GMA News Online : Duterte jests ‘mamili na kayo kung sinong Ilokano ang ilagay ninyo dun’

4 March 2022

By RICHA NORIEGA | GMA News Online

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday quipped that it was up to voters to choose which Ilocano would lead the country after his term ends in a few months.

During his speech at the inauguration of the Narvacan Farmers Market in Ilocos Sur, Duterte said most of his Cabinet were from the Ilocos, and voters could choose his successor from among them.

“You know in my Cabinet aapat o tatlo na lang kaming Bisaya na naiwan puro Ilokano na kaya ibigay ko na lang itong isang buwan aalis na ako sa Malacañang mamili na kung sinong Ilokano na leader ang ilagay ninyo doon,” he said.

(You know in my Cabinet there are only four or three of us Visayans left while the majority are Ilocans so I'll just give it a month. I'm leaving Malacañang, you may choose which Ilokano leader you will elect.)

Duterte shared that during his term majority of the retired military officials he appointed to the Cabinet were Ilocanos.

“You should not be surprised actually ang kabarkada ko mga Ilokano dormitory eh. Dito naman nung pagkapresidente ko yung mga retired si Secretary Esperon lahat ng mga military na kinuha ko almost 12 of them in the Cabinet ko minsan magmeeting kami overtime, we face each other across the table kaming mga civilian at lahat na ng military puro retired there are 12, basta majority ang mga Ilocano kasi mga bright pati mga gwapong lalaki,” he said.

(You shouldn't be surprised. My friends are Ilocanos in our dormitories. When I became president, Secretary Esperon retired from the military, I took almost 12 of them into my Cabinet, sometimes we meet overtime, we face each other across the table, we are civilians and all the military are retired. There are at least 12, and the majority are Ilocanos because they are bright as well as handsome men.)

He also said that even his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s husband is an Ilocano from Paoay.

Sara’s running mate, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., was also from Ilocos Norte.

Duterte earlier said he won't endorse Marcos for president in Eleksyon 2022 even if his daughter Sara is the running mate of the former senator.

He maintained that he would like to stay neutral on the matter.

ICC case

On the International Criminal Court's (ICC)'s investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed during his administration's drug war, Duterte reiterated his stand saying that he waged the drug war for the betterment of the country.

He underscored that he would continue to fight against illegal drugs as long as he is still the president of the country.

“I promise you law and order. I'm facing criminal charge sa ICC, good basta tinupad ko yung trabaho ko wala na akong pakialam kung ano ang mangyari sa akin. Sa droga huwag ka talaga magkamali dyan for as long as I'm still the president sabi ko sa droga the reason behind huwag mong sirain ang bayan ko,” he said.

(I promised you law and order. I’m facing criminal charges at the ICC, good as long as I did my job, it does not matter what happens to me. But don’t make the mistake of using drugs for as long as I’m still the president, drugs are the reason behind my warning, "Don’t destroy my country.")

“Dalawang buwan na lang I’ll be out and I’ll be happy to transfer the power to whoever you would elect as president, yun lang naman ang akin. Ako na bahala sa kaso ko, I did it for my country,” he added.

(In just two months I’ll be out and I’ll be happy to transfer power to whoever you would elect as president. I will take care of my case, I did it for my country.)

Last September, the ICC said it found reasonable grounds to investigate the Philippines' war on drugs over alleged crimes against humanity.

The ICC, however, temporarily suspended its investigation after the Philippines requested it be deferred to make way for the government's investigation on the drug war killings.

Duterte's term ends on June 30, 2022.

Region 1 is ‘first insurgency-free region’

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon reported that Region 1 is now an area of “stable internal peace and security,” adding that the region was the to be declared insurgency free.

“Region 1 now becomes the first region in the country to be declared insurgency free through the efforts of our Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) units together with the national agencies and especially with the local government units and our private sector partners the only guerilla front of the CPP-NPA-NDF in Region 1 was dismantled effective February 2021,” Esperon, who is also the anti-insurgency task force Vice-chair, said.

“Ang mga guerilla fronts sa Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, at Region 3 ay mabubuwag na rin sa June 2022. May mga guerrilla fronts pa rin sa Mindanao, Samar, Bicol, Panay, at Negros na patuloy nating binubuwag at lalo na silang humihina,” he added.

(The guerrilla fronts in the Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, and Region 3 will also be dismantled in June 2022. There are still guerrilla fronts in Mindanao, Samar, Bicol, Panay, and Negros that we continue to dismantle and their forces are starting to get weak.)

— DVM, GMA News