Interview

Media Interview of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following the Inauguration of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport

Event Media Interview
Location Panglao, Bohol

Q: Hi, sir. Sir, we just like to get more details on your decision to accept the resignation of Secretary Dureza and ano po ba ‘yung allegations doon sa dalawa —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Corruption.

Q: That you —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Corruption.

Q: What programs, sir? How much money involved? Can you give us details?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: We are still investigating but it’s corruption.

Q: Will Secretary Dureza sir be perhaps —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, Secretary Dureza as a — treated it as a matter of command responsibility. So he thought that it was only proper that with the involvement of his two subordinates nag — he offered to resign and I accepted his resignation.

The letter seems to indicate that he is resigning and he is tendering his resignation by virtue of command responsibility or the principle of command responsibility.

Q: Sir, you mentioned that you will be firing another undersecretary baka lang pwede niyo na pong i-announce?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes I am. What’s the name of the idiot? Meron pa akong isang uupakan. All mga on the assistant pati undersecretary level.

Iyong dalawa ang sa OPAPP, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, which is headed by Secretary Dureza. In fairness also to the Secretary, I am not attributing anything. Ang…I am zeroing in dito sa Usec Ronald Flores pati Director IV Yeshter Donn Baccay.

The problem is ang director IV is a presidential appointee and Usec Flores signed the appointment.

So which is… It’s illegal because there is no authority for a usec to appoint a director IV and that is parang — parang regional director ang level niyan.

Q: Sir, ‘yung isa pa po? Sabi niyo meron pa pong isa?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Nakalimutan ko kung sinong unggoy na ‘yon.

Q: What department, sir and over what issues?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Same corruption. Ah baka kasi siguro ‘yung kagabi baka ito na nga. Baccay, itong isa… Well, of course they were all — the dismissal order was given last night.

Not now. Kagabi sa RPOC sa… [Where was that?] We had theRPOC in Davao — oo, sa Davao City.

Q: I’m sorry to press this sir but will Secretary Dureza be moved or offered another post? Will Secretary Dureza be offered another position?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No. He did not ask for anything. At saka wala mang — what would be an equivalent to a secretary position? It’s all occupied. There are incumbents so…

Q: Hi sir, good evening. Sir, some camps have been viewing your Memorandum No. 32 with suspicion. May we know why you issued that order and why in those places, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Itong dalawang — ?

Q: Iyong MO 32, sir? Additional deployment —military and police deployment…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ah dito sa special ano?

Q: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, because there are so many encounters there and I’m losing a lot of soldiers and policemen,ambuscades and everything.

You place troops where you think that you need an added forces. Well I seem to be… I mean I’m — I’m surprised why you are so interested about deployment when I’m supposed to take care of the security of the country and I should be — kagaya sa Negros, iyong Sagay incident. So ibig sabihin sila lang man ang nagpatayan doon and yet it’s causing a big issue out there.

Q: Sir, some groups are seeing this as a prelude daw for a declaration for a national martial law?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ako? ‘Di ba I told you I will not declare martial law. ‘Yon man lang kaya ang usapan natin you are all interested to know if I am going to declare martial law or not.

No, I am not going to declare martial law. There’s enough powers of the presidency na magamit ko. Well, kung talagang — it’s widespread violence then maybe. But I do not need really violencesa every corner of the Philippines to say that we are in danger.

But as the one in the office, they are working for the people. I will do what is necessary to preserve this nation and to protect the people, that is my oath of office.

So you are wondering what is it? That’s the riddle. Sometimes it’s good to have a riddle.

Q: Sir, last na lang, will there be other places kung saan ipaguutos po ninyo ‘yung additional military and police deployment?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No as of none, but in places where there’s really a flashpoint. Now another one is — do not be surprised but in Jolo, I also expressed my dismay about the losses that’s why I went to Cauayan to visit the five soldiers who were killed in Sulu and I went to Zamboanga last night to commiserate with the troops there. Twenty-five wounded soldiers and I gave them medals.

So iyan there will be a division size. Talagang isang division ilagay ko. Not only a company, not only a battalion, not a regiment but I’m going to place an entire division for the islands there towards Sabah.

Q: Sir, saang ulit?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Iyon ‘yung isa. Iyon ‘yung deployment tapos ‘yung dito sa Samar because they are apparently controlling the — in some areas na there is taxation and they are running as if it is a — their governments who has the control. I cannot allow that.

Negros because the recruitment is almost incessant. And the agitation for trouble is always there because the issue is land. And I am studying if I should declare…

But what my order was really na ‘yung nanalo na na beneficiaries sa land I ordered Castriciones to place them in the possession of the land already. Sabi ko ASAP kasi ‘yung iba nade-delay kasi ‘yung mga landowners they go into a rigmarole of strategies and everything — illegal, legal.

Sabi ko kay DAR Secretary Castriciones, “place them in the — if there’s already the award, the decision, place the tenants in possession of the land immediately.”

And I might declare the entire island as a land reform area. I’m studying that.

Q: Which area again, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Negros because there’s a lot of troubles there and alam mo ito sa totoo lang I’m telling you now, the problem really is land.

We cannot arrive at a peaceful resolution of this controversy if you do not address itong feudalism actually. That’s what happening there.

So it’s about time that the landowners look at the reality of the world. There is a law and sabi ko hindi ito madala nang barilan. It has to be resolved… The root cause really is itong… It thrives best on issues about land reform or the absence of land of these so many people.

And the communists are exploiting it. Magke-create sila ng federation ng mga farmers, then they go about looking for vacant lands and taking over plantations.

Sinabi ko nga ‘yung okupasyon and I warned you that if you do that my order to the police and the military is to physically evict you. And if you do anything that is wrong and place the lives of my soldiers and policemen, I told them you can go right ahead and shoot them.

Huwag ninyo akong unahan. I went to Boracay as a matter of fact, ‘yung land nang likod ng Boracay, ibinigay ko sa mga natibo. And at this time, the lands there is worth already a million.

But there is a prohibition where it says that they cannot sell it within 10 years. But they can have it leased. So walang ano — walang expansion na ‘yung mga — kasi may mga may-ari na. Lahat ng public lands ibinigay ko sa mga natives, mga Ati.

Q: So to clarify sir it’s only Negros island that you are thinking of putting under land reform or other areas that you mentioned — ?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, ang pinaka is itong landlord tenant — pinakahinog ‘yan dito sa mga tubo pati ‘yung malaking coconut plantations.

I am sorry but whether I like it or not I have to act on it because there’s a law that mandates that the only way really is to follow the law and that is land reform.

Pero sabihin ko naman sa mga komunista, do not preempt me. It is not your privilege, your right, to go about occupying lands, ‘yung okupasyon ninyo and seizing it by force or intimidation. You can lose your pants there and maybe your lives. Pero I will not hesitate to use force, necessary force.

Sabi ko nga hindi ako papayag. Whether kulungin ninyo ako o hindi, mamamatay kayo diyan. Do not force my hand into it. Hindi ako ‘yung pitsugin. Hindi ako papayag. Please do not treat me like a — the other presidents noon na makaya ninyo na… Ako pagka panahon na basta hiningi ninyo ‘yan. So if you die there, do not blame the s*** on me. You asked for it.

But land reform you just wait. Ang pinaka — lahat na halos ibinigay ko na. I have been there, thereabout, distributing titles of lands in so many areas.

Hintayin ninyo ako. Huwag ninyong unahan kasi hindi kayo ang gobyerno. I do not believe that you are a legitimate entity in the scheme of things of our Republic today. Do not f*** with me. Okay?

Q: Sir, good evening po. Sir, recently ‘yung Senate po nagkaroon ng investigation tungkol doon sa mga entry ng mga Chinese workers ‘no. Ang sinasabi daw po is may 52,000 na pumapasok dito na Chinese as tourists initially and then they be granted working permits to work for online gaming casinos. What are you thoughts about this?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, they should be deported. But in the same manner, you should be careful because when you point to the Chinese you also point yourself at us. There are so many thousands of Filipinos working there or went inside China as tourists and working there. Nakaganun ‘yan eh.

Remember it’s not just exploiting a story about the Chinese working here. We are doing the same thing in Malaysia. There are a lot of our women are there — in Indonesia, in China, in Korea.

In Korea marami. Ang mabuti’t na lang sa Korea kasi I think the Koreans is a race which remembers gratitude

Kaya they are soft only on Filipinos because we fought the Korean war. But we should not also abuse that privilege that they are lenient in issuing visas to Filipinos kasi nga alam nila tumulong tayo. But that should not be a cause for abuse.

So ang sabi ko, we are complaining about the so many — not only Chinese but Indians — are here also working, and a host of other nationality. Remember that we have also exported the same problem to them.

Q: Sir, ibig sabihin po sir given that complexity and that reality so parang okay lang po ‘yung ganung setup that you — ?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No, it’s not okay. It is not okay but there has to be an arrangement there. So if you think that you are at aloss, at a disadvantage because there are so many Chinese nationals working here. Remember that we have the same equal amount of people — Filipinos who are there working in China. But wala naman silang idineport (deport). So maybe you can just tell them to go home.

Otherwise, if you start to get rough on this issue, there is a distinct possibility that it will also happen to you. So you know when you sail your ship of state, you avoid turbulent waters.

Q: Sir, just one last have you received the shortlist for chief justice of the Supreme Court, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, I have appointed one, already I signed the appointment before I left Manila last — the other night.

So I have chosen one already.

Q: For associate justice sir or chief justice because there are two vacancies?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sa chief justice.

Q: Chief justice, sir? May we know who?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ang chief justice?

Q: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You come to me nearer and I’ll whisper the name.

Q: I can do that sir do you want me to?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi nga eh kasi hindi ako — walangappointment. The office will release the appointment then you will see that there is a name there which says that si Justice… Huwag na lang.

Q: Sir naman.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi nga eh. You wait for  the official announcement by Secretary Panelo.

Q: But you have selected already?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I have already selected a chief justice, yes.

Q: Sir, you mentioned before —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, I mentioned before…

Q: That you appointed si Justice de Castro because she was the most senior in the list —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Who?

Q: In the list sir before si Justice de Castro. Now did you also consider seniority in your selection of the new chief justice?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, sabi ko seniority but you know binigyan ako ng lima eh. I got five names so I was made to choose.

Q: And you selected whom sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hint?

Q: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: His family name begins with a letter “Y”?

Q: Wala naman sir “Y” doon?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sinabi ko sa inyo uwi na ako.

— END —

SOURCE: PCOO – PND (Presidential News Desk)

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