THE man who reportedly warned he would fill the Pasig River with the bodies of criminals has not changed his stance after winning the presidency, but made clear there would be after all no summary executions.
“Kayong mga kidnapper, holdupper, kayong nagkikidnap diyan ... please don’t. Don’t do it. You will be sorry. You will not only lose your funds, you might lose your life.”
Thus were the strong words of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte in an interview on TV5.
Duterte however clarified that his no nonsense crackdown against criminality and drugs would follow due process sans shortcuts.
“I have to say that you have to follow the law. Due process, and all the things that are contained in the Constitution... should be followed,” he said.
Duterte also warned police and military officers and personnel linked in the illegal drugs trade to quit their post.
“I would suggest that you retire now na may matatanggap pa kayo, kasi pag nandyan na ako… I will never tolerate …”
He admitted feeling “intense pressure to produce results immediately.”
“I’m humbled by the votes given me, the mandate that was given by the people, kaya mas doblado na ang pressure ko,” he said.
“When I made the promise, there was already the pressure. But with the mandate, I am under intense pressure to produce results immediately,” he said.
Duterte reiterated that he is open to tapping Cabinet members from President Benigno S. Aquino III’s economic cluster.
“The economy is doing good under the Aquino administration,” he said. “We will have to admit it is doing well. And if it’s not really broken, why should I fix it? Di, I would hire yung mga Cabinet members who are good, then allow them enough time to come up with something that would equal or maybe enhance more the economic policies of Aquino.”
He bared he would likely implement nationwide some of the laws already in place in Davao City, which he has run as mayor for seven terms, such as smoking ban in all public places and limitations on the time and place for drinking and videoke sing-alongs.
Duterte clarified that bringing home Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, was not among his top priorities.
He also said that he would not be going after Vice President Jejomar Binay, who, he said, had talked with him.
“Tumawag si VP, then he greeted me: Congratulations,” Duterte said.
“And I said: Salamat po. Sabi ko: Mr. Vice President, wala ho kayong problema sa akin... I am not the only one who is really... who enforces the tlaw... I will not go around finding faults that would put me into something na I would rather spend my hour looking for solutions,” he said.
He also said that he would pursue ending contractualization of workers.
Contractualization must go,” he said. “Itong sa nahalata ko, itong mga [I noticed that these] security agencies, you are forcing the security guards to work 24 hours a day. [And then you just give them] minimum wage. I’m telling you now: Stop it. Stop it, because I will not allow it.”
For his part, presidential communications operations office secretary Sonny Coloma Jr. urged Filipinos to maintain an optimistic mindset as the country transitions from one administration to another after the conduct of presidential election this month
Staying positive will be good for the country, he said.