President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Speech during the 80th National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Founding Anniversary
NBI Gymnasium, Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila
14 November 2016
Kindly sit down. Maraming salamat po.

Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Director Dante Gierran, members of the diplomatic corps, distinguished guests, fellow workers in government, my countrymen.

You know, when you are a President of a progressive, industrialized, balanced economic country, it’s heaven for the rulers.

But if you are a President of a country that is rock with rebellion, extremism, and the flooding of drugs, sometimes it can be hell.

And sometimes, you really ponder whether or not it would be right just to resign and say that— instead invent an ailment and say that I’m suffering from this cancer and I’d like to take a rest.

You know countries like the Philippines, you do what is right, it is wrong. You do what is wrong, it’s still wrong.

And that is how I balance the governance. Whether to do wrong or to do right, to commit a wrong or do a wrong thing, to make it right.

I am not new to criticism, like Mayor Lim of Manila. Sir, magandang hapon po. I’d been mayor for 23 years and once upon a time, I was a practitioner.

Of course, during the time when you are focused on one client, of his rights, it is good to fight for him ‘til kingdom come.

But if you run a community and you are to worry about the safety of all, the bad people and the good people and in between, medyo sometimes, get a nightmare, whether what to do.

I was a prosecutor for ten years. And I was doing trial work for about eight years. And, I’ve seen so many cases, people acquitted because they were really innocent.

But I saw so many of my cases also collapsing because of paid witness, the substances that were supposed to be passing from hands to the other, from a shabu, eventually in your hands, it is just alum, the tawas.

And it could be— sometimes you begin to be despondent on how you really would want to do your case.

But in almost all of the societies, here in this planet, there are always people who are evil and those who are not.

And we would like to see progressive laws that would promote and enhance the life and the quality of his environment good.

But sometimes, there are evil persons who’d want to make money at the expense of the blood and over the bones of his countrymen.

For us who has been leaders for a time, we are now choose, made to choose, to choose sometimes what to do. Either we do something to protect society or do something sometimes wrong to protect society.

What about the laws? What about the rule of law? The rule of law is good, if the rules are followed. Very easy to say rule of law. And it applies not only to the government and to us, it applies to all citizen.

You obey the law; we, in government are admonished to say follow the rule of law and that is what makes it hard, because you follow the rule of law, sometimes it could lead to perdition for people. And always, the accountability of failing to protect the taxpayers and those who rely on the government for their safety and for their lives, they lose the gamble in the process.

When it’s time just to say, we are sorry, we failed to protect you. When I was mayor—1988, marijuana and shabu was making the scene, almost simultaneously.

When we were students, kami ni Secretary Aguirre noon, the vogue was— the fad was marijuana. But, shabu was making its toxic entrance to the young people.

And when I was a prosecutor, I tried my best really to do the best to my country, my oath of office.

I would like to follow the rule of law. It is rules which make up the law. But when shabu was coming in, strong and fast, we had to make a choice.

We innovate the law, the rule of law or we let our people suffer. That’s the choice. The rule of law and the obedience of the law are just principles of the law and they are really good if everybody follows.

The problem is, there is no obedience of the law and sometimes the rule of law becomes a stupid proposition.

When I became mayor in 1988, in Davao City, I simply just told everybody, go out of my city and do not, you know, do not destroy my country.

Because then, shabu was really flowing in and out. A very porous Republic because we are islands with the longest coastline.

Those of you who wish to destroy my country and deprive us of the generation of people, go out because I will kill you. That was the statement. And for those who followed, well, to this day, I would thank them for just getting out of the city. Those who chose to fight, I told my law enforcer and one of them is the PDEA chief now, General Sid Lapeña. It was during his time when he said, we will be harsh.

And the order is simply this: Go out. Arrest them if you can but if there is no peaceful method of doing it and you are presented with a violent resistance, thereby placing in jeopardy your life, you shoot the son of a bitch. Shoot them dead. That was the order. And for a reason, you know why, this came from other sources. America, it was not our study. It was study as a result of that long line of boundary between America and Mexico.

To date, there has been 63,000 people killed in the internecine conflict there.

Ours is 3,000. We do not know how many. We have an accurate count of those who defied the law and got killed in the process. But we do not have the truth and the statistics of how many of the 3,000 were killed, were murdered.

But when the Human Rights came, they would always say, you know, Duterte under your administration, you have killed 3,000. And I would try to explain that this was not all ours. Remember, I fired 6 generals when I assumed the presidency for involvement in the drug industry.

There is a guy here now, just recently, were digging into the records of the case and he was not— really a fake corporation but a set-up just to launder to wash the money. And to date, we have, we have the accounting of 5.1 billion pesos. 5.1 billion pesos. One family.

You know what, used to be the NBI, the premier law enforcement agency in this country, I would say.

Lawyers, accountants, and well-educated guys. There’s a qualifying exam. You cannot come in. You cannot do anything.

You know, I was very strict in Davao, and so relatively, made it safe for everybody. So much so, that without pulling my chair, we came the premier, we became the premier city of the Philippines.

We were hitting a growth rate of 5.6 which is very high. And Davao City today remains to be relatively free of criminals. But not the criminals who are into terrorism. That’s another story but we will take care of that later on.

So ganon ang nangyari. When I became President, I started to squeeze and fire the general.

And we were opening a can of worms, because the PDEA before under General Santiago, during the time of President Arroyo, gave us a figure of three million addicts.

Mine, I said hang on to the figure because I will wait until the last day of this year then we will find out how many. For actually, I was really trying to figure out at the rate that they are surrendering and asking for treatment and everything. We would hit also, we would breach the one million mark.

So, let’s stick with the Santiago figure. At three million, widespread all throughout the country. Spread— there are about 6,000 policemen. There are about 3,000 plus barangay captains incumbent in office.

We have about 17 mayors. One of them just died. And we have about two congressmen and about three or four, I’m not sure of the four, governor.

I had them revalidate again and that’s— it’s going on, the validation from the police to NICA to the police. Eventually, I requested the DILG to do it, the civilians, not the investigators for validation.

So we have here, a three million drug addicts, all potential criminals, because when the urge, when the monkey is there at the back, they would always find for the fix of the day.

At three million, the average hit is 200 pesos per— In one month, that is 6,000; times the 13 million, that is 18 billion a month. You times it again by the years, it’s 216 billion industry a month for this country.

Now, I was confronted with a serious problem. I don’t know about the stupidity of foreign governments.

They’d call upon me and say, “Duterte, why don’t you just rehabilitate them, place them in houses where you can treat them, maybe detoxify their disease and come out with a better record of human rights.” Correct . That is correct if you have the money.

My countrymen, remember that I entered the Presidency midterm. And so, I am now operating on a budget that was prepared the other year by President Aquino.

Half of the budget is gone. Maybe, he did not realize the gravity of the situation because he simply did not know or never attempted to know how, how much was the scale, the dimension of three million.

If they don’t have the money, they kill, they rob; and when their— the study shows that the Mexican and joint force there, task force; that shabu, constant use of the chemical would shrink your brain.

The neurosurgeon says that if the brain has shrank, rehab is no longer viable. That is the problem today. It is continuing because even those guys who are sworn to protect the public interest and because it is really very easy money, almost all of them went to it.

Now, the portals of the national government has been opened to the creeping influence of drug. You must remember that Leila, si Lilia or whatever the name is, was the Secretary of Justice herself and she allowed the drug industry to take place.

You, yourselves, you are the agents, some of these agents of this bureau testified against her. Most of them were credible and I don’t know them actually. So there’s no sense in saying that I have a part of it. You know that. But the only time when I visited NBI when I’m a guest speaker.

But there was a day which I would like to have come here, and you know, there are things which I do not like but we are in a crowd. You have to do both, you have to do more, especially on digging records that would show laundered money.

I’d like to address myself to the Central Bank guys, and the AMLA. Alam mo, I’d like to warn you, to avoid a confrontation between us, Central Bank people.

You know when I was a candidate, there was a guy, a senator who’s so stupid, torpe talaga siya, that I had 211 million bank deposit. And I was just curious, if I had that money, why did you not initiate an investigation. For I really have none.

So you cannot tell the public because you are protecting somebody, those who are really into money laundering.

Mine case was simply to us, tell the public how much is my worth in this world. And the Secretary of Justice now says that you are hard to deal with. You better go to the Secretary of Justice or I will go to you.

I will call for you and you have to answer so many questions to me. You choose, either we cooperate in this government as a Republic to protect and preserve our people or do not make it hard for us, otherwise, I will make it hard for you.

Simply, I said, you failed miserably, eh sinabi na nga may 200 million, bakit hindi ninyo ako inimbestigar. So that the people would have known.

You’re also a part of the garbage which I resent to this day. And do not give me a reason to have a confrontation. Palabas ninyo ‘yung ano ang mali diyan.

There are billions task there in the banks, who were really being wash or just being kept there in the meantime.

Go to the Secretary of Justice, the AMLA guys, explain to us in public or I will do the explaining for you. Choose.

Now, tayong mga nasa gobyerno, I am asking you earnestly, I’m pleading to you. Do not go into drugs, lalo na ‘yung mga agents.

Police, you are listening. Do not do it, just like the others. Do not wait for the day, when it’s only 24, it becomes the 25th hour when the hands of the clock shall strike for the tolls, tolling of the bells or sound your kneel of grief.

I will not hesitate. And as I have said, those law enforcers, police, the NBI, PDEA, just do your duty. Just follow my instruction and you do not have anything to worry.

And I will believe your story because I am your chief; to the military, I’m the Commander-in-Chief. On the civilian side, I am the Chief Executive of the government.

So the police is under the DILG. So I have to believe the story of the police, for simply, they are my subordinates and I am ultimately responsible for their deeds.

You know, there some officials who are lawyers and who are there in the Senate and they do not even know what’s the— I just really can’t believe it.

Ako ‘yung chief of office, the Secretary of Justice is my alter ego in the government institute. He is the Chief of the NBI. What you do is my ultimate responsibility.

Now, the PNP is another bureau under the DILG, Department of Interior and Local Government.

What you do guys, I get to answer it. So what you believe was the story, I will adopt it. Kaya lang, alangan man maniwala ako doon sa mga pu— (laughter) Sinong paniwalaan ko? ‘Yung pulis ko, ‘yung NBI ko, o sila?

But if you do your duty, do not worry about cases, I will protect you, believe me. (applause).

Just do it right. We have our trainings, that you can only kill, if your life is in danger. And you are there performing the duty of a law enforcer. That’s about it.

Eh kung sabihin mo, sir, ito ang nangyari. Pero pag tinanong kita, just tell me the truth. Maski anong klaseng totoo ‘yan, tell me the truth. Para hindi ako parang buang dito na mag-ano, para alam ko kung paano, how to present the truth to the public.

Do not shit with me. Sabihin mo sa akin ang totoo, lalo na sa trabaho. But, if you are accused of extortion, kidnapping, some of you who are involved then. Do not do it in my time. You do it, patayin kita. Anong gusto mo? Barrett na sniper? O ambush? O, mamili ka, mamili ka. You start to fuck with government, pati ako lolokohin mo, ah kalokohan. Just tell me truth.

Now in Leyte, they said that there was a rubout; and the police, they have a shoot-out.

Sabi ko, “I believe the police.” Why? Because they are my subordinates.

The story of the people whom I give the orders to operate is what I ordered them to do.

Kaya ito sila, poprotektahan ko. And if there’s somebody who will go to jail, it’s me. I will assume full, legal responsibility.

If it fails, they’d say that I’d rot in jail, so be it. No worry, I’m old, just a few years.

Going to jail to save your country. The human rights guys, puwede European— They say that, “this guy, this mayor has been heard that he would kill the criminals—,” putang—.

When has— when has it been a crime to say, I will kill all the criminals who will harm our people? When was it wrong to say, do not destroy the next generation of my country? Or else, I will kill you. What is wrong with that?

And they want me to face the International Court of— Criminal Court. Then, my God, if you have the goods on me, file the case and stop yakking.

So that’s got— that got me into quarrel with the— So whenever they say, everyday in the international news networks, I was telling you that, that 3,000 is not ours.

Would you believe it the first round was not ours. They were doing a cleansing and purging among themselves, so that they would not be dragged into the crime scene.

I was telling them that and nobody believed me. So what did I do? So I said, putang-ina ninyo lahat, mga letse kayo na ano. Mga gago kayong mga, kayo mga EU, mga bobo. Eh talaga naman bobo kayo.

When is it wrong to say, do not harm my country because I will kill you? Is it wrong for the Arab to say that now? It is wrong for the Syrians to say it now? Was it wrong for the Iraqi forces to fight? Because their country was being invaded by the United States because there was, or there were weapons of mass destruction, only to find out that there was none.

Would it be wrong for the Iraqi soldier to say, we will fight you now, this time as terrorists. What you did, and that is a problem because before I go, I would say that we have to solve continually, it would be a continuous game for the drug because of the money and the looming terrorism in this country.

We have a very strong rebellion in Mindanao; terrorists in a Jolo; Sulu, kidnapping people almost everyday, putting a shame to our country. Every time they do it, they slap us internationally.

I’ve been to Indonesia to talk with President Widodo. I just came back from Malaysia and we have agreed and our people are talking now.

I am not at liberty to tell you, what is, what it is all about. But it means fighting terrorism, terrorism.

Can you fight them with human rights? Where’s the human rights in Syria? In Aleppo now, in Mosul? They’re bombing children, killing them executing everyone. Is there a crime for human rights there? I haven’t heard. I haven’t heard the human rights crime to that.

But we have to prepare for it, because once the terrorists of the Middle East are deprive of the land area, a really estate where they can sleep, stand on, or just simply sit down, they would wander to other places and they will come home here, and we have to prepare for that.

Remember, these guys, they do not have an iota of what a human right is, believe me.

So, we will have a calibrated thing here. I will not just sit down and allow my people to be slaughtered, for the sake of human rights. That’s bullshit. That’s bullshit.

My response be— would always calibrated to what we are facing, to destroy the Filipino nation.

Thank you. (applause)

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