Duterte to Filipinos in Thailand: The fight against drugs, corruption and criminality will continue
BANGKOK: President Rodrigo Duterte met and addressed at least 2,000 Filipinos in Bangkok on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at Royal Thai Navy Hall during the last day of his three-day state visit in the kingdom.
In his message to the members of the Filipino community at the event he told them that his administration is continuing the fight against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption and stepping up efforts to elevate the economy of the country.
Citing common instances in the airport with custom officials checking baggage of returning OFWs, Duterte encouraged Pinoys in Thailand to ‘be assertive of their rights’.
“When you go home to the Philippines, I have already instructed custom officials not to tinker with your belongings. When someone tries to make an excuse about searching, remind them about my instructions”, he said.
“Corruption happens because you are not assertive of your rights. When you process for documents in BIR and someone tries to ask for (something)…try to make a scene to attract attention because it will surely reach me,” he added.
Duterte went on to address the government’s intense and bloody war on drugs which has been linked to the recent spate of extra judicial killings in the country and has drawn the attention of international bodies and the media.
“It is estimated that there are already 4 million addicted to drugs and some of them have already crack in their heads. So what happens if we grow old? Who will buy for our porridge and feed us? Who will pay for our medicines and buy our oxygen to extend our lives for few days?” he said, adding that those who died have called for it because they went into the drug trade voluntarily.
“If I’ll stop this, the future of our children is in jeopardy. It is going to be a dooms day. The campaign against drug will continue until such time that there will be no more drug lord, no more runner and pusher and it will last if need be until the end of my term” he said. If I have to go to jail because of this, I am ready to face the consequences. I will put at stake my honor, my life and the presidency itself,” he continued.
Duterte also explained about Philippines’ strengthening relationship with China and Japan saying that it is for economic reasons.
Duterte’s speech was not without wisecracks and few expletives amid cheers and laughter from the crowd.
He also took swipe against his well-known detractors Trillianes and De Lima.
Duterte called Trillanes “idiot” and a “coward” for a failed “mutiny” attempt in a Makati City hotel during the Arroyo administration. Meanwhile, the president tagged De Lima as the “most shameless” woman of the country.
On a serious note, the president ended his address by reiterating his oath to the Filipino people.
“My administration will begin and will end with the public interest. I must preserve the Filipino people.”
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