Tagaytay International Convention Center (TICC), Tagaytay City, Cavite
January 3, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte urged the public to work hand-in-hand to attain peace in Mindanao when he graced the birthday celebration of Atty. Francis Tolentino, former Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs, held at the Sigtuna Hall of the Tagaytay International Convention Center (TICC) in Tagaytay City, Cavite.

“I think we have to really find a solution here. Kasi ‘pag hindi, we cannot develop Mindanao. We cannot develop the source of our food, the food of our children in the years to come. And worst of all, we might be passing the serious problem of violence in this country. So kailangan po ‘yan and I would need the help of everybody,” said the President in his keynote address.

The Chief Executive expressed his hopes for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) that would benefit the people in Mindanao, and vowed to dedicate the last three years of his term to combat violence in the country.

He also assured anew to target the ‘big fishes’ involved in illegal drugs as he conveyed his strong resolve to fight against its proliferation in the country. “Of course, there were certain generals involved. So nalaman ko pati Customs lahat na. Sabi ko, kung ganito, I could not really fulfill my promise to do away with drugs within six years. Impossible. It’s going to be a continuing one. It’s a — it’s the bane of all countries right now. Pero, I’m just warning for the remaining three years na ‘yung malalaki, talagang tatamaan ‘yan,” he added.

Furthermore, President Duterte stressed that the government’s campaign against illegal drugs also seeks to protect the children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who endure ‘rape, beatings, humiliation, human degradation, and loss of dignity’ abroad just to send money for their families in the Philippines.

“And they endure because they have to send money para maka-eskwela ‘yung mga anak nila… Padating dito ang mga anak nila nasa droga,” he continued.

“Remember this. I said I will be long gone. Bago ako mamatay, sabihin ko sa inyo, if this country cannot have law and order and if this country continues with its corruption, forget about developing or the progress of the Republic of the Philippines. Tandaan ninyo ‘yan,” he ended.

After his speech, President Duterte posed with the Tolentino family, national and local government officials, and Office of the Political Adviser (OPA) personnel for a photo opportunity.

Prior to his designation as the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs by President Duterte, Atty. Tolentino served as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman from 2010 to 2015.

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