Tarlac City, Tarlac
March 7, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the 145th Founding Anniversary and the 2nd Kanlahi Festival at the Bulwagang Kanlahi in Tarlac City, Tarlac.

The President, who was visiting the province of Tarlac for the first time since he assumed office in 2016, thanked the Tarlaqueños for their support during the recent Presidential election. He also reiterated the four fundamental promises he made during his campaign; centered on corruption, combatting drugs, reviving peace talks with armed militants, and ending terrorism, of which he said he is committed to fulfill during his term.

However, on the failed peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CCP-NPA), President Duterte asserted the sovereign powers of the constitution, of which, he said, the conditions set by its founder, Jose Marie Sison, to have a coalition government, would be unconstitutional and futile.

“Ang problema is Sison wants at the end of the day a coalition government. Pagka ‘yan ho ang hinihingi niya, hindi ko talaga maibigay sa kanya because sovereignty or the power to run the country, which is the sovereign power of the state, is given to Filipinos who are elected by the people. Kaya kung ‘yan ang gusto niya, sabi ko, at this early, putulin na lang natin because I cannot give you what I do not own,” he said.

On the issue on alleged extra judicial killings hounding his administration, the President assured the army and policemen that he will take full ownership and responsibility.

“I take full, legal responsibility for things that are happening intended or not intended, akin ‘yan. Trabaho lang kayo, huwag kayong matakot. Ako ang pupunta sa presuhan… I’m here to protect my country. I believe that if I stop this crusade, it would have compromised the country and the next generation. Then it would have been my failure in my time na wala akong ginawa,” he added.

In closing, the President outlined the irreversible effect of illegal drugs in the human body.

Derived from “kanlungan” (cradle) and “lahi” (race), the Kanlahi Festival celebrates racial diversity of its people and promotes Tarlac’s rich heritage, culture and traditions.

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