Watch: President Rodrigo Duterte Speaks at San Beda Testimonial Dinner (Full Speech Video)
President Rodrigo Duterte spoke at the testimonial dinner organized by the San Beda Law Alumni Association (SBLAA), which honored him as the first Philippine president from San Beda. The event was held this Thursday, July 14 at Club Filipino in San Juan City, where former president Fidel V. Ramos is one of the guests. Watch his full speech on the video below.
During his speech, President Duterte reminisced the time when he was still reluctant to run in the recent election, noting that it was never his dream to become the leader of the country. He also mentioned his financial difficulties for his presidential campaign. Nevertheless, he said that FVR told him that it’s about time to have a president from Mindanao.
“We are the only country in the world kung saan ang shabu ay niluluto sa mismong national penitentiary… Tatapusin ko ito even at the cost of my honor, my life, and the presidency,” President Duterte later said, reiterating his strong desire to fight illegal drugs, warning the public that the country may become a narco-politics if it will not be stopped.
Duterte, who won by landslide with 16,601,997 votes, also reminded everyone that he does not want people to go back and forth to government agencies while processing their papers, especially those who live in far provinces. But of course, his speech will not be complete without occasional jokes. This time, he included being an alumni of San Beda.
Later, President Duterte mentioned his plans on the on-going territorial claims against China. This Tuesday, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague in Netherlands announced their decision, favoring the Philippines. The international tribunal favored the noting that China has no legal basis to claim resources on the disputed area.
“War, it’s not an option. We will go for) peaceful talks. I cannot give you the wherewithal now. I want to consult many people, including president Ramos… I would like to respectfully ask him to go to China and start the talks,” President Duterte said, stressing out that he does not want to offend the United States, with Philippines as one of its allies.
As a response, former president Ramos told reporters that he will still have to study Duterte’s request. “This is not to show disrespect to the President but you have to consider my increasing age. But I can do the job. However, I have bigger commitments in terms of peace in the world and sustainable development,” He said.