Press Conference of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with the Malacañang Press Corps
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Beijing, China
19 October 2016

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Presently we are the subject of the fury of a powerful typhoon cyclone Lawin and it is hitting the country by now.

As usual, we have made the preparations to mitigate damages, save lives, and we have deployed all available measures to lessen at least to put into action what would really be a life-saving measures for my fellowmen.

There are three leading agencies there, the DSWD which is really the social workers; and the mitigating guys, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. There are all there on the ground today and we can only pray that it would not really result in so many damage and hopefully God forbid no lives lost.

I cannot give you the…I think it’s going on now and I’m just waiting for a final report. Just before coming down, I read something that it’s coming in. So I suppose that I cannot have the facts to tell you know but maybe later in the evening or earliest tomorrow.

I’m here to answer your questions and hopefully to satisfy everybody.

Who will ask the first question?


Q: Thank you, President. I’m from Xinhua News Agency. My first question is how is your first day in Beijing? And what did you do and where did you go? Were the people—Who did you meet and what’s your first impression of Beijing?


Q: Yeah.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: None. I was just met by the protocol officers and some high government officials but there were neither—I’ve never met with them. I think that’s protocol.

I will go to them tomorrow and one after the other and that would keep me busy. And, coming over here, we’re given copies of the wide-ranging issues of the subject of bilateral agreements.

So it’s just the broader outlines of what areas we might be able to challenge each other and the hard facts or whatever are there to be discussed. We’ll develop tomorrow as we go along the bilateral talks.

No… It was just purely socials, handshakes and all. No such thing about the issues that we are going to take up.

Q: So today you just did some private tour in Beijing?


Q: Did you do some private tour in Beijing?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Tour? I have none. I’ve slept. I just came from Brunei and maybe I needed some additional rest. The average something like for the last three days three hours, fours hours. I was able to catch up with my backlog. Okay. So I slept, woke up very late in the morning today. But I’m preparing for tomorrow’s engagements.

Q: Have you tried some Chinese food? Chinese food?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: My grandfather is a Chinese. We always eat Chinese food almost everyday in the house.

Q: Magandang, magandang gabi po Ginoong Pangulo. Ito po si Jade ng China Radio International Filipino Service. Chinese po ako pero marunong po akong mag-Filipino.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You come from a [unclear]?

Q: Kasi meron pong ano… China Radio International, meron pong kaming ‘yung sa Beijing University, meron po kaming ‘yung Philippine Studies program. Nag-graduate.


Q: So ‘yung nakalungkot po ‘yung nabanggit niyong balita hinggil sa ‘yung sa Bagyong Lawin. Pero ‘yung sa tingin ko po, maraming beses na may ganitong karanasan ang mga Pinoy. ‘Yung sa naniniwala po akong matagumpayan po kayo ng ano, ng kalamidad na ito. Mabuhay po ang Pilipinas po.


Q: At ‘yung tanong, ‘yung kasi, pwede po bang isang maikling…Okay. English. Okay.


Q: Opo. ‘Yung—You have initiated the — and implemented…You are implementing the independent foreign policy. So in your… How would you enhance the China, China-Philippines relationship based on this foreign policy?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, historically we were never…You know, let me be very…We’ve always been allied with the West. And in terms of entertainment, education, and all, it was all Western.

As a matter of fact, I am more articulate in talking in English than in my own dialect.
Sometimes, I have to grope for the words. Now, there is one language which is Tagalog, which is being taught to be the — well, they say it’s the national dialect. But we have not perfected anything.

And that is why even in the movies and even in the histories, those were the things that were not properly put in place at in their proper perspective.

And that is why even in the survey, the Filipinos were placed trust more with the Americans than the Chinese. During the Cold War, China was portrayed as the bad guy. And all of these years, what we have read in our books, in school were all propaganda produced by the West. And I cannot blame the Filipinos for being son indebted because everything—indebted to the West because even the reasons for war was placed there as a war against the Philippines, against the enemies during the Second World War.

You know we were hit hard. In the Battle of Manila, I think it was 200,000 people killed. The carpet-bombings there were not really made by the Japanese. It’s made by the Americans to retake the city.

So there’s no question that in the propaganda as we grew up, we under read the propaganda of the West but there was Cold War at that time. And so we could hardly get any news from China and Russia.

Those are the realities of life. And so are foreign policies… Up to now, up to this point, we’re geared towards to favor a sector in the world ideology, in the contending ideologies of the world.

Now, that I am President, by the grace of God, I read a lot. I’m a lawyer and I study geopolitics and all. And also I am a graduate of the foreign service. So I get to know how to balance this contending…At this age, I have now the proper perspective to judge whether the foreign policy is good for us or not.

I said a few days ago, few months ago, that I will charter a new course, changing direction of the foreign policy and be with friends with everybody and with no enemies to contend with, no enemies to hurt, no friends to serve.

Unfortunately, they started with the war against drugs and I’ll give you the hard numbers. It’s four million all in all. And they are scattered all over the country.

There are about 6,000 policemen into it, then municipal mayors, and the barangay captains who take care of the basic government unit, the barangay chairman, then the municipal mayor, city mayors, governors, regional heads, then the national.

What is really very alarming is that my country has already been contaminated with narcopolitics. And there is a senator in my country who was elected. And she was the poster girl of the Human Rights Commission. And the thing that would — why this reason — why I am known to you guys, are interested to hear about me. And because while I was explaining the quandary of my country and the sheer number and the danger that would impose on the next generation. And it will be a failed state just like in Latin America and the Mexico. In that border there between Texas and Mexico, there are about 60,000 deaths. But I never heard of the State Department of Obama and the EU complained about it.

They were focusing on… Because that issue which is really correct was an issue against me when I was mayor. And they kept on hammering on me, criticizing me. But when I was President, that is something else because now I represent a country and if you reprimand me in the international scene, all the networks here, your networks, and you show it to your own country, it will put to shame my countrymen and you have something to answer.

You come from this place, could you explain to us–? But all the networks, they were only interested to highlight my statement when I said internationally, publicly: “If you destroy my country, I will kill you.” And I was addressing myself to all the drug syndicates and the drug pushers and all. And I said, if you destroy the youth of the land, deprived us of the resources of tomorrow, I will kill you.

And they keep on hammering— they said that President has been heard saying that he would kill people. Because they did not understand the statement because they were dumbheaded.

You know, China, America, Russia can perfectly say it and it’s very legitimate and valid. “If you kill my country,” there’s the word even “if.” It’s conditional. I don’t know what happened to these guys with their grammar.

And we are not that sophisticated and our English-acquired culture. What is your…If… So if you do not destroy my country, then I would not kill you. But they keep on hammering on the issues of killing alone because they like it — and threatening me, “we’ll going to the international criminal court”.

I said that was enough and I said since nobody was listening to me, I gave them the word bullshit all of you. Then they suddenly heard somebody bullshitting us. Who is this guy? Now they know that that it’s me. Now, they are hearing. What’s wrong in saying you kill all the criminals?

The police when I say… Yeah, you’re ordering the police. Look, the soldiers of my country, they go to a four-year course, Philippine Military Academy. The police, there’s another school, the Philippine National Police Academy. They study for four years before they become full-fledged law enforcer.

They all know that when you say you kill them, it’s either just like in the old West, it is not our words. It is the words of the American cowboy in the movies. “Billy the Kid: Wanted dead or alive.”

And if you do that in my country, it is not all right. But if they do it with their country, the funniest thing is it’s even in the movies. Without the caveat. You know, “warning this is just movies.” And I said, “Go for them dead or alive.”

And when I say I’m going to protect my country because I am the President and I have every right that is self-preservation. If that is not understood by EU and America, I’m sorry for them. It is really a very sad day. When even when you invented the language, you past it on to some other people. You gave so many clichés about dead or alive.

And when I said, “capture him dead or alive”. The policemen are the military knew that there has to be some sort of a resistance and that resistance must be violent. And therefore, if it is a violent resistance, that is the time that they can use force. If that resistance endangers the life of the police and the military, if they believe that they are already in the process of losing their lives, and that’s the only time that they can kill.

No need to repeat it. They have been there for four years. And that has been imbued in their minds and that is the same theory for the FBIs and the police and everybody.

But you know, people judge best when they condemn. You always make — you did the worst of you. And to think, that will… When I was small, there was this cowboy chasing a bad guy. Then you see posters in the movies, “Dead or alive: 500 dollars”. We do not even do that.

I always say to the police and the military, who will be assigned in my city when I was mayor. Give me a clean city. It’s up to this guy to interpret what is cleaning the city. This police, this mili… The guys in front of you are the police and the military of my [country].

They have been to school. They were taught the rudiments of how to kill and how not to kill. That’s their job. They are not ignorant of that. I said they stayed there in the academy for four years. What else am I supposed to do when I give the orders? Do I have to lecture again? The same lectures given to them for four years?

So what prompted me to change foreign policy is that almost getting our deal with the West. And EU signed a manifesto and they told me it was prepared by the lawyers of them. I mean, I said that the lawyers who warned me that I will, I can — I can be prosecuted.

And then I realized that what is happening now in EU and everything is because they have stupid lawyers. If they cannot even agree to let in, let out the migrants. They were so benevolent at first. Then now it’s winter time, some of the guys who came in late are drove out back to the sea, not accepted in their boundary. So they will die there and rot in the cold.

Give me a sensible answer. I’m willing to resign here. I would not even have to go Manila. America and Britain invaded Iraq. With all the hullabaloo and pronouncement that said weapons of mass destruction. After killing so much of the soldiers there, the Republican guards of Saddam and killed Saddam in the process. They found out, with all its might and technology and human intelligence that there was no weapons of mass destruction.

If somebody could explain it to me that it was right, stand there in front of me right now. I’m willing to listen and if you do it right, you convince everybody that after all it was right to invade Iraq and even without the weapons of mass destruction. Undermining Libya, wanting to destroy Assad putting in turmoil Egypt.

Now tell me, if it is a bright idea of the West? Tell me now justify it that it is correct, I will listen and I will resign as President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Was there an explanation? Was there a digest? You know, these guys are really convoluted idiots. When you say you want to prosecute me, for what? It is not crime in my country, especially a President to warn and even any President for that matter. Tell me, do not do it because I will kill you. Do not enter my boundaries because if you hurt the people there, I will go to war. I just don’t know what’s happening with the idiots in the other side.

So my foreign policy goes to where there are people who are sane. Why should I mix my country where the people who’ve I said a very convoluted and almost insane theories of how to run civilization.

Tell me, anyone of you. Tell me that it was right to invade Iraq. Even without the mass… That was the only thing that kept them going. But where were these weapons of mass destruction. How many died? How many children died in the bombing of Afghanistan? How many died in the invasion of Vietnam only to lose it after several decades and to burn the families there? How many times has this to be repeated?

Look at Aleppo. When the could have just stopped it by because earlier they were supplying the arms of the rebels against Syria. But the Chinese government and Russia supported Assad. So you had the longest war there. So from where was this ISIS? When was it born? It was borne out of the desperation of the radicals and rebels of Libya and Syria. That is the beginning of ISIS. America imported terrorism in their own territories. Not by human beings. There in America itself. American citizen almost all of them from Arab ancestry. Because the citizens of that country, the American citizens were Arab of origin really felt to what was being done to their land.

And who was the first to enter the land and took off with the fat of the land, oil? British, American, French Italian. And after so many troubles, they partitioned the Middle East, according to tribes and not of kingdoms and that is why you have until now fighting amongst themselves. And ISIS became the rallying point.

Who imported violence? America. To their lands? They were not the migrants that went there to create trouble. They were the lone works. They were the Arabs who went there when they were young, had education there but saw what was history in the past.

My country? It was occupied by Spain for 400 years. Then it was occupied by the Americans for 50 years. And you think that because we are now — that was century ago then you should see the pile of bodies. You see the big holes where the Moro Muslims of Mindanao were dumped there. And they say, “Oh, it’s 100 years Duterte.”
No, it could not be 100 years. It still is now. Why? Because of your convoluted ideas of how to run this civilization.

So why don’t I go to China? What kept us from China was not our own making? We are almost a vassal state of America. Our foreign policy dovetails the policy of the United States and of the West.

And if they’ve said they hated Russia, were supposed to be, “Amen, we also hated China.” And if they say: I will go to war in Vietnam for no reason at all eventually to lose and they will just say, “yes, we will send also our soldiers there.” It’s a kind of stupid, do you think?

So now that we are…All has been said and done. What gives? Me? Killer? Drug war? I’d give you a computation. It’s four million now. But that is, the four million that’s growing up. It’s about 700,000 at the end of my term it will breach the four million mark. So we stick with the two-year survey done before by General Santiago, a military man who headed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. He said there are already three million addicts. Okay.

The mining industry is all over putting [unclear] in my country… Degrading… Degrade the environment alone. How much does it give my country in taxes? 70 billion US dollars.

There are three million Filipinos, at one hit per day, times three million, that is 6,000 per person a month. If you multiply it by the three million, that’s 18 billion a month. If you multiply it by 12, that’s 216 billion a year. Money which the father of a family would have to buy rice, medicine, schools, and…And the crime rate has downed —-drastically, down, down, down. It’s less than 49 percent.

We have girls raped, one-year-old, two-years-old. People dying because they were perceived to be devils in front of the addicts. Rape and all — and even the crime volume. Puts the crime volume before a President puts me to chain.

There are killings well because some choose really to fight government. And I said, I will have no mercy for you guys. You fight the authorities and you die? It’s good for you. You asked for it. I told you before, it will destroy my country and yet you go in and persist in doing it.

And so I said, if you fight, kill them, especially if your life is in danger. I do now want verily, I do not want to see military men and policemen die. It should be the bad boys who’d be dying, not my soldiers and my police.

So, we’re talking of what is right and what is wrong in this world? We’re talking of what is moral, what is not. I said I challenge anyone of you to come here. We can debate until midnight. Just tell me what was really good when they started destroying the Middle East. And until now, they bomb the hospitals, the patients with it dying and those who are already in the morgues are also dying again. And even prisoners and all. And they go about moralizing the righteousness of the world.

I’m sorry I have to say this. And they said, why are you veering towards China? Why should not I not veer to China? China is good. It has not invaded a piece of my country all this generation. All they were is to went there and do business. Barter trade even before the arrival of the Spaniards.

Most… A lot of Chinese descended Filipino. Almost everyone. We do not have — we have not seen any atrocities committed of late. And the wars of Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan, that’s an anarchy. That is really for the history books. But events of the recent times, there’s a book, which we have to read when we are on the [unclear].

It’s the modern times and the living past. Modern times and we have to live by the past to learn our lessons in life.

Thank you.

Any question? We’re good until 6 o’clock in the morning. Go ahead. Can we have it one at a time?

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. We’re China Daily. We’d like to ask a question about trade and cooperation. Do you have any expectations about your meetings with Chinese leaders tomorrow? And, what do you expect from the outcomes like in trade, infrastructure, agricultural technologies like froze and foods? And do you have any expectations about for the political and economic messages to be delivered through the meetings? Thank you.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, frankly, actually… I’m going to say I’m not in the kind of really to… I hate to admit it but there’s so many things that we need. We will be asking for the help of China. I do not know if they will — your government will give it to us.

I am here on a State Visit to pay my respects to the great people of China and to the Chinese government. But along the way, if they would ask me other things which I need and they can help and I would [unclear] of, also the simple ones, not impositions, not financial burdens.

We would appreciate if we are given loans, soft loans. We would rather borrow and pay it in a very liberal schedule.

Q: Mr. President, on South China Sea issue, how are you going to raise this issue during the meeting with President Xi tomorrow? And are you going to request President Xi to respect the international law, especially the result of arbitration? And what will be the bottom line?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. Let me tell you this. Before I came, there were preliminary talks within the Foreign Secretary of my country and the Foreign Minister of China.

We sorted out an agenda that is broad enough to accommodate all. But I as a friend and I would say this to…If he mentions it in passing and I will just say, Mr. President, I came here for a visit. I do not want to make hard impositions. I do not want to ask you to do it now because there will be a time when we shall be doing it.

But I have to be courteous and I have to wait for your President to mention it in passing for me to respond. It is in the broader outlines of talks that we have agreed. But as a matter of courtesy and the oriental way, you’d always wait because I am a visitor here.

I cannot destroy the goodwill by just blurting out something, for after all it is also…Let us be clear on this, the arbitral awards give us the right. Okay? China has the historical right and they are insisting and you are insisting and the Chinese government is insisting that it is right. So in this… Do we argue or we just talk? Then, if [unclear] I would say let us just put it to some other day.

There will come a time we will have to talk about it and the arbitral judgment is in a piece of paper with four corners. And maybe up by that time, I would say, you know, we have to talk now and might the issues will not go out of what is being stated.

We are limited to this but that is not the time to do it. That is the time to prepare for the goodwill and then maybe the agenda of how to go about doing it. But unfortunately or fortunately, it was not discussed by us. So it would not be in keeping with courtesy and goodwill if I’ll be the one to open it.

Because after all, I did not come here to agree to talk about the China Sea. And you can say it can take a back seat? Of course, it has to take a back seat. The question again is, there‘ll be a time that you have to talk about it? Of course, there will be a time because, you know, there are also countries around that — all the same issue.
But it is not the time to quarrel.

I have the highest respect for your President and your Premier. I have the highest love for my Chinese people. We will be on a different side one day, I know, because of that arbitral. But again I said, let us enjoy the camaraderie and by new found — predilection to choose people who understand human civility.

Did I answer your question? Thank you.

Q: Mr. President, thank you so much for taking our question, from CNN. Sir, with the understanding that on this particular trip you will not be talking in substance in terms of negotiating over the South China Sea. When that day inevitably comes, would there be room for some sort of bargain? For instance, if China allowed Filipino fishermen back into the area, would you ever allow China to build another artificial island in that area? Or is that a red line for you? And just a quick follow-up, if I may, the US presidential elections just a few weeks away, what are your thoughts on the candidates and do you have a preference for which candidate should win? Thank you very much for your time.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: In the matter of the fishing rights, I leave it to China to decide. We’ll be talking about it. And if — I will mention it in passing, the arbitral judgment, I would say, Okay. If that is what you want, if there are things really which we have to talk — to be talked of preliminarily, we can do it now. We can set the broad lines. As… But there would be no hard impositions. There will be no asking of concessions and anything.

And the third is, with the elections, I don’t know which way it will go. I…If I were just an ordinary citizen of the Republic of the Philippines, I’d gladly give you my choice. Problems I have in my burden, the Republic of the Philippines, which are not allowed by protocol and by law to side with anybody.

Of course, if you whisper to me, to which side I belong. I’ll tell you and you’d be surprised.

Q: Are you sure you don’t want to tell us now?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Because it’s not good, it’s not allowed, and I am sure that I’d get a lot of flak for that.

SOURCE: PND Transcriber