Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the Change of Command Ceremony and Testimonial Review in honor of outgoing AFP Chief of Staff Ricardo Visaya
AFP General Headquarters Grandstand, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City
07 December 2016
Kindly sit down. Thank you.

President Fidel Ramos, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President Joseph Estrada, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Lieutenant General Eduardo Año, General Ricardo Visaya, Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak, members of the diplomatic corps, major service commanders, men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, fellow workers in government, my beloved countrymen.

Let me just… it’s raining and I’ll make it short. Let me just give you a narrative of how I do things.

Commander, could you give the tikas pahinga?

Of the many things I promised the people of this nation, one was that I would not tinker with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the matter of promotion and assignments.

I gave the same statement for the PNP. But you know, as it turned out, after I assumed office, that the PNP was a fractured organization and that I realized that there were so many men and officers involved in the drug industry.

So I had to take bull by the horn. I did not tinker, I said, as I promised, with the Armed Forces. I said, the promotions and all others were the product of the Board of Generals and the recommendation of your head of department.

I never asked or whispered to anybody, who, for what, and for whom. I kept my promise to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and it will remain to be so until the end of my term. Hindi ako makikialam. [applause] As I have said it’s with your Board of the Generals.

Now itong sa pulis. I was really appalled. I knew the seriousness of the problem, how the drug industry was blooming into something very, very serious. But I did not have enough wherewithals to make the proper evaluation.

And it was only when I became President that I was really horrified, appalled by the number of Filipinos already hit by the contamination of shabu.

I remember very well the report of General Santiago of the PDEA before. And he gave the numbers something like 92 percent of the total barangays of the Philippines were already affected. And I gave the number of two to three million addicts already, nagpapasyal diyan sa atin, mixing it up with us.

And I would place it at a very conservative state when I said evaluation of something like one million to eight, to five. So the incremental increase over the years until I became President, palagay na lang natin, add a lever about mga 200.

But in my time, when I issued the warning to everybody, you saw our countrymen lining up in front of barangay halls, going to the barangay captains, surrendering in the hundreds of thousands.

Kaya ako, sabi ko, ako na mismo ang hahawak nito. Kasi kung ibigay mo lang ng secretariat or left alone, with due respect, no offense intended and I have give you the report and this is [unclear] and it has ended something like a mix, a deadly mix of drug lords, pushers from the street, barangay captains, policemen, municipal mayors, governors, judges and prosecutors.

And why? Why did I give a copy of that thick folder to the Senate President? Why did I give that copy? Or furnish the copy to the Speaker of the House. And I was looking at it, pondering after a review, and a review, reevaluation, and revalidated, and revalidated, that is why it took us this long because it is not easy to place a name in that list or you shall have destroyed his career forever.

So kaya ganon katagal ang review ng review, revalidate, revalidate again, revalidate. And, there are names of my friends, politicians and all, mga pulis, mga prosecutors, mga judges. So I don’t know if I’d be, if it is proper for me to be saying it in public. But I sent also one thick folder to the Supreme Court and I just wrote there, for whatever it may be worth to you.

Hindi ko kaya ‘to. And even sabihin nila totoo ‘yan, sinasabi nila attributed to me all na pinapatay ko, binabaril ko. Lahat na.

Kung ginusto ko man, mawalaan ako, maubusan ako ng bala, pati panahon. That’s what I told the Speaker and the Senate President and a few members of Congress. What shall I do with this?

Just to build a case, you would need about three to four policemen working out 24 hours, just to get the desired proof for a successful operation.

But some of them are in the police, some of them are in the—How do you build a case against the judge? You just go by the records, that with so many hearings in his court, there was not a single conviction of a drug case.

So that alone is not enough. I cannot — I would say that I cannot secure a conviction. But remember that we follow the democratic presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

Now, I would like to tell you. I don’t know about the others, but in my experience for eight years as a trial prosecutor, it’s always a proposition of 30 percent in favor of conviction, 70 percent in favor of acquittal. It was all that he has to do, the convict or whatever, the accused.

Just create a little doubt and it cannot be proof beyond reasonable doubt. Mahirapan ako kaya sinasabi ko. I would take full control of the fight against the drugs because this is not just an ordinary police case.

The drug lords declared war against our country, targeting the youths of the land. And that was, I was forced to say, do not destroy the next generation and deprive us of our sons’ and daughters’ happiness kasi papatayin ko talaga kayo. And I said, huwag ninyong gawain ‘yan kasi bayan ko ‘yan.

Actually the drugs is a war now going on. It has weathered down a lot but until the last day of my term, until the last pusher is out of the street, until the drug lord, the big ones are killed, the policy will remain: Do not destroy my country.

And that is why, I repeat my orders and that’s the reason why I declared a state of lawlessness so that I can call upon you, the Armed Forces, to help the civilian sector, to help the police, ‘di nila kaya ‘to. At ang pulis mo, the policeman, the very ones who would be preventing the crimes, solving the crimes, arresting the criminals, are themselves into it.

Now, nandyan, may kopya kayo, I think one is with the Chief of Staff. Basahin ninyo if you have time and find out if the next guy beside you is there in that list. Talagang what — it’s about 4,500 plus. Remember that they are spread all throughout the country and addiction is really a monkey on your back.

And they say, and it is true, the forensics say and the doctors, the asylums and the drug rehabilitation will tell you, that there’s a certain point of the use of constant, constant use of drugs will shrink the brain of a person. Once the brain has shrunk, rehab is no longer possible.

So how many of the 4 million? Kasi ‘yang one million hindi ko binigay, wala akong input sa panahon ko. Those were the guys you saw on TV surrendering. I’m still counting because I’m nearing the 800 mark. By the end of the year, I am sure I would have reached isang milyon.

Idagdag ko ‘yang sa kay Santiago and you know that I entered into the service almost midterm, half of the year, June na. I am operating on a budget that was prepared by my predecessor. When I came in, what was left was just for MOOE, maintenance and operations.

So even when there was a lot of criticism at binu-b*** s*** ako at bakit ko raw hindi ni-rehab, ‘yung nahuli, lahat yun, hindi magkasya ‘yun.

So in the meantime, I was just pleading to the barangay captains to just take care of them in the meantime. Now a good soul from China, a philanthropist, built us in Fort Magsaysay a 10 million facility — 10,000 rather facility.

And they promised to build another one somewhere in the Visayas and Mindanao. But ang sabi ko, hindi na ako nagpumilit kasi nahiya na ako. But the next budget, the budget I prepared now has something for this kind of — lahat-lahat.

At kayo, lahat ng hiningi ni Secretary Lorenzana, binigay ko. Lahat, wala akong hinindian. And I would not want to, you know, I’m at your back — ayaw ko yung para bang magkakaroon ka pa ng utang na loob pera man ng tao ‘yan but lahat na kailangan ninyo pati ospital ninyo. And as a matter of fact, I abandoned the use of the presidential plane. I turned it over and you can use it. You have a new MRI, a CT scan, and everything, a baric, which can really control gangrene.

If you are extracted too late, maybe, if you are flown to the AFP — I suppose that the baric machine is with them, you can catch up with the contamination of the gangrene. Andyan lahat, binigay ko na sa inyo. Wala akong hinindian pati armas.

The ones that we ordered were stopped by the complaint of a congressman or senator in the US which say that our issues are against human — no. Sabihin ko sa inyo, go out and hunt for them.

Look for them kasi pati ang droga. Masisira ang bayan natin kung tamad-tamaran tayo. Ang mga bata, hindi na makalabas. Sa Maynila, hold-up dito, hold-up doon. At hihilain lang kung magsakay ng tricycle diyan sa — in a old garage or there’s a facility that’s not being used, doon dinadala ang mga babae, umuuwi sa gabi, pinapatay mga nurse. This cannot be the kind of life for us.

And why should we be afraid to destroy the forces that would make us grow in fear? Bakit matakot tayo? Human rights, you know, you want me, to bring me to fight the International Criminal Court? Gladly. Gladly.

And if they say that I’d go to jail, I’ll rot in jail pag wala kayong problema.

Itong droga na ito. If it is done that you kill the person because your life is in jeopardy, you are, yourself would lose, not only your funds but your life, my God, shoot him. Ayaw ko—

Philippine National Police killed in police action, operation, 30. Wounded, 57. This isn’t a joke. This is a matter of ridding wounded or patay, wala ng pamilya… Kaya ako ang naging pulis doon sa pamilya nila.

Sabi ko, ‘yung wounded, you will be rehabilitated. I… Do not worry about that.

Out of the 57 wounded policeman, 48. This is a health issue. It is now becoming an issue of law and order and a health issue. They need just like the drug addicts destroyed. They need medication, they need therapy and all.

Armed Forces killed in action, 53. Tapos wounded in action is 228. Do you think this is a joke? I ask the critics: Why would we be, why would we do extrajudicial killing? Wrap the idiot with plastic, what for? We can shoot him in the head and that’s it.

This is an indication of torture. Hindi natin kailangan ‘yan. I’m addressing myself to the nation. Now, kung may pulis dito na masabit. So they got mixed up with a messy job and I would say that I would believe in the story of the police. Now here comes NBI, both the police and the NBI are under me. DILG and—But I never interfere and they say it’s murder, fine. That is your findings. But since the police is also doing the duty, following my order here, a direct order, I will have to defend him.

Sabihin nila ano—well, I will listen to the story and I would take it as the true version. Why should I, it’s just an investigation. Wala naman kayong witness diyan na nagsabi na nakita niya. Come up with something good and maybe I will have a doubt.

But for as long as ganon ang pulis and you would stick to the story and because they are under me, I’ll still believe them. Why? Let me ask you, Filipino people: Four million addicts of the Filipino and you are sorry for the son of a b**** who made our children crazy by the millions.

So I and I alone. Ako ‘yan, will answer for them. If it is in the performance of duty, that is my ultimate liability. Dito kayo. I will defend them. As a matter of fact, I’m ready to go to jail for them. Walang problema.

But I will not agree to a proposal to just leave it like this way, tapos masira. Remember it’s by the millions.

And if I would like to remind you in the early days, you saw on TV, because I was also viewing it. People lining, almost like a zombie state, parang kalog. Kung Presidente ka maligayahan ka niyan? And tapos mga… Dito wala na masyado, nakauwi na sila ngayon.

Now I would like to warn again the addicts, pabalik-balik kayo niyan ‘eh. You, you pretend to surrender or give it up, but it’s addiction, I know. I have your rehab.

One out of—No, eight out of ten talagang mag-slide ‘yan, babalik nang babalik ‘yan. So kayong mga nasa droga, nakadroga, kung ‘yung mga pamilya ninyo, ito na lang gawin ninyo. Huwag ninyong palabasin ng bahay in the meantime or have your son or husband, checked and we will gladly bring him to the — Nueva Ecija. Bakante pa ‘yun marami pa. I will spend for the medicines and all.

But in the meantime, kayong mga durugista, bantay kayo– Dadamputin ko talaga… Do not loiter around the sidewalk when you’re up to ask for money and molest… Hingian niyo mga tao, holdapin ninyo, do not do that.

Restricted to quarters kayo parang sundalo. Diyan kayo sa bahay ninyo, mga nanay, tatay i-lock ninyo ‘yung… Huwag ninyong palabasin, pag maglabas ‘yan, mag-iistorbo sa labas ‘yan eh. Magtindig lang ‘yan, damputin ko ‘yan.

Sabi nila diktador. You want to oust me? Fine, go ahead. I’d be happy to leave pero for as long as I’m the President of this country, I’ll never allowed that thing to destroy–

So let us be clear on this, I’d like to congratulate General Año on his assumption as the Chief of Staff. I’d like to express the gratitude for and behalf of the Filipino people kay General Visaya for a job really well, very well done. And I was also… malapit akong matumba sa medal niya. Eh ako nga, wala nga maski isa, ito lang, itong ganito, hindi naman ito medalya. Wala man nakasabi dito na, general headquarters wala man.

But anyway, pati kayo, hero kayong lahat. Every time you go out, that is why do not worry this December medyo halos doble na ang sweldo ninyo. [applause]

Sinasadya ko kaya talaga ‘yan, kay kayo ‘yung nauuna ‘eh. Sige, punta doon sa Abu Sayyaf, dumugin mo, ako tiga-order lang eh. Sabi ko, tumahimik kayo diyan, walang allowance ngayong Pasko ito, unahin muna natin ‘yung—

But anyway even the mere presence, evidence by this medal, I am grateful to be present to witness the turnover.

General Año, welcome. Sir, General Visaya, mamili ka na ng pwesto diyan sir. [laughter] Choose your position, that is how grateful the nation is to you. Mamili ka ng position diyan, gusto mo kausapin si Delfin, okay rin ‘yan.

Salamat po sa inyong lahat.