Grand Ballroom, Dusit Thani Manila, Ayala Center, Makati City
October 4, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte listened to the report of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael Sueno about efforts of the local government units (LGUs) to bring peace, order, and social development in their respective areas, as well as spoke in front of the LGU leaders at the 3rd Sulong Pilipinas 2016 in Dusit Thani Manila, Makati City.

“I am a President that would seek peace on the land,” said the President as he spoke about peace and order in the country.

He talked about how the initial efforts to make peace with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) / New People’s Army (NPA) was almost jeopardized when the NPA ambushed government forces early on in his term, and said that his administration continued to pursue peace in spite of the difficulties.

He also mentioned his phone conversation with Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), saying the MNLF leader wants to bring his men in the peace talks, but that this is not possible due to legal charges against him.

The President also talked about the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), saying, “I don’t want to talk to the Abu Sayyaf. Masyado silang brutal… We used to be friends, pero nawalan ako ng bilib sa inyo.”

President Duterte discussed his experience as a prosecutor before serving as Davao City mayor for 23 years, giving him a total of about 40 years in government service.

The President said, “When I was mayor, I know that drugs is a serious problem,” and elaborated the various damages that illegal drugs do to families.

He addressed the LGU leaders in the audience and talked about how narco politics has set in, saying that if the problem outlasts him, it will not be an easy problem to solve. He asked them, “Go do your duty… If there’s anything I can do for you… I’ll do it for you.”

In addition, President Duterte emphasized that he ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest criminals as well as protect themselves if these criminals resist and show violent intentions.

The President also said that he would not stop making noise as he would lose momentum, saying that he could not afford to do so as he is now the Chief Executive.

“There is no law at all that says that I cannot threaten criminals… I have no intention of failing,” he stressed.

The Sulong Pilipinas being held this month is the third in a series of conventions meant to gather LGUs to solve the various problems facing the nation. It aims to get LGUs to make efforts in bringing peace, order, and social development to their constituents.

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