Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterteduring the Department of Agriculture (DA) Event
Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
07 March 2017

Kindly sit down.

You know I just… Maupo po kayo. Salamat.

I just came from an overtime meeting with the Minister of Commerce of China and he brought with him a windfall actually, and he was talking about the springtime relations between our two countries and I responded by saying it was a long, hard winter for all.

And so I told him that I made the correct decision to follow just an independent neutral policy and pursue where our destiny would lie.

I also told him that, you know, we are in Asia, far from the maddening crowd of Europe, it’s too far away the Western powers should be worrying about us. Sabi ko, ang swerte natin nandito sa Asia and since China is the leading industrial power, we’ll have to ally with them in trade and commerce and eventually improve on the bilateral relations and come out with a vibrant economy.

I’m very positive about the… Meron akong prepared speech. Eh kung gusto ninyo, in about one and a half minutes, tapos o, there’s the thank you but Ma’am Cynthia would not like that. He would want me to inform you really of what’s in my mind.

He just brought in…[Pila gani ‘to?] [How much is that again?] One billion dollars, agri products, they’re coming next month and they have scheduled something like 10 billion for the present — o ‘yung ano, 10 billion dollars all-in-all, hopefully coming our way.

It had to take the Minister of Commerce of China to tell us frankly that they are the ones in a hurry and if you are ready with your plans and documents, we’ll be glad to come to you the next day.

So it behooves upon the technocrats, the bright boys of the — this government to just also keep up with the challenges of the times and respond it with a — in a jiffy.

Kasi ‘yung tao, nagdadala na ng pera, meron pa silang mga proposals and it could make Secretary Piñol happy that our export products to date has doubled. Talagang nagdodoble lahat, on all fronts —[applause] pineapple. And they’re buying even the avocados kaya if you have some, a few hectares, itanim na lang ninyo ‘yan because well, avocado has long been to be a very nutritious — ‘yan ang bagong craze ngayon, avocado.

Alam mo, I was rattled off with so many figures, nakalimutan ko na tuloy kayo kasi sabi ko we have to… Basahin ko na lang ‘to.  Ang puro dito yuan pati dollars eh. I… I am not into multi-tasking anymore. Narinig ko na lang ‘yung dollars, ayaw ko nang umalis. I might, you know just, baka sabihin, o baka early signs na ito ah. 

But for the prepared speech, which I said just also to give justice to the guy who spent — [laughter]

In a rapidly evolving environment full of technological advancements, we should not forget to nurture the agricultural sector.

It is, after all, considered as the backbone of economy. It forms the basis for food and nutrition security and provides the raw materials for industrialization. Iyon na iyon pati ‘yung piña mo.

These are important factors that allow progress to take place in the society.

Let me express my heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan awards. Your efforts to safeguard marine sanctuaries, keep coastal waters garbage free and rehabilitate mangrove areas will have a significant impact in the pursuit towards sustainable fisheries development. Let me cut dito. Mag-ad lib ako.

You know, you just cannot ignore also the cries of Gina Lopez. I know that we get something like 70 billion in taxes sa mining. But you should also allow Gina to present her case. And I would like to ask Congress to… They are up sa Commission on Appointments, tingnan nilang mabuti and she would show you how devastated the environment is.

Ako, because I traveled in Mindanao and even during the campaign, so I was really, really flying low. And may mga eroplano na kagang-kagang. Hindi na makaakyat eh, hanggang diyan na lang, tree tops. But if you pass by Mindanao sa arterial highways, makikita mo rin ‘yung devastations ng — ‘yung parang tansan. Parang tansan na ‘yung binaligtad tapos inilagay doon sa taas ng bukid. Marami kasi ‘yan masyado.

It’s not because of the big mining guys, it includes every Tom, Dick and Harry there who wants to get rich. At kung may financier, they’ll go and just dig everywhere, just what happened in Diwalwal.

Now if you get some gold maybe minerals from a certain area there, eventually kung marami in small amounts, because gold is going up from the bowels of the earth, so magkakaroon tayo ng crisis talaga.

We have to I think come up with a code or a set of whatever, protocol of how to go about controlling mining. It’s not because we do not want people to earn. Sabi nga nila sa mga —

Let me address myself to — ‘yung sa Pilipino lang. Huwag na ‘yung mga foreign corporations, walang pakialam ‘yan kung saan tayo pupunta, just the average Filipino.

If you’d listen to Gina present her case, this is not a [inaudible] for her but you have to concede something also to the girl. Talagang nagtatrabaho and she has pointed out the so many factors that would eventually affect the environment of Mindanao.

We cannot be allowing diggings forever in the every nook and corner of the mountain ranges. It would spell disaster. Wala akong ano sa mining. Maybe if you follow the Australian or the Canadian protocols, how to extract. Open pit kasi lahat eh. And so there’s a — so many water basins there and it gets into the soil. And that is why kung every just intensity 1 or 2, because the soil was really loosened and the rocks, the water eats into — erodes into insides, talagang magla-landslide. Ang landslide pati ‘yung baha.

Now I want my country to earn so I’m not saying that I’m against mining per se, that I’m against big mining — far from that actually.

I know that we need the dollars but somehow we have to look at the other way, in a different perspective, kaya tignan ninyo.

She has a good case, Gina. And hopefully we can strike a happy compromise there but more I think, on the side of protecting the public interest.

That is how I look at it. Kaya ako hindi ako nakialam. Never, never.  Maraming tumatawag sa akin mga classmate ko, they wanted me to call Gina, I cannot do that.

For the life of me, I have never called any Cabinet member for any reason at all. I confront them in the Cabinet meetings but not ‘yung tawag-tawag. I do not even know the number of… Ang alam ko lang na number, nawala naman ‘yun eh, na-delete na, dinelete mo ako sa buhay mo. [laughter] Well, you are a distraction. [laughter] Na, hindi, biro lang ‘yan.

Kaya nga sabi ko, I’m not into [inaudible] because I’ve been listening to the numbers rattled off by the Minister of Commerce and it makes me happy. And if sabi ko, magdating ‘yan, we’re all right, I would say for the next few years.

All we have to do is just to dialogue with them and follow their, whatever their — kung anong gusto nila.

But let me also tell you that frankly, I have told the Chinese point blank that there will be a time…Nandiyan si Sir Ben. Sa lahat ng Cabinet member nagsi-sir ako kay Sir Ben. I address him “Sir Ben” because I was around when so many past administration kumukuha ng budget, luhod-luhod ka doon. So I get to say, “Sir, sir.”

Nasanay na ako, now that he works for me, ako ang nagsi-sir sa kanya. Ganun talaga ang buhay [laughter] Tama talaga si ano, tama si Erap, “weather weather lang.” [laughter] Talaga totoo.

The imponderables of life especially Philippine politics do not make endless conclusions kasi it can go either way. That what makes…But that what defines our country actually.

Ganun  ang ibinigay ng Diyos sa atin. So those are the few words and which I would like to thank again the Chinese government for the dala-dala na…And even in Surigao, they have allotted some funding for the rehabilitation of Surigao. Iyong tinamaan, ‘no? One million dollars? Malaking tulong, mayaman eh, rich.

So may I continue just to do justice also. This is all about agriculture. These steps are crucial in building the foundation for sustainable coastal management and help in mitigating the effects of climate change.

I hope that this recognition will inspire you even more to remain steadfast in your advocacy to protect and conserve our coastal communities. My warm gratitude to the guys who are there and who have received the awards this afternoon. 

As much as we are happy that local communities are becoming proactive in preserving our coastal areas, there are still those who push for their own selfish agendas without regard for its effects on the environment and to the locality.

I am telling you now: We will not tolerate corruption in any form. So, let this serve as a caution to local officials who still condone illegal fishing activities in your areas. Stop now or suffer the consequences. [applause] 

Hindi pa kasi ako nagwala eh. But you know, the…I would like also to give just a…I will put them on notice, I’m not fond of giving warnings.

In some areas in Mindanao there’s a near anarchy in the sense that they just throw grenades there at houses and whatever. Kalaban o galit ka and up to Zamboanga.

So may I just plead to you, for those local officials who are in governance, kindly make use of the powers of government to restore order.

Kagaya ng sa Zamboanga. Bakit mo EID? Bakit mo granadahin ‘yung mga eskwelahan in Marawi and in some areas in Davao itself? Not only in the Moro areas but in all including the unabated manufactures of shabu.

Doon kasi baka hindi talaga alam ninyo, iyong namamatay doon ngayon sobra na — I said 32. But if you really count the incidents kasi ‘yung pulis hindi naman nila kaya na sila lang whenever they raid a shabu factory, they always go in numbers at ang kaharap nila doon hindi Armalite, it’s an M16 machine gun, magkabilaan ‘yan.

So, invariably it results in the death of government forces. And, of course, ‘yung extrajudicial killing would indicate to you how it is.

I have lost about…Eh kasi ang central Mindanao ‘pag ka ano — what’s fueling there is actually drugs. Drugs, because it’s funding the terrorism activities.

At kung hindi kaya ng mga mayors doon, then I would say, I will deprive you or take away your authority to supervise the police.

Kasi hindi mo naman kailangan, wala naman nangyayari. And there are a lot of… You know, there is really a total — in some areas total breakdown of peace and order. Ke magdaan lang diyan, three weeks ago isang pamilya na Moro dumaan lang tapos nirat-rat na. Iyong ganun na kalokohan na. For any, whatever reason, eskuwelahan bobombahan mo. It’s happening in all areas in the Philippines.

The drug war, they are continuing in Samar, Leyte sila-sila na doon. Sabi ko, ‘Hayaan mo na muna. Let them kill each other at tatapusin na lang natin ‘yung naiwan.’

Kasi ikaw ang pasangilan ana. Ikaw ang ano bang pasangilan sa Tagalog? Y***.  Ah pagbintangan na naman dahil nagpatong na ‘yung…

Sabi ko, ‘Hayaan mo na muna. Let them fight each other.’ It’s the turf now, it’s the market.

Do you know why mahirap ngayon? Do you know why it is really very hard to confront criminality now? Ganito ‘yan eh. 

It’s always the fear of the law that stops someone or somebody from committing a crime or do a wrong. Ganun ‘yan. Tayo sa panahon natin, we are always admonished to obey the law even the mere ordinances of the city.

But what prompted the change of the criminal mind was not really criminal on the onset. Drugs. Dito nag-umpisa ‘yan sa Maynila about six years ago. Dito nag-umpisa kasi dito sa droga, ‘pag nagbangag ka, you no longer have the notions of what is right and wrong. Iyan ang nakaproblem diyan.

So, you know, the fear of the law is gone. The fear of being encountered by peace officers wala na kasi ‘yung right and wrong wala na eh.

That is why you see heinous crimes committed in thy name. Kita mo pati mga bata, lahat. ‘Pag na-pick up lang nila diyan sa daan, street children wala na. The next time nandoon na sa isang kanto warak na ang katawan, patay.

Iyan ang mahirap because the shabu not only makes you crazy because the immediate effect of shabu shrinks your brain. So if you are left with 4 million shrunk brains, how do you cope up?

Iyan ang problema sa lahat. It’s not about extrajudicial killing for after all I have declared war. And so those who were killed in legitimate police operations or are victims of excessive force, I will answer for it. And they can file a case against me anytime.

Kung ‘yung sila-sila nagaaway early on, sila ‘yung sa nagaagawan ng turf nila just like Latin America, do not blame it on us.

I am ready to go to jail for the right reason. Walang question ‘yan. Ako ang nag-utos: Go out and hunt for them because really the instruction all the way since my Davao days, arrest them if it’s still possible, but if they present a violent resistance and placing your life in jeopardy, kill them. Iyon ang sinabi ko. And I will not take it back, nandiyan na ‘yan eh.

Sa Davao pati dito na kung maraming patay… Kasi noon walang pulis nagta-trabaho. Kasi it has become a favorite leverage na ‘pag nademanda ka ang pulis even the — ‘pag sabihin mo after the raid, they would claim may nawala, may ganun then they file charges.

Alam mo ang pulis once they are suspended, once they are charged, they have nothing to eat. Alam ba ninyo iyan? Wala na silang pagkain. Kaya takot ang pulis. Ngayon bakit? Well, look at the situation before I came in, who were dying? Sino ang namamatay? Sino ang biktima? Eh ‘di ‘yung mga inosenteng mga estudyante mga bata.

Ngayon sabihin, sino ngayon ang namatay? Eh di sila. And so? ‘Pag nagtrabaho ang pulis kaya hindi takot kasi sabi ko, ‘I will answer for you. Just do your job. Along the way you may commit some mistakes I will answer for you.’ Collateral damage, tinamaan ‘yung bata, I will answer for it because ako ‘yung nag-utos.

Pero ‘yung sabihin mo na lahat na lang ng patay diyan pati ‘yung namatay ng malaria akin, kalokohan iyan. I said I am going to…I can go to prison for the right reason, for the right…Iyong ginawa ko. Sino ba namang…? Sabihin mo naabutan mo nakatalikod. Nadis-distract ako, you close your legs.] [laughs] [Nationalize TV ‘no. Nakikinig ra ba ang papa mo.] Huwag na tayo diyan sa droga.

No one should be left behind in our journey to progress and self-sufficiency. Remember that we must prioritize the welfare of the disadvantaged and the marginalized.

Well, ayaw ninyong maniwala o maniwala kayo basta this government is for the poor. Iyong mga…Hindi na ninyo kailangan ng presidency. You did not need the intervention of the President. Kaya na ninyong whatever — it could be safety or…

So, let us work together to empower our farmers and fisherfolk in order to achieve our goals of a bountiful Philippines.

Alam mo sa totoo lang I was never wrong in choosing si Secretary Piñol. He comes from a farming hometown. M’lang. Iyon ‘yung mga…Ang una kasing pumasok sa Mindanao almost Visayans. But they settle sa mga progressive places. Then came the next batch pero ang nauna ‘yung mga Ilokano because of the land.

Tingnan mo ‘yung probinsiya North Cotabato, someday it will be richer, far more richer than Davao. Iyong sa bukid makikita mo ‘yung mga simple na mga chalet pero may swimming pool ha.

And if the Ilokanos are there you can see up to the top of the mountain may rubber tree. Pero kung magtingin ka dito… Kasi minsan nawala ang chopper ko na weather kami eh so we could not get out of the thick clouds. So ang sabi ko sa piloto Ilokano rin, sundalo, sabi ko, “Mag-land ka na lang dito.” Alam mo, “Congressman, saan tayo?” Tabi kami ng NPA, wala man. Mamaya may mga bata sumasalubong sa chopper ‘nung pag-landing sabi ng mga chopperrrrr, chopperrrrrrrr sabi ko North Cotabato tayo. Chopperrrr [laughter]

Iyon ang constituents niya eh. Kaya kayong mga Ilokano huwag kayong mainsulto. My grandson, oo may dalawa nga pala ako are all Ilokanos. Do not be offended. It’s not a joke, it’s true.

So ‘yung by the twang. Bisaya naman is iba “Ladies and Gentlemen” [laughter] The next one here is from [inaudible]… [laughter] Bisaya, huwag kayong ma… Mga bisaya hoy huwag kayong maano ha Cebuano ako, Mindanao.

So that one day in the not so distant future, no Filipino should ever go hungry.

I’ve taken much of your time. I’d like to thank you for your presence and I appreciate how you responded to the programs of government.

Sabi ko, we have a very good Agriculture Secretary. Alam ko yan. Marunong eh. [applause] He knows agriculture from A to Z, fingertips niya ‘yan. 

Dito sa Presidente iba, DDS… [laughs] Now, if you really ask nandiyan ‘yan sila I am not into excuses, no apologies, pero they should learn more about DDS. It was organized to combat the — ‘yung Sparrow noon sa Davao.

And you can ask the people, the old guys there. It was then known as the DDS sa Martial Law. Iyong nagbabanatan ‘yung Sparrow pati…

But anyway rather than sound to be apologizing for I will answer for my misdeeds and I can go to — I can rot in prison for the right accusation. Huwag naman ‘yang basta itapon mo na lang.

So we have these innovations and again we thank the good Secretary for a job well done. 

Salamat po.