Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Opening Ceremony of the 31st Biennial Convention of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII)
SMX Convention Center Function Room 5
24 March 2017

Kindly sit down. Salamat po.

I have just three pages of speech. I could, from experience, be through after two minutes and a half, then I shall bid goodbye to you all.

But, well it’s a good piece actually. It says about the 6.8 growth of our GDP. And mga chika-chika lang just to—I’d rather talk about what ails this country and how we are suffering from it.

But I’d like to greet first mga importanteng tao. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, ma’am; [applause] Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and the other members of the Cabinet; excellencies of the diplomatic corps; Mr. Angel Ngu, President, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the honorary president, officials and members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry; members of the business community; fellow workers in government; my beloved countrymen.

Let me talk about governance and how you can improve on it. I became mayor in the City of Davao in 1988. And it was at that time, the lifting of the Martial Law and Cory Aquino winning the presidency and we were at the crossroads of our national life.

I was taken out of my job then as prosecutor and was appointed OIC Vice Mayor of Davao City but only for the reason that my mother refused the position.

She also excused herself and wala na silang makita. Pimentel and the rest at that time were, hindi naman desperate but were in a quandary who would replace because Cory Aquino was already there.

Kinuha nila ko. Sabi ko, well pantakip butas ako fine, but I do not want to be in politics. And if you really want to repay my mother and my family for going out for President Aquino at that time— My mother was one of the founding members of the Yellow Friday and she used to strut there with about two or three persons only at the early days of Martial Law.

So that when liberation came, they wanted her in government but she refused and I was asked to take her place. And I said that, maybe if you really want to repay us or my mother’s sacrifice.

But I also tried to resign from my prosecutorship, but it was denied by my chief three times because it was becoming an incongruity that I was in government and my mother was really attacking everybody then. Parang sa, ‘yung Yellow Friday.

So I said, I will take that position but after that, you may want to appoint me sa Sandigan because that was really my dream, to be a Sandigan judge.

But as faith would have it, I quarreled with the acting mayor also over an appropriation of money for the celebration of Araw ng Dabaw which was pegged at one million two and we had little money then, was about, that was, what remained in the coffers was only about six million plus.

So I objected. I said I could go with 500,000 but that’s too expensive. We are not in a position to waste that kind of money now. And the mayor got offended and started a ruckus.

So while things would run differently, kung may away and I was, I found myself found running for the mayorship of Davao City in 1988.

And to the last day of last year, I was still Mayor and that was my 23rd year as mayor of Davao City, minus of course my being a congressman at that time and as vice mayor to my daughter when I could not run for the fourth time.

So ang nakita ko talaga, I have to go into the basics. Huwag na lang tayo ‘yung mga economic theory because ang template ko kasi sa Davao… Davao, I controlled crime.

Most important thing is that there has to be law and order. I hold it as an article of faith that no development would come to the Philippines, Manila, if everything is topsy-turvy.

When there is corruption and the place is with so many rats, criminal going, kidnapping people and even if the ransom was already paid, a lot of Filipino-Chinese here were kidnapped and nothing was heard from them all.

Mahirap ‘yan. That is a country really that is in anarchy and the drug was into the millions of victims. The original number given by General Santiago was three million.

In my few months, si Bato counted one million plus. I would take that number as is, maybe no incremental increase. But, somehow, I’ve said to myself, I could not succeed as President if there is disorder in the city, just like Davao.

So when I became Mayor there, I followed a hardline stance. And maraming namatay. I do not deny that, that in my order to the police to clean up the place and maybe, sabihin ninyo why there are so many killings against the police in Davao, well it’s because they work.

Hindi pwede sa akin ‘yang mag-sweldo ako ng police na tamad-tamaran. Either sabihin ko sa iyo, are you up to it or not? Because if you are not, then I could always ask for a replacement.

And I do not like policemen who are indolent and lazy. Kaya ko talaga sila pinapa—At alam mo kung bakit naman ayaw ng pulis mag-trabaho? Because of the cases that will be filed against them as a leverage.

‘Yan ang uso ngayon eh. Marami man kaming abogado dito. If there is a case filed against you, ang pinaka-magandang gawin is to file a case against the police for whatever reason: harassment, or you lost something during the search and seizure process.

And so ang pulis sa Pilipinas, naging inutil. Alam ninyo ‘yan. And instead of guarding the public, they were into guarding mga drug lords, pati civilian and politicians. That’s the problem.

They strut around as mayor as if they were drug lords also, enter into a place, may mga long arms, naka-uniporme. And so even the police working honestly, pag makita niya ‘yan na puro baril at tsaka mga importante, he could not even, he will retreat. That was the problem.

And most of the mayors, pag ka kilala and somebody would call na, the President and say, “Si mayor ganon tumawag, gusto niya palitan ‘yung pulis kasi hindi nagko-cooperate.” I cannot get a proper, you know, the ideal rapport between the mayor and the chief of police.

Now I won because I really do not know. Over my nearest competitor, I got about 6 million. Tanungin ko kayo: Bakit 6 million ang majority? You know wala akong pera. Maraming nagbigay sa inyo na hindi ko tinanggap. Not because hindi tayo kilala but for reasons of delicadeza but we are friends, I consider you close friends.

But somehow, I have to say no because ayaw ko gustong malagay in a very awkward position. I do not want that someday, I would have to lose something for you whether good or bad so it leaves a very bad taste in the mouth even just to mention it.

So ganito ‘yan. Hindi ninyo ako kilala. Most of you. Wala ring nagbigay masyado and I can understand that because ano, anong… what was my stature? I was a probinsyano coming in and everybody was a national figure. Though Binay was just a mayor but he was well-known because he was the mayor of Makati.

So what was my advantage? Well, I’ll tell you the secret now. Wala akong pera but ‘yung mga apat doon na kandidato, they were mounting so many issues but not the basic ones. They forgot to mention about Mindanao.

More than just the Panatag Shoal controversy, Mindanao is a powder keg. Pag hindi mo ito na-areglo, this will tear our country apart. Believe me.

I am telling you now that if you cannot give the Moro people at least a semblance of a federal type of government and allow them to control the areas they now occupy, we will have a continued war for all time. Believe me because ang lola ko, Maranao. Ang lolo ko, Chinese, mother side.

Ngayon, maniwala kayo. Kung ginagawa ko ang lahat, I have been talking to Misuari, I already talked with him yesterday. ‘Yung Bangsa— ‘yung MI, MN si Misuari. We are talking, we are crafting a sort of a preparatory document so that we can go into the process of proposing the federal structure.

Ako, ayaw ko. I want to remain just as a provincial region but everybody should know that long before Magellan landed in Leyte, Mindanao was a thriving province and part of the Sri Vijaya-Malay empire.

Kaya Jolo was never captured. Nobody went to Jolo. And ‘yung Mindanao, pinilit lang ng Espanyol, they were not successful except to put up the Fort Pilar, and the Americans did it by way of armed might.

So there were so many massacres in the process. Ang problema ng Amerikano, because they had the cameras, they took pictures of the pile of bodies with a soldier on his foot on top of the breast of a Moro woman. Nakuha ng Pilipino ito not in our libraries or archives. It was in the archives of the United States. Ginawa pa nila ‘yung postcard ‘yung mga patay na Moro.

So sabi nila, it was 100 years ago, long time. Cannot be. Because kung ano ‘yung ginawa, just like any other sect or tribe that was massacred by so many persons, ganon rin dito, that cannot be erased and there’s the proof because you see the pictures.

So ‘yan ang problema sa Mindanao. Historically, really an injustice was committed against the Moro people.

I’m not trying to be – dito ako sa gitna because my father is a Cebuano.

I’m just trying to be on the right side. Might be the wrong side but I believe it’s just, neutral ako and I’m trying to build the consensus, maybe faster this year so that we can get it.

I am suggesting the structure of France. It provides a strong president. Hindi pwede dito na without a president kasi we are an archipelago. So many islands, you must have a strong president. Few powers — power to declare war, power to whatever. In emergency, he rules.

But you can have a parliament like France but you have to have a president. Now, the presidency, the presidency will provide the election of the president. And I would tell you now: If they can hammer it out within the fourth or third year, para wala na lang gulo, I will step down as President of this Republic and allow the federal structure to bloom. Tanggapin na lang natin ‘yan. Pag hindi, magulo talaga.

Ang sabi ko, kung hindi nila ibigay, there is a possibility that there will be a breakage in this country. Hindi naman palugit ‘yang ano eh but I’m taking advantage of my term because I have a blood which mixes with the Mindanaoans.

So we have to have peace otherwise they cannot develop Mindanao but dito sa Maynila, it’s pure criminality, brigands, kidnappers pati ’yung mga droga.

Itong droga has affected 4 million Filipinos. It has reduced a number of Filipinos as slaves to a chemical to make the drug lord rich. ‘Yan ang problema. We have [unclear] slaves whose minds cannot work anymore.

Because the forensics of America says that if you use shabu six months to one year, your brain will shrink. And if it has already shrunk, then sabi nga, rehabilitation is no longer possible. So paano ‘yan?

And if you take a look at the previous records in the past, no particular administration, you will find out and we will give you the figures. Almost 77,000 drug-related cases all throughout the years.

And we never knew that narco-politics was already in. Forty percent of the barangay captains are into it and about 700 municipal mayors and a few city mayors.

‘Yung si Albuera, ‘yung sinabi nila sinalvage ng pulis diyan sa jail, was the one who was running the show. And I was really very surprised because Bohol is a very peaceful country or province. Take into account the Bohol tribe. They are the most peaceful and pacified. Ayaw ng gulo.

And yet I was surprised when I became mayor kasi ganon kalawak. When I was mayor, I knew that there was a problem of drugs and the peace and order of the community was affected.

But I said and I’d like to repeat it: I said, criminals, you go out of my city because if you destroy the economy and deprive us of our daily bread, I will kill you.

If you go… continue and destroy the youth of our land, our daughters and children— We are not rich. Someday, these guys, ang anak natin, our daughters, they will buy the oxygen for you when you are sick, when you are old. They will buy the medicines and they will spoon feed you for your porridge or lugaw.

That is how the Philippines would develop. Nobody is richer that can say, my savings, I can stay in the hospital three months complete with medical care and everything. After that I should die because that’s it. I would have exhausted my money. ‘Yan ang problema at hindi naintindihan nitong mga put– [laughter]

And they would say that 10,000 were killed and this Albuera was killed inside. Did you grieve for this son of a b****? How many lives did he destroy? How many Filipinos now are insane?

And the Odicta couple who were also executed somewhere in — they were running the show on the western side, diyan sa Iloilo. Di ba initially I said Iloilo was the most — sila ‘yun eh.

And this Human Rights would grieve for all of these idiots who were born into this world just to destroy their fellow men.

We cannot seem to be… we cannot understand each other here. I am a Mayor, I do not run after these guys. I am a Mayor, I was a Mayor, I build the city. I am now the President. The least of my worry is the EU. I have to build a nation. [applause]

That’s why I went to China, I went everywhere. I just came in from Thailand because we are really poor and we have to improve the economy.

And I would like to thank China. China alone for helping us and initially the 10 billion investments that they promised. Where in the world will you find? China promised to build two bridges dito sa Manila, libre. Gratis. [applause]

And some ambassadors there. I went to China, I said, Mr. Xi Jinping, I am here to shake your hands. I am not asking for anything, I just want to trade with you because you seem to be far away.

And he said because you stick your, the foreign policy seems to be just a dovetail of what America wants. So I said I will adopt and then align the foreign policy but I would like to trade with you and please help us.

So andyan. So we’re getting a relief now from our hardships because a lot of money is coming in.

Ang EU, they communicated to us and they want a health-based solution for the drugs.

Alam mo ang mga p****** i** niya, they want us to build clinics then that we should, instead of arresting or putting them in prison pareho sa ibang countries, you go there and if you want shabu they will inject you or give you shabu then you go out then if you want marijuana there’s a place there.

Government-sponsored idiotic exercise. Then if you want cocaine they will give you cocaine and if they want heroin they will give you heroin.

And our people will just go there and consume every chemical until kingdom come, until they are crazy like the four million contaminated. I’ll give it a very liberal increment of something like seven, eight hundred out of their minds shrunk brains and they are all over the Philippines.

Who will answer for this? Who will answer for those who died? The 77 children almost everyday you look at the papers, a child one year, two years, three years raped and killed. Who will now answer for this? EU? The United Nations? The Human Rights Commission? How about the lives of the innocent killed because of shabu?

Hinoholdap sa jeep, sa truck then they go inside houses and rape the mother and all of the children there. Who will answer for that injustice?

Son of a b***, you are worrying about — it’s not 10,000, I will place it at 2 for those who resisted arrest and were killed.

I will answer for that. I will take the consequences. My order was arrest them if possible but if they confront you with a violent resistance and if you think that you will die, p***** i**, patayin mo. [applause] And I accept the consequences.

EU, I’ll give you a short history of EU. 1914 to 1917, Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated. It was Prussia then. Austria and Germany. Pinatay nila ang King. Puro Europeans itong mga g***ng ‘to. France and Russia against Germany, Austria, giyera sila.

Ilan ang pinatay nila? Pinatay nila it was about 12 million tapos came World War II puro Europeans ‘yang mga g***ng ‘yan. All in all, 90 million people were killed so what’s the f***ing difference here?

Were the consciences of their forefathers better than their conscience now? It’s easy to criticize, it’s easy to point out mistakes. My God, you trace your history.

You are also what your hands with blood. Why are you suggesting a stupid solution? Imagine putting shabu and marijuana. What would happen to this country?

This drug war will continue until the last drug lord is killed and the pusher taken out of the streets. [applause] Wala akong magawa. You — there is the supply pero kung wala na itong mga, no pushers, nobody would parlay — it has, there has to be – trafficking is there is a buy and sell of shabu. Kaya ganon. Kung wala naman itong shabu, wala itong magawa but there is the demand. Somebody idiot will always be tempted to cook shabu.

And in the international waters, the [trollers?] there of some countries are cook in shabu packing them up in a plastic container, placing in GPS and throwing it towards the territorial waters of my country.

I said well, just be careful because if I catch up with you, it’s all bingo time. Either you kill me or I kill you. Mahirap ‘yan—what’s the procedure of a chase in the international waters and—we do not have that kind of resource and everything.

So this country needs to perk up. Corruption will stop. Kayong mga negosyante, you businessmen, one of those who can really stop corruption.

You know what? You just pay the right tax. And if somebody tinkers with your return, mentioning or suggesting anything, I should be the first to know. You report to me. And I will call the guy and I will—I’ve done it several times when I was mayor. In front of you, I’ll slap him or kick his a**.

Huwag kayong–you had—the only thing that the Filipino needs is to be assertive of your rights. When they start to mention asking, you just say b*** s***, P****** i** mo, sabi — Duterte told us that if we are paying the right taxes, I can even kill you if insist on extorting money.

Hindi kasi, kayo nag-assert. Do not be afraid of the BIR or Customs. Tell me and I will take care of him. Madali lang naman magsipa ng tao, ihulog mo lang diyan sa [applause].

It’s because there is no consciousness of the Filipino, takot eh. Pagma ganoon-ganoon na itong BIR, Customs — I will pay you, let’s to go the Office of the President, there, you just call Bong. And I will—I will have him arrested and brought to the office. And I will give to you an exhibition how to be a cruel to a fellow human being. I’ve done that several times. That’s what I did in Davao City, that’s why— a lot of you have been to Davao.

Look at Davao. It’s clean, it’s peaceful, you can go out at night.
Nobody… eh ganoon. My template, I said and you know, when I said you run roughshod over human rights, no, of course not. If are law- abiding citizen, I will protect you.

I would be willing — not everybody becomes President in his lifetime. I am one of the lucky. I would gladly die for you. I would gladly kill for you [applause].

Don’t — I’m not into that kind of ano. Unless I adopt this kind attitude, nothing will happen in this country. You have to stop corruption, do not give them anything.

My birthday is coming up. Do not give me the gifts. Somebody gave me a Rolex watch, gold, in advance. I returned it. He does not want to accept it. Well, I will sell it again to the—at a discount. Why should I be— Rolex, now who would believe me if I talk about corruption then I wear a Rolex? You think I can afford a Rolex? That’s why I’ve been complaining also of my salary. That is really what happens if you have two wives. [laughter and applause]

Eh you have to support the children. Never mind the wives. [laughter] But children are very important. You are the one responsible for—so ‘yan ang mensahe ko.

Now itong criminality, kidnapping I will deal with them [inaudible]. The only problem is ang IS has already annointed [Hapilon]. This Abu Sayyaf leader from Jolo, he’s now in Central Mindanao.

I would like to make public. Do not force my hand into it. Because several times they have been bombings schools, and even exploded a grenade in the library of the Marawi State University. And last month, you planted an IED in the National High School of Zamboanga. Do not mess up with innocent children.

Do not force me into it. I beg of you. Do not do things that would hurt the civilians. I can understand if I lost one battalion of Army, anyway there’s a rebellion going on between the extremists and the ISIS and the other factions there.

That’s why shabu is aplenty because they are fuelling and raising the money to buy arms, selling shabu to the Filipino. But I — as of now I can take it. I can swallow it. But don’t raise the stakes. Huwag ninyong taasang mabuti na pati ‘yung mga bata namamatay na. Because I will not hesitate to declare martial law over Mindanao.

Now let me tell you. There are so many problems in Mindanao, including terrorism. If I declare martial law, I will solve every other problem permanently. You can be sure of that.

Martial law, there is no more court. I do not have to go to the court to apply for a search warrant. I do not have to go to the courts to secure a warrant of arrest. Martial law, just like Mr. Marcos, he used the aso in order to arrest, to search. Aso ang tawag nila doon. It’s a cruel process and it is taken care of by the military.

So I said I’m begging you not to raise the stakes. Because if I will declare, I will not only solve extremism. I will solve, I said, every other problem that f***s the island. Please.

And the economics, we are improving. I would like to thank China again. Our exports in banana have doubled and the pineapple increased by 50 percent. And China says, you sell to us what you have in your country. And we will teach you how to improve on the quality before you send it there. But we are willing, we are opening the floodgates of our country in importation because we want to help you.

So I would like to thank again President Xi Jingping for being just too kind to us. And I am going there. I was invited by the President himself ‘yung the One Road, One Belt, One Road. It’s a very ambitious project of China. And if you have read the 100 Years War, it is a book about the competition of America and China to be the world power.

So it’s written by… I read it three months ago. The 100 Years War and the Asia’s Caudlron. That’s another author. It tells us about China.

Me, there is nothing that… well, push me to something. Anyway, there’s the RP-Defense pact. It was a… it’s a passé now but it’s there. So I will not enter into a military alliance with anybody but certainly, I can choose the friends who are kind to us, those who understand us, and those who do not make imposition.

A country has every right, sovereignty, to deal with a particular problem on a sound way, taking into account the culture, the prevailing environment. Nobody should really be f***ing us with interference.

Respeto lang ‘yan. Out of respect. Unless you are really into genocide. Sabihin mo lang, 10,000. That’s impossible.

In Davao, when I was Mayor for 23 years, I would say thousand… no, no, hundreds. Maybe 300. All the legitimate encounter, including the kidnappers. Kikidnap a child, you rape a child, you— Ayaw mo mag-surrender, you refused to bow to the majesty of the law. Then the law will break your neck and make you bow.

So that is my message today. I have to go home. I am… because those are the only factors that would affect really the development, the progress of the country. It has to be peaceful, then there is no graft and corruption and you are free to go around. You are not being harassed, molested, or kindapped.

My orders to the police now is this: You ask your beautiful wife and your beautiful daughter to walk the streets of Manila. And if they come home very sound, unmolested, undisturbed, nobody picking in them, then that is the kind of environment that I want for the Philippines.

You allow your daughter or son to walk everywhere. And when you have done it, then I can really, proudly say that we have improved and in the fullness of God’s time, every Filipino will just follow.

But I have to accompany it with some sort of. You know how it is. Human beings, Filipinos. Very hard to make them follow especially money.

For those in the BIR, Customs, their salaries were just on the side. Tingi lang ‘yung sa—I mean money was… They will go to you, assess you, 500. Then they would say, okay, 300.

‘Yung 200 amin, bayad mo ‘yun. Ganon ‘yan eh. And I said I have fired to date, I have fired so many regulators of the [LTFRB], transportation, the franchise granting… I have asked them.

And even the BIR and Customs. About 92 of them. I do not want to embarrass, you know, probably their sons and daughters are already doctors and just leave quietly. I will not. I do not want to humiliate people [inaudible].

Process, prosecuting them, takes years. Philippine courts. And even those with evasion of taxes. The law allows a compromise. The law allows a compromise and I will allow compromise.

Rather than the other party filing a case, then from the Tax Courts of Appeal to the Court of Appeals then to the… it will be decided 10 years from now. And I also need, I need the money now, not 10 years from now, I’m not around.

But it must be a reasonable one. For those with big tax cases, Sonny Dominguez, the Finance officer and Dulay, the BIR, I have yet to convince them to compromise. It is not illegal, it is not unlawful for me to suggest this because rather than—You know, if they choose to fight it in court and it is… the so very slow process.

I would rather that a compromise be made. No particular party. Maski sino. Maski sino ‘yan. We can enter into a compromise. I’m suggesting it so that I can use the money. I said, I asked for three.

Sonny Dominguez, the Finance, did not agree with me. He needs nine. I said, I need only three because I will buy… I’ll build a hospital in Basilan. One billion hospital in Jolo. And in the squatters area, another billion.

May isa pa hong ospital na kawawa. There’s a hospital there, Fabella, o Fabella. Kulang talaga. There’s the Secretary of Health. Pag ka nagkakaroon ako, if I have the four million, I’ll tell PAGCOR, give the check directly to Ubial and start.

She built a very good hospital sa Marawi for the Moro people. It’s a good one, it has a complete… I intend to build one also. Kaawa ang Moro eh. Talagang kawawa. There’s a lot of reason really that they’re also against government and fighting us.

But I hope I can… I’m not quite optimistic about it, but I hope by the goodness of what we do, there has to be some kind of… maybe they’d come to their senses and stop fighting.

Ma’am Gloria, I have to fly home because meron akong 7 o’clock. Taking the next available flight diyan sa airport. It’s good now madami ng flight. Mamili ka lang Cebu Pacific or ‘yung sa inyo. There’s always a flight every, every hour. So you can always… about 32 flights a day to Davao.

So I can choose the time but I have to go there now because I have a 7 o’clock dinner with the Misuari and the Moro leaders.

Maraming salamat po.

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