Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
January 9, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administered the mass oath-taking of more than 200 newly-appointed government officials in Malacañan Palace.

After congratulating the newly-sworn in officials for joining the government service, the President urged them to do their mandates in urgency.

“Why are we here? Because we have a purpose. What? To serve the government. To serve the people. What else is there to talk about here? It’s the service to the people, and truly one, ang tao naman ay hindi nasho-short change. We are being paid. We feed our families with the salary we got,” President Duterte said in his speech.

He also stressed the lack of attention given to Mindanao by the officials, including himself, which paved way to the intensification of two major issues in the area: terrorism and drugs.

“And the reason why I also decided to run is simply because in the horizon, most of the candidates, pati ako, may malaking pagkukulang. And it has something to do about the very important things that the Republic should be able to solve or at least to minimize. Walang kandidato kasing nagsasalita about Mindanao… If we do not try to even solve the Mindanao issue, it will be the biggest problem of our land and of our children,” he explained.

According to President Duterte, the rise of Moro nationalism in Mindanao was a result of the Spanish invasion and the brutality of the Americans to their ancestors. He said that the record of massacres committed to the Moro ancestors were not easily forgotten until their nationalism is now overtaken by the ideology of war and violence.

“Bakit malakas ang shabu sa Mindanao. Kasi ito sila, they are driving the war using shabu as a fuel. Pati sila mismo… Kaya dalawa ang problema sa Mindanao – shabu is being cooked… Terrorism,” he said.

Moreover, the Chief Executive expressed his stern position against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.

“For as long as there is shabu, the addiction will continue… Four million is four million. And you know what? The one thing I hate in shabu, at talagang galit ako, is because they enslave our countrymen. Slavery ‘yan e,” he said.

President Duterte concluded by calling for unity and encouraging the officials in doing their duties.

“This is the last call para may magawa tayo sa kababayan natin. Just give it to them… And itong trabaho, give it to the people because you have to. It’s our last call to serve our nation… I am pleading to you. I hope we can work together, trust each other. And give it to the people this time,” he said.

The newly-appointed officials are designated to line agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), judiciaries, and other government instrumentalities.

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