Media interview with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following his visit to Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Escort Flotilla One JS Izumo and JS Sazanami
Alava Pier, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Olongapo City
04 June 2017

[start of RTVM audio file]

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: He’s the personal and official emissary of President, premier Abe of Japan.

He was the one who invited me. The last time that I was invited, I was not able to make it, because I declared martial law and I was very busy fixing up things.

Ngayon, sabi niya na i-announce ko that finally I was able to make it and I’m very happy that I was allowed to board this huge ship.

He wants the world to know that I’m the first head of state to be invited to board this new ship. It was only commissioned in 2015.

It’s really a new one and it’s very impressive for humanitarian and war purposes. It is dedicated to humanitarian efforts. But… it is also armed by missiles. State of the art. Very big.

Any question about the ship? Uy ma’am, anong question mo? Kilala kita eh, pati si… Saan na ‘yung isa?

Q: Good afternoon Mr. President. Hi sir. AC Nichols from CNN Philippines.


Q: Hi sir. Sir can I ask a question but it’s not going to be about the ship sir. Today we learned that the government through the OPAPP is apparently talking to the Maute group sir. This is… that’s why nagkaroon tayo ng humanitarian pause daw for four hours earlier today for the rescue of trapped civilians. Does this mean Mr. President that we’re negotiating now with the Maute group?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No, I am not ready to negotiate with terrorists. We had a talk last week and Chairman Murad of the MNLF went there and offered to help, open peace channels. So that the residents there, who are, who are trapped now can go out and out of the harm’s way.

That was what we agreed upon and I said we can talk to anybody and everybody, including the Maute.  

 PRESIDENT DUTERTE: They are the ones fighting there. They are the ones creating trouble there. So it is up to them to allow government and the other NGOs to go inside, including the church, to rescue some of the helpless civilians there. But talking about the law and order, that’s far from my mind.

I will also inform you that I had a late talk last night with Nur Misuari and he has offered to ask his troops of the MNLF, theable-bodied ones still to fight with government and I accepted the offer.

We will have something like new integrees. We have always been accepting integrees from the MNLF and so far walang problema.

He has offered 2,000 and I said I’m willing to take in 2,000 as regular troops of the Armed Forces of the government. That offer also goes to the NPAs.

Kayong ayaw na ninyo mag-away, I’m not asking you to join my force. You just surrender and I’ll give you the houses and I will expand the land reform program of the government. Ako ‘yung maghanap ng pera.

‘Yung gustong mag-sundalo, kung ano ‘yung rango mo doon, ‘yun ang rango mo dito sa ano…

I’m not taking ‘yung mga generals. Wala ‘yun… The rank and file. If they desire to surrender and be with the — to fight with the government forces, I am taking them in as soldiers of the Republic.

Si Nur offered three. Sabi ko, well baka marami… Initially, I would need billions for that just to prepare them, train them.

Pero sa giyera, wala na ‘to. I do not have to train them to go to war. They are at war with us. But if they decide to side with us then maybe I can solve a little bit of the problem.

Q: Sir, just as a follow up doon sa Maute, sir. I’m sorry. Can you tell us a little bit about the mechanism used and does this mean na pwede na rin pong mag-demand ‘yung terrorists in Marawi? Right now kasi ‘yung nga, sir, negotiations daw ‘yung nangyayari po.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You look, the only reason why this war has dragged on for several weeks is that government is always limited and curtailed.

We cannot go in firing our weapons at once because we do not want to hurt civilians. That is the last thing that we would like to do.

Sila, eh kung magpaputok sila ng mortar, they don’t bother to look what’s behind, what’s on the side. Eh ang gobyerno, hindi eh.

You know, I have already four — 12 rather. The arrivals of the four that completes the 12 modernization of the Air Force — 12 jets, new ones.

I can end this war in 24 hours. All I have to do is to order the Air Force to release all their bombs and their arsenal and their ordnance. And I will level everything down there on the ground.

But I cannot do that. We are a government bound by civilized rules. Kaya kong tapusin ‘yan 24 oras. Ihulog ko lang lahat ‘yang bomba diyan.

But I cannot do it. So we have to — you know. Dahan-dahan ka, you have to go to the mountains and make sure that nobody is behind or on the side to do some collateral damage.

Kasi ‘pag ka ganon, talo tayo. If we kill a lot of civilians, more than the rebels, we lose the fight because we lose the moral ascendancy, because it seems that we do not care about lives, about human rights and all.

Q: Sir, I’m Katrina Son from GMA 7.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ah, ikaw pala ‘yun? Mas maganda ka sa personal.

Q: Sir, napanood niyo na po ‘yung CCTV footage ‘nong sa Resorts World. Na-identify na rin po ‘yung suspect. Your reaction on this po, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You know it was not… Unfortunately though, the reaction was terrorism. That guy is a… How would I call him? A habitual gambler, not even an addict. So he lost everything in his life.
Tapos naging g***. He lost his mind. Ibinuhos niya ‘yung galit niya doon sa… Well, the dynamics of gambling. Ano ba naman terorista na wala naman siyang pinatay, wala siyang binaril.

Nagnakaw siya ng chips without realizing that he cannot use it but he was… He placed it all in his bag, ‘yung million na — million peso chips. Eh ‘di sira. Sira talaga.

Nag-snap. The only problem is the crowd there. Walang mga… I don’t… I do not want to. But the hotel has to explain to us bakit walang mga exit kaagad.

They hid in the small rooms, mga storage and in the toilets, in the comfort room, and they died of suffocation. And to think that there’s only one son of a b**** running a rampage there.

Eh, malas lang talaga. I’m sorry that it had to happen. And I apologize to the families that expecting us to…

We could not do it also without knowing what was happening and all. Gusto kasi nila na malibre talaga. Kaawa eh. Wala naman kalaban. Ayaw naman pumatay ang p***** i** niya. Bakit pa nagdamay ng tao?

So it… It’s not terrorism. ‘Yung terrorism nasa London ngayon. But it can happen. Remember this always, always, whatever happens that’s extraordinary or unnatural, the law, ‘yung Murphy’s Law will takeover.

If we cannot explain, we’d always say, if a thing can go wrong, it will go wrong. Pwede ba itong mangyari? Mangyari talaga ‘yan, maniwala ka.

Gaya ng ganon. Who would ever think that one man could cause the death without really knowing it? Without intending to kill people, but the fact is the reaction was to go inside the rooms.

Ang hotel, is just to… One question, bakit walang exit na marami or — ? The human mind cannot really explain that. Under stress sila eh.

But you know magsunog, you… If there is a water, you just wet it then place it inside your face, hindi inside rather — over your face and creep mga about a few meters away. Ang usok kasi pataas  ‘yan eh.

And if you have that, your handkerchief, basain mo lang… Tapos you slowly, kung makaya mo pang — saan ang exit, you just crawl… before ‘yung… Ilapit mo lang.

Ang usok kasi tumataas eh, papuntang itaas ‘yan. So if you are standing, you inhale. One of the ways of survival.

The other is one just go beside a beautiful woman, you will be saved because you will be inspired to rescue her.

Q: Sir, good afternoon po. Julius Disamburun po ng PTV-4. Opo.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ano po, ano ‘yun?

Q: Julius Disamburun po ng PTV-4 po.


Q: Opo.


Q: Opo. Sir ‘yung stronger relations po ng Pilipinas at ng Japan, aasahan po natin ‘yan sa mga susunod na mga buwan po at mga araw? At gayon din po with this visit, ‘yun pong magiging tulong po ng Japan on our defense cooperation po?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Not only that. Japan is historical friend. It has a long history of helping us mostly.

If you go there to Mindanao and the rest of the country, you’ll find so many JICA. Japanese overseas — international overseas.

Not only that and it has given us frigates and a lot of help. ‘Yung trainer ng mga eroplano ‘nong dumating… Japan has been a very helpful friend.

Our ties with Japan is historical and I know that we will be with them for all time. They can count on our gratitude for helping us and also our friendship to fight with them.

We have so many problems in this world and I said we are friends, historical ones. We have a lot to say thank you to you. And I’d like Japan to know that we are a people of gratitude.

Okay? Kasi mag-uwi na ako. You have a question, ma’am? Yes?

Q: Thank you po. My name is Akiko Suzuki of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. I would like to ask you about this huge ship. The aim of Japan to send this huge ship to the Philippines is, of course, to restrain China which is quite active these years in constructing in South China Sea. Do you fully support the idea that China’s deed or activities could be, or should be, at least, restrained by this kind of partnership?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. We are as a matter of fact… The last time that we talked with President Xi Jinping, one of the issues that I raised was could we have the Code of Conduct of the Seas before the ASEAN or during the ASEAN proper itself? During the… It could be one of the — sa mga agenda of the different bodies that we can discuss it and have it.

I think that everybody just want to follow the resolution of one conflict in a peaceful way and the observance of the rule of law.

We are up to that only. We are limited by the law of nations which says that the conflict should be resolved peacefully and that the rule of law must be allowed or respected or whatever.

Ako, I already told you my cents. I was direct… Ako, wala na akong arbitral. Sinabi ko amin ‘yan and I will dig the oil there. Wala na akong drama nila Carpio ‘yang magpunta-punta pa sa ano. Diretso.

Sabi niya, kung may pala ka ‘di kaya mo, sige. I explained this answer in so many ways because hindi naman tayo makaano so… But he was very extra courteous and ever a respectful leader also.

So it’s about the only thing that bothers us all, kaming mga nasa itaas, is the ruckus now going on in the Korean Peninsula. I hope that guy does not commit a mistake. It could be a serious one.

One of these days, he keeps on flying the missiles. One of these days mag-landing ‘yan sa Luneta tingnan mo. Magulo na ‘yan. Then it’s time for media to go to the area of conflict to cover. Mauna muna kayo kasi…

Q: [off mic]

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, ganito ‘yan eh. Mr. Kawai is the person and official emissary. They were… They understood the last time that I was facing quite a serious problem here.

But the Prime Minister is still hopeful that I could make the visit to Japan before the ASEAN Summit.

And I think that I will be sending Cayetano in several missions because I really want the Conduct of the Sea — the Code of Conduct of the Seas be passed during the time of the ASEAN heads of state meeting here. Everybody will appreciate it.

Itong Korea, puntahan na lang ninyo, tanungin ninyo kung bakit. You know, that guy is playing with dangerous toys. He treats it as a toy eh.

So he’s proud that he has flown one, flown two, flown three… One of these days mag-landing ‘yan doon sa Malacañang, sa bahay ko.

Doon na kayo mag-istambay para masalo natin.

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