Media Interview with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following the Ceremonial Demilitarization of Captured, Confiscated, Surrendered and Recovered Firearms during the Marawi Crisis and Ceremonial Awarding of the Order of Lapu-Lapu

Event Ceremonial Demilitarization of Captured, Confiscated, Surrendered and Recovered Firearms during the Marawi Crisis and Ceremonial Awarding of the Order of Lapu-Lapu
Location Philippine Army Headquarters, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City


Q: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Sir, regarding the appointment of General Bato as the next BuCor chief? Sir, magre-resign po ba siya or will you have to wait until his resignation in January 2018 bago siya makaupo sa kanyang pwesto?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No it’s not resignation, it’s mandatory retirement. But I have the… My capacity as commander-in-chief and the chief of the [inaudible] department, I have the jurisdiction over the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

I have that discretion to extend even beyond retirement age. Marami pa kasi akong gagawin. I want to do some things in Mindanao of utmost importance and I need to extend the tour of duty of General Dela Rosa to something like mga two to three months just to…

It’s mainly infrastructure and maybe the physical setting of the headquarters of the Armed Forces and the police to suit the demands of the moment.

May ililipat ako tapos may gagawin akong mga kampo na bago. But this time, I am not prepared to spill it out before the public.

Q: Sir, after po ng extension niya, pwede na siyang umupo as BuCor chief?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. I said I will extend his tour of duty to something like two to three months. Once the projects are in place for operational, for functional, then he goes to the BuCor.

BuCor, mas malawak rin ‘yan kasi marami tayong problema sa mga penal colonies and other places of their — not really detention but the prisoners convicted their final judgment who are serving sentence.

Q: Sir, last question on my part. May napili na po ba kayong kapalit ni General Dela Rosa?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala pa. I leave it to the… I usually do not interfere.

I don’t know if they had a sort of a — an entity within the PNP na tasked with the — you know, reviewing senior officers’ promotion.

So parang Board of Generals ng… Ibalik ninyo ‘yung original. Akalain mo itong pulis, anong ranggo ng SPO4? What is the equivalent of that in the Army? How about you?

Eh kasi itong pulis… Pati ako pag sabi “SPO1”. So what’s so special about special police? Kaya sabi ko, ibalik na niyo ‘yung Police Private First Class, Police Corporal… Bakit mo…

Kaya hanggang ngayon, hinahanap ko ‘yung general na nag-imbento niyan. Gusto kong kausapin. You know, you’re fond of changing — pati ‘yung mga logo.

Minsan, itong isang bagong chief of office, naka-ganun si Lapu-Lapu tapos pagka bago ang Chief PC noon, nandito na naman ‘yung sundang ni Lapu-Lapu.

Meron naman dito nataga niya ’yung sarili niyang paa. Those changes are really very unnecessary. It would just add to the expense of the ordinary man, soldier or policeman. That has to stop. That has to stop.

‘Yung ano lang… At least during my time, walang… Kung ano ‘yung naabutan ko ‘yun na ‘yun.

It’s not really in the insignias or uniform. It’s how you deliver the message to the soldiers, how you inspire them to work and to endure and they have a good record sa ano.

And the Army can testify to that, the Armed Forces, of their crucial role noong sa Marawi.

Mukhang lusot na ‘yung… We are awaiting word but sabi ko sa Congress, talagang increases nila must be implemented next year. Commitment ko ‘yan eh.

Q: Sir, good evening. I’m Chona Yu po. I just would like to ask you about the Dengvaxia controversy. There are cases of death already. What are you gonna do about it?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am not an expert and I do not assume that those deaths are already automatically connected with the side or toxic effects of…

Unless there is an investigation and the person whom we are trying to attribute the responsibility is given the chance to be heard and to air their findings in public.

Tutal meron naman tayong mga another set of experts who said that this is good. Ito namang manufacturer, it is a refutable company in the world of drug manufacturing. Ganyan lang ‘yun.

So I do not think that they will be ready to destroy a billion dollar business just for one lousy… If there is a failure, let them sort it out. An independent investigation. Congress would do it.

If they’d get to listen to the experts who are available here in the Philippines today. If not, they can always commission another body to come up with an independent study.

Pero kung sabihin mo lang may namamatay nung sa vaccination, ‘yung silingan ko doon sa Davao, namatay, hindi naman siya na-injectionan (injection) maski kaunti.

Q: Sir, the program was continuously implemented by then Secretary Paulyn Ubial and apparently, she said na napilitan siyang i-continue because of pressure…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Look, if I were the President and there’s a vaccine that was already paid for and the studies show according to the clinical studies of that company, I as president, would al — ako rin, sabihin ko, “You implement it if it would save lives.”

But ignorante man sila. There was also another follow-up study based on clinical studies that found the flaws, the errors maybe.

But at that time that they were implementing the… Pati ako sa Davao, nagtatanong ako, if there really such a thing such as a vaccine? Because maraming namatay.

Anak ko, ‘yung si Sebastian, malapit sa disgrasya ‘yan. You know, taking for granted. He was always out of the city surfing, ganun. Then suddenly, he was already almost, nagla-lock na ang… Kaya ako parang mamamatay ako sa ospital nung… Totoo ‘yan.

So he was confined sa Davao Doc with a dengue. You know, I have 10 grandchildren. My God, I would… If there is anything that can save the lives of anyone of them or any Filipino for that matter, considering my position, I will order the implementation.

Unless there is a study or a counter-statement to the efficacy and the danger of the drugs.

Wala akong choice pagka marami nang namamatay and there’s a vaccine and wala naman akong advice na “huwag ‘yan” or the advice was not proper.

I cannot blame anybody. I am not prepared to condemn anybody there simply because binili nga natin ‘yun. Eh kung maano — ‘yung presyo wala sa akin.

Any amount that could save the Filipino, lalo na ang mga bata. Eh ‘yung anak ko si Sebastian, he is about [ilan bang taon niya ‘non?] [28?] something, tinamaan eh.

Eh kung ako, matamaan ako, eh ‘di okay na sana. It is really something which is preventive.

But ‘yung sabi nila na, the second infection would give you a far more worse condition. Eh wala pa naman talaga akong sabi — maski sa amin sa Davao, wala pa naman ako nung — mga barangay captain, “Sir, maraming patay doon after the vaccine.”

Not as yet. So I am not prepared to pass judgment. I can only inquire and hope that everything will give us the truth because anything here in this planet requires truth.

The first instance na ano, sabihin mo na ang totoo para wala ka ng problema.

Even Garin, I am not… Eh sinabi kaya natin binili ‘yun because they believe… Alam mo ang ano diyan, it’s good faith.

If you really think in good faith that you are doing the right thing, nobody but nobody can question you except your conscience.

Q: Hi sir, good afternoon. Sir, Maricel Halili po from TV-5. Sir, some lawmakers are concerned doon po sa paggawa na basis sa NPA sa declaration of martial law in Mindanao because they are saying that NPA is all over the country. So the extension of martial law in Mindanao may lead to a nationwide declaration of martial law. What are the chances po of nationwide declaration, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Let me give you a lecture about Mindanao.

We are facing so many fronts. The biggest manufacturers of shabu are based in Mindanao. So much so that the police alone acting cannot raid the shabu laboratories there owned by the mayors, owned by the Maute. So they have to call in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

What happened? What was the flashpoint there sa Marawi? Di ba ‘yung mga pulis nag-raid to serve a warrant? And as a result or the consequence of the punitive police action, there was a shootout.

So what happened? Hindi kaya ng pulis. So the Marines went in. Anong nangyari? From what was a very simple exercise of serving a warrant of arrest or a search warrant for that matter, it turned out to be a bloody day for us.

And I remember going to the airport to be there when the bodies were
airlifted doon sa kampo, sa Villamor I think. Now, ganun kalaki. Teka muna, droga lang ‘yan ha.

Now, we have terrorism. Ang base nila is Marawi… Mindanao. Maguindanao is a… At this moment, I am sure there is a fighting everyday.

So I’m losing about, on the average, three to seven soldiers and policemen a day.

Diyan sa Maguindanao, ang bakbakan, you can call your friends there in the military and they would say there’s an engagement somewhere.

So meron diyan. It is really an existing one. It is violence being spearheaded by the NPAs and the… Itong mga quest for independence. The rogue sector of the MI and MN.

Now, we are talking, not really desperately but there is a need for me to come up with something, otherwise, Mindanao will blow apart.

Q: Pero sir, how —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Why? Because if the MI and MN would declare war and say they are going to revolt, then Mindanao would be opened to all sorts of criminals.

And you know, in a war or trouble, your enemy is my friend. So ‘yung nawalaan ngayon ng base, wala silang rason makipag-away because they lost the piece of real estate na hinahawakan nila, there is no more land mass to hang on, magta-travel ng Southeast Asia ‘yan.

And remember that they are terrorists. So if you have the terrorists and you have the guys who do not believe that the Philippine government could ever, ever solve the problem, which is territorial — I hope it would no result in a religious conflict.

It is not now but tapos ‘yung droga, how many enemies do you have there? And it’s scattered everywhere.

In Jolo, they are still continuing with their business of kidnapping people. We are known for that and it has put to shame our country.

Kasi ‘pag hindi nakabayad, I said, niluluglog nila — pinup — decapitated in front of the world.

So that’s one there, the vicious cycle of criminality. Then the Maute, then you have the remnants of the terrorists, hindi masyado dito.

That is why Mindanao remains to be, I said, powder keg or a flashpoint of trouble.

Q: Meaning, sir, no plans for declaring martial law nationwide, only Mindanao?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, it is up to the enemies of the state. If sabi ng NPA that they are recruiting in mass numbers and they create trouble, and they are armed and about to destroy government.

Ano — ang gobyerno, will not wait until the dying — it’s said, the dying days of its existence. The government can always preempt and prevent that disaster.

Q: All right.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: To what extent, what level of atrocities or attacks? It is not for me to say that, it is for the Armed Forces and the police.

Q: Sir, last na lang po. Some critics are saying that ‘yung declaration po, extension ng martial law is unconstitutional because there is no actual rebellion in Mindanao. May we have your thoughts, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Bilangin mo nga kung ilan ‘yung namatay doon? ‘Wag na ‘yung bu — bilangin mo kung ilan namatay ngayong araw na ito all over Mindanao.

Ina-ambush ang pulis ko araw-araw, ambush ang sundalo ko, there’s no… There is actually rebellion in Mindanao. It is — when you say it’s going — ongoing, the fighting is going on. That is what is meant by ongoing. It is happening.

Ano ba naman ang klaseng interpretation ng ongoing? There is actually a — well, I said of late, kasi with impunity na itong mga komunista, patayin ‘yung mga inosente, ‘yung ayaw ng mga — ‘yung Lumads, ayaw sumunod doon sa Lumad na ni-recruit nila, pinapatay.

And two-thirds of the Lumads are — constitute the membership of the NPA or the armed force of the Communist Party.

I will not wait until they are about to slit our throat.

Q: Good evening, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Eh maski nagsa-sharpen ka na lang, tapos sabihin sa iyo, “O ito ha, pinapa…” [Ano ba ‘yung haet sa Tagalog? Y***.] “O hinahasa ko ito para sa leeg mo.” Eh bakit ko pa hintayin ‘yang…?

The existence of our democracy is not the — it’s not the comments of the opposition or of those who are against me politically.

And fortunately, kasali, nag-merge eh. I will not wait for that day, on its 25th hour, for the hands of the clock to strike, for the bells to toll, to sound our kneel of grief. Kinopya ko lang ‘yan, hindi akin ‘yan, kinorap ko na lang nang konti.

Q: Good evening, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Because a day has only 24 hours. When you say, “I will not wait for that day on its 25th hour,” so you are dying, “for the clocks to toll, to sound our kneel of grief.”

Q: Hi, sir. I am Tuesday Niu of DZBB GMA-7. Sir, Christmas day and New Year is very near. Can you categorically say now that you will not declare a holiday truce?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala ako. ‘Pag sinabi ng military, Armed Forces na, “‘wag ‘yan kasi they will gain grounds.” But the only reason is you’ll give an advantage to the enemy.

If they take advantage there but lull, and the military will say, “give them the space and the time and motion to move against government forces,” eh ‘di maniwala ako sa kanila. Saan pala ako maniwala, sa Liberal Party?

Q: Would that mean, sir, na — there is no chance for our soldiers to come home and be with their families on Christmas day?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: May rotation ‘yan. I’ll see to it that they are rotated periodically so that everybody will have the chance to be with their families.

Though unfortunately, some of them will be on the field and cannot be with their families physically.

I understand that, I have a family also. But unfortunately for the soldiers, they are not — they do not have that kind of luxury.

Q: Sir, just on your — what your earlier statement about the possibility of nationwide coverage of martial law. Sir, you said when the NPA are mass recruiting and ready to overthrow the government then you will declare?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Again, it’s the evaluation, assessment of the… Ako, wala ako, mag-martial law, okay sa akin. ‘Pag walang martial law, okay man rin sa akin.

Now, what makes it really very dangerous is it — baka it will reach a level of — it could — the point of no return for everybody.

Q: Sir, could you have more concrete parameters for that?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No. I will assess and evaluate as the facts come in or reaches my table or the recommendations of the security forces.

Sila ‘yung nakaalam kung saan nakapwesto ‘yung kalaban eh.

Q: So, sir, it seems you’re more worried about the NPA problem than the terrorists —?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: They are the same.

Q: — pushing you…?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: The terrorists and the NPAs are the same. They kill with impunity and they rob people.

Basahin mo ‘yung newspaper kahapon or the briefer. Ngayon, pumunta sila sa isang ano nagpulong-pulong tapos lahat ng bahay inakyat. Kinuha ‘yung mga bagay-bagay. After getting something from a company that was operating in that area.

Kaya you can never hope to improve the agricultural sector. ‘Yun sila ang nangangailangan because of really poverty and the incidence of hunger and malnourished diyan sa mga bata diyan.

Wala nga, kasi walang makapunta sa bukid. Pati ‘yung mga Lumad, you know, they are trying to convert everybody to Communism.

Ako naman, ‘yung mga Lumads na — just there roaming — or they transfer from one place to another — kung naintindihan ninyo ako, ‘wag kayong sumunod diyan.

Magtanong lang ako ng isang bagay. In the last 50 years, tanungin ko kayong mga Pilipino, anong isang ginawa, maski isang — isa lang, katiting lang, ano ang ginawa ng mga teroristang NPA, mga komunista sa buhay ninyo? Sige daw.

An, ano — bigyan mo ako isang ano lang? Kay kung meron, i-lift ko ang martial law. Bigyan mo lang ako isang — one solid day or 24-hours or even half an hour na pumunta sila ng barangay at may ibinigay sila nang kabutihan.

Except to recruit people to die and to kill, and to get the things of the people without their consent and that is really brigandage or stealing.

How can you continue branding them as revolutionaries? You must be crazy. Magpatay ka ng tao, left and right, walang kasilbi-silbi, kunin mo pa ‘yung mga bagay-bagay nila.

Tanungin ko kayo, anong ginawa ng KMU, itong mga PISTON sa buhay ninyo sa taga-Maynila? Kayong mga deprensipyo na estudyante, anong ibinigay ni Sison?

Sison, idol ko ‘yan noong estudyante ako, anong ibinigay? Anong ibinigay niya kung ‘di problema sa kapwa tao niya?

May — may isa ba siyang bagay nagawa? Except to espouse the armed struggle, ‘yan ang ayaw namin sa gobyerno, even I.

I would assume that I can share some of their horizons. But certainly, you want a change that kill people, Filipinos, hindi ko ‘yan matanggap.

I cannot kill my own countrymen just to what? Change a new government, from a republican, you want to change it ‘yung gusto nila?

Ni hindi nga sila manalo-nalo ng eleksyon, eh ‘yung sa Davao, ‘yung mga konsehal nananalo. O tignan mo nung binitawan ko, eh ‘di lahat talo.

And yet, I accommodated them even in the Cabinet hoping that it would improve the quality of our communications. Na masabihan ko, “Adre, pwede ba itong ipasa mo?”

That’s why their purpose was there, gamitan lang ‘to. And I was using them. Totoo. O bayaran ko kayo ng sweldo, ganito kalaki. You are with government. You have some powers. But I never surrendered ‘yang sa coalition, magsali ka diyan sa military pati — kalokohan ‘yan.

In the same manner, sinasabi ko na doon sa autonomous and even to — ‘yung Bangsamoro Law. There could only be one police, period; one soldier, period. Down the line ‘yan, isa lang. Wala ‘yang autonomous diyan na you break the chain of command.

‘Yan ang hindi ko ma-surrender, hindi ko maibigay. I’m really sorry. I want to, you know, talk sense with the BBL. But mabuti ‘yang magprangkahan tayo.

You know, it is a sovereign power. I — when he says that there is only one commander-in-chief, one chief of staff, ‘yan ang sundin natin. And they have this power to exercise. Why? They are elected by the people.

Eh kung may magtakbo diyan na isang kom — o whatever, it could be a son of a b*****, but if it is the choice of the people, eh ‘di sunod tayong lahat.

But if — we will ask — bring to perdition… Ang Pilipino, gusto talaga demokrasya, republican. Meaning to say that since we cannot altogether assemble in one place to decide our fate and destiny, we elect representatives and send them to Congress to express our sentiments.

So when a congressman, however right or however wrong, ‘pag magsalita ‘yan, he is representing a constituency. For example, the district of Davao, first district, and that is the voice of the people.

So the voice of the people is the voice of God kasi Kristiyanos tayo. And even the Moro, alam mo ‘yan, it’s all Allah. It’s all Allah, period. What Allah wants his people… Magkaintindihan tayo kay puro tayo Moro.

Q: Hi, sir. Good evening po. Still on the martial law, ‘no. So right now, sir, ‘yung martial law is in Mindanao effective. Tapos that will run after the NPAs that are based…


Q: Lahat, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Terorista, lawless — lawless elements, criminal, lahat, terorista. Baka matapos ko ito lahat.

Q: Sir, how — but, how about the CPP-NPA who are not in Mindanao? How are you going to run after them?


Q: The NPAs po, sir, who are not in Mindanao, how are you going to run after them?


Q: How, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Because they are terrorists.

Q: Okay.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: How? Eh karami kong sundalo pati pulis every kanto dito. Pero ‘pag doon sila sa Mindanao, well — you know, it’s a different thing there, there’s a policy going on and that is martial law.

And if you are arrested, huwag ka magpa — i-detain ka na, you will shout there, “liberty, liberty, liberty,” “freedom, freedom.” Because we are allowed to detain you for so many hours, if you are alive.

Pero pagka patay ka, hindi pulis ang lugar mo, doon ka sa punerarya.

Q: Sir, sabi niyo po kanina, it depends on the assessment of the military ‘no?


Q: Whether you can expand it or not. So — just so I don’t misinterpret, you are not closing the door to a national martial law?


Q: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I — all options are on the table. All options are on the table.

There’s only one rationale there, the existence of the Republic of the Philippines.

You threaten the existence of the Republic of the Philippines, I am sure that everybody will react and do what he must do to prevent it.

Q: Okay, sir, thank you for your time, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ito, ito, what’s the intrigue of the day? Sabi mo na… Si Bato is extended kasi may — may order pa ako sa kanila na hindi pa natapos.

And you will see it in the coming three months at ‘yung sa pulis lang gawain niya ‘yung additional na tasks and you will see it, you will read it, ganun.

Tapos that — mandatory naman kasi siyang retired eh. Just an extension for him to do the extra task. Then tanungin ko sa pulis anong — sinong choice ninyo?

Hindi kasi ako, ayaw ko ‘yung ano — maski sa — ito sa military lumalayo ako. I don’t even express privately or publicly kung sino because ayaw ko.

Kung sino ‘yung sundin ninyo na tao, doon tayo. Pagkatapos sabi niya, “Eh, kay Duterte man ‘yan. Hindi man ‘yan ang gusto namin, kasi tignan mo mali-mali na.” O ako pa tuloy ang ma — masisi.

Kaya sabi ko bigyan niyo ako ng tao na gusto ninyo. Tapos, sige trabaho tayo lahat.

We are all workers of government remember that, nothing more. ‘Yung mga title, title, Presidente, Presidente mga secretary, general, wala ‘yan.

We are all workers of government. Hangang diyan lang kami. So never mind about your title, subtitle, you’re secretary and all, walang kahulugan ‘yan sa atin.

It’s really the people that we are serving. Doon lang — hanggang doon lang tayo kasi then na-ano ko na… Napaalis ko na ‘yung isang commission, all of them, maski ‘yung hindi nag-travel sabi ko.

You know why? If it’s a collegial body, commission eh, bakit wala kayong — wala kayong report sa akin? It’s an office under the President. Why is there is no product about the alleviation of poverty — ‘yung mga sa pobre?

Eh nasaan ‘yung pera na ibinigay ko sa inyo? Why is there no collegiate or collegial activity? Bakit itong si Ridon, why? Every international convention gusto mong puntahan?

Eh ‘di ubos ‘yung pera ng urban poor pa naman ang hinahawakan mo. He was a congressman eh ‘di doon ka sa pagka congress — doon ka mag-ubos ng pera, ‘wag dito sa akin. I will not allow that.

Ang sabi, “Eh, si Duterte… Ikaw mag-travel.” Eh ‘di p***** i** palit tayo ng pwesto, sige, ikaw mag-presidente.

Kaligaya ko na lang mag-upo-upo diyan. Kamahal niyang travel na ‘yan, seven times? Kaya from now on everybody who leaves this country connected with government must get a permit, without exception basta public money. Ngayon kung mayaman ka, eh ’di gastusin mo pera mo.

[inaudible question]

Ni? Bigyan mo ako ng pobre, totoo ikaw ang mag-recommend in public now I’ll tell you.

Look for somebody who comes from the poor community na may utak. Sige, ikaw ang bigyan ko. I expect the — hindi, hindi, ‘wag kang magalit sa akin — I’m not joking.

Kayo ang mamili, sige. Bigyan mo ako ng tao na pobre, nakakaintindi ng pobre at pobre ‘yung buhay niya but who has the brain to do it and I will appoint him tomorrow.