Statement: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte On His Camp Visit To Catbalogan City, Samar on the Ongoing Peace Talks With The Cpp And Tax Evasion

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August 8, 2016 (1:37 – 2:22 a.m.)

Well, I’d like to make a report of my trips or the trip today. I went to Samar, Catbalogan and visited the military camp. It houses the… the camp houses the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army. And long hours I was able to talk to the men and, of course, the officers. And we are doing well. Samar is getting prosperous, and we expect that with the lowering of the insurgency war, we might fully develop within the next years.

What is really needed now is to have peace in the land. And I am determined to get it, with or without the personalities that represent or who wanted some recognition in the past. So we’re giving them the official blessing to be here or outside to talk with the government people.

But let me just be very clear, I am not up to something like declaring another truce or ceasefire and I have to see the two panels talking about peace. And maybe, if they are willing, they want to address the ceasefire issue, they can go on.  But I’ll take my time because I do not want a repeat of what happened. I really wanted just to show to them the good faith on the part of government by going ahead with the ceasefire, on its own. By ourselves, we decided that it would be good if we have the ceasefire, but then something went astray.

And I would like to repeat my request. It is not an order, because I cannot order the Communist Party of the Philippines – I am not a party member.  But I would like to see a war – kung hindi naman talaga mapigilan – na the… stop using the landmines, iyong mga NPA. You know, minsan pinaputok iyong trak. This has happened in the past, many times, from outside of Davao City. Iyong mga trak na sinasakyan ng mga sundalo, at per chance ang problema diyan is iyong mga sibilyan, and usually iyong mga pamilya ng mga sundalo. Umuuwi ng kampo iyan. The Filipino soldier would like to have his family beside them. It is just a matter of go out … going out to the camp to declare a war there somewhere, battle, but it does not really include killing family members or innocent persons.

So I am really talking to you with sincerity. Because if you continue to use the landmines, I will withdraw from the talks and there will be no ceasefire and there will be war again. I am prepared for another 45 years. We have been at it for 45 years already. It’s time to give the Filipino a break, they can go about anywhere; be it the soldiers and you guys, NPAs, can come down and share the blessings of the democracy. And maybe in the fullness of God’s time, we can truly enforce a peaceful resolution and make our country progressive, and the people comfortable if not happy. So that’s one.

My decision today is just waiting for the list of the big taxpayers. I hope you guys who have not been paying your taxes, especially kayong mga mayayaman at iyong mga oligarchs. Kindly settle your tax cases. I would hate to read your names in public and maybe authorize your arrest — iyong mga bigtime tax evaders, because it’s a criminal, you know—you enjoy the blessings of prosperity. You enjoy the progress and the progressive peripheral provinces and cities. You have the money. You get profits. But the thing is you don’t pay your taxes.

Nagpatong na iyong utang ninyo sa gobyerno, and you expect me to give you security, expect me to [let you] use the roads, the ports, the airports and everything that government produces for the people. Nakikihalo kayo, nakikisali kayo, yumayaman kayo. Eh ang problema, hindi kayo bumabayad ng taxes na tama. If you do not want harassments from the BIR, and I promise you, magbayad lang kayo sa tamang taxes, just pay the correct in your… even calculations. Bayaran mo lang iyan at I can assure you, no harassments at all for the rest of your goals. Parehas din yun, I will not authorize BIR agents or people going to your business place, magbukas tapos tignan iyong record, it will not happen during my presidency. Hindi ko talaga papayagan iyan. ‘Kilkil,’ yung tawag sa Bisaya niyan – extortion — will not. And those people in the BIR na… I have faith in Cesar Dulay.

Kayo, huwag kayong magkamali, even a whisper. Ngayon, kung nasanay kayo noong past years, well and good, you are now comfortable with your whatever, kuwarta ninyo na… sa Bisaya pa nakopras — kinita ninyo. You have beautiful homes, cars and everything. During my watch, I tell you, stop it. Customs naman — smuggling. Eh naintindihan ko si Nick diyan, Faeldon because ‘wag mo lang ano … pahirapan mo talaga. At kung maari itapon mo na lang sa dagat. Kung ayaw maniwala sa iyo.

But I said, drug and corruption has cut across our lives. A few people are getting richer every day, not paying their taxes at the expense of it. Kayong mga tao, every time you ride, every time they go to the markets, every time that they buy even a pencil or a notebook, they pay taxes. They pay also taxes in barangay, and yet sila iyong mahirap. Kayong nandiyan na mayayaman, mga oligarchs, I will allow Dulay to look into your… and if not, then file the case, correspondingly.

Panahon na medyo may ginawa tayong pagbabago, slight correction of our lives. At saka iyong contractualization, itong maraming franchise, concessions, mining, I will review everything. Let alone Gina Lopez. I will be… sisilipin ko yung lahat ng ano… I am not into harassments. I’m not into for money – my God. You can keep your … but I want a fair arrangement between you and the government, which I represent. It will be fair for everybody.

Wala akong ano … I won the presidency almost just a …iyong aming partido which is very small. We didn’t have the money. We didn’t have the financier. But from the looks of it actually, it was the Filipino ang machinery ko. And from the sheer—ayaw ko kasi magyabang, pero I’m reading the sentiments of the Filipino, from the votes that they cast last election, there’s a message: The government should be accountable to us, the people. Government should serve the interest of the whole population, not only a few of you. Government must see it there is no wrong committed against the people. Government is people. Balik-baliktarin mo: government, people iyan, people of the nation. Representante ng …  that’s why government is defined as: an agency through which the will of the people is expressed. So, ganoon po. And I ask for your understanding and I ask for your cooperation.

Hayaan mo na ako, I have a problem to solve. Do not point to me whatever mistakee that I commit, for I hold myself responsible for all of these things. The campaign against drugs will continue. It will be sustained till the end of my term. Kung  survive tayo diyan, magpasalamat ako. ‘Pag hindi ka nag-survive o ako ang natapos, ganoon din. Just the same, the fervor will be there because it part of nation building. This country cannot cope if there’s so much drugs, criminality and corruption. It has to stop.

Maraming salamat po.