SMX Convention Center, Pasay City
March 24, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joined the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) in the opening ceremony of its 31st biennial convention at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Speaking before the Filipino-Chinese businessmen, the President talked about governance and promised to uphold his oath as leader of the nation, and reiterated that every Filipino must be assertive of his/her rights. He also urged them to help stop corruption by paying the right taxes and report to the government those who do not.

The Chief Executive expressed his desire to build a peaceful nation where Filipinos feel safe and secure. He cited Davao as an example wherein he led the city to be one of the safest in the world, and pushed his campaign for federalism where he stated that the Philippines need a strong president as its leader.

“Davao… I controlled crime. I couldn’t succeed as President when there is disorder in the city. When I became mayor there, I followed a hard stance. If you’re a law abiding citizen, I will protect you. I will die for you,” remarked the President.

He also condemned the rampant operation of illegal drugs and the violence that terrorism caused to the Philippines, and vowed to address them. He also addressed the perpetrators to spare the country and its people.

“Do not force me into it. I beg of you. Do not mess up with the Filipino children. Do not do things that would hurt the civilians,” said the President.

Likewise, President Duterte thanked China for its efforts in helping the Philippines, mentioning the planned construction of two bridges that China will build for free. He also underscored the importance of his foreign trips where he talked with his fellow leaders in improving trade and investment relations of the Philippines with their respective countries.

The FFCCCII was established in 1954 when the late President Ramon Magsaysay talked to a group of Filipino-Chinese businessmen into creating an organization that can help the government and contribute in his program of nation-building. This year, the federation aligned its theme, ‘Partners for Change Toward Inclusive Growth’ in support of the agenda of the current administration.

The President was joined in the event by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, and members of the diplomatic corps.

*  *  *