News Release

President Duterte champions better protection for prosecutors

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 31st Annual Convention of the Prosecutors' League of the Philippines at the Asturias Hotel in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on April 4, 2019. VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, April 4, urged the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines to work with law enforcement agencies in crafting solutions to better protect prosecutors and their families.

In his speech at the 31st Annual Convention of the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines here, the Chief Executive said, “The assassination of prosecutors across the country have had lighted the danger that prosecutors and their respective families that they endure.”

The President then assured that law enforcement agencies are expediting the investigation of the assassination cases.

“I also encourage the leadership of the Prosecutors’ League to work with the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the other relevant agencies to come up with solutions on how to better protect our prosecutors and families,” he said.

President Duterte stated that he is ready for any suggestion. “Options, all, are on the table. Anong gusto ninyong…? Baril? I will allow it,” he said.

He likewise vowed to protect prosecutors who are doing their duty.

“Kung kaso lang na sa trabaho ninyo, I will do everything to protect you. Kagaya rin ng pulis na ano… Bakit — bakit ka magkulong? Why do you suffer for doing your duty?” he noted.

President Duterte recognized the prosecutors’ unwavering commitment and wholehearted support for his administration, especially in the campaign against criminality, illegal drugs, and corruption.

“As a former prosecutor, I understand the very important role that you play in the administration of justice, which unfortunately involves antagonizing lawless elements, hardened criminals, and their powerful backers,” he said.

The President narrated that he was then assigned to investigate police and military officers and high-profile rebel leaders.

“So, alam ko kung gaano kahirap,” the President said as he recalled the strafing of his house.

The Chief Executive also asked prosecutors to never waver in supporting the efforts of his administration in instituting the necessary reforms within the Department of Justice and National Prosecution Service, “so that we may regain our people’s trust and confidence in our justice system.”

“With the valuable help of the Prosecutors’ League, I am confident that we can further strengthen, improve, and reform the entire National Prosecution Service so that you may all become efficient, credible, impartial, and incorruptible prosecutors upon whom our people may depend on whenever they feel wronged or aggrieved,” he added.

During his speech, the President berated Senator Franklin Drilon who warned that “existing and binding contracts cannot simply be classified as onerous and cancelled.”

Earlier this week, the President ordered state agencies to check and review all government contracts and to remove onerous provisions.

“I ordered the review of the contracts. And here comes Drilon saying that ‘be careful.’ Be careful of what? Be careful of what? Pareho man kami dumaan ng Department of Justice,” he said.

“Why should I be be very careful in reviewing contracts that are not for the interest of the people? And the onerous and burden provisions there that the people have to honor. So? You think that I will allow it just because we cannot impair the obligation of our contracts?” he added.

The President explained that in the remaining years of his term, the administration hastens the delivery of services to the public. He, however, warned his critics not to push him to the wall as he is willing to be “hanged” and “die for the Filipino people.” PND