News Release

President Duterte: “I will work to protect and preserve the nation”

BANGUED, Abra — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, March 5, expressed his commitment to protect the Filipinos, reiterating his resolve to fight illegal drugs.

“My gift to you is that I will work. One, to preserve the nation; and two, to protect the people,” the President said in a speech during a Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally here.

The Chief Executive also issued a stern warning against individuals who are involved in illegal drugs.

“Droga…‘wag talaga kayong pumasok diyan,” he said.

“Basta ako mag-warning, hindi ko na ulitin. ‘Yung durugista pati na ‘yung on the side, mag-holdup kayo…ganun pati ‘yung durugista, bitawan ninyo ang droga ninyo. Hindi na ako mag-ulit. Bitawan ninyo…umalis kayo diyan,” the President added.

President Duterte stated that illegal drugs are “destructive to the people and there are millions already contaminated.”

While talking to the people of Abra, President Duterte consistently admitted that his measures are unconventional compared to a traditional statesman, and Abra having a “conservative” culture might find his manner controversial. He, however, took the opportunity to introduce himself to them humbly as he seldom visits the province.

“I know that you are not familiar with me. And what you might probably hear is the constant criticism or attack on me about my mouth and about my behavior,” said the President.

“Well, that is good because people realized that I never transitioned from being mayor to president. Kaya gusto ko tawagin lang ako ‘mayor.’ I do not want that title ‘Mr. President’ because that is… It seems to be a distant star to me until now,” he continued.

During his speech, President Duterte also hit candidates who are attacking their rivals in order to appear virtuous.

“Kaya ‘yung opposition, mautak man sana but their penchant to be just at the other side, lulubugin mo lang eh. Their victory next year hinges on the way how they attack people and the propensity to paint you in another dimension,” he said.

“Itong mga kandidato na ito…they want to appear white. ‘Kami puti, malinis’. So ‘yung kalaban niya, pinturahan niya ng itim. You’ll just paint your opponent black and you appear white. Ganon talaga.  And sadly, sayang ‘yung utak nila. At ‘yung iba naman walang ginawa,” the President explained.

President Duterte then trumpeted the feats of the administration, narrating each to the people of Abra.

Aside from infrastructure projects like roads in Luzon and airports in Iloilo and Cebu, the President also mentioned the recently signed law instituting universal healthcare for all Filipinos, as well as the government’s program for free education and free irrigation.

Moreover, he encouraged the public to support candidates that would reinforce the advocacies and projects of the administration.

Toward the end of his remarks, President Duterte reaffirmed his strong devotion to the Filipinos and said, “If it’s just a matter of loving my country, hindi ninyo ako matalo. I am here to die for you.” ###PND