This is a developing story. Transcription ongoing. 5th update, 9:56 p.m.
[Delivered at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City on 22 July 2019]
Thank you. Kindly sit down. Kumusta po kayo?
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and the honorable members of the Senate; House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the honorable members of the House of Representatives; Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo, magandang hapon po sa inyo — sa iyo, ma’am, [applause] kung nasaan ka; former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Ejercito, [applause] Macapagal-Arroyo[applause]; His Excellency Caccia and the esteemed members of the diplomatic corps; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and the other members of the Cabinet; Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and the Supreme Court; my fellow workers in government; mga mahal kong kababayan.
Let me begin by extending my hand in gratitude to all who kept faith with me in our most trying times. Numbers speak a thousand words and tell a hundred tales. But the landslide victory of the Administration candidates as well as the latest survey results shows that my disapproval rating is 3%. [applause] I hope that the members of Congress — sana hindi kayo included sa 3% [laughter] — inspires me with determination to pursue relentlessly what we have started at the start of my administration.
Few men imbued with the will and the courage to do what he believes is right and just and whatever be the opposition in terms of numbers and noise, makes a majority. For it is not the eagle in the fight but the fight in the eagle that matters.[applause] Believe me, I will end my term fighting.
It has been three years since I took my oath of office, and it pains me to say that we have not learned our lesson. The illegal drug problem persists. Corruption continues and emasculates the courage we need to sustain our moral recovery initiatives.
Years ago, we saw the terrible devastation caused by illegal drugs. On May 23, 2017, our law enforcers launched an operation to serve a warrant and to neutralize terrorists. A group of armed men with sophisticated weaponry and aided by locals radicalized by extremist dogma and teachings fought our troops for weeks. During that Marawi Siege, tons of shabu worth millions and millions of pesos. Drug money killed 175 and wounded [2,101] of my soldiers and policemen in that five-month battle.
I am aware that we still have a long way to go in our fight against this social menace. Let the reason why I advocate the imposition of the death penalty for crimes related to illegal drugs. Our citizens have begun to do their part in the war against drugs, and through the barangay formation of anti-drug councils, and also actually surrendering bricks of cocaine found floating in the sea into our islands. I call this responsibility. However, the drugs will not be crushed unless we continue to eliminate corruption that allows this social monster to survive.
I respectfully request Congress to reinstate the death penalty for heinous crimes [applause] related to drugs, as well as plunder.
My countrymen, it is a sad commentary that we cannot distinguish our need from our greed, our principles from our prejudices, the real from the fake, and the truth from a lie. The reason is because that many of us, what matters above all is the “self.” It is selfishness [at] its worst for no purpose other than personal aggrandizement.
To borrow the language of F. Sionil Jose who said, we have not risen above and beyond the parochial interests. Our warped loyalty to family, friends and tribal kin continue to exact a heavy toll on our programs designed to uplift the poor and reassure our investors, our foreign investors local, and the business sector in this country.
The recent uncovering of the massive fraud perpetrated against the public health insurance system proves that corruption is pervasive. Huge amounts of medical funds were released to cover padded medical claims and imaginary treatment of ghost patients. I am grossly disappointed. The government is conned of millions of pesos which could be used to treat illnesses and possibly save the lives of many. Thus I ordered the NBI to arrest and cause the prosecution of those liable. I appointed a new PhilHealth President, whom I know is a man of integrity, a military man, a former military officer, and gave him marching orders to prioritize ridding the agency of corruption.
By the way, I commend the Bureau of Investigation for its handling of high profile cases resulting in the arrest and prosecution of criminals. These culprits will have their day of reckoning in court. I hope it happens during the last three years of my term.
Concerning the unscrupulous persons manning our ports and scalawags in uniform, we have been unyielding in our reforms to weed them out of public service.
I have fired or caused the resignation of more than a hundred officials and appointees of government without regard to relationship, friendship and alliance. There is no sacred cow as the saying goes in my Administration.
Institutions that are the stewards of our resources and agents of development have long been a major source of public frustration. Drastic reforms within these agencies have yielded results. Our government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), infamous for high salaries and bonuses being paid their executives and employees, have started to shape up. As of July 9, 2019, we collected more than P61 billion from GOCCs or government corporations, 32% of which, or P16 billion, from PAGCOR. [applause] This is more than the P36 billion collected in 2017. My salute to Andrea Domingo. [applause]Magpasugal ka pa, ma’am, nang marami. [laughter] Bureau of Customs, though corruption-ridden, managed to collect Five Hundred Eighty Five Billion Pesos (P585,000,000,000) in 2018. Imagine how much more could have been collected had the BOC been clean and less corrupt.
May I cut and just — magsalita lang ako kung anong sa isip ko. I went to the Bureau of Customs two weeks ago and found out that there were about 63 of them facing charges, criminal charges, and 61 of them under investigation. I hope that I can have the cooperation of Congress. If we cannot abolish their position and if I cannot dismiss them for the reason that there is a security of tenure, I will just allow them to have their plantilla positions but they have to report to Congress everyday to help me in the huge paperwork that we have to do everyday. All of them will go out from the premises of the Customs area.[applause] I do not want them back.
We, in government, talk too much, act too little, and too slow. I recall saying that before the Congressional hearing when I was Mayor of Davao City. I say that again to emphasize how little we have changed since then. We are long on rhetorics but short on accomplishments. It’s either you Congress or — even the Executive department and maybe me. So I am here to rectify my own error.
That is why, I implore those who occupy positions of power and authority, to let your deeds and accomplishments do the talking. Lead by example. Words ring hollow when not followed by positive and prioritized action.
Time and again, I have emphasized that like my fellow workers in government, trabahante lang po ako ng Pilipino.
Last year, I assign — I signed the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act, a significant piece of legislation to improve service delivery and fight corruption, still until now.
However, much [has] to be done in ensuring our responsiveness to the people’s needs. Based on complaints received by the Contact Center [ng] Bayan, Contact Center [ng] Bayan — that’s in my office — the LTO, SSS, BIR, LRA, and PAG-IBIG are the top five agencies that need to drastically improve their service.
I reiterate my government — my directive to the government and instrumentalities, including the LGUs and the government corporations: simplify. May I… Nandito ba kayo? Simplify. Just like the others. You can do it electronically. You do not have to go to the office.
I’ve been asking that from you since three years ago. ‘Pag hindi pa ninyo nagawa ‘yan ngayon, papatayin ko talaga kayo.[applause] Nabibwisit na…
Simplify and make your services responsive to — client-friendly. Your client is the Filipino, our employer — from where the money in our pockets come from, from our salaries.
Thanks to Executive Secretary Medialdea, we have increased the number of lines [for] Hotline 8888 to make it more responsive to the public. Our ultimate goal is for our people to be freed from using these hotlines because government service and response have markedly improved.
Again, I will… Ang problema kasi ng Fili — I’m addressing now to the Filipino. Kayo rin kasi. Sinasabi ko na sa inyo, be assertive. At ‘pag kayo o ikaw hiningian more than the required payment by government at humingi pa sa iyo, I’ve been telling you mag-eskandalo kayo sa opisina. Make a scene. Sampalin mo ‘yang i** na ‘yan. Kasi aabot rin sa akin ‘yan.[applause]
And I have done that. Ako mag-pranka ako sa inyo, ako lang ang Presidente na hanggang ngayon nagbubugbog talaga ng tao, diyan sa loob ng Malacañan.
Pinapakain ko ng pera ‘yang mga y*** na ‘yan. Eh galit na ako sa inyo eh. Kindly be assertive. Pagka hiningian ka, sabihin mo, i** mo. “Sabi ni Duterte, the President told us, that if you extort money from me, I will slap you.”
At sampalin talaga ninyo. Hindi na bale magkaaway. I will defend you. At kung maari and this is what I’ve been doing all along. There’s an . Be sure that it is true. Though you are not liable for libel pero huwag naman ‘yang makasakit ka ng kapwa-tao na wala namang kasalanan. , then place “To President Duterte, re: abuses by the director asking for money.” Text mo, lalabas ‘yan diyan. And that is for the public to view.
At kung totoo, Malacañan, I said, is open 24 hours — 24 hours basta corruption. And that is why that fiasco about the frigate ni Trillanes was because ‘yung Koreano na napagbili ng barko, who sold the ship to the Philippine government, wala pa hong delivery. And it was there already ready.
And that is why that Korean went to Malacañan just to complain why is it that there is no request for delivery. So I told Bong, “Bong, ayusin mo ‘yan.” He went to Lorenzana and Lorenzana nagsulat siya. May nakakuha because in Malacañan, every administration may tao ‘yan diyan. Every administration leaves some of the men because they are appointed on plantilla position.
Eh kinuha nila then it was brought here and before the Congress. And so Bong was called to testify. And he said, he was assured it will be a closed-door. I told Bong, “No, ask for an open and public hearing.”
Sabi ko, “Sabihin mo sa lahat — wala — you have nothing. Just say the truth.” Sabi ko, pagkatapos niya testify, sabi ko, “Bong, maniwala ka hindi, you will be a senator.” [applause] Totoo ‘yan. That is the story of how convoluted politics and corruption here in our country works.
Equipped with political will, the government ordered the closure of Boracay Island for six months to prevent its further deterioration. We cleaned and rehabilitated the island and allowed it to heal naturally. I am proud to say that it has been restored close to its original pristine state. Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force, led by Secretary Cimatu, and fully supported by Secretaries Año, Romulo-Puyat — O what’s her name? Puro surname ito, Romulo-Puyat. What’s her name? Ah si — ah Berna. Ah, Berna Romulo-Puyat, Bello and Villar, and then TESDA Chief Mamondiong for this huge success. Kudos are also due the PMS for integrating the six-month Rehabilitation Plan, and the NEDA for the recently-approved [Medium]
Boracay Island is just the beginning. And the girls there, the foreigners are waiting for you gentlemen to visit the place. They are all on the beach sunbathing. You are invited to — I have not been there.
Alam mo, nung naayos ‘yan, day before we were told that there’s gonna be an opening tomo — so on the TV on that day, magandang hapon. Showed a lot of buntings and banners, “Salamat Duterte.” So when I saw it I called the military and the police, “Remove the buntings. I am not going there.” No need to really arbi — advertise. I am paid for what I’m doing. Nakokornihan ako. Too much adulation bordering pretentions, I can smell it in [unclear].
And I never went there until now. What I did was I went to the other side of the island and asked the DAR what is the status of the land behind the beach of Boracay. And they are still categorized as forestal and agriculture. “Not,” I said, “Not commercial?” “No, sir.”
So I told the Agrarian Reform, go to the place, have it inspected because I will declare the whole of the island a land reform program. And I gave the islands piece by piece to the Atis, the natives of the place para walang masabi. Marami kasi ginawa ko raw [applause] para linisan ko, ibigay ko sa mga kaibigan ko.
Wala akong kaibigang mayaman. Ayaw kong kaibigan ng mayaman because pagka mayaman ka, tatabi ka lang sa akin, pati ako napahiran na ng kung ano-ano ang hingiin mo sa gobyerno.
There are those who violate environmental rules. I am giving due notice to the LGUs and other stakeholders, kayo po, of tourist destinations to take extra steps in the enforcement of our laws and the protection of our environment.
On January 27, 2019, we officially started the Manila Bay rehabilitation. Though we have a long way to go, we are encouraged by the test results of the waters near Padre Faura. We will relocate informal settlers — I hope it can happen during my time — along the waterways and shut down establishments that continue to pollute and poison our waters.
Make a choice. I’m going to the… [Malaki ba ‘yung building diyan?] I’m going to dismantle your burning — ah building or just simply burn it down so that we can have a new set-up of environmental friendly, whatever that means.
Through the Build, Build, Build Program in emerging economic hubs outside Metro Manila. This will swiftly gain ground, thanks to the efforts of the Economic Team led by Secretary Dominguez. Hard at work in the interconnection of our islands and cities by air, land, and sea are Secretaries Tugade and Villar.
Alam naman ninyo. Magaganda na ang airport ninyo. Inuna ko nga kayo eh. Everybody’s complaining about the Davao airport and I said, “Davao will be the last.” Kung hindi na maabutan, sabi ko mga taga-Davao, pasensya na kayo. Para walang masabi ang Congress sa atin, baka nga 3% sila doon sa kabila.
We also paved the way for the entry of third telecommunications provider. Do not worry about this. There is no corruption at all. I guarantee you, upon the grave of my father. I do not allow — I do not talk to them. I just say: Just do your work. And kung maari, according to what the specifications are required by this government.
I challenge this new player to fulfill its commitment to provide fast and reliable telecommunication services to our people, especially in the underserved areas. DICT Secretary Honasan will be the lead man in this endeavor. I hope he is here. [applause]
However, developmental gains will not be felt by our people in the countryside if we cannot maintain law and order. ‘Yang peace and security, wala… We need to enforce the law.
After almost two decades of peace negotiation, the Bangsamoro Organic Law was finally passed and ratified.
For decades, our Muslim brothers in the ARMM have been mired in poverty. My late Muslim brother, MinDA Chair Abdul Khayr Alonto, envisioned a progressive, peaceful, and united Mindanao during our lifetime. It is my hope that the Bangsamoro Transition [Authority] will fast-track the establishment of regional government that will secure and comfortable life for Muslim brothers and sisters, and all indigenous communities in the Bangsamoro Regions.
Additionally, I have taken the helm of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and have assigned a Cabinet member to each region to harmonize government efforts in attaining national development [and] security.
Through the exceptional leadership of Secretary Briones and the DepEd, I am proud to say that this year more Filipino learners are receiving basic education, with over 27 million enrollees from Kinder to Senior High School. [applause]
And because we have still a little to spare, the fastest population growth, one of the — is the Philippines. We are so industrious that we are producing more people than… I do not want to quarrel with the religious but…
More than [823,000] — sorry my eyes is not good — for the… Isinusuot ko lang ‘to ‘pag mag — paminsan-minsan eh. Out-of-school youth and adult learners were able to access non-formal education through the Alternative Learning System. For our national sports development, I support the proposed measure to create the National Academy of Sports for High School students. [applause]
Almost 86,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises or the MSMEs have received over P3 billion worth of loans since 2017, thanks to the efforts of Secretary Lopez and the DTI.
Additional benefits for solo parents, [applause] the assignment of health workers in all barangays, and the expansion of the Malasakit Centers, are what we also hope to achieve through the bills filed by the original concept of Bong Go.[applause] Para manalo sa kampanya, ‘yon ang mantra niya. Totohanin mo lang, Bong, mapahiya tayong lahat. [laughter]
I also implore Congress… You — look. You have to study this very carefully. Congress has to postpone the May 2020 elections and ‘yung Barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan to October 2022. Because if you read it, this… [applause] To rectify the truncated terms. Paiba-iba na eh. The truncated terms of sitting barangays but also provide them with the ample time to finish their programs and projects. I suggest Congress should also enact the Magna Carta for Barangays. [applause]
This Administration’s malasakit at serbisyo program has, of course, reached the Filipinos who labor in foreign lands. The milestone signing of the Bilateral Labor Agreement with Kuwait in 2018 is a testament of my commitment to stop abuses inflicted on our overseas Filipinos. To ensure their welfare, protection and their access to government services, the establishment of the Department of Overseas Filipinos will sufficiently address this particular need. [applause]
Our accomplishments for the past three years and the plans for the next three are discussed in detail in my mid-term report to the people, copies of which shall be made available before the day ends.
Let me repeat what I said many times before. Honestly, I have identified the enemy who dumped us into this quagmire we are in. I have met the enemy face-to-face and sadly, the enemy is “us.” We are our own tormentors — addressing the Filipino people — we are our own demons; we are as rapacious predators preying on the helpless, the weak and the voiceless. We find corruption everywhere in government with every malefactor watching his cohort’s back in blatant disregard of his oath when he assumed public office. Even the language has evolved to soften the wickedness of the criminal act. “For the Boys”, “sponsoring an event” or what-else-have-you. No amount of euphemism can trivialize or normalize betrayal of public trust or any other criminal offense. It is an injury laced with insult. It is both a national embarrassment and a national shame.
For every transaction, a commission; for every action, extortion; and a request that goes on and on – endlessly and shamelessly.
Catharsis is what we, individually and collectively, need to do today – not tomorrow but today. Self-purgation followed by the resolve to do what is right and proper, is good for the nation’s health.
Let me ask you: When will corruption end? Kailan ba talaga ‘to? Hanggang kailan? Well, I don’t know. I’ve been in — with government for almost 35 years now. I am not singling out myself. It’s the entire gamut of our system. Corruption exasperates. It frustrates. It is also exasperating that there are times when I think that perhaps it is blood that we need to cleanse and rinse away the dirt and the muck that stick to the flesh like leeches. Of course, it is only a thought. I am simply thinking aloud. To dispel any controversy that my statements in this regard will create something else. Words of Pedro Guerrero who said, “Sometimes they write what I say and they write — and they write what I say and not what I mean.” So ‘yung mga pa-purga-purga lang diyan. I use similes, metaphors, hyperbole, and other figures of speech every now and then, to prove or stress a point. I am as human as anybody else.
On the matter of the Philippine — West Philippine Sea. The avoidance of conflict — armed conflict and protection of our territorial waters and natural resources compel us to perform a delicate balancing act. A shooting war is grief and misery multiplier. War leaves widows and orphans in its wake. I am not ready or inclined to accept the occurrence of more destruction, more widows and more orphans, should war, even on a limited scale, breaks out. More and better results can be reached in the privacy of a conference room than in a squabble in public. That is why I will do in the peaceful way, mindful of the fact that it is our national pride and territorial integrity that are at stake.
Short of expressly advocating a call to arms, there are those who say that we should stand up and stop those who fish in our economic zone. Of course we will do in due time. There is…
Alam mo ganito ‘yan eh. Noong — when I became President and when the M16 rifles were cancelled by America upon the prodding of the US Congress, I found myself in a quandary because reports were already very ripe na there was the passing of arms in Marawi.
And because of the arms were already — mostly in the hands of the police, hands-me-down from the army were quite old and sometimes the bolt that pushes the bullet flies out and the barrel has really become lose, and there are no more lands and plains to push it into a circular trajectory to maintain its accuracy.
So I was forced to go to China. Eh mabuti’t na lang nasabi ko sa inyo ‘to. Then in China, we had a bilateral. I brought along the military man — Año, the chief of staff then, and all of them, Lorenzana, Esperon, National Security.
In that meeting, I said — Cabinet members were there — “I want to go to my territory to dig oil.” That was the word, “I dig.” Because that is ours. Ang sabi ni President Xi, “Well, you know there is a conflict there. Do you think, rather than go there and have a confrontation — not necessarily the grey ships, war ships. But you know a squabble there could lead to something else.” Sabi niya, we just became friends. And perhaps we can talk about this. But not an outright precipitate move because… He said it softly, “It can mean trouble.”
If the trouble comes out from the mouth of a president of a republic, anong magawa ko? So what did I answer? “Well then maybe, sir, we can talk about this at some other time.” But definitely, before I go, we must talk about the West Philippine Sea. We cannot you know, have our cake and eat it too.
You know, I cannot go there even to bring the Coast Guard to drive them away. China also claims the property and he is in possession. ‘Yan ang problema. Sila ‘yung in possession and claiming all the resources there as an owner. We are claiming the same but we are not in the position because of that fiasco noong dalawang nag-standoff doon during the time of my predecessor si Albert, ambassador. If I’m correct. I do not know his real name.
Tayo ang umatras. Pagsabi niya umatras, that was a kind of a compromise. Tayo ang umatras. Noong umatras tayo, pumasok sila. Marami na.
That day, we lost the Spratly and the Panganiban. Iyan ang totoo. Walang bolahan ‘yan. Ngayon, may arbitral ruling. I… I said, I could not even ask for the oil claiming the entire resources of the…
Anong sabihin ko sa kanila? Kaya sinabi ko, “Let us do this mutually.” Of course, when Xi says, “I will fish,” who can prevent him? And sabi ko naman, “We will fish because we claim it.”
And sabi ko, “Please allow because…” Before that, they were driving away our fishermen. ‘Di ba inaabog nila? Kaya sabi ko, “Do not drive them away because the Filipinos are of the — that they are also — they claim it.”
Now, if you deprive — deprive the Filipinos of — there, magkagulo talaga ‘yan. And it could lead to ano — not really war, and I said, “we have to…”
Kaya ang sabi ko… So when I said, “I allowed,” that was on the premise that I own the property. Pero hindi tayo in control of the property. Ayan magsabi sila, “Of course, I will allow you.” Kaya pinabalik.
Eh ‘yung disgrasya, ‘yung pagsabi “a mere incident — legal, marine incident,” ‘yan ang ginagamit sa batas ‘yan, “a marine incident happened.” Hindi naman sinasabi na “marine accident.”
It was just nabanggan, wala naman. So they wanted to talk, tapos ayaw dito. And so, “So sige, we will investigate and you investigate, and when you are ready, we should meet and compare notes, and let us determine who pays for what damage.”
Ganun lang. Ipadala ko ‘yung marines ko to drive away the Chinese fishermen. I guarantee you, not one of them will come home alive.
Kung ipadala ko ‘yung limang — pati ‘yung frigate ko na bago, ‘yung pinagkaguluhan nila ni Trillanes diyan sa — that made Bong a Senator, ubos ‘yan because there are already guided missiles in that island.
And the fastest that they have installed there can reach Manila in seven minutes. You want war? Alam mo, asaran ‘yan eh. Supladuhan ‘yan. Kung supladuhan lang, murahin, “P***** i** mo, l***** ka. Umalis ka diyan.”
Kung ganunan lang, bright ako diyan. Hanggang bunganga lang. Pero kung bunutan na ng baril, ah pwede siguro basta dalawa lang. But the problem is, there — whether we do it in a diplomatic way, there will be heated arguments, sigurado ‘yan.
We do it in a confrontation doon. We try to drive them away, it could lead to a violence. Any way ‘yan, by the way the President answered when I said “I will dig my oil” the first time I went to China.
Nakita ko ‘yung tao eh. So you can, more or less, draw a profile of his, “Please do not do that because there will be trouble.” Ano… Anong magagawa ko?
I go there, I said, “The fisheries who were…” And besides, I was invoking ‘yung traditional fishing rights. It is in that arbitral ruling. Ayaw lang ninyong gustong tignan.
It is mentioned there that even before countries were in existence, people around an ocean or a lake had already been fishing there for generations. And that is why fishing rights are allowed in the so many cases between Finland and Germany, decided by UNCLOS — UNCLOS and the International Law of the Seas.
UNCLOS is a product of a treaty. That treaty is also a part of our land because we are a signatory. Eh kung basahin lang ninyo ‘yan nang husto, it is there. You might just all…
China and everybody recognizes traditional fishing rights for the natives who were there even before the creation of republics and governments. That law is a human law.
So I’m sorry I have to… I promised you 40 minutes. My God, I… You want me to stop? We can go home now. [laughter] I have exceeded my… There is the, you know, there is a time for everything.
Do not believe the others because they are not my friends. They are my political enemies. They said I do not believe in God. Who says? I am a believer of a universal mind there.
But [applause] I do not believe that a God so perfect would create hell for his creation. What kind of God is he? He is not my God. There is a time to — for everything. A time to negotiate and a time to quarrel with your enemy, with your political opponents, with your wife.
That is why some lives here are… And a time to antagonize and a time to make peace and a time to go to war, and a time to live and a time to die. That’s Ecclesiastes 3.
Our ownership of the Philippine — West Philippine Sea is internationally recognized. However, both the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Arbitral Award in the case of People — “Republic of the Philippines vs. People’s Republic of China” recognize instances where another state may utilize the resources found within the coastal state’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The arbitral ruling even states, the one that they are charging me for violating the Constitution…. Sino gani ‘yon? Suntukin lang kita diyan ngayon mabuti pa. Nandito eh. The arbitral ruling even states that the Philippines may enter into fishing agreements with other states, provided certain conditions and requisites in the UNCLOS are met.
So ‘yung akin, sabi niya, “Let’s go fish.” Sabi ko, “You have to act…” You know, they have been there fishing since time immemorial. I think it was Adam who got the first Lapu-Lapu there.
Let me assure you, that national honor and territorial integrity shall not — shall be foremost in our mind, and when we may take the next steps in this smoldering controversy over the lines of arbitral ruling, the West Philippine Sea is ours.
There is no ifs and buts. It is ours. But we have been acting, [applause] along that legal truth and line. But we have to temper it with the times and the realities that we face today.
Poverty incidence fell from 27.6 percent in the first half of 2015 to 21 percent in the first half of 2018. The most important number, though, is the six million Filipinos we need to pull out from poverty. Kindly help me on this. [applause]
And you know, as I said, corruption is everywhere. You are free to investigate. I don’t take offense. If there is anything wrong in my department, the Executive, you are free to open the investigation anytime.
You do not have to call me. Call the idiots, expose them, and send them to jail. You are helping me. Do not be… I am not… I’ve been a prosecutor. I know how it works. Feel free. Feel free to expose anything that is not in accordance with law.
We have pursued tax reforms to fund our poverty reduction programs. I therefore implore Congress to immediately pass Package 2 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, or the TRABAHO Bill, which shall gradually lower the income — corporate income tax, and rationalize and improve fiscal incentives.
It will energize our MSMEs and encourage them to expand their business and hopefully generate, hopefully — I’m missing the words hopefully para sabihin na “you’re all talk” — hopefully [1.4] million jobs in the coming years. The MSMC — MSMEs hold the promise of raising a lot of the Filipinos.
I, therefore believe that it is now time for Congress to approve a new version of the Salary Standardization Law. Ngayon na.[applause] And to the teachers, alam mo dito who toil and work tirelessly to educate our young.
Kasali na po dito ‘yung hinihingi ninyo. Hindi naman masyadong malaki, pero it will tide you over during this hard time. A little bit bigger than before. [applause] This is intended to increase the salaries of national government workers, including teachers and nurses. Nurses. [applause]
I am also asking Congress to pass the remaining packages of my Administration’s Tax Reform Program, and the bills that would further raise excise taxes on — very good, let us do it — tobacco and alcohol.
Sinong naninigarilyo dito? They should be exterminated from the face of the earth. [laughter] They are the ones… You know, I… I’m… I do not hide my — what’s wrong with me. I acquired Buerger’s disease because I smoke.
But I made it a national policy because you know when I was new mayor, I went around to see the discos and night clubs. I could hardly see the faces of the people inside. You have to wade into a thick smoke to just recognize one.
So that’s when I decided. But I was still smoking. But I decided because I knew, I already had it. So it’s time to close sabi ko. And a national law, para lahat na, that at 12 o’ clock, everything closes.
I am not trying to pull a chair here. Mine was that two o’clock noon sa Davao, it was two then I reduced it to one, when that boxing mayor there became mayor, she reduced to six. Walang order, no orders in advance.
Kasi we have ordered already, so you can close but we have to drink. Itong ngayon, at 12, everything closes down. Nobody works. So I… I think that we should adopt it. Most of the states, in many states, in many countries, ganun man. Alas dose, sarado na talaga.
We have to stop drinking. And jukebox, they’re only good up to eight, nine. Eight, maganda ‘yan. It’s… It’s there in every corner, store? Blares out noise and the children who will go to school and the working class, and you are there with your store.
I have prohibited it in Davao. And at 12, as you see, Davao is quiet because everybody is resting already. Be it in the memorial parks, cemetery, or in the comfort of their homes.
The valuation system has also to be improved local government units and rationalize capital income [taxation]. I urge Congress to review and pass the Government Rightsizing Bill to reconfigure the existing Metro Manila-centric bureaucracy; streamline government systems in order to deliver services without delay and within a short timeline.
These reforms would be for naught if we cannot avert of a “new poor” every time a disaster strikes. The Philippine experience has shown that natural disasters and — are poverty creators.
That is why, we need to hasten the establishment of a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) so that these department focus on the natural hazards and climate change. I urge Congress to fast-track the passage of the Administration of this bill — Administration version rather. In 2017, I reminded all of you of the probable consequence of a catastrophic earthquake in Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces. Since then, I have established the Project Management Office for the Earthquake Resilience and the Greater Manila Area to implement two-pronged strategy on earthquake resilience and mitigation efforts.
I just heard, it’s not in my speech. I just heard that from a psychic that the first crack when the “Big One” hits, will be right here in the center of this… [laughter and applause]
‘Yan man ang sabi nila. “Philippines is so corrupt, it’s so lousy that if you kill all congressmen, senators and the president, we will have a new day.” [laughter] So I pray that if the earthquake comes, it comes now. This moment. [laughter] Kumpleto na tayo. May madamay pa tayo doon sa harap. [laughter]
We weathered one damaging effect of climate change this year. The El Niño were wreaked havoc in the agricultural sector and caused water shortage in the greater Metro Manila area. We need to pass bill creating the Department of Water Resources and Water Regulatory Commission. [applause]
Alam mo, the agencies and the guys there handling the — the entire water works system — you have to change it immediately.
You know what, there was this three-day no water. I was in Davao. So everybody was complaining and I was even afraid to come here because what if my girlfriend will not be able to — to take a bath. [laughter] She will smell like hell. So I said, I’ll wait for the water to wash her.
Alam mo kung hindi ako nagmura, kung hindi ko sinabi, “p**** i**, papatayin ko kayo, p**** i** niyo.” And then when I arrived in the morning, there was water. And my girlfriend was fresh. [laughter]
I also call on Congress to pass a law mandating a Fire Protection Modernization Program. Diyan tayo nagka-ano. If you go to Davao, you’ll find the best. The best of everything. 911, all the cameras, all the screens, we did that if you can find it.
Alam mo — alam mo sabi ni… Is there… Sonny is here? Secretary Dominguez? Ah Sonny. Siya man ang magyayabang. Sabi niya, “marami tayong pera”. Pero ‘pag tanungin namin siya doon sa Cabinet meeting, “tsk tsk tsk tsk, walang pera, walang pera”. [laughter] Si Diokno ganun rin kaya gi-tapon ko sa Central Bank. [laughter]
Every time sabihin mo, you know we discussed projects, we plan and we submit it to Congress, it’s final imprimatur. Eh ‘di kami ang, “May pera ba tayo diyan, sir? “Wala.” “Magkano?” “Four billion.” “Tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk that is not the tsk tsk tsk practice. No money, no money.” P***. Saan pala ang pera natin dito? Sa bulsa ninyo? [laughter] Karaming collection natin dito. But Sonny says that we can fund. This one we have to answer.
Now, I would like to remind… Pagbigyan na lang ninyo ako tutal para naman ito sa lahat. Alas- sais pa nga ginugutom na kayo. Hindi pala kayo nag-merienda?
Alam mo, ever since na-integrate ‘yan you would notice in your cities and provinces the deterioration of the service itself. Wala ng mga truck, luma na. And would you believe it in Davao City, I’ll show it to you, we have a 1934 Studebaker fire truck. Maganda pa.
So we have to — we have to do better than this. There are other cities which are utterly — – utterly without the tools to respond the challenges of fire. We have to come up with something that is really good.
I mean at this age, it would be a shame if you cannot put up a fire in two days, three days, my God. We have to set aside.
Sonny, you have the money? [laughter] Oh yes. Oh see. Basta sa maraming tao mahiya man mag-deny. [laughter] Totoo ‘yan. Totoo ‘yan. We have the money so maybe Sonny can give you a figure that we can set aside.
Nakakahiya talaga itong ano natin. Ang Davao, meron. Davao has a very good 911. Hindi ako nagyayabang. And we have cameras in every corners that’s why we can solve crimes immediately. And meron kaming 911. “What is your emergency?” That’s the standard. So it’s fire, they call the fire department.
Sabi ko, “911.” “Yes.” “What’s your emergency?” “I — I seemed to lost my — to have lost my girlfriend.” “We know you, Mayor. You go back to Manila there are plenty left there. Go.” [laughter]
This will equip the fire — Bureau of Fire Protection with tools to respond to the challenges. I further ask Congress to urgently pass the Na — ito — the National Land Use Act or NALUA within this year. [applause] Paki lang po. So that we can proceed with the new… Well, we can meet the — the demands of the new investors coming in. Ang lupa natin ang problema eh.
A science-based national land use plan would serve as basis for the LGUs in crafting respective development plans, and help disperse economic activities to the countryside.
The dispersion of economic and business activities to Visayas and Mindanao is not just a campaign promise. It is an economic imperative and a key to our country’s sustainable and equitable development. We will encourage investments that would develop the rural areas and Metro Manila and other mega urban areas.
Let me cut here, tutal maliit na lang. I would just like to remind everybody. No offense intended to the mayors and governors to the local government. Pero ‘yang style ninyo na it takes about 3 days, 4 days for the employees of a certain company, store, or whatever to go back and forth, back and forth.
When they go back, you have a new regulation. He gets it, he secures it and when he goes back, oh there’s still you have to follow — you have to get this paper.
I will tell you now. Hindi ako nagyayabang. In Davao, it’s one hour unless there is a need for ocular inspection. I am directing you publicly.
Mayors — mayors. I am directing also the DILG, Secretary Año of the local government to see to it that this is honored. All clearances, permits emanating from your office that would need also your approval, must be out at the very least within 3 days. [applause]
You do not do that. I am directing si Secretary Año, is he here, sir? Nandito ka? Oh Secretary Año, he is a former chief of staff, he’s also a military man.
I want three days, unless there is an exceptional reason, three days. Para hindi na magpa-balik-balik kasi diyan ang perahan eh. Pagdating doon meron na naman hingin, pagdating doon may hingin.
Kaya I said the Filipinos if it is done to you, I’m telling you, slap the guy, create a scene, create a scandal because that incident however little will reach me. And if it does, you can be sure, if I do not call you and the idiot, I will go there myself. That is a promise, that is a pledge. [applause]
Make it a part of my oath of office. Lahat kayo diyan pati ‘yang tsk — easement. Well, under Villar, okay na. Pero ‘yang easement billion dollar — ah billion pesos. Well, if it’s a foreign company, it’s a billion dollar thing.
Ganun ‘yan. Pabalik-balik at hindi binabayaran. That’s why nagpatong… If all moneys and revenues due government are collected in good faith, marami tayong pera. I’m telling you as President. Marami tayong pera para extra money to uplift the — the mass of Filipinos who are suffering. Maski ospital lang and housing.
Jobs, it’s the economy that runs it. If the economy is good, more jobs. At the meantime, itong hospitalization, education, the basic things at saka itong relocation. Kaawa talaga.
Kung makolekta lang lahat hindi ma-corrupt ang pera, marami tayong pera. Kaya ako nagsabi. That’s why I — I re…
You know, I’ll make it public. I was at the Nayong Pilipino. I gave it to a group of people. Tapos nagpa-bidding sila. Ang nagbidding nila is to allow a gambling casino to be erected there inside the Nayong Pilipino.
Kaya ko sina — t*** i** ninyo. Anong kahulugan ng Nayong Pilino kung lagyan mo ng sugalan and without a bidding? You know, nandiyan na ‘yung mga generals, they are there, chief of staff. Kasi pag galing doon pumunta ako sa command conference, pagdating ko sa command conference, may ipinasa si Sonny ghost delivery sa AFP hospital. Eh galing pa ako doon sa…
When I was facing the military and police, sabi ko, “Look, I thought I had my back covered by you? If I cannot trust you, you better tell me now. Because if you the commanders of the Air Force, Army pati Albayalde and the Navy, I will step down now. I am resigning, I’ll go back to Davao. You do the explaining to the people why.”
Ginanun ko talaga. And in one of the Cabinet meetings ganun rin. There was this two-year, pabalik balik na ‘yung — back and forth, back and forth, for two years it was sitting on their ass, the papers.
So when they were explaining to me the revised plan and with so many requirements, clearances from NBI, I stood up with the Cabinet members, lahat kami. In a Cabinet meeting I said, “Stop. That idiotic matrix is not for me. That is intended for the next — maybe the president after the next.” Lumabas ako sabi ko, “Inyo na ‘yang gobyerno ninyo.”
Sabi ko wala ako… I — I’m tired. I’m tired and I am… Talagang gusto ko na rin mag-resign. Sabi ko I am not happy anymore. Sabi ko anytime — ah the military said, if you want to go out? If you want to take over coup d’etat, go ahead. Do not bring your armors. Do not bring your weapons here. Just call me and we’ll have coffee.
I do not believe. I think Marcos and Estrada were correct that they did not allow the… Kasi ‘yung guwardiya mo, guwardiya dito, pareho ‘yan. Lahat sila dadaan ‘yan sa presidential command. All of them will be assigned. Nag-iikot ‘yan sila lahat. A taste of everything. Hanggang Mindanao kaya kilala ko ‘yan sila lahat dumaan ng Mindanao eh.
Sabi ko talaga, “Inyo na. Ayaw ko na.” Sabi ko, “Sige, sinong gusto? Raise your right hands. I…” “I…” “Duly appointed member of the junta, will now make the SONA next month.”
Ah bahala kayo diyan. You threatened about… If you think that you can run the country better than the elected one, go ahead. That’s not my — it’s the problem of the Filipino people.
Talaga sa Cabinet na — na tsk… Kaya abutan ako ng topak, magbaba dito ako ngayon. Bahala na kayo diyan. I’m going home.
One ese — one estimate pegs economic losses at P3.5 billion a day due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila. So meantime, I reiterate my directive, my request, my pleadings to the MMDA and all concerned local officials in Metro Manila, and all other cities, to undertake immediate action to ensure the speedy and smooth flow of vehicular traffic. Reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends. Marami diyan. [applause]
And again, I asked Secretary Año to see to it that this is enforced. If there is a mayor or a governor, or kung ano kang — sino kang demonyo ka, i-suspend mo Sir Año. Give him time and if he cannot — if he is not up to it, then pagpahingain mo na lang. Suspend mo na. Wala talagang — wala tayong magawa.
They just keep on pleasing their own constituents just because they are constituents — a leader. Ganun kayo eh. The only way to do it… Anyway, me, I have no problem. Me, I am an inutil official. Me, I cannot run anymore. Me, after six years I might lose my head. Wala na ako. I… No more challenges in politics. No more mountains to climb. I will just do my duty.
And most of my Cabinet members are actually military men. You know why? Gusto ninyong malaman? Do not be embarrassed. Atin-atin na lang ito. Huwag mo na silang pansinin, ‘yang mga ano diyan. Parang nag meeting-meeting lang tayo dito. [laughter] ‘Yung parang nagpulung-pulong lang. Do not mind them. Eh kung tignan kasi ninyo mahiya kayo.