tutal sanay ka na rin sa America. Matagal ka na doon. Baka gusto mong maging ambassador sa UN.”

Sabi niya: “I know Mayor, matagal na ako doon. Hanap na lang tayo ng iba.” Hinahanap ko dito. Sino kaya ang makuha ko dito ngayon?

We need a very dynamic UN representative, and of course, in our dealings with the United States, we need a very proactive ambassador. Alam mo, marami tayong—well, our relationship with the United States, I mean, as far as I’m concerned, it is going well but there are certain matters na ‘yung dynamics sa governance.

For example, in the matter of this drug crisis. They just don’t realize the number that PDEA said that we had about 3 million addicts and that was about two years ago, an assessment that was made to us by General Santiago.

Incremental increase by that number, even at a very liberal rate growth, siguro tumubo na ‘yan ng something like, just add the 700 now, it has reached the 700 mark of Filipinos who surrendered and they want to be rehabilitated or those who are simply afraid of the government’s drive.

This is no easy problem. Three million or even just the 600,000 Filipinos already addicted to shabu is a huge and enormous problem for the country. And yet, as any other war, my orders to the AFP pati Police, is to destroy the apparatus of the drug problem in this city, in this province, in this region, in this country.

You cannot wage a war without killing and I simply do not take it as a punitive police action. Kaya ako, I’m losing two or sometimes three military or police officer in this drive.

Everyday, I was supposed yesterday, but I had this spinal thing going crazy again. I had a migraine that I could not—I vomited in the morning so I said I could not make it. I had this terrible headache and this is because of the misaligned somewhere in my spine when I met an accident when I was already 67 years old in a motorcycle spill.

But I usually go to places where there’s a military man or a policeman who dies in the line of duty. Iyan lang ho ang pinaka-maibigay ko ring honor para sa kanila, my presence and to be there and to give them a snappy salute for dying for their country.

Eh, meron kaming mga alitan and you know they broke protocol. When I was mayor, you can really criticize me, have been call me names. But kasi ako, nakalimutan ng mga ulol na Presidente na ako and I represent a country.

You just go out—do not go out outside of the media and start blabbering your mouth because I represent a sovereign state. However, you do not like it, that is not my business. My business really is to protect the people of the Philippines and to keep intact the integrity of this Republic. That is my solemn and sacred duty.

Iyan ang hindi nila alam but I really do not—they want me to go prison, na akala naman ng mga ulol, magpahuli ako ng buhay. Ay ginoo ko, magsabay na tayo sa impiyerno.

Sabi ni Bato—alam mo si Bato, nauunahan na ako sa yabang. (laughter) “Ge, fight, game, bunot ka diyan.” ‘Yan ang style ko eh. Sinunod taga niya. Pati tuloy ako, hindi na maka-salida. Limitado na ang papel ko.

But you know, Bato has my support. He has been around, I was his ninong when he married, many many years ago. He was only 2nd lieutenant here. He earned his force here in Davao City and in Mindanao. And the guy, for all of his falls, he’s simply loyal to the Republic of the Philippines. Not to me, because I’ve been saying to everybody: Do not nurture loyalty to me. I do not need it. You nurture the love for the country and then you are ready to die for it. Parang ganun.

So itong sa droga, it will remain relentless. It will be sustained and for the information of everybody including the United Nations, I take full legal and official, gawin mo ng private, liability. Akin ‘yan, akin lahat ‘yan.

And for the military, in the wars that we are waging and pursuant to my orders to destroy the enemy, I take full responsibility for that. Nobody else’s blame. Dito kayo, sa akin lang. Akin at akin lang. It stops there. So that is how I protect the security forces to really also deliver what is supposed or what is expected by the people.

Hindi ‘yang half-cooked na matakot magbaril dito, matapos may matamaan, eh, ganyan talaga ‘yung giyera. Sabihin mo lang, 50,000 drug addicts, o ilagay mo 70, that’s manageable. But kung totoo—you know, General Santiago is not a liar and PDEA, lalo na si Sid. He’s been here with us also. Again, he started here in Davao and he ended, well, with a rank and I’ve been keeping here in Davao. Sabi ko, diyan ka lang muna, because mag-retire na. Sabi ko stay there, because—but I didn’t even know that I’ll become President.

So, nong na-Presidente ako, I got him as my PDEA because I trust him fully, just like Delfin Lorenzana here. I was the mayor, and he was the one who brought the battalion or the First Ranger Regiment dito sa siyudad ng Davao and we worked together.

And there were times when the NPAs asked for my presence in a meeting and we had a debate because I’m really used to that. Pero kasi ayaw niya sigurong may mangyari habang nandiyan siya. He really, really refused me to cross the Minda River. But I was ready, as I’ve always been ready to talk to the communists.

Now, shifting to another topic. We are in a best position now, there’s a window. It is not really very big but may window ngayon for us to take stock of everything.

We are not fighting the communists. They have declared a truce. In return, I also ordered a ceasefire. But I was ahead by them at the beginning to show my good faith, na talagang galing sa puso ‘yung aking offer to talk peace. I unilaterally—very early on. Ang problema ‘nong pumunta ako sa mga ospital, especially doon sa AFP Medical Center, tinamaan ng—nabulag na, you know. Kaya ako uminit ‘yung— or was it here? Dito.

I was visiting the wake of the three soldiers who were here. Sa wake, nandito ako, sabi ko I’m lifting the—wala ng ceasefire. Sabi ko: “Sige, fight na lang kung gusto ninyo.” But then again, I sense that they are really also, really tired of fighting, because you know why? They’ve allowed the Left to join my government.

And para lang ho, hindi rin kayo ma-ano, not affect the soldiers and the police, even during the discussions, it brought us at 7 o’clock in the morning. We started at about 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. ‘Yung hatian lang sa power.

Sabi ko: You can have the mundane departments: DSWD, Education. Everybody wants our children to be educated, you can have it, except the police and the military and that includes the PolCom. Hindi talaga.

I will not give you any position. It remains to be the Commander-in-Chief of whoever is the one elected by the Filipino people. Not to me personally, because ako passing lang po. After six years, kung aabot ako. Pag hindi, sorry. Si Leni na lang ‘yung—

May window tayo. We’re not fighting the communists. At, with the grace of Allah, MI, MN, have expressed their desire to talk. MI, I salute you guys. They even surrendered the drug addicts under their custody, which means to say that maybe the MILF, kung maibigay natin ‘yung teritoryo na gusto nila, to which I’m inclined to give, para wala na lang gulo. Tutal it’s a definite territory also for the ARMM, but it stretches a little bit, fine. We still have enough land in the entire Republic of Philippines to make everybody happy.

MN, I have yet to hear from Nur. But I said, Nur, if he comes out of his hiding place in Jolo, my advice to you guys, the Army and the Police, and everybody is that ‘let him be.’ ‘Let him be.’ Si Nur, I wouldn’t say sick, I hope he is well, but matanda na ‘yan, hindi na ‘yan tatakbo. And the last thing that I would want is really, if God forbid, ‘wag sana—na kung may mangyari sa kanya—nasa custody natin.

So there’s nobody of significance in that area who has the preeminence like Nur Misuari. Eh kung may mangyari niya na dito sa custody natin, we can kiss goodbye about peace in that area. And I’m referring to the Bangsamoro and the Bangsa Tausug.

If you want a differentiation of the two, you use ‘bangsa.’ Bangsamoro, which is really kay Murad and Bangsa Tausug, and the only sensible guy there, si Nur. Wala akong ibang nakilala who’d carry the influence. But definitely, ang Abu Sayyaf is out of control, and there is only one way to do it. Lalo na ‘yung beheading ng isang bata.

Sabi ko nga, sabihin sa mga Abu Sayyaf, if they’re listening now: “Adre, nawala ang bilib ko sa inyo. Eh ako may respeto noon, your fighting for freedom. Tama kayo. Tama kayo. There was this historical injustice, committed against the Moro people. The Americans may want to know, that during their campaign in Mindanao they slaughtered 600,000 Moro people.”

What is it to you now that you see two or three criminal shabu operators? ‘Yan ang sakit kaya tayo nahirapan. Unang-una, bago dumating si Magellan, dala-dala niyang relihiyon niya, Islam was already ahead. I do not say one century, I do not agree with the scholars, because I found time to read the archives of Malaysia. Sa trading-trading na, I would put it something like 70 years. Islam was ahead in Mindanao by 70 years.

So kayong mga Abu Sayyaf noon, medyo sumasaludo ako. But when you began to slaughter people, in front of the camera and then now, you killed an innocent boy, anak—nawawala ang respeto ko sa inyo.

So my orders to the Armed Forces and to the Police, destroy them. Destroy them because they are criminals. And we will never have peace in that area there and even if you grant them autonomy, and if they maintain to be bandits, we will never have peace in that land. So wala rin tayo magawa sa—useless ‘yung ating peace talks.

There’s a segment of society … Tausug, Yakan who want peace. And here you are slaughtering people as if they are chickens in front of the public. Nawala ang respeto ko, nawala ang bilib ko sa inyo. Kaya I would not hesitate to order the Armed Forces of the Philippines, kill them. Destroy them. Destroy.

Eh, pati itong droga. This will pull down this country. And I have given you the resources, the books and everything, three to seven years, the reason, I’ll tell you now for the first time.

Do you know the reason why I also agreed with Congress, some congressmen to postpone the barangay elections? Do you know why? Because I am afraid that the drug money will seep into the electoral process. You will just be adding to our headache, people na kung sinong manalo ngayon, those that are funded by drug money will win at kailangan mo ng mag-Martial Law para, to eliminate all, which I will never do in the first place.

Mahirapan na tuloy tayo, the reason why, of course, second is money. You have to spend billions. ‘Di itulong ko na lang ‘yan sa mga rehab. I have to build the rehab centers.

As a matter of fact, I ordered you, the military guys, to give us space there in your camp, because kayo ang may malalaking teritoryo binigay ng gobyerno. You have reservations, numbering into hundreds of hectares. Give a little space, in the mountains, ‘wag dito. Not in the—you cannot rehabilitate these guys there if they remain—you have to isolate them and treat them as if—

And for those that cannot be repaired, because as the forensics say—Amerikano rin ang nagbigay sa atin niyan eh, that six to one month incessant use everyday of shabu will shrink the brain of the person.

And these are really the legal insanity na. Hindi—no longer, they become dysfunctional, with the family that’s—maghihiwalay lang. Alam ninyo ‘yan. Marami ‘yan, naghiwalay na dahil sa droga. In the upper class, almost 90 percent pag nag-droga, hiwalay na.

Magsabi ka ng in the upper class strata in the Philippines of 50,000, about 45,000 nasa droga ‘yung mga asawa nila. Wala na. So kawawa ‘yung bata, kawawa ‘yung pamilya.

And itong mga human rights, just what they say, hindi nila binilang ‘yung namatay noong hindi pa ako Presidente. At ‘yung mga bata na nire-rape at ‘yung mga bata na mutilated because he is seeing the devil and he kills his father.

Sabi ko nga, crime against humanity? In the first place, I’d like to be frank with you. Are they humans? What is your definition of a human being? Tell me. Human rights. Use it properly in the right context, if you have the brains. Now, if your gray matter between the ears is melting, I cannot help you, kung ganoon ang tingin mo.

So I have—mabuti’t na lang and I’m very sorry, it took me time to talk to the Ambassador of China. We were there. We’re discussing four hours. Lahat na. China, about Laos, and what to say in the coming months. And you know, it always ends up with a—hindi naman lahat—there are so many contentious issues. And even just to agree on the things that we are agreeable, mahirapan na ako. Much more for the things that we disagree with.

Kaya pag ano nga, minsan inabot na kami ng umaga rin. But you know, I have to sacrifice time and even if I’m really of my—because of my headache. I have to listen to him to respond properly.

So wala tayong masyadong conflict diyan. I’m trying to avoid a conflict, because I want the window to remain open para sa atin.

So wala na tayong away sa MN. Kung meron man, sporadic, intermittent but very—I said, kokonti lang ‘yan. Not the lives really but you know, in proportion to the dimensions of the conflict. Wala tayong NPA, MN is medyo silent, then MI has agreed to talk. So we have this time to concentrate on the front sa drugs, pati doon sa extremism.

So we have only two and there are just a few. Kaya natin ‘yan pulpugin, totoo lang. If we unleash really the firepower of the Armed Forces, ang problema lang, baka may—you know—it will so inflame passions because, pag minsan may babae, bata tinamaan, but kung talagang todasin natin ‘yan, matapos natin isang linggo ‘yan, to the last man.

So we are lucky that we’re able to focus on, dito sa Abu Sayyaf and dito sa—you do not have to kill. I can assure. Guys, you don’t have to kill. If you can capture them, announce your authority.

You know, I’d like to respond to the Chief Justice. And as much as possible, I want to be respectful as I can ever be. Madam Justice, you are again wrong when you say ‘do not allow yourself to be arrested if there is no warrant.’

You will be—dagdagan mo ang patay niyan. Kasi kung sabihin mo sa tao ngayon na walang warrant, eh may baril ako, may droga ako dito, hearing your words ‘do not allow yourself to be arrested without a warrant’ is a very dangerous statement. You will promote anarchy, the things that you really fear.

There is no anarchy under my watch. 800, even 5,000, could it cause anarchy? Alam mo, there are ways of doing it and may I lecture the public, hindi kayo sa Supreme Court.

Ways of—you can arrest a person with a warrant and that is the order of the court to any security or police, military. Arrest this guy, it is directed to you. Second is an arrest without a warrant. When? When a guy is committing a crime in your presence. Nagtatakos ng shabu diyan o nagbabaril ng tao, o naabutan mo nakapatong, nire-rape niya. That is committing a crime in your presence or had in fact committed. Pagdating mo, nagtakbuhan sila, hindi natapos ‘yung takusa nila sa—tapos tumakbo o naghithitan.

You can pursue them to the ends of the world, as long as it is a continuous … or a crime is about to be committed. Kung magsabi ‘yan— “Putang ina mo. Babarilin kita.” And if you are there, just announce, ‘Adre, gobyerno ako, army o pulis ako, arestado ka. Bawal ‘yang ginagawa mo.”

Or simply say, “‘yan bang baril mo, may lisensya?” If he’s a terrorist, hawak-hawak ang granada. Ibig sabihin, magtakbo ka pa sa korte, magkuha ka ng warrant? So ang judge, mga pilosopo pa ‘yang mga buang. Maski ako ‘nong piskal ako, magpunta dito ‘yung—I don’t have to name them but may isa akong judge dito, sinipa ko talaga. Sinipa ko sa opisina niya.

I kicked him. Ayaw magpirma. So nagdududa ako. ‘Yang mga pulis apurado. Itong putang-inang ‘to, either nagsisilbato ito doon sa kabila. Sabi ko: “Judge, putang-ina mo, sipain kita.” Sabi niya: “Sige sipain mo.” Pumunta ako doon sa opisina niya, sinipa ko. “O ikaw ngayon, gusto mo, barilin kita?” Sabi niya: “‘Huwag”. (laughter) Tang-ina.

You know, I was once contempt of court. May kaso ako, wala akong witness. Silang tatlo, they committed the crime of murder, ‘yung taxi driver. Eh wala akong witness, ‘yung hindi talaga, ‘yung isa, hinawakan niya sa leeg, ‘yung isa, inano niya ‘yung bayag. Eh masakit ‘yan, talagang paralyzed ‘yung tao. ‘Yung isa naman was just watching. O sabi ko: “Sige ikaw na ‘yung witness ko, payag ka magtestigo against your co-accused?” “Yes.”

So I filed the motion to drop him from the criminal complaint information. Alam mo, pag-present ko sa kanya, bumaliktad. Nag-depensa tuloy doon ulit. Sinipa ko. Ang problema, ako tuloy ‘yung na-preso. Instead siya, ako ang nauna doon sa presohan. Pinabayad pa ako ng singko mil ng yawa. Direct contempt eh.

So, it’s about to be committed, actually committing in your presence or had in fact committed, “Sir, si commander ano ‘yun, o si commander, ‘yung ano.” Eh alam naman nila yan kasi, may mga litrato ‘yan eh. ‘Di habulin mo, hanapin mo eh. Pag hindi mo ginawa, dereliction of duty ka. Mali talaga.

Ma’am, I’m sorry, but do not give such statements. You will—sabi mo, you’re afraid of ana—this country sliding to anarchy. At no other time, ang streets ng Manila are almost freed of criminals. Maglakad ka, Ma’am at find out.

Anong paningin mo? Would the military, Armed Forces and the Police agree that I will do something that will create anarchy, at tapos they remain loyal to me. Ako ang unang papatayin niyan, Ma’am. Totoo lang. They have no loyalty to me. You know, these guys are loyal to the Constitution and the flag.

And for as long as I’m doing right, they will support me. If I have the tendency to go ahead with anarchy and be a dictator, I know, they will execute me. ‘Yan ang totoo, kung gusto mo talagang malaman. These guys have only one, they have only the eyes, the flag of the Republic of the Philippines, and the written manifestation of the flag is our Constitution.

So, wala tayo sa NPA, wala tayo sa China Sea, we avoid trouble with them. Hindi pa natin kaya. Sinabi ko: “Mr. Ambassador, I will not talk about it but when we are in front of each other in a bilateral talk, ‘yung tayong dalawa lang. Then I would state my case.” ‘Yan. I have this arbitral judgment. We will not go out of the four corners of this paper. Then, let us talk. But, not now. It’s not the right time to talk about it.

There are so many conference doing it. If you start it, it’s going to be a multilateral crying, and that is very dangerous because pag nag-withdraw ang China sa formal talks, and it could only mean one thing.

Now, are we towards the future? Philippines is going to experience another spasm. When? I do not know. Sigurado? Sigurado ‘yan. So we prepare within our limited talent, our capacity. We cannot really produce the missiles and things. But ‘yung ating nalaman lang, how to fight the war, win or lose, wala na tayong pakialam. Basta we fight. It will come, maybe sooner than later. But we have to prepare. So that also to end the small wars here because you have to focus on a new—

Secretary Lorenzana asked for 20. I said I can only give you 10 this year. I will give it to you. 10,000 more. Then I would like to be, ‘yung medyo bata talaga, because kung hindi magdating, magpasalamat tayo sa Diyos.

There’s always the standing army to protect us. Never mind how many, even if it really causes an imbalance in the budget. It is always good to have men there ready to fight and die, rather than having them at all and just surrender just like a meek lamb there. That cannot—hindi ‘yan. Hindi sa—hindi puwede sa atin as a national. Hindi natin kaya na mag-ganun lang. So, we prepare, it is up to you guys to make the projections, how to deal with it. And in the meantime, I said, we take advantage of these windows that are already open to us now.

We just talk about peaceful things, they’re doing well. We have declared the ceasefire. Just observe it please. Para they can talk there without a ruckus and everything. But I said, do not be too—because if you ask me and I tell you privately, it will come. When? It will come, you can ask Secretary Lorenzana, we had a very serious discussio, President Ramos and some other guys. It’s good to be prepared. Pero alam ko na I can always rely on the Armed Forces to keep the integrity of this Republic, and do not be afraid. Kung panahon ko ‘yan, ako ang mauna. Patahian mo lang ako ng uniporme na ganon, ‘yung smarte.

Oo, totoo lang, kung mangyari ‘yan, ako. I swear to God. Ako ang mauna doon. Mas mauna ‘yang—mas maganda ‘yang inilibing ka, marami mag-salute. May cartage pa. Hilain ka ng kabayo. Eh kung tatanda ako sa buhay na ito, mamatay ako 90 years old. “Namatay si Duterte.” “Sino ‘yan?” “‘Yung never heard.” Ano ang kinamatay?” “Bangungot.” Putang-ina. (laughter) Sakyan ko na lang ‘yung bala ng kanyon nila. You know, it’s just a joke. But just to—you really—

When the time comes, I will be there to join you. Lead. Mas marunong kayo sa akin, but to be there to share with you, to defend this Republic. Sabay-sabay tayong lahat.

Maraming salamat po.