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Monday, October 7, 2019

Arrival Statement and Press Conference of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following his official visit to the Russian Federation

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on October 6, 2019 following his successful official visit to the Russian Federation. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Presidential Communications Operations Office Presidential News Desk





[Francisco Bangoy International Airport, Davao City | 06 October 2019]

Kindly sit down.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the other members of the House of Representatives; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and the other members of the Cabinet; Senator Bong Go; Representative Vincent Garcia; Lieutenant General Filemon Santos; Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte; fellow workers in government; mga kababayan

I am glad to be back from my Official Visit to the Russian Federation.
We reaffirmed the Philippines’ strong commitment to a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation on the basis of mutual respect, trust, and pragmatism.

And working with Russia, we have achieved much.

In my bilateral meetings with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, we agreed to broaden and deepen our ties in all areas of cooperation -- from security and defense to trade and investment, agriculture, energy, science and technology, and socio-cultural exchanges.

We signed bilateral cooperation agreements on the peaceful uses of energy, scientific research, health, culture, and foreign policy consultations.

These areas are important and therefore part of our comprehensive roadmap to build a partnership with a friend and to secure the Philippines’ strategic interests.

I had the opportunity to address the Forum of the Valdai Discussion Club together with the leaders of the Kingdom of Jordan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and President Putin. There were only five chiefs of state that joined in that discussion.

I shared our views on the evolving world order and the need to build partnerships on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect in order to maintain global peace and stability.

The reinvigorated friendship with Russia is starting to bear fruits. Russia recently accredited two (2) additional Philippine fishery establishments. This will allow Filipino fishing companies to export our tuna and other products to Russia and the larger market of the Eurasian bloc.

More than 620 million pesos in business deals were also signed during the Philippines-Russia Business Forum in Moscow. We hope that these contracts will generate more jobs and economic opportunities for many Filipinos.

This is only the beginning. The horizon is wide. There is room for significant growth.

I also addressed the Moscow Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) University.

I emphasized that solving global challenges requires genuine cooperation without political preconditions.

We also opened vistas of understanding and appreciation for our rich and diverse Filipino culture in Russia. The Philippine Madrigal Singers and the Bayanihan National Folk-Dance Company performed to both our kababayans and to the Russian audience.

And finally, I met the Filipino community in Russia to listen to their needs for the first time and thanked them for their contribution to the socio-economic development of our country.

This visit generated greater momentum for the Philippines-Russia relations. [This] is a key element of our thrust to rebalance Philippine foreign policy towards independence, balance, and diplomatic agility.

The gains we have made in this visit bring us a step closer to our objective of a stablecomfortableand secure life for all Filipinos. That is my vision for and bounden duty to the nation and I will do everything to achieve that --- towards that end.

Daghang salamat. [applause]

I’m kind of --- this is not really something but I find it really very strange I did not --- I wasn’t able to sleep even a wink. I tried to --- I tried to sleep all the way for the 13 hours. Hindi ako makatulog. I don’t know.

I tried. ‘Pag gising --- pikit ako nang pikit. So naka-jacket pero mas maganda ‘yung kanya. [laughter] With matching brown shoes si --- sometimes si Sal kanang he’s a sartorial elegance but I find him sometimes a sartorial confusion. [laughter]

But anyway, talagang malamig kaya ako naka --- and I’m nursing a very bad case of a cold and putok ‘yung... Go ahead.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on October 6, 2019 following his successful official visit to the Russian Federation. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star): Sir, good afternoon. Welcome home po.


Ms. Regalado: Sir, on the Russia --- on the trip to Russia first. So do we expect in the next following months more Russians coming to the Philippines doing business and more Filipinos doing business in terms of sending goods there even labor agreement that we --- ?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I do not think that it could come that early. But for exploratory visits on both sides, I think there will be enough activity to generate much interest in both countries.
Pero hindi ganun kadali. But we have signed so many agreements. We will make a comprehensive report of our visit but only after I shall have talked to the Cabinet, which is I think on Friday, this coming Friday.

Ms. Regalado: Yes, sir. Sir, second question po if I may ano... I hope you don’t mind my asking you this question.


Ms. Regalado: Before you --- even in a forum in Russia, in Moscow you said about --- or was it in Sochi? You said about two generals still tinkering in
ano drug --- in the drug trade and that you talked about... Also before you left, you said that the 13 so-calledninja cops their fate would be decided if Secretary Año would finish the investigation also. But my question is this, sir, between --- ‘yung umalis ka hanggang dumating ka ‘yung certain Lieutenant 
Colonel Baloyo nasa National Bilibid Prison na po --- the leader of the so-called ninja cops, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Alam mo I must admit my ignorance actually. Iyong ranggo kasi nung nauso ‘yang sup-sup, superintendent tapos kung ano- anong...
Kaya sa panahon ko sabi ko bumalik kayo doon sa police colonel, police major, police lieutenant, kasi pati lahat ng tao nalilito ‘yang sup-sup na ‘yan. Superintendent pala ‘yan eh. Eh sa Bisaya ‘yang sup-sup is sucking [laughter] --- ice drops.

Eh nagka... Walang generals doon. But medyo mga --- dalawang ano. 

Ms. Regalado: Colonel?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala, walang generals. I’m sure of that. Sa aking report na dumating sa akin, wala. Parang --- colonel I think.

Ms. Regalado: Colonel.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Nalilito kasi ako diyan sa superintendent- superintendent na ‘yan kasi ang alam ko lang superintendent ‘yung superintendent ng eskwelahan.
Ms. Regalado: DepEd.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: So that’s quite confusing ‘yang... I hope that the
PNP should realize that.

Kung bago ‘yung ano, bago na naman ‘yung... Eh si Lapu-Lapu sa isang badge ng bagong PNP chief, nakaganon. Tapos kung may bagong PNP chief, bago na naman ang badge, nakaganon. O halos na lang ganunin ni Lapu- Lapu ‘yung...

Stop it. Stop it. We’re comfortable with the ways of the old. Do not introduce unnecessary changes. 
Nakakalito ‘yung ta... Pati ako nalilito eh. Kung isang basa mo lang ganon, kung hindi mo talaga basahin. Pero meron --- walang generals. ‘Yung na --- nasa, na-publish na, ‘yun na ‘yon.

Now, procedurally, ganito ‘yan. I cannot adopt the investigation of Congress as the work of the Executive department. Kailangan ko na i-review ‘yan, tapos kung tama lahat, eh ‘di i-adopt ko. But then, there must be a process. It has to undergo the procedural due process.

Ang opisina ko, Office of the President, wala akong --- dalawa, tatlong tao lang. Ang Office of the President functions to the Cabinet members. ‘Yung PNP is under Secretary Año of the DILG.
He has to conduct the investigation, give the proper importance of the work of Congress in the matter of the investigation of the so-called ninja cops, then he must report to me now on what to do and his recommendation.

And if I approve it, that’s it.

Ms. Regalado: So including the case of Baloyo, sir, who is now held in detention at the --- who is now detained in the National Bilibid Prison --- the leader of the said 13 ninja cops, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, that is his problem, not mine. Eh pumasok ka diyan. Mabuti’t buhay pa siya. G*** pala siya.

Ms. Regalado: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Problema niya ‘yan. There are laws then he can always seek sanctuary in our laws. There is always a relief somewhere. Pero kung sabihin mo na ako pa ang mag-isip para sa kanya, sorry, it’s not my job.

Ian Cruz (GMA-7): Hi sir, good afternoon. Sir, nabanggit po ni Senator Gordon dapat daw i-consider ni General Albayalde na po na mag-resign. And si Senator Drilon sabi po dapat mag-retire na si General Albayalde. Ano pong take niyo?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Alam mo kasi, I said I have to --- I am the Executive so I execute the laws. I will --- we will study. Secretary Año will study the matter very carefully. We have to --- you know, the presumption.

Eh kung mga ‘yung criminal binibigyan mo ng presumption of innocence.

You know, Albayalde is the PNP chief. Wala pa naman --- give me a clear proof na talagang he was there on the take or was in the trafficking of drugs. Pero just the ma --- just because he was the... Tapos may tinawagan siya. I don’t know if lumabas ‘yan. Nasa labas ako eh.

I could not just do it in a knee jerk. I have to follow procedural due process and allow him time to answer. The right to be heard. It’s given to the criminals, to the kidnappers. It should be given to a general of the Philippine National Police.

Because under the laws, we are all equal. ‘Yan na lang ang masabi ko. But it is the --- it is now the burden of Secretary Año to investigate at ipapasa niya ‘yan sa akin. I approve or disapprove with finality once it reaches my office.

Mr. Cruz: Sir, may trust and confidence ka pa rin kay General Albayalde?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, that he is still there. Otherwise, I would have you know just --- I would have told him to just go out. Wala pa naman. Just give me a proof kasi abogado ako eh.
You know, there is a legal maxim which we have to follow. Guilt is personal. ‘Yan ang problema. 

That is why you have to hear before you condemn because guilt, I said, is personal.

It cannot be transferred from the lowest to the highest ranking or the highest ranking to the lowest unless there is a conspiracy which then the rule applicable is the act of one is the act of all.

Hintayin ko muna si Secretary Año. He’s there, he’s here. He’s a former --- he was a chief of staff and I know that he knows his business.

Mr. Cruz: Mr. President, mag-re-retire na po si General Albayalde by November. May next chief PNP na po kayo nasa mind niyo?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Not yet. ‘Yan ang mahirap. We have to --- they call it vet. I have to consult everybody. Maya-maya madapa na naman tapos ako ang magkaroon ng problema.

Mr. Cruz: Sir, sa Russia may mga nakausap po kayo tungkol sa oil and gas. 


Mr. Cruz: Sa West Philippine Sea po ba ito pinag-usapan niyo?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, there are a lot of things there we discussed about energy. Hintayin na lang ninyo ‘yung final report after the Cabinet meeting. I need to hear everybody in the Cabinet.

Mr. Cruz: Sir, may pinapatanong po ‘yung mga Japanese media. Will you attend the inauguration of new Japanese Emperor and Empress this month in Tokyo?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You know, Japan has... Well, one of the countries na talagang tumutulong sa atin, nauuna pa.

And I --- just my personal feeling na, my sentiment, that I should be there even just for a half a day or... But very lean.

No... Tutal ako lang man siguro ang iniimbita. Hindi na ako magdala nang maraming tao. There’s nothing to discuss there except to be a witness to the enthronement of the new Emperor.

Mr. Cruz: Thank you, sir.

Germelina Lacorte (The Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good afternoon, sir. Sir, let me ask you about one of the agreements that was signed in Russia na Memorandum of Intent to explore nuclear --- possibility of setting up nuclear power plants in the Philippines. I want to know sir if ---

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: The Constitution does not --- would not like it. It is prohibited.

Ms. Lacorte: Okay, sir. But one of the agreements sir was the Memorandum of Intent to explore...

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: That is why I have to talk to the Cabinet.

Ms. Lacorte: Okay.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I cannot affirm or deny that because that’s part of the proposals. The --- the hard-line would come after I shall have consulted with everybody concerned including people of the industry affected.

If it’s food, then it’s agriculture. If it is energy, then Secretary Cusi. He was not with us.

Ms. Lacorte: Yes, sir. So sir, will this be undertaken by private or government-to-government or is...? Will there be a private --- private companies?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Which is favorable to government interest should be the one adopted by us.

Ms. Lacorte: Last na lang sir, last. 


Ms. Lacorte: Why is it that we are so keen on nuclear power? Why can’t we, for example, follow other countries who are now exploring the possibility of large scale solar and other renewable energy? Why is it that we go --- we’re going into nuclear powers?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well if that... You know, solar is very expensive and it is not a guarantee that it will solve our needs --- that our needs can be met by this kind of arrangement.

Eh kung kaya lang eh ‘di matagal na nating ginawa ‘yan. But I said, I will decide what is to the best interest of the country. That is the number one rule there.

Profit, to think --- that’s second, or who will --- whose favor, in what company, that will come last. Public interest must be the rule of the day.

Ms. Lacorte: So sir, when will be the Cabinet meeting to explore --- to discuss this MOI?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: It is an ongoing thing --- if I need the consent of Congress. That is why I said I have to consult the Cabinet and the legal --- the Secretary of Justice. Because if there is something in that agreement that would require the consent of Congress, then you have to go to Congress and argue your case before that body.

Ms. Lacorte: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: It was just a broad outline. Nothing specific yet.

Julianne Suarez (Mindanao Times): Good afternoon, Mr. President. You have practically doubled the salary of the soldiers and the policemen. With the call of the teachers especially during Teacher’s Day to have their salary increased, will you be able to grant it, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ma’am, I’m very sorry. Talagang hindi ko marinig. Kasi ‘yung eroplano ma’am may butas ata. Labas pasok ‘yung hangin sa loob.

Ms. Suarez: Yes, Mr. President. My question is about the request of teachers for the salary hike. You have doubled the salary of the soldiers and the policemen, will you also increase them?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: There --- it’s coming ang increases nila. But hindi double. But mas marami ang teachers, my God. Pero nandiyan po, dadating ‘yan this year.

Ms. Suarez: Kung hindi po doubled, at what rate po kaya ‘yung increase?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I think it’s about --- the last time they were discussing was about 35 but it could be more. I do not know. We still have to have a...

Ms. Suarez: When will they --- ano po ba ang expected timeline for that to be tackled?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You know government is such a very complex animal.
And you cannot just... If I give you the timeline tapos I could not make it on the deadline, I have to explain more than what is expected of government.

Mas mabuti’t na lang ‘yan kung nandiyan na, sinasabi ko nandiyan na ‘yan. Basta sinabi ko may 
increase din sila. That I am very sure of.

Ms. Suarez: Thank you, sir.

Hernel Tocmo (ABS-CBN): Good afternoon, Mr. President. Sir, when you met the Filipino community in Moscow, Russia last night you promised a thorough investigation of the alleged ninja cops. So how will you go after these policemen involved in drug recycling, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am sure the Secretary of the DILG, General Año is here, he will tell me what to do.

Mr. Tocmo: So hindi lang po ba ‘yung nangyari sa Pampanga sir but also baka may mga ganitong incidents din all over the --- ?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I said, once it reaches the table of Secretary Año, I am very sure he would know what to do.

At saka totoo lang... May I just also interrupt you by saying, totoo ‘yan, hindi lang Maynila. Marami rin. Pati dito eh.

Mr. Tocmo: Sir, regarding the DILG mandate to clear the sidewalks and illegal structures, sir. May message po ba kayo sa mga local governments who failed to intensify their clearing operations and paggiba ng mga illegal structures sa mga sidewalks?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, that is primarily their task actually. It is not my --- mine would just be a reminder.

Pero karamihan niyan is governed by ordinances actually. So ‘yung mga ‘yang clearing ng markets and all, that is best left to the administration by the local government.

Mr. Tocmo: Thank you, sir.

Ruth Palo (Mindanao Daily Mirror): Hello, sir. We haven’t you hear commenting about the recent hazing incident in the Philippine Military Academy which resulted to the death of a cadet --- Dormitorio. Sir, what’s your thought about it, President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sandali ma’am ha talagang nabungol ako. 

SEC. PANELO: Hazing victim.

Ms. Palo: Hazing incident, sir.

SEC. PANELO: What’s your take on the hazing victim Dormitorio? 


SEC. PANELO: Hindi. The name of the hazing victim is Dormitorio, that’s the family name, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I must confess my... Ah, ‘yung namatay? 

Ms. Palo: Yes, sir.


Ms. Palo: Opo.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am sure that it will be investigated, as it is now being investigated by the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Administratively, it belongs now to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Criminally, it goes to the prosecutors, the fiscals assigned there.

Ang cri --- criminal cases are jurisdictional. You cannot --- the police there are the only ones allowed to investigate. Unless there is an intervention na you direct the NBI or I directed CIDG to do it. But --- eh mukhang nag --- everything is working. Wala naman akong duda na --- there is no reason for me to doubt the integrity of the mechanisms set forth now.

Ms. Palo: Sir, merong pinapatong President ‘yung Manila Daily Shimbun, Japanese media, he’s from Daily Manila Shimbun. I would like to ask him of Japanese descendant issue, some of us a second generation Japanese-Filipino in Davao and nationwide who were born before and during war don’t have any nationality. Their rights are limited and suffering difficulty to live. Could you tell me if you are willing to assist them from Philippine side and will you negotiate with Japanese?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am really ignorant about it. I do not even know what’s the topic about. About citizenship?

Ms. Palo: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Those born to --- born of Japanese fathers and Filipina mothers? Of course, they are all Filipinos. Those --- kung ang nanay, those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines, so ---

Pero dito it’s --- it’s in --- it becomes a fait accompli. Maski sino ang tatay mo kung ang nanay --- nanay mo Pilipino, I will embrace you as a Filipino. Bakit papahirapan ko ‘yung tao?
I’m sure there are a lot of them. Davao City has the most popu --- number of Japanese descended Filipinos.

It used to be the territory of the Japanese long before Sec --- earlier, long before the Second World War.

Ms. Palo: Thank you, sir.

SEC. PANELO: No more question? Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you
very much to the press.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Salamat po. [applause]

--- END ---

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