Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his talk with the men of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom)
WESTMINCOM Gymnasium, Camp Navarro Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City
21 July 2016
This is my first visit actually outside of, to visit a kampo. And it was very informative on my side to know the conditions of on the ground. But I, before that, I’d like to tell you that we will go ahead with the increases of the soldiers, of the police and the military and that would include the PDEA and the law enforcement agencies such as the NBI.

This will take effect this year. Dahan-dahan lang tayo kasi kung wala masyadong pera—remember that I entered the presidency mid-stream. So, I have to just make a go of what’s available but uunahin ko kayo.

Now, in our talks during the command conference, I was informed there is a need for more soldiers. And, do I have a source somewhere? It’s about 20, wala akong pera, mga 10 siguro for additional soldiers on the ground because I would need about 3,000 policemen to meet the challenges of urban terrorism.

We are in a transition. The world itself is in a transition. Everybody has a problem somewhere. Except for a few countries in South America, lahat tayo may problema and it’s always, it has deteriorated into a terrorism thing. Ang problema diyan, because it cuts borders, walang specific objective is to establish a country, if you want to rebel, hindi ganoon eh. Or you want to put down a dictator because he’s a despot. Wala rin iyan. It’s just simply that they are there fighting and kagaya ng Middle East, the reason is just to kill. Ang mabuti dito, because there’s a reason and they are into it for kidnapping—money. At least kung ganoon lang and we’re better off than the others.

But on a long term, you know we have a problem. As a nation, it has started many many years ago. Para tayong sinasampal. Na everytime there is a foreigner executed or a local, and with a dimension such as yung nakikita kasi pinipekula, may pelikula. ‘Yung mapapahiya. It embarrasses the country that with all the soldiers and the policemen, we cannot stop this kind of terrorism.

One day, we’ll just have to decide. And one day we’ll just have to say, ‘we’ll finish everything.’ Hindi pwede yung araw-araw sampalin tayo ng ganito. And look, sabi nila, ako noon berdugo ako ng Davao. I was the only one executing the criminals. Eh kailan ba, ngayon lumabas na. See? Makita mo ang nag-surrender is 80,000 plus.

Where can you find a country that even doon sa presohan—anak ng…— nagluluto ng shabu. They were arrested outside for committing the crime precisely of manufacturing shabu and yet, pagdating doon, nagluluto pa. Parang nakaka-insulto ang but I said this has to stop. No, I cannot tell you the wherewithals of the drug problem but maybe privately I can tell you. Magtanong nalang kayo sa mga opisyal ninyo.

We have a serious problem. The enemy is within. It is not within our reach? So ang laro nito, I don’t know, but you’ll have just to support the government. Not to me personally. I do not want anybody cultivating a loyalty sa akin personally. Ayaw ko ‘yan. I started from the ranks, started as Special Counsel. ‘Yun ang pinakamababa ng sa prosecution. Started in order fourth, third, second. Second, I was taken in as vice mayor of Davao. EDSA Revolution. Then I became a mayor in 1988. Progressive din. Sa awa ng Diyos, I won all the elections in my life. Maybe I will, I take pride in winning the presidency but I’m fighting a war here. Drugs doon sa Maynila and in other places, and dito sa ibang… Mindanao, it’s terrorism. It will need your sacrifice. And mine, too.

But alam ninyo, you’ll have to come in very fast. We are stretched thin. Wala akong pulis na ilatag ko diyan in every nook and corner. Tapos ang shabu, it’s rampaging. I said, it’s beyond our reach yang problema dyan eh. Do not look for the—magsabi sila na, ‘Where’s the big fish? Bakit, maliliit lang?’ Wala, private lang ito lahat, ang general sus… It’s just orchestrated. Pati itong meeting na ‘to alam ko monitor. For all you know, may picture pa sila. Ganoon ang hirap ng giyera na ‘to, so you’ll have to love your country. Do it for the love of country, do not do it for me. I do not need it. Trabaho tayong lahat. Sabi ko ako, ‘trabahante lang ako.’

Kayo ang mga ano ko, I have my simple wants. Hindi ko nga alam bakit ako na dumating dito sa presidency. But I told the story sa, doon sa command conference, how I came about to be here with you tonight.

Ito lang ang masabi ko: Do your duty. If you are ordered for an operation against shabu, nagkasabit-sabit kayo. Don’t fear. I will be there in the fulfillment of duty or in the performance of your task, mandate. You will have my support, 100 percent. I will not allow you to go to jail, ako ang mauna. Akin ‘yan. Kung lahat ng ine-execute ninyo, utos ko, akin ‘yan. Mine and mine alone. Ako yan. Basta yung trabaho natin. So, huwag kayong matakot. And you might be charged. I… take solace from my statement, I am there for you.

Hindi nalang ako magtagal, I have to go to the wounded soldiers. Mag-ikot ako, I will look for money. At kayo, pagka nagka-problema. Alam mo na yung, the imponderables of life, ‘yung hindi mo nakita, asawa, kapatid, may cancer, ganoon, huwag na kayo pumunta ng malayo. Just go to your commanding officer and he will call me and I will look for ways to help you.

Huwag na kayo pumasok diyan sa kung ano-ano pa ang magkautang. Pagka medyo mabigat, eh alam mo, marami ‘yan ha, patay, tuition, o whatever, damay na yang cancer ang hirap oh, paalamin mo lang ako.

Kaya sana nga noon, ipagbili ko ‘yung Pag-asa to rebuild ‘yung V. Luna pero sabi nila, nobody is, no takers ‘yan kasi luma na, mahina. I will either convert it into a hospital, tingnan ko lang kung how much I would spend. Gawain ko ‘yang hospital ninyo, ilagay ko sa, well, wherever the fighting is, sirain ko lang yung loob, bigyan ko ng, lagyan ko ng mga operating room, para iyan ang gawin ko. Walang silbi yang barko na ‘yan eh. So, pakinabangan nalang natin.

If somebody is willing to sell it. Pag ang kita niyan, maaasahan ninyo, diretso. I will rebuild the V. Luna. I will complete it. I will add another building, maybe, a new one. And you will have the comparative best medical treatment. It will have everything: CT scan, ano yung mga imaging. I’ll spend money.

So, and we will improve the hospitals. Kung anong immediate and urgent needs to be there. Huwag kayong maano, basta inutusan kayo to do a civilian mandate, for example, drugs, go ahead. Hindi na ako magtanong kung paano mo ginawa, basta ako pag nagkasabit kayo sa trabaho, mandated by law, batas, hindi naman atin ‘yan, you will have my protection.

And I said, isa lang tayo. Do not be too extra courteous to me or respectful kasi naiilang ako. Anak lang rin ako ng migrant dito sa Mindanao. Nung umalis kami ng Cebu—well, of course, my mother is from here, pero ang tatay ko— mahirap lang kami. So I know how it is to be poor and to work all your life for the government. Eh dumating ako sa edad na ito, I think it’s destiny naging presidente ako. I want to assure everybody in this Republic, lalo na tayong taga gobyerno, that you have a President who’d share with you ‘yung mga problema. And of course, the little blessings that we get from God and from the people of the Republic of the Philippines.

Salamat po. (applause)