President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Media Interview

Event Davao Investment Conference 2017
Location SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Kindly talk a little bit louder. I am already poor in hearing. Eh, ‘yun nga eh, totoo—

Q: Mr. President…


Q: What can you say about the NGO critics who say na evacuees and displacement could have not been happened if you — Or the government haven’t bombed the Marawi?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: They have every reason to ano — mag-imbento. If you want, I can give you the task of — or else, get out from there.

Q: Second question, Mr. President. Are you still optimistic to rebuilding Marawi considering na ‘yung situation there?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am not… I am not optimistic. I am— government will spearhead the rebuilding of Marawi. Alam mo… So, what is the secret? The secret is really not a secret. We will have to spend money and billions actually.

Q: Will the private sector contribute to the rehab efforts?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, I don’t know. Ako, I just can talk for my own territory.

You better come out. I cannot hear you.

Q: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Sir, hello po. The Army confirms po the death of five policemen who responded to an ambush sa Sitio Mandi-e, Barangay Magsaysay, Guihulngan, past 10 this morning. So, another ano—

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am not surprised. I said there’s a war. And as I have uttered a moment ago, we just have to pay for a long haul there. There’s no peace, there’s no talk. Ayaw ko nang makipag-usap and pati ‘yung aking escort, inambush nila.

So, they really want everything stopped and go back to fighting. So, wala man ako problema. I will hire more policemen.

As a matter of fact, we’re training more than 20 now. And these policemen will someday go to the field and also kill them.

Wala man problema. Maraming pumapasok na pulis. So, they can keep on killing Filipinos if that is what they like. And I will just also do the same.

I said, I am not surprised about killing. Eh ang security ko mismo. Nauna ‘yun because I should have taken the helicopter sa… helicopter somewhere. Inambush nila. Kasi, sabi nga ng ano eh, mas delikado ‘pag nasa chopper. It’s a big target in the sky.

It was really — You have to pass by Marawi in going to the brigade there that’s nearest.

So, mag-over land, inambush man nila. ‘Di, huwag na lang.

Q: Sir, ‘yung sa martial law po. Sinasabi po ng iba na dapat doon na lang sa Lanao Del Sur because affected na po ang tourism and investment?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala. I do not have a report of that kind. And I rely on government agencies to tell me the truth. And every word of a government employee tasked to do a particular mandate — and if it pertains or germane to his work, I will believe him.

Just like the police. ‘Pag sabi nila, “Sir, ito ang nangyari.” Eh ‘di ‘yan ang nangyari. Trabaho mo ‘yan, pulis ka. And if the military says that we have captured this one municipality at a great loss of lives, then I will take your word for it because you are there working.

Q: Good evening, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Good evening, ma’am.

Q: Sir, tomorrow will be the joint session of Congress to tackle the extension of martial law. What are your expectations?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ako, I can operate with or without martial law. So, I have to do the — Sabi ko, I’ll just have to do my duty. It’s in my oath of office. I don’t need martial law.

Kung ayaw ninyo, then we will just have to arrest persons because martial law gives me the power to arrest the person without a warrant.

Now, ‘pag wala na ‘yan and if I have to arrest you without a warrant, I will arrest you without a warrant — with or without martial law — if I think that it is part of the war.

If I believe in good faith na kasali ka sa rebelde, huhulihin kita with or without martial law.

Q: Sir, why did you ask specifically for a five-month extension? Was that the recommendation of the AFP and the PNP also?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Because I have to rehabilitate. Then again, the retaliation. You know, every space in Mindanao, there are always Moro and a Christian. The contamination of the ideology, ta nakita nilang patay, might spur others just to do the same.

Mindanao specifically is a land of the mixed. Kaya ako hindi masyado kampante because there will be mopping up operations. This is not a — the boundary is a land boundary. It’s very porous. Either you can go to Zamboanga and to Jolo and Basilan, and in the rest, even in Davao. There are so many, here, dito sa atin.

So, it’s our way of, you know, trying to control things so they will not — there is a spillage, it will not be as great as when you do not have these gaps… stop — stopgaps.

Q: General Año, sir, said last week that it’s also possible na ma-lift before the five-month period ‘yung martial law if you deem it necessary or you can recommend—?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, if there is no more ISIS doing its thing, there is no more rebellion. What am I supposed to do with martial law? I get my salary with or without a martial law. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. Ano ba ‘yung martial law?

Q: Last sir. Sir, can you share with us if the AFP and the PNP really proposed that five-month period? Or was it an idea that came from you?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: ‘Di ah. Sa kanila ‘yan.

Q: Sa kanila, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sabi, give me just the timetable.

Q: President, good evening ho. Bam Alegre of GMA News. Sir, for the record ‘yung peace talks po ba with the communists talagang complete stop?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sila ang nagsabi ayaw na. They say that martial law makes the talks unnecessary. I believe it. ‘Yun ang sabi nila that it would be useless to talk if there is martial law. They are 100-percent correct. So there should be no talks.

Q: You’re just following his lead, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Kung anong gusto nila. They say that I bully them, talaga. I bully them because I am with government.

Q: President, kasali po ‘yung mga informal backchanneling talks?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala na, ayoko na. Actually, kind of maybe at this time, they have decided really to stop talking. And may I also to decided to just abandon the talks.

Q: Sir, papaaresto niyo ba ‘yung mga NDF consultants?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, of course, of course. They’ll have to surrender or we will hunt them down. I’m sorry. Please do not resist because magkagulo tayo niyan.

If you resist with a firearm or with violence there, do not resist, surrender, because ang usapan natin i-release kayo conditionally. So that you can participate in the talks and make it successful because your presence is needed. That was the original idea came about releasing them.

But since there are no more talks, stick to the agreement and surrender. They will… You will be hunted and I will see to it pagkatapos nitong Marawi tingnan ko.

Q: Good evening, Mr. President. Gem Avanceña po, TV 5. Mr. President, ano ho ‘yung reaction niyo na meron pong mga lawmaker sa US na sinasabing you should not be invited in the White House and ‘pag po daw inimbita kayo eh magpo-protesta sila dahil po sa human rights?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Look, kindly take me back. I will revisit my statements when I was confronted with these questions during ‘yung mga human rights, human rights, including Obama. What did I tell you? Try to remember.

Somebody asked me if I’m going to America, right? O, what was my response?

You guys must be dreaming. When I was asked that question several months ago, when I was being crucified and castigated by the Obama administration and somebody asked me, one of you, one of the members of the media.

I told you, there will never be a time, kindly take the ‘yung mga footages there, review. This is exactly what I said in front of the people and media, “There will never be a time that I will go to America during my term or even thereafter.” Remember? Did you remember that? O, see.

Look at… Review the, your footage, earlier footage. So what makes that guy think that I’m going to America?

Q: Kasi baka daw po imbitahan kayo ni President Trump.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ay, sinabi ko na nga eh. That statement was made with an air of sarcasm.

Sabi ko, “There will never be a time during my admin that I’ll be going to America or thereafter.” Ako, tapos na ako diyan. I’ve seen America and it’s lousy. And they don’t…

Marami silang human rights violation. It would be good for the US Congress to start with their own investigation of their own violations of the so many civilian killings or killed in the prosecution of the war in the Middle East.

Q: Thank you po. 

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Explain to me why a hospital was bombed with all the technology and children and the patients being killed before you start to investigate me. Otherwise, I will be forced to investigate you also.

I will start with your past sins and I will produce the— From your archives, the photographs that you took of the people you murdered here in the Philippines, the Moro people massacre, thousands of them.

So I will start the investigation also. Why? Was there no human rights before? That is an invention of America so…

How about the sins that you committed against my country? Me, you’re investigating me in the internal affairs of my country. I’m investigating you and I will re-investigate you and I will expose it to the world what you did to the Filipino, especially to the Moro Filipino.

I can do what you can do ten times over.