Interview

Media Interview of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following the Proclamation and Kick-off rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN)

Event Proclamation and Kick-off rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN)
Location San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan

Q: Sir, Happy Valentine’s.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Okay. Happy. Valentine’s to all. Mahal ko ang Pilipino.

Q: Sir, how will this slate work dahil ine-endorse niyo rin po ‘yung Hugpong, ‘yung HNP?

 PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, ‘yung — tayo-tayong paniwala eh, so I cannot stop my daughter from supporting other candidates if that is her desire. Ayaw ko na makipag-away sa kanya.

But ‘yung mga kandidato na ine-endorse ko, alam niya na ‘yon na ‘yung slate na ‘yon. Kung maka… Kung magka-pareho kami isa, dalawa, okay na ‘yon.

Q: Sir, bale ano ‘yan? We can call this slate po an ano, personal slate niyo ‘yan? Presidential slate?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. PDP. Maybe, it’s really a — I don’t know if it is split personality ng PDP main political party. But I’ve also considered them as my partymates because I ran under the PDP slate.

Q: Pero sir ‘yung mga guest candidate, will they be adopted by PDP-Laban?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes sa — insofar as ang PDP na nandito sa akin. I have no quarrel with Inday actually. But I respect her decision, who among the aspirants she will choose to form her ticket.

Ako naman, meron din akong sariling nagustuhan along this year. Ang problema namin ni Inday is she’s a politician and I am also. So we cannot agree on all — especially on all of the personalities there sa Hugpong.

Q: So ‘yung mga nandoon po sa HNP na wala po dito kanina, you are not endorsing them. Is that right?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, because I have to be true to myself. Kung ano ‘yung sinabi ko dito, ‘yon na ‘yung suportahan ko.

Q: But sir, you weren’t able to mention Freddie Aguilar…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes and I forgot because you know, nawala siya eh. And I think, I was not able to hear the whispers at the back that I have yet to mention his name.

Alam mo ang gusto ko kay Freddie ganito, ang hindi alam ng Pilipino is that Freddie Aguilar is a brilliant man. He does not talk in English because talagang sinasadya niya. He’s a nationalist.

But kung sabihin mo na mautak si Freddie Aguilar, talagang gusto ko siya, mautak. You know he’s a very true Filipino. His songs — all of his songs, maghanap kayo there is always a message, a social message about the Filipino.

Walang kanta na pinagsayangan ni Freddie. He’s smart. He can talk in English. Kung sabihin lang ninyo na ang narinig lang ninyo na kumakanta nagta-Tagalog. Eh talagang nag-i-English siya. And I knew him since 25 years ago…  And he’s always been a friend.

Q: Jinggoy Estrada, you mentioned his name a few days ago in one of your speeches. He’s not here now but he’s with HNP. What does that mean?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Nandoon siya eh. Alang-alang naman na hindi ko siya… Even for just one single day masabihan mo na ang kandidato mo 13 lahat. What is that to a friend? We know that he has suffered. We know that he was in prison.

Q: Sir, any particular reason why you couldn’t endorse the other three? Sila Bong, si Jiggy, and then si…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Too late. They gave me the signal too late. Actually, about almost a year ago I was already forming the ticket. But I just played dumb.  Hindi ko naman sinasabi. Ganun man talaga. You’re not supposed to — anong tawag nito?

Q: Telegraph your punches?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Telegraph your…

Q: Sir, any comment on the arrest of Maria Ressa?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi ko talaga alam ‘yan. Not for today. I have yet to go home. Sa labas po ako the whole day.

Q: Some are — regarding her arrest sir…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Bakit siya naaresto?

Q: Sir, for the cyber libel?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sinong nag-file?

Q: William Keng, sir. Negosyante po, William Keng. Nag-file and then the resolution of the DOJ was released February 4, filed in court tapos released — naglabas ng decision ‘yung court for the warrant February 12. And then yesterday nag-execute ng warrant of arrest.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, you know once a case is filed in court, unless it is one of the offenses that can only be — what you would call release through recognizance on your own, which are really very few.

Once — the rule is once the case is filed in court, talagang ano ‘yan — ‘yung lalabas ang warrant of arrest.

Q: Sir, they’re saying it’s an attack on…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Pero kung sabihin mo na, what can you say? I cannot say anything. I have not — I have yet to read. May nagsabi sa stage kanina but — same answer. I cannot give you an opinion or say anything.

Q: Sir, because they’re saying and some of international journalist organizations are saying this is an attack on the media, what can you say?

Q: Blaming the administration for it.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Susmaryosep. Far from it actually. I do not relish — babae pati bata, wala ako diyan.

Hindi ko kilala ‘yan si Keng, frankly. I do not know him and what prompted him to file a case.

I’ve been mayor for so many years. I have been the subject of all kinds of attack, personal and whatever — silly and everything. And even kami ni Nograles. He has filed about three cases against me. All reached the Supreme Court. I was acquitted on procedural and substantive…

Iyang Duterte versus Sandigan, that’s a leading case. Kasi inakyat — idinemanda ako ng Sandigan so I went to the Supreme Court on certiorari. I was acquitted.

Iyong isa about the teacher’s program na binigyan ko ng added fringe benefits. Idinemanda rin niya ako diyan sa Supreme Court. Sabi ko, what’s wrong in giving money and goods to teachers? It’s not — it’s always allowed.

Q: Sir, rice tariffication napirmahan na po? Rice tariffication, sir.

Q: Mag-lapse yata tomorrow sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Mabuti ‘yung mag-lapse siya.

Q: So sir, hindi pa?

Q: Have you signed it?

Q: Sir, hindi pa na-sign?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sa totoo lang, gusto mong sumama, isang kateraba hanggang sahig ganito. I have 6,000. The government needs 6,000 signatures. Ngayon, maghabol ako. And I might just announce it.

I’m greeting my wife, my first wife, Elizabeth. Happy Valentine’s. To Honeylet, Happy Valentine’s, to my daughters, Sara and Veronica. Lahat ng mga babae na may kaugnayan sa buhay ko. Pati kayo, I wish you all. Hindi naman ako mag-ano… I do not…

Q: Sir, ‘yung extended maternity leave? Extended maternity leave, na-veto daw po ‘yun?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Meron dito ‘yung ano — ayaw pahabaan; merong gustong pahabaan.

Q: Ang desisyon niyo po?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I would… Pia asked me to deliberate on it tonight. Ipapahanap ko pa nga.

Q: So no decision yet sir? Wala pa pong veto?

Q: So sir hindi pa po siya lapse into law. Some are saying today daw po kasi.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi pa. ‘Pag wala pang alas-doseI still have control or even the date. Pero huwag naman ‘yang tig-tatlo, apat na araw, just overnight. You cannot expect me to be superhuman.

Q: Sir, just one last. Just one.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I’m going to sign documents, 6,000 of them.

Q: Sir, just one last point. Going back to Rappler ‘no. To those who are saying that this is an attack on press freedom, on the media and this is going to have a chilling effect, what’s your response to that, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Kayo, matagal naman. ABS-CBN. Nag-file ba ako sa inyo?

Q: But you are threatening to block their franchise. Wala naman ah.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, of course, but not because of that, but because of the money na tinanggap ng ABS na hindi naman kami sinabihan na ‘yung pinagbayaran namin na — ganito ‘yung political advertisement time, hindi naman natuloy.

At kung hindi ko sila inatake, hindi naman isauli ‘yung pera. You cannot operate a network like that and it’s not only me. Chiz Escudero, ako, marami ‘yan. That’s about — 20, 15 others na ginawa nila ganun.

Q: What is your policy on critical media then?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ha?

Q: Your policy on critical media?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Tutal kayo ang critical, bahala kayo diyan kung matuluyan kayo.

It means nothing to me. Hindi naman totoo lahat ‘yan. Just prove to me one item there. Corruption? Ako? I don’t know.

Q: Sir, may date ba kayo ng Valentine’s?

Q: Sir, concert? Are you going to attend a concert?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Actually ang misis ko nandito.

Q: Sige po sir. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Q: Sir, pakawalan na namin kayo. Thank you very much sir for your time.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Kasi kung hindi siya lumipad dito, may balak ako na yayayain kasi…

—END—

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