Press Conference of President Rodrigo Duterte following the Inter-Agency Task Force Briefing on COVID-19

Pia Gutierrez (ABS-CBN): Hi, sir, good everning. Sir, aside from the declaration of a public health emergency, do you have other specific directives to the IATF particularly to the Department of Heath on — particularly to the Department of Health on addressing the COVID-19, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Iyong COVID-19 is here. It is a contagion. It has not reached the level of an epidemic in our assessment and neither is a pandemic. But if you read and view TV, you would notice that the numbers of victims are galloping. In Italy, they say that they are taking in 1,000 a day. Ang sa Pilipinas, wala pa naman masyado. May bagong…



DOH SEC. DUQUE: Twenty-four.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Twenty-four plus the…

DOH SEC. DUQUE: That’s it. That’s it. Plus four na ‘yan sir, 24, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Twenty-four lahat as of last count. But the infection, the transmission is going on kasi may mga bago eh nadagdagan 20 plus four, it’s 24.

So that is how bad it is. So we have decided to — the clamor also of the mayors probably much worried than we here, so there is a consensus that — by the body that classes will be suspended in NCR, National Capital Region lang, beginning tomorrow and it will end in March 14.

The reason being that parang tignan natin ‘yung incubation period which is not ordinarily like a normal virus three or four. Ito umaabot ng 14 days. So itong 14 days na ito, one is to keep safe the children. Second is that we are going to establish a benchmark kung ilan pa ang madagdagan. At ngayon kung itong walang klase, would it somehow reduce the number of the victims if we keep our children sequestered at home and study there.

And the Secretary of Education, si Briones, insisted that they should stay home but study, and we have agreed that DILG at ang pulis will supervise as truant officers. So ‘yung nandiyan sa labas mag-ano tanungin sila magdadala ng libro. If they are there, they will be escorted to the parents and for the parents to be lectured on their responsibilities of being a parent, that the children should study even while they are detained in their respective homes.

Walang klase. So in all levels ito. Mahirap kasi because the contamination of a 10 years old is the same with… The virus is — or the virus is so virulent that you know even a contact, a mere talking, handshaking could, I said, place you in jeopardy. And we are trying to avoid losses especially lives and that is why we met this afternoon.

But after March 14, we will be meeting again to discuss the — whether we save lives and ‘yung itong ano ngayon itong 24 gagaling ‘to. Pero palagay ko gagaling.

You know I was just shooting the breeze with everybody. Mas marami tayong mga Chinese na ‘yung to the extent of creating a Sinophobia. Sino is Chinese, phobia is parang pangtakot sa Intsik. Do not do that.

You know there are Chinese as there are Filipinos in China also affected. And we have something like 300,000 in Hong Kong. We do not have the accurate number of Filipinos working in the mainland China. So ‘yung irresponsible reporting as if we are blaming everything against the Chinese.

It should not be the case. For as long as we cannot stop travel, we cannot. We have to continue to open our doors. Maski na sinabi noon na while the virus was starting because that is really the norm of conduct of the world today: travel. You have to travel abroad, business. Especially that we have opened our doors to investments.

Ang… What’s bothering us is… Well, ganito na lang, we have the money to combat itong COVID na ito 19. We have… I assure you we have the money and we can defeat that — t*** i***** virus na ‘yan. Saan ba nakatira ‘yan?

We can defeat it. And this is not the first time that we have… Well, anyway in the past, I remember when I was young, there was this flu. Alam mo ang totoo niyan there’s a cleansing — not really a cleansing but hindi magtagal ito eh kagaya ng the first one is the Bubonic plague, the Black Death. Merong maraming namatay. Then ‘yung Spanish flu, just after or before World War I. Mga sundalo noon patay lahat.

And then we have this thing pero wala pa masyado tayong alam. But I’m sure that the scientists all over the world are working overtime to look for the vaccine. Hindi ito magtatagal. I am confident that we will survive this contagion.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, clarify ko lang ‘yung sinabi niyo COVID cases in the Philippines 24 na po?


Ms. Gutierrez: So we have four new cases, sir, since this afternoon?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Twenty-four. There was one in West Crame, San Juan, Sta. Maria — Sta. Maria ba ‘to? Bulacan, and Project 6 sa Quezon City. One, one, one. Tig-isa sila.

Ms. Gutierrez: So additional four, sir, since this afternoon? Sir, ‘yon doon po sa — balik tayo, sir, doon sa suspension ng classes — so kahit na wala silang pasok they will be sequestered in their homes itong mga estudyante?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Because the Secretary of Justice is insisting that they go to classes. And the only way that we can convince Secretary Briones was that even if they are in school — ah even if they are in their houses, they should be studying. So we place the responsibility for that in the barangay captain, and the enforcement is — would be the police kasi parang truant officers. So what the Secretary wants really to happen is that there is no stoppage in education.

Ms. Gutierrez: What about government work, sir? Or work in the private sector? Are we looking at ‘yung mga work from home scheme?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You know, government has to function. We need all, at least now, we need all. Iyong sa Immigration naman tinanggal ko na ‘yung na-involve sa pastilla — ano, pastillas?

But there is a — kung wala na kayong question, any more question, I would like you to listen to Secretary Panelo. This has something to do with POGO. And this has something to do with the other games supervised by PAGCOR.

I assure you, I assure you that every centavo na kikitain diyan sa mga gaming supervised by PAGCOR, will — are accounted for. Walang corruption diyan at hindi ako papayag.

Who… Do you know why? Well, Panelo will tell you shortly. Ang ako, just to give you an assurance na ‘yang PAGCOR na hindi ‘yang pinapalaro mo diyan kasi ‘yung mga mayors, mga — nothing of the sort. I will not allow it.

Now, there is a compelling reason, kung wala namang iba at there is no legal impediment, I want it legalized. If they can pass a law about POGO, fine, go ahead. Supervise it by law. Hindi kami.

Pero diyan sa POGO, I allowed it because… Saan si — nasaan ‘yan si Panelo? [laughter] Ah nandiyan ka pala. Sabihin mo… Akala kasi nila pera ‘yan na bulto-bulto ihatid dito. I — I’ve told you before na may iba dito naging congressman na.

You can ask the congressman or any senator or congressman na may tinawagan ako ni isa, in connection with the budget or whatever or to ask for a favor. If you can produce one mouth to say that I violated the statement, I will tender my resignation tomorrow.

Sinasabi ko — hindi ko style ‘yan. Panelo will tell you why it is important. Iyo na, Sal.


PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Are you sleepy or are you…? [laughter]

SEC. PANELO: POGO is… I already told them this morning, Mr. President, with respect to the POGO, why it is important, why you will not suspend nor stop it. For one, we need the funds.

For another, those issues raised against it like criminality, laundering, there are agencies that are responsible for the enforcement of the laws. So they will have to take care of that.

Moreover, these issues raised have been there for the longest of time. This issue was raised during the Korean scheme. Lahat ‘yan eh na-resolve naman ng lahat ng mga agencies eh.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ang dagdag ko diyan. Hindi naman nawawala ‘yang kidnapping. When there were so many Koreans diyan, there were kidnapping — there was kidnapping amongst themselves. Now, it’s the Chinese.

Now, we cannot bar Chinese nationals from entering the country because they allow us to enter China also and even work in Hong Kong. Sabihin mo nagtatrabaho… And you know, that POGO have — to have it checked, kayo, earns about two billion a month from — nandiyan man ‘yung sulat ni Dominguez.

We are not justifying it. We are just saying that it is allowed because we need the funds. But ‘yung speculation diyan sa mga senador na ginagamit ng laundering, well, meron kaming ano sa ano. We have a listing of the — itong mga deposito nila.

There is a report of money laundering. Pero doon sa bangko mismo wala. Money laundering — ano mang ibayad mo? You are engaged in the business. You deposit money, you withdraw money. Tumatakbo ‘yan eh. May manalo kasi, may matalo.

So kailangan nilang pera magbayad. And that’s it. If they want the payment to emanate from the Philippines, there’s nothing that we can do. But kung sabihin mo ‘yung — the money laundering na hindi nakita ng — ‘yung regulators diyan. Binigyan kami ng kopya, hindi totoo.

Ang aking tanging — ang tanging ano ko lang diyan is the money. Sayang eh, makatulong sa bayan. Kagaya ngayon itong mga ganito. So 2 billion, answered kaagad. So we have the money. But kung sabihin mo may isa dito sa amin na pa — ewan ko ‘yang mga pulis, bantay kayo sa akin. Pero sabihin ka mga Cabinet…

We do not even allow them to visit us here in Malacañan, ‘yung mga businessman sa POGO. And it is not true per hour that a maybe the embassy of — employees in the Embassy of China are helping POGO workers to come in. That’s not our business, unless they are criminals.

But the — if they are here under the entry expedited by the Chinese Embassy but they are here to work as bonafide workers of POGO, there’s nothing I can do about it. Unless you want to, I said, jeopardize the Filipinos in America.

Nakita mo naman ‘yang mga Pilipino, hindi nga naman nila pinilit umuwi. But I would like to assure China and every — every nation that you do not have to be worried about a Filipino in your country. We are ready to extract Filipinos wherever they are when — when needed to come home.

Kung magsabi ang Pilipino mag-uwi siya, maski isa lang siya. I have a gray ship, a Philippine Navy ship stationed in Europe. And they can — every Filipino can make use of that. Kaya ko inilagay ‘yan doon eh. But even with one passenger, the ship will sail.

Klaruhin ko lang ‘yang corruption, walang corruption diyan sa… Wala kaming kinausap diyan except PAGCOR. And I said if you — if you have a recording, a telephone conversation, if you saw me talking to Andrea about money, then you are sorely mistaken. Iyang opposition lang ‘yan. Kasi kayo magnanakaw.

Kita mo ‘yung mga train natin na coaches na hindi magamit kasi hindi magkasya? So we had to buy a new one. Do you know that? Nagbili sila ng cars, ‘yung hinihila ng train na hindi magkasya sa ating rails. Hindi tugma ‘yung ano. And they are there rotten.

Ano ang masabi ninyo sa amin? Sige daw. Give us a project where there is corruption. Pero marami na akong napa-ano. Pasig Commission, wala na ‘yan. Wala man ring nalinis. Eh diyan ako nakatira sa likod by the river. Pumasok sa aircon ko ‘yung — ang baho ng… Waste of humanity is floating there happily eaten by the tilapia.

Alam mo sabihin ko hindi kayo ma… Kayong mga Pili — hindi kayo ha. Kayong mga Pilipino sabihin wala na kayong makain. All you have to do is to buy a hook, line, and sinker. Mano-mano ka lang sa kamay. In one day, isang taro makuha mo diyan sa Pasig na tilapia. [coughs] ‘Yun, corona ‘yun. [laughter] Basta ganon na ubo. [laughter]

Henry Uri (DZRH): Mr. President, magandang gabi po sa inyo. May kahilingan po ‘yung ating mga kababayan na malaman kung saang mga lugar nagpunta ‘yung mga nagpositibo na po sa COVID-19 para po makaiwas sila alang-alang na rin sa kanilang kaligtasan. Ano po ang sagot ninyo rito, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: We have a successful tracing method kaya lang mahina ‘yan. It doesn’t mean to say na malaman mo ‘yung pangalan ‘yang araw na ‘yan, on that day you can trace him where.  You have to — eh kung lumapit… If he’s a traveling human being na dumaan lang dito, visiting scenic and beautiful places, then eventually makes the exit, mahirapan tayo.

In the same manner na ganon. Sa kanila, pagka pumasok ‘yung Pilipino na may contaminated rin. Kaya huwag natin masyadong ano ‘yung “China-China.” Remember the Filipinos working there. That’s the reason why I have a very passive mouth when I am talking about workers especially in the Middle East.

But in the Middle East, while I talk my heart bleeds. Kaya pupunta talaga ako sa Kuwait. I have to go to Kuwait. But ‘yung kaso na pinatay ‘yung maid, domestic helper, they have arrested the couples and undergoing trial. And while undergoing trial, they are detained inside the jail. To me that is good justice.

And if they can follow it through in accordance with their laws, I would ask for… [coughs] P**** itong virus na ito. I will ask for the maximum. I want their executioner to cut off the heads of those who are responsible for the death of the Filipina.

Mr. Uri: Another question, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Kaya pupunta ako.

Mr. Uri: Opo. Paano po pinaghahandaan ng pamahalaan ‘yung posibleng pagtama po nito sa ating ekonomiya?  May mga negosyong malulugi, may mga trabahanteng mawawalan po ng kabuhayan. Paano po ito pinaghahandaan ng gobyerno?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: We will have to  adjust I said. That’s why we are saving money. For those who cannot work and for those who are poor na hindi sila makakain, I’m sure I will have something for them. Uunahin ko talaga ang mahirap, ‘yung hindi kumakain.

‘Yung mga mayaman, okay na ‘yan. Hindi man — hindi nila tayo kailangan.  They do not need government to help them. The rich people can stay ungoverned. Hindi nila kailangan ng pulis, mga mayor diyan, mga senador because on their own they can survive. And to think that — and to think that the richest people in this country, in this f****** country were the ones who are milking the most of our resources.

Mr. Uri:  Ano po ‘yung tulong na partikular na pinaplano ninyo para sa mga mahihirap na apekta — maapektuhan po nito, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Bigas. Tutal maraming reklamo bigas na hindi na… You know, even if we spend all the money, all the money, mapunta sa mga tao, pagkain, para sa akin ‘yun na ‘yung pinaka ano.

Ano pa — kung walang trabaho? Sabi mo walang economy, nothing is moving. Every country is closing its borders. Nobody gets out, there is no product produced, productions are slowed down. So we’ll just have to fend for our own.

Ngayon sabi na marami bigas hindi na… Eh di bilihin na natin ang bigas. Malugi tayo. Eh di malugi tayo. Maubos ‘yung pera natin, ubusin natin para pagkain sa mahirap. Kukulangin pa ‘yan. Milyon ang Pilipino na walang trabaho diyan.

Bella Cariaso (Bandera): Good evening. Good evening, Mr. President. Sir, may proposal po si Congressman Salceda na mag-declare ng  lockdown dito sa NCR for at least one week. Kino-consider po ba natin ito kagaya sa ginawa sa Italy kung saan 16 milyong residents ‘yung affected?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Lockdown, no one comes in or goes out?

Ms. Cariaso: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: We have not reached that kind of contamination. Iisa-isa lang. With this transmission, you want to close down the economy at this time? There will be a time I suppose. I hope not. I hope God will have mercy on our — the Filipino people. There might be a time. Pero at this time, you want me to… It’s too early. Hindi ko sinasabi na bakit hintayin mo ba magkasakit lahat? It’s not that. But you have to balance.

Eh wala na magpasok ng bigas, walang magpasok ng mga gasolina, i-lock down mo, patay ang… Maybe kung ‘yang lugar na pinuntahan ng mga Pilipino, magsabi ka ang namatay doon mag-abot na ng 20,000 o sa isang lugar may 5,000, sigurado, I will lock. Hindi lang lock-in. I-lock ko talaga, kadena.

Ms. Cariaso: Sir, another question po. Sir, paano po natin i-a-address ‘yung kakulangan ng testing kit considering in-admit po ni Secretary Duque na hindi problema ‘yung — ah, hindi, wala sa underreporting kundi ‘yung problem sa resources eh limited tayo sa testing kit ng…?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, the kit is there. It’s kind of… To my understanding, it’s a kit that can be distributed to the different health workers and they can do it. But at this time, kung kulang, they are always brought to a testing station. I do not know how they would term the facility.


PRESIDENT DUTERTE: RITM. It is where they are being… Kakaunti lang nga kasi o. But the kit? The kit is nadikit. Walang lumalabas pa.

Ms. Cariaso: So may enough naman, sir, in case na tumaas pa ‘yung bilang ng mga…


Ms. Cariaso: …tinatamaan ng ano COVID?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I think that the… Sabi ko nga, in every — not generation — but epoch, maybe meron ‘yung noong una, Bubonic plague, ‘yung sa Middle East pa noon, kasi mga g*** ang tao noon parang tamang-tama lang. Tapos ‘yung Spanish flu right before or after the war — Second World War. Kawawa ‘yung mga tao. Pero mas kawawa ‘yung sa Middle East.

The so-called Roman Empire. You have read the inquisition? Kung may birthmark ka, you are a witch and you are born at stake.

Chona Yu (Radyo Inquirer): Hi, sir, good evening. Just a follow-up on Bella’s question. Are you satisfied with the response of the DOH sa COVID-19 considering na every minute tumataas ‘yung bilang ng mga kaso?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yeah. You cannot prevent it. ‘Yung contamination, if it is passed from one person to another, you cannot prevent it.

At saka hindi mo mahabol because while he is still alive, if he’s still around, hindi pa lumabas ‘yung ano, he has gone to so many places, shook hands with everybody, ate with friends, hindi… Hindi… Hindi… Walang satisfaction ‘yang ano. Trabaho lang tayo.

Ms. Yu: And sir..

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi natin malaman kung ilan ang mamatay. So when… When does satisfaction come in? Kung ang mamatay kuwarenta na lang? Singkwenta? Or it wipes out the whole town?

There is no way of… We have done everything in preparation. Nandiyan na lahat. Pulis are there. Health workers. Tayo naman dito we formulate the rules to follow. There are rules to follow here.

The problem when sabi ko Filipinos, if you start to break the rules, then you have the problem compounded for everybody. May mga rules eh batas. Eh hindi mo sundin. And so?

Ms. Yu: Sir, another question. Will you still push through with your visit to Boracay to promote ‘yung local tourism?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Look, I am not going to Boracay itself. I ordered the cleaning of barangay. Si General Año pati si General Cimatu. Ngayon, Secretary na ‘yan sila. Malinis na. Ayan si Berna. Wala namang tao pumupunta doon.

Sabi ko, “Ako, I’m going there because I declared the island of Boracay as a land reform area.”  ‘Yung likod mismo ng mga beach na tinitignan ng mga maglagay ng cottage, maglagay ng kung ano-ano.

Sabi nila, “Mayor, ang plano namin two resort.” Sabi ko, “You just wait after the clean-up.” After the clean-up, I told Castriciones, “Prepare the proclamation.” I declared it land reform area.

So I gave it to the natives. Then further inside the island, pina…Sabi ko, “Ubusin mo. Ubusin mo ang bara — Boracay sa mga natives. Ibigay mo sa kanila kasi lupa nila ‘yan.”

Ms. Yu: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: ‘Yung Boracay, ewan ko. Wala pa naman nag-apply. Kayo mag-apply, ibigay ko ‘yan. If somebody would claim it, that’s a land reform area and if it is valid to me, I will give it to them.

Tutal ‘yung nag-operate diyan, nagsugal diyan, bawi na ‘yan sila sa kapital.

Ms. Yu: Sir, I asked that question kasi Secretary Puyat said na you will visit Boracay to promote local tourism amid nung coronavirus.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, kasi wala ng tao. Ito kasing si Berna eh. Wala na magpunta. Sabi ko, “Sige, magpunta ako pero maligo tayo.” [laughter] Totoo. Hindi kita gi — hindi kita bastos ha. This is not — anong tawag niyan? Feminist ano.

Sabi ko, “Sige, maligo tayo.” Sabi ko, “Alam mo na, ‘yung ligo tayo na… I also have something to look at.” If you look at at the open sea, it’s endless. Mabubulag ka. But Berna would sit beside me on a sunset, I will stay. Totoo, hindi pa ako nakapunta ng Boracay.

Nilinis ko kasi madumi raw. Nung malinis na, they put up there, “Thank you, Mayor Duterte sa…” Ah, sabi ko, l*****.

Ms. Yu: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Noong una pag-umpisa ko, karaming daldal ninyo. Hindi ako magpunta doon. Sa likod ako pumunta, sa bukid, sa land reform area.

Sandra Aguinaldo (GMA-7): Hi sir, on VFA po, we’d like to ask for your reaction on the move of some senators led by the Senate President to go to the Supreme Court to ask the Supreme Court to compel you to get the concurrence of the Senate in terminating the VFA. What is your reaction, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: They cannot compel me. I refuse to be compelled. I have terminated it. Tapos ang problema ko. Wala na akong problema diyan. Insofar as I am concerned, we are beginning to count the 180 days for them to pack up and go.

I am not reneging on the VFA and I am not going to America to discuss this with anybody though I respect highly of Trump. And if that was a political move by the senators to win the Filipino votes there, I’m telling the Filipino now, you are getting the best of deal with Trump. Kayo diyan sa — leftist ang ano eh — Obama was a leftist.

Halos ibigay na lang nila ‘yung ano at the expense sa ibang tao. To the Filipinos, if you perchance eh lumabas ito, bumoto kayo kay Trump. And they say that I am interfering, of course I am interfering. Tell that to the Americans that Duterte is insisting in interfering.

Alam mo bakit? Do you know why I’m interfering? Can anybody answer my question? Kasi sila ang nag-una. Kung ano-anong ipinag — extrajudicial killing, 70,000. Saan nakalibing ‘yung 20,000? Na mag-head count kami doon sa… Kung may mamatay diyan na binaril, extrajudicial killing.

Kita mo bumaba na ngayon ang droga. At least hindi na takot mag-uwi ‘yung mga tao sa bahay nila. I have returned the streets to the people. Kasi ‘yang public places are intended for law abiding citizens. And if it begins na hindi na makauwi ang mga bata, takot na, and they are nervous especially the working girls mga salesgirl diyan  sa mga mall mag…

Alam mo ba ang buhay ng t***… Alam mo ba ang buhay niyang mga ‘yan?  Mag-abot ‘yan ng bahay nila mga alas-onse, alas-dose, maglaba pa ‘yan. Magluto ng pagkain para kinabukasan. Matulog ‘yan dalawa, tatlong oras. Gigising ‘yan, bihisan ‘yung mga bata, ihatid sa…

Tapos bara-barahin mo pa ng… Para lang sa shabu patayin mo isang tao. ‘Yung sa Davao, you check it out, you have your stations there, may pinatay na — kawawa. Diyan sa squatter’s area sa Boulevard. She was the parang supervisor ng — nitong gym ng babae. So she had to be early.

Pagdaan niya sa isang bahay, dinampot lang siya sa loob, nahulog ‘yung pagkain niya mainit pa. ‘Yang mga babae na ‘yan or anybody for that matter similarly situated, ‘yan ang ano nila. Meron silang kanin, magbili lang sila sa ulam — isang ulam sa labas. Tapos pag-uwi sa gabi patayin mo pa. P***** i** ka.

Joyce Balancio (DZMM): Good evening, Mr. President. Your Presidential Security Group is — they said that they will be implementing a “no touch” policy on you. But earlier we saw you shaking hands with some Cabinet members as well as other people present here. Does that mean you’re not — you do not want that policy?


Ms. Balancio: Why, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I want an embrace, why only a handshake? [laughter] Kulang ‘yan. Maniwala kayo PSG tapos sila sige gakos-gakos ng babae tapos… Why? Do you think Panelo is not holding the hands of the women?

Ms. Balancio: So you don’t see the need, Mr. President, to follow such protocol?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Kalokohan ‘yang protocol-protocol. I will shake hands sa… Anak, ang akin bang sinasabi na sa iyo na kung pata — kung tawagin na ako ng Diyos ngayon oras na ito, pupunta na ako. Tapos na ako. Naging Presidente na ako, pinakamataas na maabot ng isang tao. Mga anak ko okay lang.

Ms. Balancio: But sir, how about your public appearances? I believe your partner, Ms. Honeylet, is also urging you to avoid going to public, crowded places, also to avoid being affected with COVID-19.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Eh trabaho ko ‘yan eh. Cannot. Pwera na lang kung ‘yang mga participants nila matakot. Kung ako, tatanungin ko sila: matakot pala kayong mamatay? Buti sana kung mayaman. Wala man kaming pera.

Ms. Balancio: So, Mr. President, you will not be declining invitations to events that’s supposed to happen now that — ?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No, I will not decline invitations.

Ms. Balancio: Okay.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I will shake hands with everybody. I am going to Mindanao to visit my dead soldiers if I — if they are still there — and to congratulate my warriors.

Ms. Balancio: Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Namatayan ako tatlong — apat na sundalo ko.

Ms. Tricia Terada (CNN Philippines): Hi President, good evening. Sir, back on COVID-19, we still have low water supply but then the DOH is also requesting the public to observe proper hygiene. How can we do this, sir, especially for the poor communities na priority po nila makabili ng pagkain over buying sanitary supplies? How are we going to reconcile, sir, our problem with low water supply and this encouragement or message from DOH?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am not an economist, but Secretary Lopez is here. But it would take a discussion of how it works. Ganun lang ‘yan. The law of supply and demand.

Ms. Terada: Sir, how about ‘yung water supply, sir? Any assurance, sir, na magkakaroon tayo ng stable water supply especially, sir, in poor communities?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am forcing the issue ‘yung dam sa Kaliwa — ang Wawa. Because if I do not do it within the next two years, magpalusot, ang mayor ng — ah Presidente ng Pilipinas, papatayin. Pang-apat na ‘yung galing sa akin, papatayin ng Pilipino kasi walang tubig.

I will — I will force the issue, and I will battle with them in court. And I hope that the judges and the justices would understand. Talagang hindi rin ako magpapigil. Kasi kung magpapigil ako, wala kayong tubig. ‘Yung apo ninyo. Pipilitin ko talaga ‘yan. I will — I will force the issue. I said I will fight all the way.

Ms. Terada:  Sir, but at least for this year or for the time that we are fighting COVID-19, can we assure the public that there will be enough water supply?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Meron ‘yan. 2020? Meron ‘yan sigurado ako. Basta kung walang reservation, I’m warning you and I’m warning everybody, I will industrialize the water industry, and government will do the construction.

And we will force the issue. Kasi hindi madala nang legal-legal ‘yang tubig pati pagkain. I don’t believe in… The issues will just screw you but hanggang diyan lang ‘yan.

Ms. Terada: Thank you, sir.

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