President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, September 26, said the government does not invent facts to deceive the public with regard to the number of casualties during anti-drug operations.
“Now, there are some countries which are insulting us to open our records to them, everything. Who are you to do that to my country? If you don’t believe our records, then go out and find something else to do. We do not fabricate,” President Duterte said in his speech during the celebration of the 56th anniversary of the Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA) at the Manila Hotel.
The President cited data which shows that his government has conducted over 70,000 anti-drug operations.
He said more than 200 police and soldiers were killed in action.
“And you say that we are killing our own countrymen? For what reason? You enjoy slaughtering your own countrymen?” he said.
The President posed a challenged to his critics and asked them to provide proof that he has ordered government troops to kill criminals.
“Find me one, even one officer or a patrolman, find me one that would say that I ordered them to execute criminals and you will have my resignation tomorrow. I’m only asking for one — patrolman or a police officer,” he said.
He also challenged the opposition to execute an affidavit stating that his children are involved in smuggling.
“And I’m challenging the opposition. If it is true in an affidavit form, or if you say that my children are into this kind of smuggling… I told you, I will not hesitate,” President Duterte said, reiterating that he will enforce the law against everybody.
Citing his experience as a lawyer and prosecutor, the Chief Executive assured the public that he does not lose the sight of the Constitution.
“Always, always. I was a prosecutor, I was doing trial work for eight years. I know what due process means. I know what is due should be given to the citizens. And lastly, I do not want killing innocent Filipino people,” he said.
The President also underscored that the laws of the land must be applicable to both the rich and the poor.
“I am a worker of government who swore before the people and God that I will enforce the law. And it is part of that oath that I do not have to favor anybody and that the laws of the land will be applicable to all, the rich and the poor,” he said.
During his speech, the President also discussed the drug menace, noting that the Philippines today is a client state of the “Bamboo Triad.”
“The sense that they are — most of them are really into this kind of business. I said they have decided to go international. Philippines is a transshipment of shabu to America and it behooves upon America to work closely with the Republic of the Philippines, especially on this serious matter,” he added.
The President further noted that the country is flooded with drugs and that the locals “have been taken in but they participate in the produce of the selling.”
The Chief Executive concluded his speech by telling the employees, members, and officials of Philippine Constitution Association that the Constitution keeps the Filipinos united.
“What keeps us here tonight? What is the unifying factor in the Filipino? It’s the Philippine Constitution signed by our forefathers that we will be one. That keeps us united. You start to destroy the Constitution, there will be a breakage of our society,” Duterte said.
Also present during the event were former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno, former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, PHILCONSA Chairman Manuel Lazaro, and former congressman Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
The President was also joined by Solicitor General Jose Calida and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.###PND