Media Interview with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following to his visit to wounded-in-action soldiers in Cagayan De Oro City
Camp BGen Edilberto Evangelista Station Hospital, 4th Infantry Division, Cagayan de Oro City
20 June 2017
Q: Sir, na-interview namin ‘yung Ilaga group, kung familiar po kayo, sabi nila willing po daw sila na magtulong sa inyo, makipagbakbakan, against Maute terrorist group sa Marawi City. Reaksyon niyo po President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I do not think at this time that we have to include the civilian sector. The last thing that I would want to happen is a communal war. ‘Yung mag-armas-armas na kanya-kanya.

I know that some of the Christians are getting insecure and that is why a lot of them have been looking for heavy firearms. Pero sinabi ko sa mga gun store, “bawal”. You’re only limited to a 22 to a shotgun.

But ‘yung offer na ‘yan would only add to the convoluted thing that’s happening now. Let the Armed Forces and the police deal with the problem. I know that they’re capable of doing it.

And I said, they are winding up in Marawi except for a few snipers left behind. But I do not think that it would last a little longer than expected.

‘Yung anarchy and communal wars, they call it. Civil war, communal wars. Mahirap po ‘yan. Let the Armed Forces deal with it. Tutal kaya naman talaga ng sundalo.

In the sense that we suffered casualties, dead soldiers, it’s because they were there already positioned in every nook and corner.

Paakyat pa lang kayo sa bukid, they were looking down at us at doon ang mahirap.

Ang greatest paghinakit ko sa mga Maranao kasi pinayagan nila ang mga ISIS. ‘Yung Maute started as a thriving business of shabu and they have been selling shabu all over Mindanao and the Visayas.

Noong medyo nagkahirapan na, they called upon the other terrorists in other areas and we must keep watch because Basilan is boiling up.

As a matter of fact, we conducted two bomb runs there.

So ‘yung mga tao na magsasabi sila, kung gusto nila. But let them take the responsibility kung magsabi nila na, “We will limit it to Marawi.”

As a matter of fact, wala na ‘yang mga… Those who were able to escape [inaudible] You know there are places, you have Cotabato, you have Basilan, you have Jolo.

Whether you like it or not, the sentiments of a spillover there. Kaya… At saka they are escaping in all directions in Davao.

So you have to keep watch and control the movements as yet. Just because the fighting has stopped in Marawi, it does not mean that we are already safe.

One of these days, they will go into bombings. Eh kung magsabi sila, “Bakit sa Mindanao?” Hindi, hindi… I don’t want to insult them. But this will conduct the debriefer everyday. There’s always a bomb everyday exploding in Mindanao.

And baka nakalimutan ng mga tao diyan na mas bright. For example si De Lima, na bakit daw ‘yung ibang lugar? She forgot that Davao City suffered an explosion killing so many people.

Those are really the pocket wars and they are fundamentally IS, ISIS. So hindi mo ma-control ‘to, just because the war has — it’s about to be terminated. Akala nila safe na ang Mindanao.

And I suggest that they transfer here. Dito sila magtira ng bahay o patirahan ko sila ng mga bahay na kilala ko, nagsialisan. And they should know how it is dangerous.

And the retaliatory moves of the ISIS, better keep watch. I’m not saying that it’s happening, but it will happen in the near future because of the inroads of ISIS into Mindanao.

Q: Thank you po, President.

Q: Tanong ko po. Ano pong hakbang ang gagawin ng gobyerno patungkol sa ulat na namigay daw ng supply umano ng mga baril ang MILF at MNLF sa ISIS Maute sa Marawi City? Hindi po ba ito makakaapekto sa usaping pangkapayapaan ng gobyerno sa pagitan ng dalawang grupo Mr. President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: That is the first time that I have heard of that statement. I’m going to talk to the…

The BBL tapos na. And the MI will give it to me, I will sign it doon sa Eid’l Fitr.

But mabuti doon mag-prankahan. It’s time to be candid and to be brutally frank. Ano ba ito? Is this a — this document would be the floodgate of peace in the land of Mindanao?

Si Nur wala pa. I’m waiting for Nur. But Nur is not fighting government anymore. Ang MI lang is we made a promise that it would be on time. And sa Eid’l Fitr we’ll meet in Malacañan.

And if I find things in order, I will sign it. And wait for the document, the formal one and I’ll send it to Congress.

The only way that we can achieve peace in Mindanao is we go federalism. ‘Yun lang ang hiningi ni Murad at ni Nur. At bakit naman hindi natin ibigay if it will save the country, prevent the breakage of Mindanao?

Tutal alam naman natin talaga na the Moro people has been also deprived of their ancestral rights. Mindanao was long before Magellan was already Islam.

Kaya lang, the nearest is about three hours,

‘yung Dumaguete, Dipolog? And from Cebu it’s only one night? And ‘yung naka-eskapo doon, they would begin to sow terror.

So ang sabi ko noon, ang habeas corpus, because I won’t have the time to go to the courts.

If some of the terrorists are there, kailangan ko silang pickupin (pick up) kaagad and then find out if they are really a threat. If not, then we will release them immediately.

But if they are confirmed terrorists, I do not have the time to apply for a judicial warrant or a warrant of arrest, just because we cannot agree with each other.

Q: Thank you so much, Mr. President.

Q: Maayong gabii Mr. President. Gem Avanceña po, TV 5.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Dumating ka dito? Ang layo mo. Para chismis dito.

Q: Abot giay Zamboanga. Mr. President, marami pong nag-react last time doon sa sinabi niyo na once magde-declare po kayo ulit ng martial law magiging “copycat” po ito ‘nong martial law ng—?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Future tense ‘yun. Future tense. It’s past, present, perfect future.

Ang martial law ngayon nandito na. Whether or not I expand it to cover the entire the Philippines is something else.

And at this time, it is not called for. The mechanism of the habeas corpus is to prevent the terrorists to gain a foothold in the Visayas. Kasi mas doble na ang sakit.

Do not ever believe na ang lahat ng nasa ano diyan ISIS. ISIS is everywhere. I think that the original peg by the Indonesian government, lahat-lahat na siguro ‘yan, mga 1,200 operatives of…

I’ll be talking to Widodo tomorrow. So he will ask [inaudible]. He will ask questions and I have so many questions for him. Kasi ang karamihan yata diyan na foreigners is mga Indonesians.

Q: So, marami po kasing nagre-react doon sa sinabi niyo na copy —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: It’s provided for any president. It is a power inherent in the Office of the President. Marcos decided to declare martial law and he had his reasons.

And mine is Zamboanga, Davao, international airport sa Davao, pantalan, pati simbahan… These guys in ah… They really do not know what they’re supposed to do.

Basta’t okay lang kaharap ang media, ganoon, nandiyan kayo, kung anu-anong pinagdaldal.

Si De Lima, sabi niya, magsabi ako totoo kung saan ako ng dalawang araw. Sabi niya, “I should not lie to the nation”.

Si De Lima is only interested to hear my dying or death. She does not care if I live. Ang hinihintay lang niyan sabihin na namatay na si Duterte. Mag-ambak-ambak ‘yan doon sa selda niya.

Si Pangilinan also. What they really care if I die today or tomorrow? If I get sick or tired? Your only interest is to know where I am and whether or not I am dying or dead?

Hindi ako bilib na concerned ka sa akin, Kiko. I should not bare all. Bakit ako [maghubad?]? And I have my reasons in travelling incognito kasi I wanted to talk to people, maka-travel ako as — ah, hindi halata sa media, ganoon. Tatlo lang, apat, including the driver.

Ngayon — oh ngayon, magtanong kayo ha? [inaudible]. Hindi ninyo malaman, ngayon gusto niyo ng tanungin. Eh ‘di hindi na ako nag-incognito. I had a talk with somebody.

Q: Good evening, sir. Clarification lang, sir. ‘Yung pipirmahan niyo po sa Monday, you mean certification of the BBL as urgent, no? Tama ba?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No. We have all the time. It will be — it will not be urgent.

But I am waiting for the document because I have to review it. And I have to point out to them that ‘yung mga provisions that have to wait for an amendment in the Constitution and those who are doable now.

Q: Sir, short lang, sir. I would like to take up on your point na one of these days, you said, “they will conduct bombings”. What did you mean by this, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Itong IS, I’m not talking of anybody else.

Q: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Itong terrorism. I’m sure that you have been viewing CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera sa Middle East. Ganyan ‘yan.

Q: Mindanao, sir, or other places?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, it could start in Mindanao. Kasi diyan sila ano ah… There are a lot of motions there.

And I just hope that the Moro people would not, you know, do not take it as a hook, line, and sinker.

Q: So, sir, are we doing something about it, sir, the threat?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Me, I said, “I will deal with them harshly”.

During the elections, campaign, I was asked, “How do you — ” “How would you deal with the terrorists?” And my answer was, “Harshly.”

Q: Sige, sir. Thank you for the answer.


Q: Ang nakuha na pong report, sir, AMLC has already frozen the accounts of the Maute family. Murag sila ang ga-finance dito sa… Are you happy with this and how does it affect the — your operation? Does it help?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am happy that we have an added income. Hindi ko man isasauli sa kanila ‘yan. ‘Yun ‘yung kita nila.

For about two to three years shabu, malakas talaga ang… Kaya lang nobody was there ready to invade kasi ayaw natin na, you know, kung maaari lang.

But alam mo sa dito, in all of the raids sa shabu factory sa Mindanao, mas marami ang sundalo na namatay kaysa pulis.

Sabi kasi nila, droga — they tend to — they are prone to belittle the problem. Pero lahat ng ni-raid dito ng pulis pati Army, the Army was needed because ang kaharap nila mga machine guns pati mortars.

It goes to show that there was really a serious business of shabu. And that money sa Maute, sobra-sobra man ‘yan were used by the Maute to finance the terrorism here — ‘yung mga terrorista na naghintay na lang ng lider and they had to invite Hapilon because ang order ni Baghdadi, patay na rin siya, binomba ng Russia, ng guided cruise missile. Siya ‘yung nagsabi na…

Noong nagkaroon na sila ng [inaudible] parang lider, “emir”, pumunta dito sa Mindanao to start the… Noong isang taon pa, mahirap nang pasukin ang ano — ang Marawi.

You don’t invade it with men. Pulpugin mo talaga ng bomba ‘yan. Two or three years back, lahat ng buildings doon may mortar, machine gun na.

Ang losses ko siguro mag-abot ng thousand. And I will not… Hindi ko ipasubo ‘yung sundalo diyan. If I have to bomb the — if I have to flatten the place, I will do it. And I will take full responsibility for it. I will order the bombing ‘yung carpet na, carpet ah… Sisirain ko talaga lahat.

But I said I have apologized to the Maranao, for those who died unnecessarily, and for the loss of properties and those who said that they are… Humihingi ako ng tawad sa inyo.

At gagawin ko talaga ‘yan because I have a bigger responsibility and that is to the Republic of the Philippines.

— END —