Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the closing ceremony of the national ROTC summit and 1st Presidential Silent Drill Competition (first part)

THE REGION
December 20, 2019

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Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and the other members of the Cabinet; Senator Bong Go; Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko”; AFP Chief of Staff General Noel Clement and the major service commanders; the officers and enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; invited guests; mga mahal kong kababayan.

I am pleased with the efforts of the Presidential Management Staff and the Presidential Security Group, their partners for spearheading the First Presidential Silent Drill Competition.

It is just fitting that we hold this maiden event as the Armed Forces of the Philippines concludes the National ROTC Summit that showcases the gallantry, bravery and spirit of volunteerism of young men and women all over the country.

Let me break from the prepared speech. Kayo bang mga bata at mga magulang, do not ever --- you know, this is our only country. At hanggang ngayon there are people who are terrorists trying to destroy our way of life. Kayong mga bata, huwag kayong magpadala diyan sa mga ideolohiya na barat. Dumaan na kami diyan. I was one of those.

Pero later on, I realized that nothing else would be good except to have law and order and one government. Alam mo, they promised anything and everything including --- sumasali sa gobyerno and then sa bidding, papers towards a coalition government. Hindi mangyari ‘yan sa buhay ng ating bayan. Hindi talaga ako papayag kailanman. [applause]

Let me especially commend the winners and participants of the Competition as well as those who joined the Summit. Well, of course PMA won, my congratulations. But I’d like the others we have --- well and more of this in the days to come.

Alam mo ganito ‘yan eh. I was inspired when I went to China. Kasi every sundown, meron silang drill. A drill before the flag is lowered. And people congregate every afternoon to see the drill performed by the different units assigned for that day.

I want it done every day. May magtingin man o wala, do it for the country. I want you to go into a sort of an activity to honor Rizal at ang ating bayan. Do it and I order it every day. It will be spearheaded by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and those who’d like to participate.

And I pay well. It is not because binabayaran ko kayo. But to give you an incentive to perform well before the public. Sabi ko kung may manuod maganda, kung wala just do it because I might just be there in the corner to watch it. And I feel proud of my soldiers and my policemen. And that is why… [applause] I will never compromise the way of life of the Filipinos.

It might not really be the perfect one. Alam mo, mali dito, mali doon. Me, I have my faults, plenty. But never, never about money. Ibang bagay siguro.

These undertakings highlight the importance of the ROTC Program in [inculcating] in the hearts of young Filipinos critical values for nation-building such as perseverance, discipline, excellence, leadership, and loyalty and patriotism.

Alam mo, isa akong tamad na tao. I hate to wake up each Saturday to go into a training sa ROTC. But now I realized na importante ito. Meron tayong pumasok na sundalo talaga. At walang ginawa nag-aral 24 oras kung paano pumatay, paano --- you know, kill the enemy and all sorts of things.


Pero kulang ito sila. In a total outbreak, itong mga ‘to, nandoon sa frontline at hindi mo malaman kung maubos ito sa isang bomba lang o isang machine gun. We have to have a reserved force which can be mobilized anytime.

Kaya ‘yung mag-lead ng mga ROTC pati civilians, kayo. Or if you want that --- to go into real being soldiers. But alam mo sila nag-aral ito pagka-sundalo, professional. Tayo naman, nag-aral tayo ng pagka --- AB, abogado. Kailangan tayo na kumuha ng ROTC, undergo the training kasi alam mo, pagdating ng panahon, alam mo magkasa ng Armalite, alam mo mag-dismantle kung masira, at alam mong bumaril.

Even the discipline, alam ko na napipika ka, sigaw-sigawan ka. But take it that’s part of life, the training. What I like is ‘pag dumaan kayo ng ROTC, meron kayong respect of authority, echelon as it goes higher and discipline.

‘Yun ‘yung mga bata na ayaw, hayaan ninyo ‘yan. So there will always be a time for an accounting in this country.

 

‘Pag nagkagulo ito, kung hindi nila malaman saan sila pumunta, problema nila ‘yan. Problema nila ‘yan. Kayong kumuha ng ROTC religiously, pero maging doctor ka, engineer, abogado. Because hindi naman pwede na pumunta ka ng PMA tapos ang gusto ng tatay mo, para maganda ang buhay ma-doctor ka rin kagaya ng tatay mo. Kagaya ng tatay ko, naging abogado at ang anak ko si Inday naging abogada. Ganun ‘yan.

So you cannot go to the PMA and become a full-fledged soldiers only because then your parents might have other plans for you. Maging doctor ka kagaya ng tatay mo.

In the meantime, since you cannot go to the PMA for that, merong ROTC. I urge you to learn. Maski maghawak lang man ng baril o to call a --- an assembly of men to fight for the country.

-more- 


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