President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, on Tuesday, September 26, spoke on two separate occasions: during the celebration of the 56th anniversary of the Philippine Constitution Association (PhilConsA) at the Manila Hotel, and at the 120th anniverssary of the Department of Justice (DoJ) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
At the Manila Hotel, the President said that the administration does not invent facts to deceive the public with regard to casualties during anti-drug operations.
He said more than 200 police and soldiers have been killed in action.
The President cited data which shows that his government has conducted over 70,000 anti-drug operations.
He gave his word that his administration does not tolerate abuses by law enforcers in the fight against illegal drugs.
“Now, there are some countries which are insulting us to open our records to them, everything. Who are you to do that to my country? If you don’t believe our records, then go out and find something else to do. We do not fabricate,”
“You have to operate within the bounds of the law. I will not tolerate people shooting children — I will never allow… parang hindi ka naman lalaki eh, nakatali na o — why do you have to do that?”
The President posed a challenged to his critics and asked them to provide proof that he has ordered the killing of criminals.
“Find me one, even one officer or a patrolman, find me one that would say that I ordered them to execute criminals and you will have my resignation tomorrow. I’m only asking for one — patrolman or a police officer,”
“Ang utos ko is that, go out, enforce the law against all, and you have to take the guy into the custody of the law,”
He also challenged the opposition to execute an affidavit stating that his children are involved in smuggling, reiterating that he will enforce the law against everybody.
“And I’m challenging the opposition. If it is true in an affidavit form, or if you say that my children are into this kind of smuggling… I told you, I will not hesitate,”
The President cited his promise during the campaign that he will treat terrorism and drugs “harshly.”
Citing his experience as a lawyer and prosecutor, the Chief Executive assured the public that he has not lost sight of the Constitution, underscoring that the laws of the land must be applicable to all.
“Always, always. I was a prosecutor; I was doing trial work for eight years. I know what due process means. I know what is due should be given to the citizens. And lastly, I do not want killing innocent Filipino people,”
“I am a worker of government who swore before the people and God that I will enforce the law. And it is part of that oath that I do not have to favor anybody and that the laws of the land will be applicable to all, the rich and the poor,”
During his speeches, President Duterte discussed the drug menace which he said, “is all throughout the world.”, noting that, today, the Philippines is a shipping hub of the “Bamboo Triad,” and that the illegal drugs business is always an organized crime and is a result of syndicated agreements.
President Duterte further noted that the country is flooded with drugs and that the locals “have been taken in but they participate in the produce of the selling.”
“You know, you cannot operate a drug business by just selling it to anybody just like a balut, or vendor ice cream, or ‘yung mga sigarilyo diyan sa highway na ‘pag nag-stop, the crowd everywhere to sell cigarettes,”
“There has to be some cooking and there has to be some loyal lieutenants to make the distribution, down to the peddlers who take the orders from the above. So they would know if the supply is there or if there is no supply at all,”
“The sense that they are — most of them are really into this kind of business. I said they have decided to go international. Philippines is [being used as] a transshipment [hub for] shabu to America and it behooves upon America to work closely with the Republic of the Philippines, especially on this serious matter,”
According to the President, a number of people have realized the serious dimension of the drug problem and joined the campaign against illegal drugs.
President Duterte also touched on another campaign promise, which is his resolve to end corruption in the government, vowing that his administration will not enter into anomalous deals.
The Chief Executive concluded his speech by telling the employees, members, and officials of Philippine Constitution Association that the Constitution keeps the Filipinos united.
“What keeps us here tonight? What is the unifying factor in the Filipino? It’s the Philippine Constitution signed by our forefathers that we will be one. That keeps us united. You start to destroy the Constitution, there will be a breakage of our society,”
The President was joined by Solicitor General Jose Calida, Justice Secetary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy.
Also present were former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno, former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, PhilConsA Chairman Manuel Lazaro, and former congressman Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.