MEDIA INTERVIEW WITH
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
AT THE BLAST SITE
[Roxas Ave., Davao City | 2 September 2016]
Q: There was a resemblance of this bombing—
PRES. DUTERTE: Yes. We are not new to this kind. It is always connected with the Abu Sayyaf or dito sa Central Mindanao. But this is not the first time that Davao City has been sacrificed in the altar of violence.
Q: Because of this, are you going to pursue your Brunei trip?
PRES. DUTERTE: Yes. I have to— this is a police matter actually and there has to be a police investigation. Hindi naman ito gyera but we are trying to, I said, link together the little bits and pieces plus the information that we have gathered so far.
PRES. DUTERTE: Well, we have always been ready for this. I warned, I remember warning everybody that there could be a reprisal because of the pressure there in Sulu which is going on. At nagbigay talaga sila ng warning. We know that but I said this is not a fascist state. I cannot control the movements of the citizens of the city and every Filipino of the country has the right to enter and leave Davao. It’s very porous. It’s unfortunate that this is a democracy and we cannot frisk anybody for just any reason.
Q: Sir, may warning ba dito sa mga gumawa nito, sir?
PRES. DUTERTE: Well, in a sense there’s a crime committed, murder and we will proceed accordingly. We will investigate and in the fullness of God’s time, we may be able to solve the problem.
Q: Are we still safe? Davaoeños are worried now.
PRES. DUTERTE: Yes of course, Davao is safe. Wala man ditong criminals na. There is no criminality except terrorism which I’ve been harping all along that the next horizon. I remember giving it sa like, 3 to 7 years and we will have a narco politics and of course we have to confront the ugly head of terrorism in this—-
Q: Do you consider this as a failure of intelligence?
PRES. DUTERTE: No, we were— No, we were ready for this. I said how could it be there was this warning and of course the, there is also another one, the Maute incident in— there has been a lot of violence committed lately by the terrorists. So we will treat it as a police matter about terrorism
Q: Are you still gonna pursue your foreign trips, sir?
PRES. DUTERTE: Yes, I’ll be there
Q: Sir, do you consider this as an isolated case?
Q: Assistance sa victims sir
PRES. DUTERTE: It’s not an isolated case in the sense that there are a lot of— there was the grenade throwing in Cotabato City and the assault on so many places. It’s just fortunate that we do not have to quiet the Communist Party of the Philippines right now so we can— wait, let me finish. We can proceed with our investigation in a very limited area.
Q: Assistance sa mga victims?
Q: Is it possible na i-declare na possible terror attack?
PRES. DUTERTE: I’ve been telling you what, how do you characterize this thing? It’s always terrorism. My God.
Q: Sir, assistance sa mga victims?
PRES. DUTERTE: Well, I’m sure that the city— you have to hear from the mayor first. Then maybe after that, the national government will do its share.
Q: Mayor, may flash report na kung anong klaseng bomba.
Q: … Initial lang po.
PRES. DUTERTE: No, I will not. We have leads but I will not reveal it to the public as of now.
Q: Kung may mga foreign na mag-imbestiga sir?
PRES. DUTERTE: No. I do not want any foreign investigators in my city. The police of the Republic of the Philippines and the military, the Armed Forces of the country are capable of doing the investigation and doing it correctly.
Q: Sir, yung initial report po na sinasabi po na LPG daw yung cause ng pagsabog, dinidisregard niyo na ba ito?
PRES. DUTERTE: Again?
Q: LPG daw.
Q: LPG sir yung cause ng pagsabog? Dinidisregard na po ito?
PRES. DUTERTE: No. I said I cannot give you an information regarding the reason now, what was used to detonate.
Q: Sir do you think this is somewhat in retaliation to your directive to destroy the ASG and in response to their offensive—
PRES. DUTERTE: That’s why I said they gave us the warning not only in Jolo but in other places so we were forewarned, we were ready and all of the commanders are here. And even Faeldon, sa Bureau of Customs at yung mga intelligence ano natin head, nandito but I said unfortunately, we cannot frisk or order people to stop, to be searched because that would be fascistic. Then that’s not a democracy anymore. That is the price of being a democratic state.
Q: Sir, tinaon po ba, sa tingin niyo na andito kayo sa Davao?
PRES. DUTERTE: I really do not know because it’s not a surreptitious act but because of the threat against me and the people in government, I have to calibrate my moves very carefully.
Q: President, the order still stands na pulpugin ang ASG?
PRES. DUTERTE: Well, everybody is a suspect. Of course, ASG made a threat so we will look into that.
Q: How about narco politics, sir?
PRES. DUTERTE: I said it is also being considered. But…….
Q: … just like Gen San po?
PRES. DUTERTE: Yes, there will be, I said, a reprisal of all of these things because of the Sulu incident. At least we know who made the threats. Ang importante alam natin kung sino yang, di lang nananakot. Sinasabi niya kung sino yung nananakot.
PRES. DUTERTE: Wala, they made public about Mindanao. I don’t know but I placed our country on alert.
PRES. DUTERTE: No, I said treat it on a broader picture…
PRES. DUTERTE: It could very parochial to just zero in on one. Terrorism abounds everywhere in the United States, in Russia and as a matter fact, yung magkikita kami ngayon doon sa Laos, puro kami nakatikim ng ganitong terrorism. Especially dito na meron tayong alitan, sa ating mga kapatid.
Q: Sir, message sa mga taga-Davao.
PRES. DUTERTE: Well, just keep calm and it’s seasonal in our city, we have suffered the most, one of the most battered cities about terrorism and all of these things, criminality. And I said the government is here with you as much as humanly possible, we will protect everybody. We have very limited soldiers and policemen. So I suggest that the citizens also do their part by being vigilant and at this time, you can go anywhere but be sure if your hairs on your nape stands up, there’s something that’s afoot, then maybe just get out as soon as possible. But there will be, a lockdown in the city and there will so many checkpoints along the way. These are extraordinary times, and I suppose that I’m authorized to allow the security forces in this country, of our country to do searches.
Maghinto kayo sa mga checkpoints. If you see a sign there, that there are soldiers flashing their lights, turn off your headlights, switch on to your lights inside your cars because I’m authorizing them to search.
So if you do not have anything to hide, I am suggesting, suggesting that you be liberal enough to understand us because we are trying to cope up with a crisis now. There is a crisis in this country involving drugs, extrajudicial killings as they say, killings. And there seems to be the environment of lawlessness. Lawless violence, so I might just declare a state of lawless violence in this country. It’s not martial law but I am inviting now the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the military and the police to run the country in accordance with my specifications.
Q: Immediate po?
PRES. DUTERTE: Simula ngayon, I am declaring —lahat. Lahat-lahat
Q: You are declaring what sir? You are declaring what again?
PRES. DUTERTE: Lawless violence, state of lawless violence. It’s not martial law, no such thing until I— well, until there is threat against the people and against the nation.
Q: Anong characteristics no’n?
PRES. DUTERTE: Lawless violence. Discover it for yourself.
Q: Wala bang dapat ikatakot —
PRES. DUTERTE: No, no, no. Kaya lawless, any action–any punitive or any action at all, taken by the security forces would be in furtherance to stop terrorism. And I am including drugs because of the so many killings unfairly attributed to the police. Na parang handy work daw ng pulis, we do not do that. Of course, there are a lot of people that have been killed because of itong gun fight. They just do not believe, some others are, tend to do, ang akala nila hindi lumalaban itong mga drug people. Itong mga drug people, sira ulo na nito. You have a war mind there because their brains have shrunk. And most often than not, they really fight it out. That, they have to understand.
Q: Does that declaration mean that we can expect— are we expecting now that the President or military men throughout the country?
PRES. DUTERTE: Yes, and the movements will be orchestrated by the National government that binds everybody. I have this duty to protect the country. I have this duty to keep intact the integrity of our nation. So, I’m declaring now a State of Lawlessness, it is not martial law. It has nothing to do with suspension with the of the Writ of Habeas Corpus. We go about, but I said there will be checkpoints, there be… and the I believe that we are allowed to do that under such circumstances.
Q: Thank you, sir.
PRES. DUTERTE: Okay, no more?
PRES. DUTERTE: I leave it to the police and the military to do their thing. I am not a policeman, I am not a military man. They can to what they really want to address the problem and to find out who are the responsible people who committed the crime.
Q: But no curfew?
PRES. DUTERTE: No, State of Lawlessness, until such time I say that it’s safe for everybody.
Q: But no curfew sir?
Q: Sir nag-usap kayo ni Mayor Inday?
PRES. DUTERTE: I leave it to her also what she wants to say but I said ako dito, I will have to order everybody to follow a national policy in pursuing a program vis-à-vis with my declaration now of a—we are now in a state of lawlessness. At totoo naman talaga.
Q: Sir may curfew po ba ‘yun?
PRES. DUTERTE: Ah wala, no curfew. If you are afraid to die anytime.
Q: Nag-react na po Sen. De Lima.
PRES. DUTERTE: Nag-react pa siya ha? Does she intend to die for this guy there who died tonight?… We did there and knowing [inaudible] to go heaven. Why should she react? Just to make noise for the—para lang mapansin? So look at what happened to her.
Q: Thank you.