Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace
July 27, 2016

“We cannot build a nation over the dead bodies of our citizens,” President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said in his speech about building a lasting peace in the country during the oath taking of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) officers inside the Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace.

The President told the story of how criminality sprouted in Davao City’s past due to a surplus of illegal weapons and the rise of the drug trade. He said that his tough stance against criminality created a fear amongst criminals that helped curb the lawless in the city.

He also spoke about the corrosive power of money, saying that even the highest officials can be corrupted. He reiterated his warning against those who would attempt to destroy the Philippines and the country’s youth through criminality.

President Duterte also revealed that the information he has about the Philippine illegal drug hierarchy came from the intelligence of a friendly foreign country.

He also admitted the hardships he felt about his new role as president, saying; “If you ask me if I’m happy, I’m not… Mahirap talaga ito, mabigat.” He added that it is his love for the Philippines that enables him to continue.

The necessity and importance of the youth was also discussed by the President, saying that for people like him who do not have a lot of money, support for children is necessary in the later years. “It’s our very existence ang naka-pusta dito,” he added.

The President also said that he is willing to end his term early if federalism is pushed through and applied as the Philippines’ new system of government, but he also advised not to go into full parliament and to instead “copy the French set up.”

He also talked about increasing the salaries of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), saying, “I cannot run a country with a corrupt police.”

The LCP is represented by the respective mayors of each city and the LPP by the governors of each province. Both leagues aim to voice issues affecting their government administration and to secure solutions to these issues through proper legal means.

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