|Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the Wallace Business Forum Dinner|
|12 December 2016|
|First of all, I’d like to apologize for coming in late.
You’d never know what would happen in our talks because we had so many things in line for us today.
And one of the—part of the program was really, I think, it was second, was a National Security Meeting. You know, when you get to talk about the security of the country, you go into so many gamut of topics. You have to deal with the problem of Mindanao, and what’s happening now in the communist front and what are the demands.
But I’d like to also, to make it public actually, that everything is going on smoothly in Oslo with their talk with the communists except for the recent demand that they need another 130 releases of prisoners.
And I said to Secretary Dureza and Bello who are their negotiators, I said, “Look guys, you tell the communists that I have—as a matter of fact, conceded too many, too soon.
All of the leaders are out and only reason why I agreed that they should be out is because they had to do the talking in another country and that’s in Oslo. But – be asking for another 130 releases, sabi ko, “You tell him, produce to me, show me an agreement, a tight document signed by—even with the Norway guys who provided the good offices, to sign it and I will consider. But do not make too much demands because I am the Republic and you are the rebels.
And if you are not ready to accept that kind of mindset at this time, I am ready to—you know, terminate the talks.
You don’t make so much demands that are really too—and we have also to consider the views of the military and the police.
And, I have to be, not really fair, but some sort of a tactical move that would be understood by all. Including I said, the military and the police and 130.
And also, today, we took consideration of the Maute rebellion going on in Lanao. And they said that they are willing to pull out— By the way, Ben, my classmate. He helped me a lot. Atty. Lopez, he is a classmate of mine. Thank you to the—
And they demanded that we stop the offensive. They are in there in the forest. I don’t know where and I said, they would stop fighting, provided we stop the offensive or not, they said that they will go down upon Marawi to burn the place. And I said, “Go ahead, do it.”
We need to do a lot of constructions in this country. There are a lot of materials there and we will be glad to rebuild and rehabilitate every structure that you destroy. As long it’s confined in the areas of Lanao, I don’t really care.
So I said, “No, I will not stop the operation.” As a matter of fact, we will go ahead and—that’s stupidity.
Well, anyway, I reckon that you did not maybe listen to my campaign. I was just an ordinary guy. Part of the establishment is coming in from the cold because I was not a national figure and I hardly, you know, except for Rudy, who is also my classmate.
These are the guys that I see now. My crowd was very limited. I’m a probinsyano. A Hillbilly style that’s from the province and, I said, the only guys that I know would really be the Davaoeños.
For example, Sonny Dominguez who’s there. Are you really— You want to go home ahead? (laughter) We grew up together. We grew up together actually. He’s my childhood friend and he was our consistent valedictorian from kindergarten to maybe college because I, I was left behind. It took me seven years to finish high school. That’s why.
And, Rudy is a cum laude. And also Ruben. Me, I got only 78, but it’s okay. It’s historical actually. Since grade 1, it’s always in the line of 7. I never got a grade— Few times. College of law, yes. I remember criminal procedure. Bernie Fernandez. I just appointed his son to take his place in the Sandigan.
But in high school and college, mostly 78, 79. But it was okay and I survived it along the way. But I got the best of the minds. Tugade is a billionaire actually, and I think he was the valedictorian of the class.
And a lot of them are really with honors. Graduated with honors and sadly, even Sonny who was the voice of America championed during our time, national, studied abroad and all the guys. All the bright guys are actually working for me. They are just my, you know—(applause)
When the 75 talks, the 95 listen. (laughter) That is good. It’s the quirks of life, really.
But, let me dwell first on—We’re getting short of time. Let me dwell on what I promised the people of the Republic of the Philippines. I said that I will end corruption. And I’m doing everything actually.
And, if there’s a consolation to you, I have opened the PTV of the government. There’s a time there after the news, it’s only a plain screen and you can call 8888 and you tell me what the problem is, text it, I will read it. You might want to just also not divulge your— It’s okay with me.
Tell us the office that you’re dealing with and the guy that’s pestering you. Tell me about your complaints and I will act immediately. So in that way, the people of the Philippines would see who are the corrupt officials of this government.
I am really bent on giving this country a respite of the so many years under a corrupt administration. I am not the nice guy in the neighborhood. But I feel that at this age, at 72, I’m about to end my—
I’ve been mayor of Davao City for 23 years. A congressman and a vice mayor to my daughter. I feel that this is— would really be my last hurrah and I’d like to give the country what they have been desperately craving for and that is a government, at least, with less corruption or none at all but you know, it’s hard kind of—hard thing to do.
And so, I’m doing everything. And I just fired about 92 officials of LFTRB and LTO. It’s because of this regulation. If I were to make a choice actually, I would maybe, order the least intervention of government into the private lives or sectors.
The more regulation, there’s more corruption. It’s actually a temptation to corruption. And so, when I became President and this is the rule.
When I was a mayor, I applied for a small railway to run the Davao City streets because it’s being—it’s really congested. You know what? I applied NEDA, because you have to get the approval of NEDA without a sovereign guarantee. It took them about— until now, to do, throw it to the basket. It takes you about three to four years, it’s because of corruption.
When I became President, all of them, Rudy and the son, I said, ‘all the departments, you only have one month. Either you approve it or disapprove it but do the action within one month.’
And for the local governments, I said, “I’m not pulling my own chair but follow the practice of Davao.” All of the things there, for example, a business permit, electrical connections and everything: Three days.
Now, if you feel that you’re getting the ‘go around’. You are free to come here’, just make an arrangement’ if you have—or Secretary for Technology, or anybody you know in government. I’m sure, you know Bingbong, the Executive Secretary.
If you want, I said, if you are getting the ‘go around,’ give me your papers, here in Malacañang and I will do the follow ups. I’ll give it to the Secretary because they have one month to act on it.
So that’s it. If you do not have faith in a certain department because you have a horrible experience there, and if you think that you have antagonized some people there, give me your papers and I will do the walking for you. Simple as that.
I am—there are things cropping up now. You will hear it but we’re still investigating. And I said that there can never no friendship in this kind of set up. This is not mine to give.
As you are one to say, if you are there in public service. I would not broke any kind of— Just tell me.
You’re free to do it either through a letter or whatever or to Peter. I’m sure, he would do it for his country, he’s a Filipino. He is already a Filipino. Just give him a memo or syllabus of the things that have been happening and I would be very glad to take it all from you.
This is the guarantee that— Now, as I said: No corruption. The slightest whiff of a— if you feel that you are being milked or you’re being ano, even just— I will take it from there.
I have a list of persons who are in the— Sadly, these guys were assigned in Davao and I know that he was corrupt.
He was assigned elsewhere but I heard a report from the National Intelligence, it’s the intelligence body of the government, that this guy working for the BIR is corrupt. So I’ll just bring it up with Billy Dulay.
Billy Dulay is— He is from Baguio. And he stayed in the YMCA dormitory where I was also staying. He was with Bello and I was— my roommate was Yasay.
I’m quite surprised now because ever since our new meeting, I would hear this guy, ‘Well, I just reported from Washington and strange I have to do and then, … And I have to go because there’s another conference…’
Who is this guy talking here? Is he an American? Throw him out. Only Filipinos are allowed here. ‘He was really from Washingtong DC, you know.’
Oh is he an American? Pagtingin ko, si Yasay pala. (laughter) He talks like really a… He has that drawl. I don’t know where he got it. But he didn’t have it during my college days. There was terribly wrong somewhere. (laughter)
What I know is that during the Martial Law years, he was one of those to be arrested by the military. He was in the list and he was able to escape on time together with Maceda. And they practiced law in America. That’s what I’ve heard.
So no one heard this guy talks like a— But of course, he’s been used to it because he’s teaching in the Western universities. He’s quite an accomplished lawyer actually. He’s bright. But he works for me. He takes order from me, from the 75. (laughter)
Now, let me go to this issue of extrajudicial killing. You know, I said, I will try to stop corruption. I will deal with the drugs harshly. That’s my word.
And if you’re listening to the debates during the three rounds of debates during the campaign, that’s what I said: I would be harsh and criminality.
Now, I was very strict in Davao about criminality. And I was a prosecutor for almost eight years doing trial work. I was teaching Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence, Criminal Procedure in the Police Academy.
So it would not surprise you that when I came to the office of the mayor, I was quite really. You know, given my background. I was very strict. And Davao City at that time was a very troubled place.
Seven o’clock and you can ask anybody from Davao, it’s everybody’s asleep. There was not a single entertainment hub there except for the bars in the slum areas.
And there are a lot of killings. Military men killing the NPAs and NPAs. They are being killed left and right. We used to lose in Davao City two, three policemen a day.
So when I became mayor, I had to tackle the problem of law and order and the first thing I did was really to talk to the communist. And I told him that, “you know, I do not a want a quarrel with you.”
We became friends because when I was a prosecutor, I was only assigned three cases to handle. Because nobody would touch a—the case with a ten-foot pole. And that was military offenders, police offenders and rebels, rebellion.
Those were the only things that I had to worry when I was a prosecutor. I was not assigned to any other cases because nobody, I said, would touch the rebellion cases, especially against the military.
So, I— They know me well because most of the policemen were also my students. So when I became mayor, I told the—I was prosecuting the rebellion cases. So that whenever there’s a hearing, we became fast friends because, you know, you have to be courteous to everybody and I would go to them and shake their hands.
So when I was appointed OIC vice mayor, I was taken out from the prosecutor’s office and they made me OIC vice mayor of Davao City.
That was when Corazon Aquino ordered the release of all political prisoners. And you know what happened? They all came to me. And said, ‘we need your help because we cannot go anywhere anymore’.
So I provided them with all the jobs. And Evasco, the Cabinet Secretary. He was an NPA together with another priest, Fr. Tizon of Leyte. They went to Mindanao to become NPAs.
And they were chanced upon by the Scout Rangers and arrested and the were about to be ‘krrrrk’. And so when I learned, because I was the only one also assigned to do the preliminary investigation, somebody said na, ‘better hurry because they will—’ they call it “salvage”. It’s not a ship to be salvaged. But the term salvage is to— And, I mean, and I said, “look guys, he’s a priest. Do not do it.” “No, no, no,” sabi nila. “Do not do it.”
And so eventually, I said, when he was released, he went to my office. But he’s a priest and he’s good at organizing. He became my technical assistant.
When I was elected mayor, he was my chief of staff. For so many years, then eventually, he went back to his home province in Bohol and became the mayor of his municipality.
And now, he’s a Secretary of Cabinet of this Republic. That’s how it is. So but at that time, I told him to talk to your group. I said, I do not want to fight with you. But if you continue assassinating police here and military men, there will come a time when we’ll have to face each other. And, I just hope that, you know, it would not be a violent one.
But since I am the mayor, I have to guarantee to everybody that. And so, with the criminals, I said, that’s a very simple— Do not do it in my city, if you destroy my city, I will kill you. And I told the drug industry people. Do not do it here in Davao City because if you deprive society of the next generation of the youth, I will kill you.
It is a matter of preserving people. When I was talking about I was only a mayor. So when I became President, I made the same statement. And you guys are lawyers. There is nothing wrong when I say that if you destroy my country, I will kill you. If you destroy the youth of the land, I will kill you. And so? It’s a threat? If you are committing a crime, if you are destroying my country, you are a threat and I could do away with you.
And that is what was being used by— She is mouthing it almost everyday she gets a chance to say something, the wife of Samson. The wife of Samson. (laughter)
Look guys, you know the Philippines. I’m sure you were here already. I was adopted by the PDP, a moribund political party. It was not really moving except for the father and son, Pimentel and the Senate President. I became the candidate. I only had two governors in the entire Philippines, maybe three. But only two really confirmed, two ladies: Imee Marcos and one lady in Mindanao and only because of love.
And I didn’t have a single barangay captain or even a city mayor. Even in my own region of Davao which was used to be One Davao. No governors supported me. And in the Visayas, I’m zero even my father is a Cebuano. Even in his hometown, our hometown. The Duranos were for Poe.
So, after the elections and when the results were— And I asked my wife, “I didn’t have any money.” And everybody will tell you that I did not— There are some, I am not trying to offend you, I am not— Wala, wala, wala akong—because I had this belief that I do not want to be burdened with any, and yet, I won and by margin of six million. Saan ito galing? Where did this come from?
I never talked about any leader of giving money to run the campaign. All I did was to go around the country with the money that was— Sonny Dominguez was one of the financiers because he was my classmate. And I said, there must be something in this— I could only attribute it to God. So my victory really was a destiny.
And so to all the people that are really urging or may ouster, a coup d’état here, impeachment there, go ahead. Because if I’m ousted or impeached or whatever, that is part of my destiny. It only means that God made me President but he said, you’d only be president for two months? Six months? One year?
I have no illusions about being ousted. I’m old. I do not crave for power. As a matter of fact, I almost— but do not be offended you guys Filipinos.
If I were to get back in time, I would not. Iyon lang kung pabalikin ako sa kahapon, ayaw ko na. And I think, I have no used for it actually. Without saying that kayo nangailangan sa akin, it’s not that, but there’s only— I have no use for the presidency anymore. I am tired of politics.
You know, I have enough adulation and the clapping of the hands for 23, 40 years of my political career excluding this one, it’s a six years. I have enough of that praises and everything to last me a lifetime, to make me happy. I do not really personally now come to realize, need to be president.
But what prompted me to run was because I was looking at the political landscape and nobody there was talking about Mindanao. They were talking about technology and improvement, infrastructure, mouthing all the promises that a politician usually— But nobody was really very serious about Mindanao and drugs. Because when I was mayor, I was really very strict. And if you’d ask me that, were there some dead persons along the way? Yes, of course. When you fight crime, there is always death. But you know, if you are asking me now if I killed people on bended knees with their hands tied at their backs, that is not mine. That is not mine.
Remember, and mind you, during the campaign that there are police generals into drugs and you might want to resign just in case I become the president because I will mention you publicly. And if you kindly remember about a few weeks before I became— I took my oath of office especially, I became the president, there were already so many killings everyday.
Go back in time for me and read the newspapers at that time. It’s very easy you can— There’s a new technology, you can just backtrack. Why? Why is there a widespread killing and even after I became president? You should know the answer. We do not, you know, we do not wrap people with plastic tape. We are not producing mummies in the Philippines for export. So what’s— Those are indications of torture. Why will I torture when we are going to arrest you because you are committing a crime? There’s no need for you to torture or rather you just shoot him dead and fire a bullet in the head. Why go into this charade of wrapping people? You don’t indicate that there are tortures and forcing people to say something. Maybe, who are the people that you have talked to about this industry?
At I must admit that a third of the killings really happened during police encounters. And I know it because I am not trying to said pull my own chair.
But in Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys that, if I can do it why can’t you? And I go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. Talagang naghanap ako ng engkwentro para makapatay. Eh ‘yung what happened now is ano…But, if they are…If they say that they are…If I am afraid to stop because of the human rights and guys from, including Obama? Sorry, I am not about to do that.
You arrest me, oust me? Go ahead. So, God said that you are mayor but you have given a mission to do something but it’s only up to them. So, fine. Oust me, good. Assassinate me, better. I have this migraine everyday.
I had a bad sleep, the last one was this. And I hit the…I have a lot of issues with my spinal. My doctor would want to operate but you know my wife was a nurse and she used to work in the States, United States, and she said, there’s a lot of operations for the spinal that went awry, that went wrong.
So that if you guys see me always with a sad note/mode, I’m actually pushing a nerve here to relieve the pain. And even if when I’m doing my arms …. and sometimes I do this, it’s actually pushing something here to relieve the pain. I cannot afford the operation, it’s not because I do not have the money. I have the money to pay for it. It’s because my wife said that when nerve cut is, you are dead forever.
So those are the issues that I cannot decide by myself because I’m married to—Someone says that I should not have it and I used to press something here, fentanyl, it’s a pain killer. It’s being used by patients with cancer. I was only given a fourth of that square thing.
There was a time that if I put two— But not no more because, of course, my doctor learned that I was using the whole patch because I felt better. When he knew it, he blew his top and he said, stop it. The first thing that you would lose is your cognitive ability.
And if you are noticing it, he said, maybe because you are, you know, abusing the drug. Take, use it but I have a pain also with the—I have a Barrett, it’s a feudal thing, the GERD, they call it. And I have might as well tell you about my medical history. Don’t believe in cancer. What I have is really Buerger’s Disease. It’s an acquired thing that you get from smoking because of nicotine. Nicotine constrict the vessel. Alcohol dilates the vessel.
You can lose your—just like diabetes, you can lose your pants and even your thing there, doctor said, you’ll lose it forever. Yeah, yeah. It’s blood. It’s either it’s filled with blood or there is nothing to pass it all there because it’s all constricted. One thing about Buerger’s disease, you just stop smoking especially guys with cold hands, they are prone to—if you smoke, you are prone to— It means to say that your whole system is not really working well because of blood circulation.
But back to this thing about— You know the PDEA, I’m sure you were already around. PDEA said that during the time of General Santiago, he was here in an another event. He said that there were already four million Filipinos— ahh! three million, sorry, addicted.
And that was a figure he gave two years ago or three years ago, two and half, three years. My count has not been made public. But I’m nearing the 800 already. As they surrender to the barangay, to the police, to the mayors. And I am sure that I will breach the million mark by the end of the year.
So with four million drug addicts spread all throughout the country, with so many municipal mayors, city mayors and policemen into it, the industry, what am I supposed to do?
This is a matter already of a national security threat. Four million addicts is four million addicts. I’ll show— You want a visual thing about the drug industry? Ibigay mo nga sa akin ‘yan. Para maintindihan, so that you’d understand na this Duterte ‘is a killer’. Far from it, actually. I am trying to preserve my race. God I am trying to save my— You want a visual thing? Okay. This is the drug industry of the Philippines.
You know what? It’s there. Region 10, Mindanao. You have a congressman there, if you have a good sight. One mayor, ex mayor, another mayor, another mayor. Each page is— with the list of names.
You know how many is this? 6,000. Mayors and it’s there, Representative Vicente; Mayor Lawrence. Actually, if you want to know more, more Lawrence of Lanao.
Seen it, I— you are into a fishing expedition.’ Of course not. … persecutor. Look at personal. There, the one, a Caucasion looking, ulol. Loot, general, the one, I mentioned it. There are two generals here.
You know, this is the drug industry. Sabi ko nga eh, you worry about the 3,000? Dead? A third of them during police encounters, I don’t know about the rest. And you do not worry the drug industry?
Four million. And you worry about the— You are sad about the mayor who was killed inside the cell. And you want to pull down the PNP because that son of a bitch died? A mayor violating his oath of office. He was doing drugs on the western side of Visayas. Odicta who was also killed with his wife many months ago, was playing the eastern side.
I provided the Speaker and the Senate President, and I said, it is beyond me. Even if you give me a carta blanca to kill everybody, I will run out of bullets and of time. Hindi ko kaya.
Were if not for the good soul, Chinese philanthropist, a billionaire, then I would not have the rehab center. You know, let me tell you, they say, ‘this Duterte, why don’t he just put then in a rehab?’ And, what I’d like you to know is that I came into the presidency midterm. I am operating on a budget that was prepared by Aquino the previous year.
And so how was he supposed to know? That because all their inaction, the industry flourished into millions. So there is nothing there. And everbody, you know that it was a bottoms up thing. The sloganeering, ‘bottoms up.’
And so what is really left in this building is just enough operating expenses. That’s what it is. Bottoms up, we just had an election. So we found so many tractors and everything there and some of them were not delivered to the beneficiaries, why? Because the law which allowed them to buy these things is that the farmers would have to pay 15 percent.
Farmer, Filipino farmer. Where will they get the 15 percent? So I told Piñol, “there are so many tractors here.” “But COA says—” Sabi ko, “never mind, COA. COA, COA. You give that for free and so we deliver it to Basilan. Never mind COA.” I will— constricted brains, that’s what they have there. Why do I sacrifice the Filipinos there? Because they cannot pay the 15 percent and you withhold the— this kind of stupidity.
So never mind about COA, just give it to them. So those were the things that were left behind. And bottoms up was bottoms up. Talagang ibinuhos niya, they used the money of the government. Everybody knows it. And that is always the case. That’s why, I said, I am not pretending to be someone.
In the Philippines or even in my province, but I will just try to give a respite to the Filipinos. Hindi naman ako tumanggap ng pera, so I can have my way. I didn’t receive any so wala akong utang na loob. Meron pero kokonti. Sonny Dominguez, he does not need it. He has the hotel there to make him happy for the rest of his life, Marco Polo.
I don’t if he’s a stockholder also here. Nawala na eh. Where is he? I thought so because he was winking at the guard across the room. Ah nandiyan? You can backbite him because you are allowed to do it.
So iyan ang—I have to do it. And it’s not really— The ones that, for all I know there, it’s a turf war just like in Lanao. Do you think that the drug—- they said, they are the largest producer ng drugs.
Why? Because Maute and the rest are fighting it out for— just like the cartel. And if you read Ioan, I forgot the— He has a good book about South America. And iyong— And the new one is, there’s a sequel to that. And there’s a new book.
We are already in the state of narco-politics. Two, three, generations ago, nandiyan na, it was already, we were already there. And with the election of the wife of Samson, the portals of the national government opened to the creeping insidious and virulent drugs.
Ang masama diyan is Secretary of Justice running the drug industry inside, until now. If you want to order, they are now in prison but they were distributed all throughout the country. It’s being run now. That is why, the next orders that if there is a cellphone found in the cells of any jailer, you are out, I will fire you.
I will fire all of the superiors there because the drug industry just like in America, is run by the inside, they have the contacts. They are the lieutenants. The big ones are already out of the country. There is a big digital map there and they would just say, ”in the Paco area or Sta. Ana or Tondo, there’s this money. You pick it up there and that—” And it’s real time, they deliver it there. You get the money from this guy in the corner standing.
So how do you fight it? And even China is having a serious problem now with drugs. Iyan ang mahirap talaga. They are really having a headache now because— You know, cocaine and heroin, you have to have the poppy. But drugs you can use, cook it inside your—is really hard, and it’s happening now in America, they are realizing it.
But with all of the posturing, I really do not know why— Well, in other countries especially the—in Rwanda. When there are killing, they will do the ethnic cleansing here or the just like in the Middle east, huwag na lang tayo, let us stop killing ourselves.
They are also doing it for religious purpose. Me? I am fighting here criminals, all potential users, and if you are a user, you must be, you must be a pusher, if you are a user. Why? Unless, of course, you are the son of Ayala and Gokongwei, then you have to have somebody to contaminate to support your— or else, the monkey, you have to have the fix of the day.
So I am having a very serious problem here. And I do not have a— I said, were it not for that kind person, human being from China, I would not have this facility good for 10,000 people. Diyan, nakakaawa ang Pilipino.
Then they attack me for human rights. You know, in every demonstration, let me tell you frankly, in every demonstration, it’s the yellow who’s shouting for my ouster. But you will never hear it from the communists because I am the president belonging to the Left actually.
And everybody would tell you that I was crossing the ideological borders even before I became mayor. Find a policemen or soldiers who was taken hostage there. And they would tell you the person who would go there to the mountains to retrieve them.
The Reds would never demand my ouster. They will die for me, believe me. That’s the reason why I was able to convince them for a talk. There have been a— It’s starts with the good intention pronouncement and everything and at the end of the day, it ends with a stalemate.
So I do not believe in that shit that— They will never go for the ouster. Look at their posters. They would just condemn the burial of Marcos. But that was really their line, their favorite lines actually because Marcos was their enemy.
But for those who cannot forget, you are condemned to— enjoy your grief until you die. Marcos, when he was buried in Hawaii, you know, the Americans were very strict with that, you cannot go around the law and preserve a body there it’s not allowed. You have to go inside the tomb.
And Marcos when the time they got him out there, bring it to the Philippines, he’s just ashes. Or at the very least, skeletal remains. And by the time that he was buried there in Libingan ng Bayani, it’s just ashes. So and I— And they would just point of us a bad word.
My mother led the Yellow Friday Movement in Davao City. You can ask everybody and anybody. Sonny would tell you. She was the only one in the plaza bullying at the military because all of the audience were policemen and Philippine Constabulary at that time.
And so my mother only stood up and bullshit them in public. And there were only four of them walking the streets of— every Friday until it blown into something big and eventually, the revolution. Baka hindi nila alam iyan. The Reds would never—
And you can go to the mountains and ask the regular armed NPA. And ask them, “who’s your idol?” So, let me disabuse your mind about this.
There are actually two groups there. The group of the yellow who cannot accept defeat. So they’re all making noises and making contacts with this lady there, I would not mention her name because she is a lady.
And she only make it big because she married an American, a black one, millionaire and she inherited the money. And now, she is talking as if she’s— Ako, I said, I would like to— I take your questions.
But let me just end my story because I like this adage which he said when he was the president of the United States of America, and he is also one of the few heroes that I admire. One is Rizal, my father, then this guy and he said: “If I were to try to read much less answer all attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how, the very best I can and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. But if the end brings me out wrong, ten angels of God swearing I was right would make no difference.” Abraham Lincoln.
Great statement left behind. And for my— I just— two. There was this saying, the whines in dormitory. And it’s always there and I have memorized it over time, and he said that: “I expect to pass through this world but once, any good therefore that I can do to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
So for those of the bad guys, putang-ina, papatayin ko talaga kayo. Pero all of the gangster and with the ill intensions of this Republic, do not try to fuck it guys, you lose not only your pants but your life.
I will not hesitate. If it is my country, the interest of my country and the people, if it’s the one at stake, you can be very sure. I would not— I have no doubts in my mind that I know what I should do.
The threat of drugs and terrorism is very real. If the ISIS loses the land mass and if they are driven out, they would start to spread around the world. And they have always dreamt of this caliphate in Southeast Asia and obviously, it’s Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines because of its Muslim population.
I am not saying— The Moros, no, they do not have anything like that except the Maute who said that they have pledged allegiance to— Terrorism is very real. And if finally, the ISIS is defeated, it will just sprout everywhere, just like any revolu— because it’s— a dialogue.
What happened before in Malaysia, many never got it really correct. What happened in the southern states including Mindanao, Malaysia, there was this insurgence of Moro nationalism. Because they were the— They are the originals there in Mindanao. When Magellan, I said, arrived, Mindanao was already 100 years ahead at may poste sila, there was a post in the fight against imperialism, the Spaniards and the Americans, Islam was there rallying point.
So that thing there is not new. It’s not really a rebellion, it’s the resurgent, Moro nationalism. It is, it was their land. So that you have to make concessions. Now, believe me, they are— The barest minimum would be really federalism and mark my word, I would not be here for all the time.
If we do not adopt federalism, there is no way that peace can be attained in Mindanao, now or in the future. That’s why, those who are resisting federalism because you want to maintain the unitary type, this is actually a structure for despots and kings and authoritarianism.
And I don’t know why the Americans when they left us in 1946, coming from a federal country, did not give it to us. Was it because of the parity rights which they were interested because it was attached in that Constitution, that the Americans would enjoy the same privileges to exploit and develop natural resources just like a Filipino. Or it was really with a good intentions and we are an island separated from one another, 7,000 of it actually, it would really good to have a strong president.
But if I may suggest, I am telling you now, and you have my word: If they can come up next year or the sooner, whatever two, three years from now, my term is six years. But if they can craft a Constitution creating a federal setup, a country, and providing for a strong president just like the type which France has, then I am willing to step down without waiting for the six years. Because then, I said, you would have— you would need a president, it is not good for a fewer parliamentary type just like in Britain because it is not responsive at this time.
Remember the double-decker was blown up by the ISIS. We were at that time already. Britain at that time could hardly move because of a parliament and it’s a collegial body and a collegial decision. So the prime minister was—could not even say a statement of why, where, how. It’s not good.
You know in times of—you have to have a strong president, I said. A federal type, a strong president, you might want to just give him a few of the powers, five powers but… To dissolve the parliament, create a— call for Constitution, be the commander-in-chief of all armed forces because you need it at this time in our life.
And maybe, two additional powers. But always there has to be a strong leader at this time. It cannot be a parliament or something which you have to discuss after. It belongs to one man and it’s all commander-in-chief.
That is what I am advocating but for me, I said, I told Senate President Pimentel and they were here during the National Security meeting, and Speaker: Go ahead, make it fast. And if you can create that model two or three years, I will step down as President of this Republic.
No problem, no problem at all. That’s why, I said, for those who are asking for my ouster, do not dream about it. Eventually, I will. If you do not like me, go for the federal type and you are freed of my presence in government.
I’d like that thing to disabuse the minds of the people and to remember it. I have no illusions at all. I am good at this time already. When I go back there, I have to ride on that motor boat. I live in the small house there— just across. I do not stay here because I said, they do not— the ghosts here do not wait for nighttime and darkness. They are there, women in daytime, as early as 8 o’clock in the morning. And if I stay at the— I don’t know where it is, you’ll just— might feel that someone is beside you.
If it’s white lady, I will willingly oblige. (laughter) The problem is when we begin to a chat, there is a Caucasian there because—the ones who stayed here were the Spaniards and the Americans, they find a man with the beard, with the pipe in his mouth and that would be scary.
Most of the presidents here in the past were the Spaniards and the Americans. And there’s, somewhere in the stage where the mother of our national hero beg the— Spaniard, governor general at that time, to spare his son’s life.
And there is a splice there where she knelt down and cried pleaded for mercy. National hero natin. That’s the only thing about her is the memory. Otherwise, it’s all wood. It’s not a palace actually, it’s full of rooms there and here.
But I am glad that you have a chance to visit me or the Palace for the first time whichever is convenient to you, to see me first or the Palace, it’s okay but that is my story to you tonight.
Thank you and good day. [applause]
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