Interview

Media Interview with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following the oath taking of newly elected officers of Malacañang Press Corps

Event Media interview
Location Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I have no — except for the administering of the oath of office. Wala man raw itong ano — walang  — walang program. Wala ngang pagkain. [laughter]

Wala diay pagkaon? Ah doon.

So we’ll just have a tête-à-tête. If there are really questions that need to be asked but was never asked for one reason or another, I will entertain.

Meron akong isang ano pa. But I can spend about few minutes with you. Now, impromptu. Bigyan mo sila ng… Alam ko marami kayong tatanungin.

Maglagay ‘yan sila.

Ina, ikaw ang una. Iyong questions of substance ha.

Q: Sir, may we know if lumabas na po ‘yung results nung medical tests that you mentioned you had last week?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Eh lumabas na po. Dito lang naman ‘yun eh. If you mean that — was I found positive of cancer?

Q: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No, it’s not the colon. It’s my Barrett. Dito ‘yan. It’s badly eroded because I was told to stop drinking years ago. But of late, bumalik kasi ako.

I don’t know, for one reason or another I — I just like to drink. Brandy boy ako eh. Iyan ang totoo. And before I sleep, even if I’m alone, nag-three shots ako bago matulog. So morning time, I…

Barrett is actually GERD but it’s a bad case of GERD.

Q: Iyon lang po ‘yung findings, sir? Ano po ba iyong tests that specifically were done because we were told that some sort of a growth was found? Ano po bang ginawa doon?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Mula dito pati dito, tapos nagkuha ng isa dito, isa doon sa baba. Colonoscopy sa p****. Endoscopy sa bunganga. I stayed at Cardinal Santos for almost one hour.

I came from Samar, Tacloban, went home, had a wash, then straight to Cardinal Santos.

Q: A test — just to be clear about it, sir. It was — was it biopsied and it tested negative for cancer? Was that what happened?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi pa ako cancerous so do not be afraid to go near me.  I will not contaminate you.

Q: Thank you, sir.

Q: Sir, will you think of the constitutional requirement? Well since nasagot niyo na po ‘yung status niyo, sir, but maybe in the future ‘no ‘cause they are saying that there is a constitutional requirement for the President to disclose the health status. Will you comply there in the future if something may be different?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Actually, it is not for public consumption. The Constitution says that you must let the people know. But the procedure is not go direct to the people.

The Cabinet should be the one to decide if you are fully incapacitated to discharge the functions of your office.

Q: Okay. So, sir, just to belabor the point, so ‘yun pong sinabi niyo kanina hindi naman siya cancer. So what is it technically na nakita? You said it’s a bad case of Barret’s. That’s just it, just a Barret situation?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No, it’s… Look, ganito ‘yan eh. I… A month ago I was telling you the truth that I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy in Davao City.

Iyong [plates?] — Davao ‘yun eh. Dinala — pinadala dito. Apparently, my doctors here were not really convinced so they had a retake and that was that the day I was…

Tapos okay naman. Okay as in okay. And I will show you. I will drink again. Maniwala ka diyan sa doctor.

Q: Okay, sir. But the official findings of these tests that you have undergone sa Cardinal Santos?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Again?

Q: Iyon pong official na findings na sinabi ng doctor sa inyo, ano po ‘yung sinabi nilang diagnosis?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: It’s negative for — they had a suspicion but they had… I said this specimen taken out from both the esophageal tube and somewhere here.

Q: So Barrett’s po pa rin ‘to?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Pwede tayo mag-inuman ngayon. Totoo.

I can give you a run for your money. Hindi ka maniwala sa doctor, mamatay ka man maski hindi ka mag-inom. Kaya lang, just to satisfy the family’s urgings. Pero kung ako, I do not need — mabuhay lang ako hanggang mamatay, okay na sa akin ‘yan.

I don’t care kung hindi lang sa pamilya ko. Pero ako? I don’t care.

Q: But did Ms. Honeylet and Kitty — were they worried?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Again?

Q: Were the families worried? Si Ms. Honeylet and then sila Kitty, were they worried during that time that the doctors had a suspicion?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala naman sila suspicion. They just want a retake. Hindi naman sinabi sa akin na — nothing serious actually… They said, “If you have time.” And there was no other time except I had to do it in a jiffy.

Q: Okay.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: “O how long would it take?” Sabi, “About one hour.” So I stayed there for one hour.

Q: Sir, thank you for your time, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Naghahanap nga ako ng sakit. Umabot pa ako ng Hong Kong. Wala makita.

Q: Sir, kumusta naman ‘yung ano pagpunta niyo sa Hong Kong over the weekend? Once and for all baka gusto niyo pong i-clarify. Maraming nagtatanong.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ma’am actually hindi kita naintindihan.

Q: Sir, kumusta ‘yung pagpunta niyo sa Hong Kong over the weekend? Family visit lang po talaga?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sa Hong Kong? Magsama ka sa akin. Nagbili ako ng mga pantalon ma’am kasi mga pantalon ko ano na — puro itim na lang lahat.

I bought some shirts but as you would notice I am practically in barong most of the time. Pero whenever I go back to Davao for a short rest, wala akong damit na na-ano kasi tumaba na ako. Bulging ‘yung tummy ko. So one size bigger ako ngayon.

Q: Sir on another — sir a few days na lang bago mag-file ng certificates of candidacy. Sir one — first question sir, do we see a major revamp sa Cabinet?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: There — I’m not sure but there will be guys running for the national office. Castriciones, DAR and Harry Roque, I think is really running.

Kasi hindi ko man maintindihan. So I’m giving him that margin of safety. Kasi sabi niya mag-resign siya because he didn’t know that I was in the hospital. So he was not informed. Hindi naman kailangan sabihin ko lahat eh. There are things which are limited to the immediate members of the family.

And of course if there is something wrong, then I would communicate with the Cabinet members. Nothing of that sort happened so parang masabi niya na hindi ako pumunta, hindi naman siya nagtanong. So he felt that he was placed in a bad light. Parang he was lying.

But the fact of the matter is that he did not ask us. And maybe at that time, I was not in a position to tell him also.

And sabi niya, mag-resign siya. Sabi ko ‘di sige. Then immediately I — namili na kaagad ako ng replacement but I cannot tell you now kung sino sila.

Alan Peter Cayetano is also running. And si Mamondiong sa TESDA is also running. Si — I don’t know about the others. I’m not sure. I’m not in position to state with certainty. So I might not as well — just keep it in the meantime. Let them do their announcements.

Q: Sir, si SAP po, tatakbo?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Saan ba si SAP? SAP? [laughter]

Boboto kayo kay SAP?

Q: [off mic]

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Siguraduha? Bobot kayo? Why?

Q: [off mic]

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No reason at all?

Q: [off mic]

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You know, SAP is not Chinese. Ito si SAP is a member of the Tesoro clan ng Batangas. Ang tatay niya Chinese. Pero siya Tesoro ito. Iyong barong. Iyan, ‘yan siya. He is Bong Tesoro but Go.

I think he will run. Pero — you’ll have a friend there in the Senate na makabiro ninyo. And maski ‘yung biscuit na lang pangkape. Meron ‘yan siya sa opisina niya. I think Bong is running.

In Murphy’s Law, anything can happen but I believe that he is really running. Tapos sino pa ba? Kinsa pa ba’y mudagan?

Q: [off mic]

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ah, oo si Francis. Ito ang nanghinayang ako. You know, you know Francis as a mayor kilala ninyo. He’s a very good administrator. Iyong lahat ng disaster, from the Mayon. Was always my point man. He was my only contact from the outside. Not even Bong Go because Bong Go is overworked.So usually kung may mga crisis ganun, siya ‘yung nauuna. Siya ‘yung unappreciated na trabahante ng gobyerno. He’s a graduate of La Salle. Mautak ‘yan eh. Hindi lang mayabang.

Pero you’d have a good ano — tsaka honest. Ayaw ng ano ‘yun?

Q: Sir, on Secretary Cayetano, since he’s Foreign Affairs. Without really preempting you, baka may nakikita na kayong candidates as kapalit?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: To replace?

Q: Opo.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I have a name. He agreed. But he did not authorize me to name him now. Maybe siya na lang ‘pag gusto na niya para — baka ma-ala Roque tayo because…

Sabi niya hindi siya takbo tapos tatakbo siya. Tapos ngayon naman hindi. Ang problema ko sa totoo lang, kay may na-target na rin ako na to take his place.

I did my homework very fast. Nung sabi niya na hindi siya tatakbo — takbo. Namili na kaagad ako ng ano — ng… Siguro I’ll assign in temporary or in added function. Tutal tiga-announce man lang ‘yan si Sal Panelo. With all sartorial elegance, medyo maganda siguro tingnan.

Q: As spokesperson po or DFA Secretary? As spokesperson po ba?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I’m going to but if — I’m going to reorganize Press Secretary. Kanya lahat.

Q: [off mic]

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Panelo if he — tingnan muna natin. Kung makakuha ako ng Presidential Legal Counsel then if he likes the job.

Kaya naipit nga si Roque. It’s not my fault actually. Sabi niya tatakbo siya. Hindi siya tatakbo. Tatakbo. Tapos sabi ko — namili na kaagad ako. Para walang paralysis sa flow ng functions.

Ngayon na hindi na siya tatakbo, hindi ko na alam kung saan siya ilagay. Eh pa-ano-ano siya eh. Eh ako naman, I did not wait a minute longer to — sabi ko, ikaw diyan, ikaw muna diyan, ikaw muna diyan. So nasabi ko na doon sa mga tao. So they are expecting, especially the one who’s gonna replace Cayetano. Namili na kaagad ako ng tao.

Ma’am?

Q: Hello sir. Sir, I’m Genalyn Kabiling from Manila Bulletin. Sir, saan po mapupunta si Secretary Andanar kung magkakaroon ng Office of the Press Secretary? Magiging Political Adviser po ba ninyo siya kapalit ni Tolentino?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Again, hindi kita makuha. Ang?

Q: Sir, si Secretary Andanar. Saan po siya mapupunta? Kung magkakaroon ng bagong Office of the Press Secretary.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: He will remain a consultant.

Q: Consultant?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Consultant sa ano… Well, there’s so many things that they have to reconfigure their programs sa PTV 4. Maraming baguhin diyan siguro to make it more responsive as a sounding board for the Republic of the Philippines parang ganun.

Q: Sir, si General Bautista mapupunta sa DSWD. Sino na po ang NFA Administrator na bago?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala pa. But Rolly Bautista is DSWD. Ngayon, ang NFA, I’m looking for somebody else. I’m looking for a Chinese who’s been there in the business maybe 20 years. I’ll just ask him to, in the meantime, to be the NFA. Alam man nila ang negosyo na ‘yan.

Q: Sir, some opposition groups including the Vice President have asked — have appealed to you to focus on addressing inflation, rather than other activities including accusing them of ouster plot. What can you say about this sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ganito ‘yan. Listen to me very carefully ha. Alam mo kung magsira ka — that’s why I said kulang. You know, right after World War II, everything was in shambles. Manila City was the most devastated, reduced to rubble.

So ang America started to help after the war. But because of their guilt doon sa Hiroshima pati Nagasaki, they had this Marshall Plan and they extended that to — dito sa East, sa Japan.

Tayo, tingi-tingi. But the — what really happened was also ‘yung Reparations Commission. That was the office that handled iyong reparations, ‘yung bayad ng damage ng Japan sa atin.

And it was there for a long time. I think it was Balao who headed it after his senatorial stint.

Ako naman, hindi ako nag-ano. Ito na nga ang [garbled]. While they were rebuilding, iyong ibang nations, tayo rin. Pero in the process, sabi nga nila na number one tayo, na second to Japan, then third, fourth, fifth. Do you know why? Bakit naunahan tayo ng Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei? Because God gave them oil which was denied…

Kaya kita mo pagsabi price increase, kinabukasan ang pandesal, susunod ‘yan. ‘Pag sinabing price increase sa oil is now 154 or 156 per barrel. Tataas lahat ‘yan.

Ang Indonesia, may reserve. Malaysia, may reserve. [Brunei?] is awash with oil. Tayo, wala. So every time magbili tayo ng gasolina, we use our savings. Ang — a gross domestic product is simply income ‘yan ng isang bayan.

‘Pag magtaas ‘yang gasolina, wala tayong buffer. Sila kung magtaas, if they import, dagdagan lang nila ‘yung production, may kita sila.

Now, let me remind you that the seat you are — the chair that you are sitting there and the mic that you are using talking to me and the floor you step in, plus the lights and all of these things, plus the flag is oil. Oil ‘yan.

Alam mo bakit? They are manufactured, crafted, con — recon — configured in factories. Ang mga — ang mga kotse ganun rin. Pati ‘yang hinahawakan ninyo na laptop. It’s the machine that drives the power to make those equipment. It’s oil.

Kaya ‘pag oil bukas tataas ‘yan, tataas talaga lahat ito. But there are some factors. First is — ditong second is the rice plus isda. That can be remedied. I think Sonny Dominguez will come up with some…

Pero kung magtanong kayo bakit, bakit tayo Pilipino sige ‘yan — palagi ninyo… You crucify government, you crucify everybody. Think of oil.

‘Pag sinabi there will be increase in oil, bukas susunod lahat ‘yan. That drives inflation. Coupled with bahala na — mahal ang bigas, mahal ang isda, mahal lahat. So you have inflation.

Pero kung may oil tayo, ma-absorb natin. Gaya ng Indonesia, Malaysia. Wala sila diyan. Kasi kung walang oil, meron man sila. Nag-i-import sila kasi reserba nila ang oil nila.

That is what is — ayaw itong mga… Sabi ko kaya mahina. Wala man lang maipakita. What — what causes… They cannot reduce it in simple terms, maintindihan ng tao. That every time Shell and all will increase the price inevitably, everything that you buy…

Eh kung ganon ka, if you are talking a Filipino, you must learn how to convey your message or to have a discourse with them na…

Sabi ko kaya mahina. Hindi maka…

Q: Mr. President, good afternoon. Speaking of oil price increase, totoo po ba na planong i-suspend ng inyong administration ang excise tax on oil?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Again?

Q: Iyong buwis po sa langis, excise tax. Because of oil price increase, plano po bang i-suspend ito ng administration?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Maybe. Sonny is… [garbled] of two something alisin. Two pesos tapos… Pero ‘yung bigas, ‘adre, wala naman talagang… It was a hysteria built by itong mga red, itong bigas-bigas. Kung gusto mo magbili ng bigas diyan, magbili ka maski limang truck.

May bigas man talaga. But because of the hype, ‘yung ano… Because while they were shouting in the streets that there’s no food, we were — all along we were already importing so many tons of rice.

So ‘yung may iba diyan fish and itong babaan mo ang bigas talaga. Alam mo ba na ang — mas mahal ang isda ngayon kaysa karne? Mas mahal ngayon ang isda kaysa karne.

And to think that sabi ninyo fish is the part of a staple food — ulam. Mas mahal ngayon ang isda. Because of [bad?] supply, overfishing, climate change, and everything. Ganun dapat pag-explain sa people, not in abstract terms kasi malilito eh — tao.

Q: Sir, may mga kumakalat ring balita na si Ginoong Michael Yang ay Presidential Adviser po ninyo on Economic Affairs. Can you clarify or confirm that?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No, it’s not that it… Michael Ang…

Q: Yang.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Michael Yang was there in Davao 20 years ago. As a matter of fact, he is seldom — well, he is often seen with the Ambassador of China.

Si Zhao is a military man and they have the most elaborate intelligence network, mas mahusay pa sa atin dito. Would you think a military man would…

Iyan ‘yang mga Intsik na hinuhuli nila, akala nila mayaman na may Mercedes-Benz tapos imbentohan nila. Kasali ‘yung pinatay nila. ‘Di ba ni-release ko na ‘yung… 

[Ni-release mo na, Bong?]

The — iyong matrix, ‘yung sila [Acierto?]? Hindi niyo nakita ‘yun? O nakita na ninyo?

Ito ‘yung matrix. Ito ‘yung nagbili ng AK-47, 1,000 and — 1,000 plus na dumating sa NPA. O, ito…

Ito mag-graduate ito ng criminologist, susmaryosep. The dossier is there, you can have it.

Ito ‘yung nagbili. They are out of the service because the — nag-import ito ng…

[Iba-iba ba ‘to o marami? Isa-isa lang ito? O sige, ipamigay mo. Wala na bang ibang file? Pabuhat og file, Bong, daghan.]

Iyan basahin ninyo. Dine-classify ko ‘yan.

Q: So hindi po ninyo siya naging Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Cannot be because he’s a Chinese. Adviser ‘yan siya na… Even when the Premier of China was here, he was part of the entourage.

Akala ng mga g***** pulis na ‘yan may makuha sila. ‘Yung iba pinapatay nila gaya nung Koreano. Ito ‘yung mga — mga Intsik na may mga Mercedes-Benz na tina-target nitong mga y*** na ‘yan. Kaya sinabi ko, magkamali kayo diyan, bubuto kayo diyan, pa…

Sabi ko he is a… You do not belittle the Chinese intelligence. Nandito kahapon si Zhao eh.

Q: Lastly, Mr. President. Are you giving your blessings for SAP Bong Go to run as — for senator? Binibigyan niyo na po ba siya ng basbas na tumakbo ng senador?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Takbo ka?

Q: Si…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ikaw na lang sana rin. [laughter]

Q: Si SAP Bong Go po.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Basbas?

Q: Opo. Blessings?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: [Bong pagkuha ngadto’g usa ka latang tubig…] (Bong, please get a can of water). [laughter]

I said he has been a faithful assistant. Ang istorya niyan — my original aide-de-camp was a military man when I was mayor. While they were playing basketball, ‘yung aide ko nag-stroke, namatay.

So doon sa ospital nag-abot-abot kami, he offered. Sabi niya, “Kung gusto mo Mayor, ako na lang muna. I will act as your aide in the meantime.”

Pero ‘yung kabarkada niya — ah kabarkada ko, lolo niya. Iyong mga may-ari ng Tesoro Printing. That’s the biggest printing company in Mindanao. So kaya nitong tumakbo. Kasi sa propaganda wala naman siyang gastos.

All he has to do is to tell him that he might be having a Chinese surname but the mother is a Tesoro who’s related sa mga Tesoro ng Batangas.

Q: Sino po ang napipisil ninyong papalit kay Secretary Bong Go?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Saan gani ‘yun siya?

Sige ka lang tawa diyan. Si… Nawala man. Nagtindig na siguro. Saan na ‘yung maganda diyan?

No. Ang papalit kasi sa akin, babae. Ayaw ko ng lalaki ha. If I had my choice — at that time kasi I was just in a quandary to — kung sinong magpapalit kay Jimboy. Ayan siya, baka gusto niyang maging aide.

Q: Alright. Thank you, sir.

Q: Sir, good evening. Joyce Balancio from DZMM.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ikaw na ‘yun, ma’am. [laughter]

Q: Sir, going back lang kay incoming DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista. Some senators are expressing apprehensions on your decision to appoint another military man. Senator Drilon even said that we must not militarize the bureaucracy. What is your reaction to this?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ma’am, may gawain ako sandali ha? Eh nilalamangan mo ako. Paki-kuha nga ng silya. Ako…

Mabuti pa kayo kay naka… Okay.

There are misgivings among the senators and congressmen that I am appointing another ex-military man in the Cabinet.

Well, I’ll tell you what. In my years of service sa gobyerno. Alam mo ‘yang bureaucracy and I don’t — I don’t mean to offend them, not all. Pero ‘yung iba kasi, especially if you want a decision right there and then. And you have to cut corners but not illegal. Marami kasing…

Susmaryosep, debatihin (debate) ka pa. That’s what they do. They debate with you and day after tomorrow, nandiyan na naman, daldal na naman, daldal, daldal, daldal.

So kaya dito sa DSWD, the acting chief. But she didn’t know that I was — hinuhuli ko siya. Sabi ko, kasi they’re giving all the funds, ‘yung mga sa senior citizens, 4Ps, sa mayor.

Pati gusto ng mga mayor na i-preposition ‘yung relief goods for — in times of crisis, intended relief goods in times of crisis doon sa bodega nila.

So sabi ko sa kanya, “Look, why don’t you just give the money directly? It is national funds. It is national relief goods.” Kung ibigay mo ‘yan sa mayor, dahan-dahan mawala ‘yan. I know. I’ve been mayor.

At saka ‘yang pera i-devolve mo. Sabi ko, masama ‘yan. It’s not safe there. Kayo na mismo ang magbigay. Have the list validated by DILG. Anong listahan ibigay sa inyo. DILG, DSWD. Local, i-validate ninyo. Kayo lang. Kasi ‘yung mga mayor ang piliin nila ‘yung kanilang tao lang, supporters. Hindi makasali.

Tapos sabi ko, once the list is validated, kayo ang magbigay sa pera and in times of emergencies, kayo ang mag-release sa goods. Maybe the mayor will help in the distribution. Eh ‘pag debate — ‘pag debate pa…

Tapos hindi raw kasi sa COA circular. What do you mean by COA? COA is a different entity. We run the Executive department. I do not want COA interfering of how I distribute the goods and money to the people. For as long as they reach the intended beneficiaries, COA has nothing to do with it. Except to audit.

Huwag nila akong turuan kung paano ko gastusin ‘yang pera, in what way, because I said, “I want just to be fair.” Kasi kung ibigay mo sa mayor ang bigyan niya ‘yung mga supporters niya, in times of crisis ang bigyan niya, eh partisan eh.

So this is not a place where you have that luxury of choice. It must be given to the intended persons, who would need it.

Q: So sir, choosing retiring Army Chief Bautista it’s not a form of militarizing the bureaucracy, you totally deny this?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi, gusto ko talaga kasi isang utos lang, nagagawa. Just like Cimatu when I said, “You fix the Boracay in six months time.” Sabi ko kay Del Rosario, General, “Gawain mo ‘yung — gawaan mo ako ng bahay. About 100 in one month.” Nagawa.

May problema? Meron talaga. But sometimes they cut corners but you just have to defend them because it’s your order. Hindi naman kasi magsunod-sunod ka dito. It takes you forever. Ang gobyerno is really, really, really, very slow.

Q: Another question, Mr. President. Have you chosen the next chief justice of the Supreme Court and what is your expectations to the one who will replace CJ Teresita de Castro?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ang next chief justice? I’m still toying with the so many names. Ang bagong… If there’s any vacancy there — I don’t know if there’s a vacant one there.

Kung may vacancy, we’ll fill it up with good men and there are few good men in this planet. We’ll have to search them far and wide.

Q: How about sir Carpio? Are you okay with Justice Carpio as the next chief justice?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I will decide that when I cross the bridge.

Q: Sir, another question. You mentioned that Secretary Cayetano will also be running for the next elections. For what position, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. I think he’s running for congressman sa distrito niya.

Q: Meron na po ba tayong napipili, sir, na papalit sa kanya sa DFA? Will it be…?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Meron na ako, pumayag na siya. But the problem is, I said, I forgot to ask him if I — if I have the authority to announce his name.

He might resent it. Maybe announce it to his family first and he must — he might also want to ask advice from other people. So huwag na muna.

Q: Diplomat po ba sir ‘yung napili ninyo? Diplomat? A diplomat?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: In a way, yes.

Q: Okay. Sir, another question. Is it true that you underwent a check-up in Hong Kong?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ma’am?

Q: Hong Kong, sir. Is it true that you underwent medical check-up while you were in Hong Kong?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, I’ll tell you a story. Mind if I cross my…?

Dito sa Pilipinas, negative ako. Pagpunta ko sa Hong Kong, nag-positive ako. So sabi ko sa doktor, “Ano ang sakit ko?” Sabi niya, “Battery syndrome.”

Baka may nainom ako na nahigop na ‘yung ano sa baterya, kaya nasunog. Battery syndrome. You ask me now, what is it. You ask me.

Q: [off mic]

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ay. Siya.

Q: Sir, to clarify ano po ‘yun? What is it?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: This is a battery syndrome because may positive, negative na. Kagaya ng baterya.

Q: Pero sir, saan po kayo positive, ‘yung sa Hong Kong you mentioned that you were tested positive?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Doon sa Hong Kong. Alam mo bakit ginawa ko ‘yan? Kay kung dito ko sabihin negative ako, sabihin man ng mga kalaban ko, positive ako. Kung sabihin ko rin positive ako, sabihin, “Ah drama lang ‘yan. Negative ‘yan.” So gawa-gawa din ako ng istorya.

Q: Sir, thank you.

Q: Good evening, Mr. President. I am Tuesday Niu of DZBB GMA 7. Just to clarify it, sir, ‘yung sinasabi niyo po bang positive kayo ng test sa Hong Kong nagpa-medical test po kayo doon and it turned out na positive ‘yung nakitang growth sa inyo? Is that it, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: That I… You believe that I had a check-up in Hong Kong?

Q: We are asking you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: The joke is on you. Bakit ako magpa-check-up-check-up doon? Namili ako ng damit kay wala na akong damit.

Q: Okay. So hindi kayo nagpa-check-up. Okay. Another question, sir. Do you have plans of visiting Boracay sa reopening po? Why is that so, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala. Basta sabi ko lang, improve it, clean it and if it’s ready, give it back to them.

Q: And last question on my part, sir. When are you going to go to Kuwait, sir? If you have? Kuwait, sir? Iyong visit niyo sa Kuwait matutuloy po ba?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I have a — I have a… Nandito ‘yung UAE ano Ambassador. They are awaiting for my visit. Then I have to attend the ASEAN — Singapore.  Then I have to attend the ASEAN… I do not really know. I might decide not to attend at all. Pagod na ako. Pagod ako. Pagod ako sa travel, especially Kuwait. That’s halfway around the world.

Q: Okay, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Pagod ako.

Q: That would be all, sir. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

— END —

SOURCE: PCOO – PND (Presidential News Desk)

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