Departure speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on his official visits to Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Kingdom of Thailand
Davao International Airport, Davao City
19 March 2017
I cannot ramble on to some other topics, I am running short of time. I will just read the prepared speech.

I leave today for the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Kingdom of Thailand. These Official Visits form the final leg of my introductory trips to my colleagues and friends in ASEAN.

These are timely meetings as our country prepares to host the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Manila this April.

Myanmar is our ASEAN neighbor and friend with whom we’ve had relations for more than six decades now.

My visit will underscore our commitment to deepen partnership with Myanmar towards a brighter and better future.

As developing countries with similar historic experiences and facing the same challenges, we can use the synergies of interests as basis for strengthened cooperation.

This is true in combatting traditional and emerging transnational crimes, including terrorism and violent extremism, piracy and the illicit drug trade.

We have also a common interest in sustaining inclusive growth and development [for] our peoples.

Myanmar’s economic development is recognized as one of the fastest in our region and therefore bilateral trade and investment will be the key area of discussion.

With expanding Philippine businesses making their [marks] around the region and in Myanmar, we can encourage collaboration in mutually beneficial sectors of growth, including in pharmaceuticals and food and beverages. In Nay Pyi Taw, I look forward to discussions [on] these matters with President U Htin Kyaw.

I shall also meet State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief of Defense [Senior General] Min Aung Hlaing.

In my discussions, I will convey the Philippines’ support for the reforms [being] undertaken by Myanmar as well as in its efforts to address challenges — of certain problems in these regions.

From Myanmar, I will proceed to Thailand.

Among our ASEAN friends and neighbors in the Philippines. The Philippines has the longest formal relationship with Thailand for 67 years.
It is fitting that as Chair of ASEAN, I make this important trip to a co-founder [of] ASEAN in the capital where the foundation of ASEAN was laid 50 years ago.

In my
visit to Bangkok, I will renew the Philippines’ commitment to further enhance our excellent relations with [Thailand].

There is much at stake in relations. We have to move forward together on shared interests in securing security and stability in the region as we seek to sustain growth and development for our peoples.

I look forward to meeting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to discuss strengthening defense relations, intensifying trade and investment, and enhancing education, cooperation, among others.

I’m also… I am scheduled to meet members of the corporate sector in Thailand to discuss economic opportunities in the Philippines.

In both Myanmar and Thailand, I welcome the important [opportunity] of meeting our kababayan who have been key partners in our program for positive change and reform in our government.

I will thank them for their support and apprise them of the developments in the country.
These visits will complete my swing of our ASEAN neighborhood.

It will also presage the important regional leadership role reposed upon us for this historic ASEAN year.

I remain humbly your President who will look after our nation’s interests as I seek to pursue the collective objectives of the ASEAN region.

We will strengthen partnerships for positive change as we engage our region and our world.

Maraming salamat po. [applause]


Q: Maayong hapon, Mayor. I am Allan Nawal of The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Reaction lang nimo, sir, sa katong pag-file ug impeachment unya duna pa diay plano mag-file ug kaso against nimo sa ICC?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I welcome both developments. They can do their worst. I can do better in my performance as a worker in government, period. This is a democracy.

Q: Two questions lang po, sir. First question is by being frank about it, are you behind the impeachment case against Leni? Do you have something to do about it?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I never did anything and I will not do anything about it.

Magtanong na kayo — sige patanungan ninyo, I never lifted a finger against anybody. Tapos na ako diyan. I’m beyond politics. I am not…[Ang ganda ng sapatos mo, adre ah.] [laughter]

I am beyond politics. I do not want to tinker with it. I just want to focus on my job as a — which you have given me.

And may I reiterate that I will comply with my promises, the basic things like for example corruption, drugs, and criminality.

I will deliver on my promises. Listen to me, even if it could cost me my life, my honor, and the presidency. Kaya kong bitawan lahat ‘yan, mawala sa akin, but I will comply with my promise.

The drive against corruption, the drive against criminality and drugs will resume and it will continue, and it will be brutal if they do not understand the role of government.

Suppression includes all. Kaya drop the shabu if you want to be alive. You do not want trouble with government, stop trafficking. Iyan lang ‘yon.

I will not… I will not be for a moment be out of focus on that. Ano ‘yung ipinangako ko, diyan ako rise and diyan ako babagsak.

Q: Sir, second question po. I hope you don’t mind my asking you this.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Since when have I minded your — ?

Q: Ah yeah, never. Sir, tanong ko lang po. In the fight in the war against drugs, illegal drugs. I just would like to say, we could not go on killing each other or and forever and you will not be there forever.


Q: So would you leave us hanging ba? Ang tanong ko, is there a need to strengthen our criminal justice system parallel to your efforts in fighting illegal drugs?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Of course, we just follow the rules provided for by law. And if it is found in the Revised Penal Code. And if you are a criminal and you are caught in the act, do not fight because if you place the guy’s life — place it in jeopardy of losing it, my order is to shoot you.

I do not want to see military men and dead men on my side killed. I’d rather that the criminals, however thousands or billions they are, they should be the first to go. Ganon lang ‘yan.

Follow the law and we’re all right. Drop the shabu and nobody will die tomorrow. But I will not be intimidated and I shall not be stopped by just… What? International Criminal Court? Impeachment?

That’s a… If that is part of my destiny, it is my destiny to go. Ganon lang ‘yan, palad-palad lang.

Maybe God gave me only two years, six months, one year and a half to be president of this country, fine.

Basta let it not be said na hindi ko ibinigay ang ipinangako ko.

Q: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ganon lang ang buhay, Regalado. That’s what life is all about, honoring one’s commitment to your fellowmen.

Q: Maayong hapon, sir. Joy Gumatay po from PTV. Question ko lang, sir, do you think it would negatively impact ‘yung mga planned ouster moves against the top officials of the government doon sa improvement under the Duterte administration in the past months?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: There will be improvement because we are really focused on it. There will be improvement in the area of law and order. Maybe not now, but later when I shall have finished them off, especially the drug lords.

You know, it’s an apparatus. If I do not away with the — do away with the drug lords, tapos nandiyan ‘yang runners, tapos mahirap, mas mahirap pa sa atin, ‘di na ako makialam niyan.

Q: Pero, sir, sa tingin niyo —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: The law is the law. Kung mahirap ka, runner ka, madidisgrasya ka talaga ‘pag lumaban ka.

The only thing really to do is just to surrender with your hands raised up. But there will never be a time that I will condone killing with a criminal or a person arrested with up straight arms begging for his life or what would popularly known as extrajudicial killing.

Q: Pero, sir, itong mga impeachment plans against you —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Because the police are not allowed to follow illegal orders. Papatayin ako niyang mga ‘yan especially the officers. What do you think of Major General Guerrero? Maniwala kaya sa akin patayin mo ‘yung mga tao na nakahiga, nakatalikod? Ako ang babarilin niyan. Anak ka man…

Maybe scalawags. We do not discount the possibility of them killing each other or scalawags in government who are into drugs and trying to silence the guys that I [am] dealing with. That is a possibility which I must accept.

Pero kung sabihin mo itong mga graduate na — ‘di papayag ‘to. Masyado kayong maliit ang pagtingin ninyo sa — mababa ang pagtingin ninyo sa mga graduates natin.

They are not… That is… Pinupukpok na iyan sa ulo nila, Day One, sa PMA pati PNPA: Do not follow illegal orders. Killing a man kneeling down or with hands behind his back. Ano ba namang…

Q: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Pero ‘pag ka lumaban ka, my God. Ubusin mo ‘yung bala mo.

Q: Salamalaykum, Mayor President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Malaykum Salam. Maya na pagbalik ko, magtanong ka nang marami ha. Pang-last ka.

Q: [Jun Dimakutak?] of DZRH Mindanao. Mr. President, gaano na ba kalawak ‘yung opensiba na — ‘yung pinsala ng opensiba natin sa Abu Sayyaf, Maute and BIFF. Sa kaso ng Abu Sayyaf, meron pa rin ba silang chance na makapaggawa ng kidnapping, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Malawak po kaya lang we have to go into selective targets. For example, if they are in the midst of populated areas or they are near where the habitation is quite high, we just cannot do it.

That is what — it takes us time to do it because we try to avoid hitting civilians. Kasi kung wala lang civilian, matagal na itong natapos.

But just like the communists, every time that they are cornered, they mix with the people, and they are — the people are their water. Kaya sabi, “they are the fish in the water” because once they merge with the civilian population, barado na ang… We’ll just have to stop operation.

That is one also of the things that are pounded on the military and the police: Do not go into an action where you kill civilians.

Same, same with drugs. That was… It takes time. Puro selective. Only once they are grouped in the mountains, ready for the offensive, and that is where we also marshal our troops and our weapons to challenge them.

But once the battle is over and they begin to merge and run to their habitations and houses, the offensives stops and I will not allow civilians to be killed in the process.

Ano ba naman kasalanan ng bata, pati mga babae, matanda? So it behooves upon government to just — lunukin nalang nila ‘yang sayang ‘yung panahon na ‘yun because it ain’t the right thing to do.

Q: Thank you, Mr. President.

Q: Good afternoon, Mr. President…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ay, ma’am, kumusta ka? CNN. Si Ina, ma’am?

Q: Sir, nasa vacation pa po. Sir…


Q: Hindi pa naman po, sir. Sir, do you think the impeachment complaint filed against you, do you think the Vice — Vice President Leni Robredo had anything to do with that, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, I will not be surprised if she is there or I will not also be — I will not speculate if she is not there.

Kasi ‘di ako nakikialam sa buhay niya, ma’am. Sana huwag niyang pakialaman ‘yung akin. Basta sa trabaho okay lang.

Wala sa akin ‘yang impeachment, impeachment. I go by the rules of destiny. What made me the… What gave me the presidency was pure destiny, if you consider all the things that happened along the way.

And if I get impeached, if I go to prison, as long as I have the right to select where I should be — I should rot for all time. Sa Monaco lang ako, ma’am. Basta may view lang ako doon sa beach tapos may teleskopyo ako, okay na ako.

Q: Sir, the reason I asked because she’s been more vocal recently against your war on drugs, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Alam mo si Leni with all the… Akala kasi niya ako ‘yung sa NagaLeak, ganon.

Ayaw niyang maniwala, eh ‘di ‘wag. Basta kayo naniniwala lang niyan. And you can ask any…

And you can ask any Cabinet member and any military man for that matter and police, ask them, was there a single call from me since I became — under sa opisina ko?

Kung tumawag ba ako minsan kay Senator Sotto, tumawag ba ako kay Senator Cayetano, kay General Lapeña —? Well, of course, si ano kasi presidential adviser eh legal. Kung tumawag ba ako kay Secretary Piñol, tumawag ba ako kay Delfin?

Tanungin mo, maski sino sa gobyerno, LTO, LTFRB, tanungin mo kung may tinawagan ba ako ni isa. Kapag mayroon kang masabi ito, dalhin mo dito, sabi ko mag-resign ako.

I always do it with honor. ‘Pag sinabi kong ‘yan, ‘pag sinabi kong wala, wala talaga ‘yan. At ‘pag sinabi kong gawin ko ‘yan, umatras ka na kasi gagawin ko talaga.

Q: Thank you, sir.

Q: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, regarding China, there are reports saying na magtatayo daw po sila ng radar station sa Panatag Shoal, can you confirm on that, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, we cannot stop China from doing his thing. Hindi nga napara ng Amerikano.

The reason why — there’s a former secretary of Justice — ah Foreign Affairs which says more than just our claim of sovereignty is a… So what do you want me to do? What do you want? Sir, ano bang gawin ko? Declare war against China?

I can but we’ll all lose our military and policemen tomorrow, and we are a destroyed nation. And we cannot assert even a single sentence of any provision that we signed.

Ano bang gusto mo? Ang sinabi lang ng — ang sinabi ko, nandoon kami ni Xi Jinping, and my… For the life of me, it was bilateral. Marami kami.

Ako, mga Cabinet members and I said, “I will not invoke the arbitral ruling now. But there will be a time in my term when I will bring the issue back on the table on the four square of the arbitral ruling and it will come.” When? When they shall start to tinker with the entitlements.

Tubig pa lang ngayon eh. Ngayon kung makadaan lang man tayo doon. And I said, your ship[s] are welcome, just like Russia, to come here and dock. And let me see your armaments there — and Russia, sinabi ko rin ang China.

Basta ang sabi ko, but allow my… Do not do anything to my coast guard kung mamasyal-masyal rin sila diyan. Kasi you claim to own it, I claim it to be mine. In the meantime, just keep open at ‘wag mong galawin ‘yung mga coast guard ko.

‘Wag naman ‘yung gray ships, the gray ships are the Navy. O kay hindi man sila nagpadala doon. Ang nagpapadala ho ng gray ships ang Amerika. Ang China hindi nagpapadala ng Navy niya, coast guard lang palagi.

Tayo, coast guard lang. Coast guard does not mean war. The gray ship means you are in aggressive form. That’s the norm of conduct sa nations. Hindi ka nagpapadala ng gray ships. Battleships ibig kong sabihin, Navy.

Hanggang coast guard lang tayo. Iyong right of passage niya, anybody can. Eh ang Amerikano araw-araw dumadaan diyan eh. Bakit mag-discriminate ako sa China? We are not war against China, I am not war against America. And yet American ships come and go. Why should I not allow the Russians? They are also my friends. China is also our friend.

And now, we are now improving on the economy because of the help of China. Bakit ka naman mag-walang hiya para magdaan lang? And so what if they stop there?

They admit that it is the territory — within the territory of the Philippines. That does not satisfy you? Ano pang gusto mo, paluhurin mo ‘yung tao? Iyon, ‘pag ka ganon — nitpicking. Naghahanap lang nang makalkal para… When you run out of valid issues, iyan ang ginagawa mo.

Q: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Call it nitpicking.

Q: Sir, I would just like to ask about what were the things discussed during your meeting with Foreign Minister of Australia Julie Bishop? Her visit to Davao City last Friday was earlier criticized by the Human Rights Watch in Australia.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: We never discussed human rights. They are so courteous. Maybe alam nila.

Because if you say that, if you utter those things in my presence, you’ll get an insult. So what we did was to discuss transnational crimes, terrorism.

Nobody but nobody, not even the United States, ever, ever opened up the human rights in front of me.

Sabihin kita, “Bakit sa inyo, ikaw wala?” Every nation. Australia? I will not pick a fight. Tingna… Huwag na… No, do not ever do that because if you can say one thing bad thing about me, I can say five things bad about you.

So what’s the… Bakit ka maghanap ng away eh lahat naman tayo nagkakamali? Pero hindi diyan sa human rights. I am on the right track, I would say.

Ngayon, ‘pag natapos na ng pulis ‘yan, ‘yung selection nila, then they should go back and operate again because narco-politics is on the rise again. But it will be under the supervision of General Lapeña, PDEA.

Q: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala na? Sinong gustong sumama? Ako na bahala doon sa damit, aba maraming ano doon.

Ma’am, walang si — sama tayo? Tara, tara. Totoo marami… No kidding. ‘Di kita hina-harass, sexual harassment.

Tanungin mo ‘yang mga babae diyan ‘pag makita ko, “Halika, sama ka sa probinsiya.” Sabihin, “hindi man ako nakapagbalot.” “Sa Davao ka na lang.” “Makadating tayo doon alas- siyete bukas pa…” Totoo. Sinasama ko ‘yung… “Nakapunta ka na ng Davao? Halika sumama ka.” Tutal nandiyan naman si — parang yaya mo at saka may mga pulis. Pagdating dito, sinasabi ko sa policewoman, “take over”. Totoo ‘yan, Tanungin mo ‘yan sila.

Kalapit lang ng Cambodia, halika. Sinong gusto? Anybody who wants to go there? I can take care of you there. Kasama ka doon sa mga policewoman.