Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 2017 New Year Vin D’ Honneur
Rizal Ceremonial Hall, Malacañang
11 January 2017

His Excellency Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Excellencies and members of the Diplomatic Corps, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, members of the cabinet, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, heads of international organizations, honoured guests, fellow workers in government, my beloved countrymen.

Thank you for joining us today.

We welcome 2017 with hope for positive and meaningful change for the Philippines and for our peoples.

When I assumed the Presidency six months ago, I solemnly pledged to lead my country and my people.

I vowed to address three basic evils that subjected my people, especially the poorest and the disenfranchised, to the most unbearable of burdens of slavery, for million of them—to drugs, corruption, criminality and a revolution in the south.

I say to you all now, that sacred vow remains unchanged. I stay true to the mandate reposed on me.

The administration will remain firm in its resolve to hold the corrupt accountable for their deeds.

We will make criminals responsible for their actions.

And we will work very, very hard to finally break the apparatus of the illegal drugs trade.

In so doing, we affirm and renew our commitment to bring about the change that my country and people deserve.

Certainly, realizing the change we need comes with the challenges. But we are willing and able to do what we must, consistent with our constitutional mandate.

Already, we have started the process of genuine reform to encourage more trade and investments, to intensify commercial activities, to ramp up investment in much needed infrastructure, to increase revenues, to make communities more resilient and to improve basic social services.

Alongside these efforts, we are talking to all stakeholders to bring about just and lasting peace in Mindanao and to finally bring to an end one of the longest-running revolutions in the world.

These changes are vital to make the Philippines a stronger Republic.

It is on the basis of these strengths – political, social and economic – and the Philippines will be able to take on an even more active and more influential role in the community of nations.

However, know that the Philippines is doing its part in addressing the challenges we face together as an international community: the scourge of terrorism, natural and human-induced calamities, transnational crimes, hunger and poverty and international disputes.

Indeed, as we strive to be stronger at our core, we hope to do more not just for our own people but for our region for the world.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen: the Philippines contends with the realities that are our own.

We value partners as we seek strengthen existing friendships even as we pursue new ones.

We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals.

In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress and prosperity.

In a world that recognizes our interconnectedness and respects each other’s sovereign independence, the horizons and frontiers of cooperation are virtually limitless.

Friendship, after all, knows no bounds. The Philippines has and will continue to build on our friendship founded on a common objectives, shared values and time-honored principles of international law.

Let us, together work to further expand the areas of mutually beneficial collaboration.

This New Year, the Philippines takes on the ASEAN Chairmanship with renewed fervor and sense of purpose.

It is a valuable opportunity to exercise leadership to advance the regional development agenda of forging a rules-based community that puts citizen’s welfare at the heart of every initiative.

The Philippines counts on your full support.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, for the New Year, more than anything, I wish for deeper and more meaningful engagements with our partners and friends.

This will allow us to realize the positive and lasting changes that we seek for our nations, for our region and for our world.

In this regard, allow me then to propose a toast:

To all our friends and partners in the community of nations, may our relationships continue to prosper for the greater benefit of our peoples.

To my fellow servants in government, may you be blessed with strength and steadfastness, and with passion, honesty, and integrity, in serving our country and our people.

To my countrymen, may we continue to carry our country toward—to a more aspired vision of a secured and developed nation.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas? Mabuhay kayong lahat! At Mabuhay ang the League of nations and of friends.

Salamat po.

To your success, Excellencies. Kanpai!

Kanpai! Bottoms up.

You know, in the sub-diplomatic gatherings, especially in Asia, we just say “kanpai”. It’s always bottoms up. So be careful with this—our Asian brothers and sisters. When they say “kanpai,” say, “no, just half of the kanpai.” 

Thank you and when I go around and shake your hands or thank you for dropping us by, and there’s a lot to do for this world to—I really don’t know but if If I just make a side remark.

I just finished reading the other night ISIS, it’s a book. And it says there a lot of things of the state of our—

So I hope we can get together, act together, and just to preserve mankind.

Thank you.