MANILA, Philippines – Before he boarded a flight to Vientiane, Laos, on Monday, September 5, President Rodrigo Duterte held a brief press conference at the Davao International Airport.
Duterte was asked about how he would address possible questions that his fellow leaders might ask him on the Philippine human rights situation amid his war on drugs at the sidelines of his first international outing – the Association of Southast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related Summits.
When Duterte asked who would bring up the human rights issue with him, a journalist mentioned US President Barack Obama. The White House had said that Obama intends to take up the matter with the Philippine leader at a then scheduled bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the summit.
Duterte responded in usual blistering fashion, leading the US to cancel the one-on-one talks.
Here is the official transcript of the President’s press conference on questions related to Obama, as provided by the Malacañang press office.
Q: Sir, there have been concerns on extrajudicial killings, Sir, and you will meet leaders. Any line of communication that we have prepared to address this issue in front of other foreign leaders?
Duterte: Extrajudicial killings?
Q: Yes, human rights.
Duterte: To whom shall I address myself to and who will be asking the questions, may I know?
Q: Like Obama, Sir.
Duterte: You know, the Philippines is not a vassal state. We have long ceased to be a colony of the United States. Alam mo, marami diyan, sa mga kolumnista (You know, many of the columnists), they look upon Obama and the United States as if we are the lap dogs of this country. I do not respond to anybody but to the people of the Republic of the Philippines. Wala akong pakialam sa kanya (I don’t care about him). Who is he? When as a matter of a fact, at a turn of the century, before the Americans left the Philippines in the pacification campaign of the Moro in this island, there were about 6 million ang population ng Moro. How many died? Six hundred. If he can answer that question and give the apology, I will answer him.
I am not beholden to anybody. Iyong mga kolumnista diyan na (Those columnists who say), “Wait until he meets – ” Who is he? I am a President of the sovereign state, and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master, except the Filipino people. Nobody but nobody.
You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Putang-ina, mumurahin kita diyan sa forum na iyan. Huwag mo akong ganunin (Son of a whore, I’ll curse you at that forum. Don’t do anything like that to me). Tell that to everybody. Itong mga kolumnista, para ba akong tinatakot. Anak ka ng – umalis kayo diyan sa Pilipinas, pumunta kayo doon sa Amerika (These columnists, it’s like they’re threatening me. Son of a – leave the Philippines, go to America). You write kung ano sa ’yo (whatever you like) – you’re the lapdogs of this American. Who is he to confront me? As a matter of fact, America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa tayo nakatikim ng apology niyan (Up to this day, we have not received any apology from them). That is the reason why Mindanao continues to boil.
Sabi mo, that was the last century, iyang wounds na iyan (You’ll say that’s from the last century; those wounds are) from generation to generation. As a matter of fact, we inherited this problem from the United States. Why? Because they invaded this country and made us their subjugated people. Everybody has a terrible record of extrajudicial killings. Why make an issue about fighting crime? Hindi nga niya maubus-ubos iyan sa Mexico border niya. Look at the human rights of America along that line, the way how they treat the migrants there. Masyado kayong bilib sa Amerika. Bumilib kayo dito sa atin – ano iyang Amerika? Siya ang mag-explain sa akin kung bakit ganoon extrajudicial killing nila (You’re too impressed with America. Be impressed with the Philippines – America pales in comparison). Can he explain the 600,000 Moro massacred in this island? Do you want to see the pictures? Maybe, you’ll ask him, and make it public. We have a recorded history of that sordid period of our national life.
Nobody but nobody can just – sino ka (who are you)? Iyong mga American-Indian sa sine lang inubos mo eh (You annihilated the American-Indians). What about the rights of those guys who died in the past? Is it because it’s just the past tense we do not answer for the present tense? You must be kidding. Stop joking yourself. Kayong mga sobra kabilib diyan (Those of you who are so impressed) – who is Obama to ask me that? I’ll tell him, “Who are you?” Tell him that. Telegraph mo ngayon (it now). Hindi ako – punta dito, magpaka-ulila diyan sa mga –
We have long been a Republic. I do not, I said, I do not kneel down before anybody else, except the Filipino in Quiapo walking in misery and in extreme poverty and anger. Hindi kayo maghinto diyan sa droga (I will not just stop at drugs) – the campaign against drugs will continue. Maraming mamatay diyan (Many will die there), plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the drug manufacturer is killed, we will continue and I will continue, and I don’t give a shit about anybody observing my behavior. Sige lang mabilib kayo diyan. Iyong mga column nag-bash, susmaryosep! Pagka-lap dog ng mga (Go ahead and be impressed. Those columnists who are bashing [me], Jesus Mary Joseph! they are lapdogs) – pretending to be the conscience of this –
Sino pa? Hindi ako bilib diyan sa Amerika. Gusto mo sipain ko pa iyan sa harap mo eh. Pumunta kayo doon. (Who else? I’m not impressed by America. If you like, I’ll even kick it in front of you. You go there.)
Q: Sir, good afternoon. Could we just find out more about your declaration of state of lawlessness? And when we can expect parameters or guidelines of the implementation? For example, how long it will take, if there will be any curfews on certain areas. Siguro, more specifics on your declaration or if we can expect the document?
Duterte: Well, number one is that we should work out a very good example of how it works in other countries and the Philippines. But others, we have to ask for their support and maybe their cooperation of working this out. Iyan ang parame (That’s the) – that’s the economic side of it. Let’s say itong migration, kasi bukas na lahat eh, bukas na lahat (everything is open) because there’s free trade, especially if we can perfect the free trade agreement between ASEAN. Removing all barriers, tariff and everything – including the migration of workers.
Q: Sir, you did not answer my question – state of lawlessness.
Duterte: Wala mang lawlessness doon eh. Ano man sa – dito (There’s no lawlessness there. What – here)?
Q: Sir, dito po sa Pilipinas (Sir, here in the Philippines).
Duterte: Dito? Tayo iyan (Here? That’s ours). I will not discuss it with them. I will not discuss it with them. I thought I said, I’d have talks on the economic side.
It’s an internal affair which nobody but nobody should interfere including the so-called [extra]judicial killing of the drug lords and the apparatus/members of the drug syndicates. It will continue. Sabi ko (I said), until such time that I can proclaim to the nation that we are drug free. If that is my only purpose in this presidency, so be it. If you remove me because of the killings, then it shall be so.
Again, I would like to – there are a lot of you, so much about extrajudicial killing, then connect it with Obama. No, I do not want to pick a quarrel with Obama but certainly, I would not appear to be beholden to anybody. I only am answerable, again, to the Filipino people who elected me as president. Period. Nobody but nobody should interfere. This is an independent country, nobody has the right to lecture on me. God, do not do it.
Magka – gusto mo (If you like), yeah the right word, magkababuyan tayo doon ‘pag ginawa mo sa akin iyan (we’ll just insult each other if you do that to me). I do not accept that proposition that anybody is superior than me. We are supposed to be equal there. My country might be small, hardly keeping up with the economic problems, but I will not allow myself – iinsultuhin mo, iinsultuhin mo iyong Pilipino (you insult me, you insult the Filipino people). But there are others whose mental – who has the mental capacity of dogs who laugh at the ass of the Americans.
Salamat (Thank you).