Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Oathtaking of the newly appointed officers of the National Press Club (NPC)
Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
07 November 2016
Masama namang pagdating ko dito, mag-take oath kaagad. So maybe, you’d want a word or two, and it should be about freedom of the press. Dito sa atin, it’s thriving, its working and I would say that itong Philippine press maybe, on a level equal to the United States in being free and independent, no pressure. Ang problema lang dito is iyong continued killings of media people, of course, by itself, this is fundamentally hideous and wrong. But sa experience ko naman kasi, there are others really who would sow, indicate something more insidious than just, iyong galit sa ano—there could be something more to it actually. Usually niyan, iyong—hindi naman lahat, but there are really exceptions, for example, like extortion and reneging on what you promised to right or talked about; or outright, iyong perfidy. Iyon may nakita ako na noon, nag-ano ako, nag-iimbestiga ako kung bakit. But pati ako niyan, binibintangan pa. You know, I became popular as Mayor because of the attacks made on me particularly itong law and order.
You know, there is a strange—hindi ko lang sinabi iyon eh, but the more that you rub it on, the more that it would make me popular. I don’t know if it’s happening in the national scene. But para sa akin kasi, historically right after my first election, I was not bothered with— without winning sabi ko, basta ako magtrabahao and I don’t care if I lose. But I will deliver to the people what I promised. So anyway, not really iyong nagwawala na pumapatay but I was squeezing everybody to just— to work. Ang law and order kasi, pag takot ang law enforcement kagaya noon, just an example, so that you all would understand the— from a probinsyano. Maramihan ka diyan: jueteng, tong-its, tari-tari, iyong sabong sa kanto-kanto. Usually, it’s always under the protection and consent of the precinct commanders which in turn has the blessing of the RD and upwards. Ganoon iyan eh. That’s how it works in the Philippines.

Pati iyong mga—ang video karera, hinayaan ko na lang iyan for the moment, because I’m busy really in the fight against drugs. The fight against drugs is actually a working network of the big ones and unless you are able to destroy the apparatus national level, you’d not be able to get a relief sa drug problem natin. Kasi iyan sila nagpapalitan ng teritoryo. If it is hot there, if it is medyo alanganin, they just transfer to another territory and it say the art of accommodation and compromise. Iyon ang laro dito sa Pilipinas. And the reason I am not so keen about going after gambling is not because I want it. I do not want it, just like any other administrator of a country, lalo na mahirap. The problem is I do not have the men to focus on one area kagaya ng droga kasi pag nabakante iyang networks diyan, nature hates vacuum, and somebody will just have to take over the vacuum that you leave.

So from one of sa jueteng, iyong patad, the distribution would shift to droga. Kasi nasanay na ang mga tao and there are a lot of activity. It’s really an apparatus, and then unless you are able to deal with the apparatus, which is really the meat of the matter, you’d not be able to stop jueteng. I mean—for that matter, sugal pati iyong droga. But the more, ika nga, and the word ‘insidious’ is really drugs. And it is a— sabi nila disease, it is. But it is an acquired and willingly. It is a disease which you get with your free will. Sabihin nga nila eh, sakit iyan eh. Tama iyan magkasakit ka talaga but it is an acquired disease.

And in terms of health, in the area of health, magastos iyan. For the 4 million to be rehabilitated, reduce it to something like 2, 2-plus. Baka iyong iba naman, kaya nilang magpagamot na, even in the Medical City, it’s about 300 pesos a month. Kuwenta-kuwenta namin dito sa Cabinet meeting kahapon, by the way, after so much debate, iyong Climate Change, pipirmahan ko. It was a unanimous vote, except for one or two. Ako iyong isa, which was arguing about. If it’s a binding treaty, you have to have a sanction. But it’s binding, if you will read the treaty, it’s binding but there is no sanction. So that if it is a low country in terms of economic level, the big ones will always force upon you to do it.

But if it is the highly industrialized countries, there is nothing you can do about it. Because iyong sanction sa—cannot be done by the smaller nations. Let alone without the powers of pressure. The name of the game is pressure. And isa pa diyan, do we get the money. Now, remember, contrary to the popular belief, we read it, contract, word for word. Iyong pera na to be culled sa mga rich industrial countries, hanggang doon lang and there is no binding agreement that they have to pay this and that.

Pati ang sabi nila na they are forced to say that—sali na tayo dito, eh kung magkaroon tayo ng damage, iyong makakolekta ka diyan sa 200 million revolving fund or 300 billion or million? But whatever it is, the industrialized countries having known not to honor financial obligation, especially America, it has not paid its dues to the United Nations. Late chance yan sila magbayad at hindi nakaka—kung hindi ka makabayad diyan sa America, United Nations, mas lalo na kung—so, it’s more or less a problem of perception. But Yasay presented the strongest argument against it, although later bumigay siya.

Ako naman, ‘cause it’s a Cabinet decision, I’ll go along with it and sign it. As I promised you, I will not solve this problem alone. I will give it, place it on the table, give the Cabinet members, all of the Cabinet to vote. Kasi ako ngayon, hindi talaga ako kampante. But of course, we are now bound if we sign it. But in matters of enforcement, if you say, it’s a binding treaty, there has to be a sanction. So otherwise, if you don’t, there’s something coming up your way.

The problem is read again, and again, and never find that there is sanction. Even in the matter of contributing the money to a common fund, read again, because it does not say about payment of damages that you may incur in a storm or a typhoon like Yolanda. That money you can borrow to build your anti-pollution, anti-carbon emission. It is a money that has to be used in a different way, not an outright payment for the damages, for after all, ang hinihingi lang nila sa atin is point three. With China about 24 carbon emissions, footprints. Tayo .3 lang ang hinihingi nila sa atin. But ang national law natin says that over the years, we will have to reduce it by 70, if I’m not mistaken. Hindi na kaya, sobra nga eh. Ang hinihingi nila .3, there’s really no point in even insisting on signing it, because the national law which binds us only, says that we have to reduce it by 70. Look at the law. Hindi na kailangan nga eh, .3 lang ang hinihingi nila.

We overshot it by a thousand miles, 70 iyong atin. So, ang hinihingi nila sa atin ngayon is, hindi na 70 but .3. But we have a law which if we don’t amend or change or modify, it imposes a more stringent and strict number. Iyon ang— that’s why, it took us several hours to finish a Cabinet meeting only to dwell on that particular issue.

But hopefully, I said, with the decision which I myself decided to be— decided by the committee as a whole. So walang problema ho diyan. Apurado lang kasi iyong iba eh. Now, they were blabbering their mouths about not my signing. I did not have a single, even one page paper before in front of me, so what do I sign? What do I study? Ang mahirap kasi, one starts to—well, that’s always the vogue in the freedom of the press. Whether you’re too early or too late, as long as you are read on by other people, they love to be in hurry and, wala pa naman siya.

When I said that I was not keen to it, I was only expressing my expression. I do not lose the freedom of expression just because I am the President. I am not barred from giving my own opinion just because I am a President. And I do not lose the right to just go on a melee with the media just because I am President. Ayan ang—those are the things that are— those are the vouge of the moment that controls our freedom of expression.

Pero ako, I believe in freedom of expression. I believe in the free press. I believe in the right of peaceably assemble to air a grievance. But most of all, as a lawyer, the—my favorite quotation comes from Benjamin Disraeli. Disraeli was a famous politician during his time. And he would say, always, “I may disagree by what you say, but I will defend your right to death to say it.” Iyan ang paborito ko talaga, and that’s a quotation which comes out from my mouth when we start to talk about freedom.

Let me assure you that I decided to form a task force and look into—itong mga ganitong patayin iyong ano, malalim iyan. But most of it is actually the criticism that iyong gustong pumatay, kaya niya nagawa, or you traverse to another territory, and that is the family. Remember that the freedom of the press is mostly geared against the establishment, the state and its abuses. And that is why, the fourth state is there to fight the abuses of the first and second or third branches of government. You are the fourth.

So, ang dapat lang, but some other in the provincial niyo, pardon me for saying it really, but it is true, iyong kulang nga iyong dito, tapos, iyon nga. Sabi nga nila, inutusan lang magbili ng pan, pagbalik announcer na. Just because iyong iba malakas kasi mag— so there are the contenders of—kung mayroong ano, kasi kung mahusay kang magbaboy ng tao, enjoy iyong mga—so you’ll get a lot of the market. But it could be dangerous. Hindi basta-basta mag-media. Lalo na kung—if you talk about the existence of jueteng. Iyong iba sa amin noon, prosecutor pa ako, mabigyan tapos huminto, magdaldal uli, maghingi. So wala nang katapusan, that’s one. Second is, you go overboard by attacking the wife, the child and ano. It’s a no-no. Naghingi ka talaga ng kamatayan diyan, especially if you attack the children.

Puwede pa maski iyong tao lang mismo, balik-baliktarin mo ng— babuyin mo. But never, never enter into the private domain of private lives. Talagang hihiritan ka diyan, lalo na anak, asawa ganoon, “Ah iyong asawa niya, nangaliwa; iyong asawa niya,, hostess iyan noon,” delikado. Because, you know, people can take— we can swallow insults, lalo na kung totoo. But hindi nila kaya iyang babuyin mo iyong pamilya. Because was never really a … One man’s sin cannot be the sin of the family.

Iyong ano nga, iba diyan papasok doon sa probinsiya, tapos ganoon. Yun ang delikado. It’s more of education sa ethics and whatever there is in media. Akin, that’s just a piece of advice. Once upon a time, I was there down and marami ako, pati ako napagbintangan pa. Pati iyong sinasabi nila nag-atake sa akin, it may be more popular. It guaranteed the 23 years of my mayorship. Alam mo ang nagkamali dito, pulitika tapos noon, hinihiritan nila ako sa law and order. Hiniritan nila ako sa kriminal na, iyan ang gusto ng tao. Kaya ako nanalo maski hindi ako kilala, because I was carrying the message: Law and order. Oh kung hindi law and order, at least ang tao, hungry for a peaceful community, it could be a barangay, it could be a city, basta community niya. ‘Pag nakauwi iyong anak nila, wala na silang takot, nakalalakad na sila. Yan ang—that is why, the rating for me, mas mataas. They never learned their lesson.

In Davao for the ten elections, ang akin babae pati— extermination of—on both I said, totoo iyan. Hindi mo naman masabi, it’s really useless magsabi siya, “Ikaw tarantado ka.” Why do—di sabihin mo, “Oo, tarantado ako.” “You are not a statesman, you are not like a presidential—” Oh, I never said, I was a statesman. Ang pagkaalam ko, tumakbo ako presidente, hindi ako tumakbo ng pagka-statesman. My language is rough, well you know, from where I came from. I’m always been that way. No apologies. No excuses.

I go down… I should go now. Babagsak na iyan siya, well of course, I should. Hindi ako nang-ano, hindi ako nagbubuko na— sinasakyan. ‘Pag sinabi mo, “Ah kay Duterteng trabaho iyan,” ay totoo. So start proving, and if you have a case, build it up. And if you have the goods, file it in court. Ganoon talaga ang ano, hindi mo ako makipag-argue sa— tawagin ako ganun, ganun, ganun? Totoo iyan. Kilala man ninyo ako pagka tumakbo ako. Eh pinili ako ninyo eh.

‘Pag sabi, next year, babagsak na iyan. Good. Pagsabi noong iba na iyong military mag-kudeta. Good. Sabi ko sa kanila, magkaibigan man tayo, let me know. You come here sa Malacañan, mag-lineup kayo diyan. Naka-uniporme kayong lahat, raise your right hands and I will address to you: “Ladies and gentlemen, ito iyong mga bagong rulers ng ating bansa. They can do better than—” Iyong iba, galit doon sa komunista, and to think that we are not suffering any losses sa tao, pati bala.

Just imagine, you signed a document to purchase 26,000 rifles, what’s the purpose of it? Because a Filipino will kill it, against the Filipino, that weapon. So big deal iyong sabihin nila “We are not selling anything,” the better. Lesser arms, the better. Mapupunta lang iyong iba sa NPA. Tama na iyong—we are not losing either but we are not winning. We are trying to contain them and we’re doing pretty well with that.

Pero sabihin mo na there will be a massive demonstration that this millionaire lady from America would fund it, susmaryosep. No need, come here and I will install you as the new ruler. Solbahin mo lang iyang problema sa komunista, solbahin man iyong MI, MN, BI, Maute, pati Abu Sayyaf. If you can solve the problem, good riddance. Be my guest. I have no illusions about hanging on power. I am not the kind. I said, if you can perfect or you can craft a law na itong federal setup, it is the only framework of government that can produce peace in the land.

Whether you want to believe me or not, that’s the proposition. Nothing else would appease the Moro people. You don’t give it to them— we have been at war for 45 years, another 45 years will do for this country. The Moro, ganoon rin. We’ve been fighting since 1972. No agreement, no nothing. I do not know if they would talk to, but Misuari is just around. Although, may mga kasalanan iyan, Zamboanga siege but what can we do? There is something more solvable for the moment than just continue hating each other.

With that, I end my talk with you and I’d like to welcome you to Malacañan, and I call this the People’s Palace. I’ve changed it, but they keep on calling it—It’s not really a palace, it’s just a piece of board here with some— hindi naman talaga palace ‘to, sa totoo lang, and this has been occupied, there’s a place there where there is a stone memorial indicating where I think the mother of Rizal knelt down to beg the Governor General of the Spaniards to spare the life of Rizal.

So, it’s a vest—kaya hindi ako nakatira dito, simply because it has been used by these so many people that oppressed us along the way, all these years. On the 400 years under Spain, 150 years. And they lived off of the fat of the land, and they have the gall to say, “We will not give your assistance.” Parang sa Bisaya kasi iyan, every time that they do that, and they have been always doing it, that’s the usual practice. As if you are addressing— sa amin iyan—I don’t know what’s the correct—that’s an idiom actually. It’s a Visayan idiom when you sa, “patay-gutom”. It means to say, hirap ka na, I don’t know what’s the Tagalog. It’s a colloquial or it’s an idiom, basta kaming mga Bisaya, paganun-ganun. With contempt, sasabihin ko “Patay-gutom itong yawa na ito.”

So ganoon sila eh, they treat us that way. I said, they forgot that they enjoyed 40 years of unimpeded, unbridled exploitation of our country. And you tell me now, you do not deserve the crumbs of our favor. God, marunong ‘tong mga gago na ‘to. Can we proceed now for the—is it the—Akala ko, lahat kayo mga opisyal. Sibilyan lang pala iyong iba.