Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Turnover Ceremony on China’s Urgent Military Assistance Gratis to the Philippines
Clark Airbase, Air Force City, Clark Field, Angeles City, Pampanga
28 June 2017
His Excellency Zhao Jianhua, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; General Arthur Tabaquero; General Eduardo Año and the major service commanders; the officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and of the Philippine National Police; honored guests; my co-workers in government; my beloved countrymen.

I have a prepared speech. It’s only two pages but I think that I may opt to add more to this just to show what is in my heart.

When I first visited China in October 2016, our governments agreed for the need to address the emerging threat of terrorism and piracy in Mindanao.

Beijing expressed willingness to unconditionally help the Philippines. I saw this as a sign of goodwill on the part of our friends so I accepted their offer.

Seven months after my visit, terrorist groups advocating the Daesh ideology launched a rebellion in Marawi City.

Our troops valiantly fought to retake the city. China reiterated its offer to help.

As a result, our governments formally entered into two agreements where China committed to turnover 590 million pesos worth of military equipment to help in our campaign against ISIS-inspired terrorist holding up in Marawi.

To Ambassador Zhao, please relate our sincerest thanks to President Xi Jinping and the government of the People’s Republic of China for its military aid package I will receive today in behalf of the Philippine government.

This is not only to strengthen our country’s commitment to support each other during times of need, but also highlights the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations.

As our troops wrap up our operation against the remaining terrorists in Marawi, I also welcome our international partners into looking forward to rebuilding this city.

This invitation extends to our allies who share with us the principles of goodwill and non-interference in our domestic affairs.

Through the unrelenting efforts of the brave men and women of the AFP and PNP and the assistance of our friends and allies, I am confident that we can end this dark episode and move on to restoring peace and order throughout Mindanao.

You know, we are fighting an enemy without or whose bankruptcy in their mind and heart is very clear.

They have no objective, no ideology, not even relating to any supernatural or to God or at least to the fellow human beings but their main task is just to destroy and kill and we are in a very dangerous situation.

If you remember during the campaign, I was repeating the line about terrorism. And in my campaign, I did not fail to mention in every place where I went to campaign to talk about terrorism.

I am not trying to pull my own chair but during my first command conference with the AFP and PNP, I specifically mentioned the drug problem.

But more than that, they would remember that I said, there lies ahead a looming dark clouds of crisis and that is the coming of the ISIS terrorism.

Being from Mindanao and having relatives in Lanao del Sur and Marawi, my cousins there would time and again tell me that there was a buildup of men but I never thought until now I could not comprehend why they were able to stockpile so many ammunitions and guns.

But during the last, about — for the last four months, in my talk to the public, I would always say: “Do no force my hand into it. I do not want to declare martial law but if I have to, I will.”

Because I was quite already aware of what was happening on the ground. Though I did not specifically mention, just to avoid, you know, creating panic or anxiety among our people.

But I was very sure that trouble was coming. And for this unbelieving, especially the human rights, I told them and everybody, that drugs was overflowing and produced in Marawi in excess of numbers and could even make everybody in this country an addict.

The abundant supply gave me the idea that it was drugs which was partly fuelling the insurrection.

Alam ko, sabi ko na pati ‘yung mga civilian pinapatukan ninyo and everybody crazy with drugs will just slaughter a family or the passersby along the highway of Marawi and Lanao del Sur.

Hindi masyado because the kind of tolerance, lalo na itong mga taga-Maynila, hindi nila maanong sa Mindanao, they just think that it’s just a fight and ano — running after and fighting. But they don’t just realize really the gravity of the situation.

So, in the… My second trip to China where I was invited courtesy of President Xi Jinping, I had a last-minute talk before I took off and in the presence of His Excellency, the Ambassador, I said that, “I would need your help in the coming days.” And he said, “We are ready. What do you need?” “Maybe, firearms because I have heard that the police is short of the rifles.” And I said, “I would need to rearm and maybe new ones because of the age of the M16s that we have because of its constant use and firing, the balls are already loose and the rifling practically nil to nothing and it could not shoot accurately by this time. And so I would need a new one, a new rifling to guide the bullet to its direction”.

Sinabi ko kailangan ko ng… It’s a simple rebellion actually. I would not… Maybe the howitzers from time to time. But rebellion is just a hide and seek game. And 300, just like in Marawi, 400 people can create a chaos.

So sabi ko, “I would need more arms”. And true enough to his word, President Xi Jinping and China, and with the assurance of His Excellency the Ambassador assured me that the arms would be coming shortly. And I was glad when I was informed a few weeks ago that it was on its way here.

Mr. Ambassador, please accept my gratitude in behalf of the Filipino people.

So itong ISIS, walang redeeming factor ‘to. It is not part of the Geneva Convention. It does not have established rules of fighting and all they do is just to kill and destroy and killing in a most brutal way.

They enjoy decapitating people in front of cameras. They have to be dealt with, with the same ferocity but not the brutality.

We do not decapitate. We do not hang people. All we need is one shot and if he goes down, that’s it.

We cannot do the things that they are doing because we are supposed to be a Republic, a democracy, and a member of the United Nations, and there are rules to be observed.

Pero ako, sinabi ko, “If you are there in Marawi and you are holding a gun, and you are not a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National Police, you will be shot to death.” That is my order.

Because if not, then you’ll have… If you can escape, you’ll come back one day to plunder again maybe this time, in another part of Mindanao.

I will not be part of any cruelty or brutality but we will have the ferocity to defend our values of democracy and our sovereignty. That I can assure the enemies of the state.

Itong ISIS, wala talaga itong [what’s the word?] no redeeming factor. Nasabi mo may maiwan ka na, “huwag naman ito kasi kawawa.” Wala. Because when they are in the line of fire and you are aligned with the sights, they will just kill you. Kill as many.

And you know, I declared martial law because I was in Moscow at that time with the Chief of Staff and the Defense Secretary, and most of —marami. When they said that it was “critical” — critical to me is critical. And to save lives because it was a siege, there was a siege. And to save lives, I declared martial law in Moscow. But I sent my original copy to — via electronic. At sinabi ko, “It’s time. Sinabi ko sa inyo huwag ninyo akong pilitin but if you force my hand into it, then that’s it.”

Now, the next question is, “Kailan matapos ‘ to? When will Duterte lift the martial law?”

I am not a soldier, I am not a field worker, I do not go around. As a matter of fact, I cannot go to places where I want to go because the military constricts my movement.

So the persons or the organizations who advised me of the need for immediate action — Dela Rosa was there of the PNP, Lorenzana, Año, and the rest of the commanders said, “You have to take.” Hindi sinabi sa akin martial law. “But you have to take a strong action on this, Mr. President.”

One of the things that is really an option to deal with violence is martial law. So I declared martial law.

Ngayon, “Sir, kailan matapos ‘to?” I said, “I am not a census taker. I do not study what’s happening on the field so I’ll have to ask the people who asked me to do something about it”. So it would be the Armed Forces, Lorenzana, and the PNP.

For as long as they say, “It is not safe for anybody and everybody,” then martial law will continue to exist in Marawi and maybe in some parts of the Visayas if there is a spillover.

Mahirap kasi ‘yung… You know, the drugs scene before, I identified na Iloilo as the bedrock of drugs. Kaya pala because they were exporting most of the drugs to Iloilo, kay Odicta; and dito sa Eastern Mindanao, si Albuera mayor.

Ngayon, there’s a case against the police allegedly for murdering him. And may I now tell you, the police and the military men here that I will never, never ever allow a policeman or a military man going to prison for doing his duty.

That was my order. Everything that happens now is in accordance with my order to declare martial law. And I and I alone will go to prison and answer for the things that happens now and in the coming days.

Hindi ako papayag na ‘yung mga tao ko namamatay na nga everyday. You just don’t know my grief. Alam mo bakit nasasaktan ako more than anybody else? Ako kasi ‘yung nag-utos eh. “Go there and fight, I’m declaring martial law.”

Sometimes a question of not really guilt but the burden is really very heavy. Kaya saputon ko karon and I… But I have to read the briefer because I have to be informed of what’s happening.

Iyan ang gusto kong sabihin sa inyo kasi ang pinakanasasaktan, ako. Kasi ako ang nag-utos nitong away na ‘to.

So that is why out of maybe my sense of grief, I have ordered the presidential planes to be used in carrying or conveying the wounded soldiers from the battlefields in Lanao papuntang Maynila.

And you can rest assured that you will have the best of everything. I do not want to castigate the establishment but I was really appalled when I became President.

And so more than ever, you have all the equipment that you need now. And kanina lang, nagalit ako kasi it was about three months after I assumed office that I went to the AFP V. Luna. At tinitignan ko ‘yung mga equipment, wala. Sabi ko, “Meron ba kayo nito?” “Wala, wala.”

So since I was with General Esperon and General Lorenzana, nandoon si Diokno, the Budget officer. Sabi ko, “May pera?” Sabi niya, “Meron.” And he nodded and so inorder ko.

Would you believe it, hanggang ngayon, ngayon lang nabili, may winning bid, may protesta.

Alam mo, ‘yan ang sakit ng Pilipino. Itong mga p***** i**** ‘to. Alam mo kung bakit? Karamihan ‘yan binibili na madalian, kung sino ‘yung manalo, file-an nila ng kaso. So there would be delay. Until ‘yung winning bidder makiusap doon sa nag-protesta at sabihin niya, “Bigyan na lang kita, i-withdraw mo.” Negosyo ’yan kasali na ang mga huwes.

Kaya I’m addressing also myself to the judges: Do not f*** with me. Matagal na ninyong ginagawa ‘yan kaya ang gobyerno ‘yung mga project na-paralyze.

You know guys sa judiciary, kayong mga judges, ‘pag ang bidding regular, nandiyan naman lahat at wala namang — kung presyo lang, at titignan mo kung bakit…

You know, you can — the b***s*** paper there.
Huwag kayong makialam. ‘Cause every time you issue TRO, you delay the project and you are part of the graft and corruption that is going on still.

I am about to fire somebody from here. If it is proven that… Kung humingi siya ng pera, may opisyal dito na tatanggalin ko. In a few days, I’ll fire him.

Sinabi ko sa inyo, you avoid — magkasala na kayo nang magkasala — you avoid graft and corruption because that is the very thing that has pulled us down all throughout the years.

Kaya hindi tayo umaasenso, kasi puro magnanakaw ang nandiyan sa gobyerno halos. Lalo na diyan sa baba, kayong mga director, I will not hesitate to fire you, even if you have been there for the last 25 years.

Avoid corruption during my time because I will never countenance it. Huwag ninyong gawain talaga sa panahon ko, uupakan ko kayo. Baka ‘yan pang baril ibaril ko sa inyo. Mga y*** kayo.

Do not do it. And the courts, sa mga judges, I am not warning you. I’m just saying that, alam ko ‘yung racket. Huwag kayong sumali diyan.

Wala kayong pakialam. Lahat naman, sige, TRO, TRO. Baka puntahan kita sa opisina mo, sipain kita, totoo lang. And I have done that when I was mayor. May sinipa talaga ako na huwes.

So, mabuti maklaro tayo dito. Because, you know, here we are. We are almost on bended knees sometimes because of lack of equipment. Mabuti’t na lang may kaibigan tayong China, who’s very understanding. Wala namang ginawa sa atin. Wala naman — wala naman silang, you know… It was about the komunista party, it was the boogeyman ‘yung ano…
But China never really… Except for that karagatan, which was via — Vietnam ‘yun. That was the only importation that I can really say na galing sa labas.

But China had nothing to do with it. And I believe in its sincerity and I welcome… Someday, I have to go back and…

Nagsabi kayo, saan ako nagpunta nung… Eh, may mga lakad ako na hindi ninyo dapat malaman. Pagkatapos na siguro. When I am through with this job, then I’ll tell you everything.

There are things that I have to do, which are not good for everybody to know. ‘Yan lang ang explanation ko ngayon muna.

But you will know, I am not the kind of person that would spend money unnecessarily. Wala ako. I do not want to travel because I am old. Hindi ko kaya ‘yang jet lag.

So kapag sinabi ko na masakit ang ulo ko… Huwag kayo maniwala diyan kay Tatad na I’m in coma. Kama pa siguro. Itong Tatad na ito, walang ginawa kung hindi magsa— maghanap ng sakit sa katawan ko. ‘Yung b***g niya na lumaki, hindi niya pinaliit ‘yan. Ewan ko kung gusto niya paoperahan ‘yan. I think the guy has a venereal disease.

Iyan ho ang masasabi ko sa inyo.

Again, I pray to God that this fight will be short and depending on what the Armed Forces and police would say. If they say… Makita naman natin if it is already safe for everybody.

We do not have to worry about killings of innocent people. Then maybe, I will ask them, and I would maybe say, “Is it time to lift?” But until then, martial law will remain.

Maraming salamat po.