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Rodrigo Duterte is certainly not ignorant of what has transpired. In fact, hours after the incident blew out of control all over the internet, Duterte instantly called the press to set the record straight, and in an unglamorous way; in front of his house, dressed like a humble citizen.

Here is a transcript of the interview, made by Mhey De Jose. If you are among those mortified by Duterte’s jokes and swore never to vote him again, sit down and watch. This explains everything. To those still voting for him, again, sit down and watch. What you’re about to hear is Duterte’s accounts of what happened that solidified his resolve to fight crime. And of course, the truth about the so-called rape joke.

And so we’re clear, he said sorry about the statement. He did. Watch the video and see the transcript.

totoo yon. sinabi ko yon. gutter language. but it was expressed in utter anger. makinig kayo —pati si mar roxas — before you get wild ideas, ganito yan, in 1989 i was in the chuch hearing mass, tumawag ang security because cory aquino, the president, was on the line. ito ang sinabi niya — what is happening there. ano mam? yong penal colony sa panabo. sabi ko nasa davao ako maam. but sani nya are you not the chairman of the peace and order council, i said yes. eh bakit wala kang alam. sabi ko, this morning, nobody told me. she said there was a hostage taking yesterday afternoon. paalis na ang mga tao. palabas na sa visiting area ng davao penal colony. paglabas na, there was a hostage taking 16 convicts took one each as hostage. there are 16 hostages and 16 criminals. sabi ko maam i will look into it. she said do not look into it. go there and find out.

sumakay ako ng chopper ng airforce at nag ikot muna kami, survey sa lugar, and the sarao na parang mataas, nandoon. niong papunta pa lang ako, i was told that they came to agreement with the penal authoroities na palabasin sila kuinan ng sasakyan. sabi ko block the highway para maabutan ko. going agusan na sila. they were already in the terotiry of agusan. sabi ko ibaba ako sa harap ng jeep. pagdating ko doon, dalawa kami i general estares, he was a colonel at that time, naghubad akonat ang baril ko tinapon ko sa tabi. sabi ko wala akong baril. pwede akong makipag usap sa iyo. nong lumapit ako, i could smell the humanity. lahat ng dumi ng tao nandon. because nobody was allowed by the hostage takers, by the criminals to go out because sinusundan sila ng army, pc, lahat andon na…sabi ko, pwede tayo mag usap. pwede ba akong lumapit.

nakita ko ang dumi ng tao naghalo na. pati ihi. lahat na. as a matter of fact i was negotiating, sabi ko bakit naman itong mga inosente. eh kung may hinanakit kayo, eh di pag usapan natin. eh ayaw.ako nakinig lang. i listened patiently. maya maya lumapiot si estares. sabi nya may isang bata dyan na nahostage hindi nanay nya ang nagkarga. and bata na yan is only 3 months old. tiningnan namin, blue. walang gatas. ang nanay nakatakbo. ang naiwan sa loob yong tiyahin. yong kaptid ng nanay. the child was almost dying. sabi ni estares time is of the essence dito. ang interest ko lang ang bata—sabi ko irilis nila ang bata pati ang tita at ako ang magpa hostage. totoo ka? oo. sige. mauna na ako. tapos walang palabin. walang exchange. noong nandoon na kami, isa isa, kung ano ano ang kaso nila. kidnapping murder, lahat na, eh sabi ko, hindi tayo tatagal dito, pati ako mamamatay. punta na lang tayo ng opisina ko — may banyo doon, makaligo kayo, makapaghugas kayo, makapagkain kayo…napag usapan namin ang kaso…we went to back to davao city ako ang hostage nila. it’s all in the phototages of all the netrowks at that tiome. i told the soldiers na pag nakita nila akong may dugo, ubusin na nila ang lahat. pasok kami doon…negotiate…the mother of pugoy was fetched by the Philippine army and brought to davao and they talked. yong iba nag surrender na, si pugoy ayaw. sabi ko kay calida, sabi ko sir —babarilin ko itong tatlo pagbaba. kinausap ko ang kapatid ko na isa, sabi ko, babarilin ko ito. tagdalawa sana kami…pero si jess dureza, ever the peaceful man, tumawag kay cory. tumawag si cory — and told me to resolve the hostage taking resolved peacefully, wala akong magawa. tapos na sana yon. si jess dureza ang ayaw.

one month after, may pumasok na mga prayer warriors, nag hostage na naman kasama yong australian. parang negotiations. sabi ko, ako uli mag negotiate. ayaw na pumayag ng militar. kasi yayariin ka ng mga yan. (one month after, some prayer warriors entered, there were hostages held again including the australians. with negotiations. i said, i’ll negotiate again, the military disagreed. because they [the hostage takers] will finish you off.)

ginawang human shield ang bata, isang babae, yong puti, tapos may dalawang lalaki. ayaw talaga ng militar, ayaw ko rin. gusto nila ng jeep. ayaw ko. may mga opisyal na pumayag. sabi ko ayaw ko. they will fight it oiut. pumilit sila. (they got the child, a lady, the white one, as human shields and with two men. the military doesn’t want it, i don’t want it either. they want a jeep, i refused. some officials agreed to it. i told them i don’t want it. they will fight it out. they insisted.)

ang mga sundalo, kinuha ang mga patay. (the soldiers retrieved the dead.)

in my utter anger, gutter language yan eh, sabi ko — oh ito, ang ganda ganda pa, mukhang artista, putang ina naunahan pa ako, patayin mo lahat. sa galit yon. i was not joking . (in my utter anger, it’s gutter language, see, i said – oh this, so beautiful, looks like a celebrity, those bitches they got to her, kill them all. all in rage. i was not joking.)

nong kinukwento ko yan, sabi ko, roxas, panay ang arte mo, magpa hostage ka lang, (when i was recounting that, i said, roxas, you’re all acting, try becoming a hostage)

i was angry at that time.

that’s my explanation. that’s it. if you don’t believe it, the videos can show for it.

gutter language yan. ganon ang mga lalaki magsalita. (that’s gutter language. that’s how men speaks)
“oh, putangina naunahan mo pa ako, letse ka…” (“oh, you damn bitch beat me to it, damn you”)
sorry kung hindi nagustuhan ng iba. (sorry if they didn’t like it)
pero yan ang totoo. (but that’s the truth.) that is an incident but there is a story behind it.
it was a bad remark. it wasnt a bad joke. talagang galit ako kaya ko sinabi yon — oh, putangina naunahan mo pa ako. (oh, you damn bitch beat me to it) that’s a cliche. ganon talaga. (it’s really like that)

ang buhay ng isang tao maraming dadating…pero ako, gawa ko para sa kapwa tao. (there will be more persons that will come, i do things for the people)

i had them all killed at that time. i was the one who ordered them killed. they were armed. and they already had some people killed.

and i was investigated by a congressional committee.
i am even willing to lose the presidency.
do not make me apologise for something which I did — which was called for at that moment.
i can lose gabriela and all…wala akong pakialam. (i don’t care)
sabi ko sayo (i’m telling you) i will not die if i will not become president.
but certainly as a matter of honor, i will stick to my guns. i said it in the heat of anger. kung kayo nandon, sige mga gabriela, pati si mar and roxas… (if you were there, go ahead, gabriela, and also mar roxas)

well, i can retire.

in this particular — ginawa ko eh (i did it) — i am invoking invictus. i am sorry in general. i am sorry for the filipino people. it is my style. it is my mouth. i said that in the heat of anger. but listen to the story behind.wag kayo basta na lang paambak ambak dyan. (don’t get carried away by it)

JOKE ANG RAPE? (RAPE IS A JOKING MATTER?)

No. I didnt do that. I said it in a narrative. i was not smiling. I was just talking playing sense….

kung ayaw ninyo ng tao na ganito magsalita, pasensya. di doon kayo sa english spokening. yong mga conyo. doon kayo sa mga magnanakaw na wala namang ginawa. ano naman ang ginawa ninyoin sa katapangan ninyo? magpa hostage ng barbero beh, binay. puro ka lang nakaw dyan. buti pa ka. ako dito nagpapa hostage, sinusugal ko buhay ko dito, kayo dyan nakaw ng nakaw wala naman kayong ginawa.
(if you don’t like people who speak like that, sorry. then go to english speakers. the conyos. go to thieves who do nothing. what have they done with their bravado? hold barbers hostage, eh, binay. you’re all plunder. you had it good. i’m here as a willing hostage, i gambled my life here, you there plundered and plundered and didn’t perform your duties.)

It can be therefore seen that while he knows his jokes can be quite distasteful at times, he is not beyond showing remorse of it, and in fact, recalling events that led to it, which turned out to be one of the things that set in motion his resolve to fight crime.

It should be stressed that “naunahan pa ng mayor” was not meant to read as “they beat the mayor (to the raping)” but rather “they got to the hostages ahead of the mayor.” Such translation and context would spell the difference between heroism and hooliganism.

After learning the truth straight from the horse’s mouth, a renewed admiration instantly blossomed, overpowering the condemnation towards him earlier, perhaps more powerful than ever.

“You are still my President Mayor Digong! Bad language is better than Bad Morals!”

“We can never find someone like you Mayor. May God bless, protect and guide you.”

“A leader who is willing to put his Life on the line is a TRUE LEADER. It’s really #DU30 for us!”

“Sometimes the truth is dumbfounding.. We can’t say anything because we know what he says is true.”

“the only man i know who’s ready to face and endure danger at any time..so brave, this country needs you!”

“That’s why people won’t leave his side no matter what cause he will never leave you in despair no matter what. I think when it comes to courage and honor and sacrifice, no leader can surpass him.”

“I don’t understand where the rape thing is here? I think his statement was taken out of context..the way I understand him..”nauhan” meant he failed to save the life of the beautiful lady…haters gonna hate..if papa is still alive he will also vote for Duterte..”

“I am a mother to a daughter. I will still support you. I will pray for your safety and health.”

“Let us remember that DU30 is a man of action not words.”

“Mayor DUTERTE!! Solid!!”

“duterte is the real deal… my president.”

“Hang on there Mayor. We have your back. Malacañang is just a glimpse away so put on your strongest shield bec. your opponents are out for blood. We believe in you so fight Mayor bec. the harder the fight the sweeter the victory”

“It’s better to have a leader giving us a bad mouth yet a good life than a leader giving us a good mouth but a bad life.”

“To all the haters, what’s it gonna be now? What is valuable? Words or deeds?”

“no one can put good man down”

“General Luna of this generation! Salute!”

“Hats off. I was horrified when I heard the news from mainstream media. it really sounds different now.”

“We are behind you mayor. You are our last card. God bless the Philippines!”

“I’m still voting for you Sir Duterte. You’re the best out there to lead this country.”

“At least he apologized for it, which makes Duterte a bigger man than his supporters. He knows he messed up and is explaining it, instead of having his bad behavior excused. I may not vote for the man, but I respect his decision.”

“I’ll fight for this man! He should be the next president! And please don’t forget to vote a vice that’s willing to shield him against his enemies.”

“Till the end I’m going to support and vote for you Sir. The most sincere, honest and principled man I’ve ever known. I hope and pray that you will win the presidency.You are worth the risk. I salute you Sir.”

“Now I am more impressed with DU30. None of the Presidentials can be that frank and honest. 100% pro DUTERTE”

“It’s Duterte VS the world right now but he would rather face this issue head-on and willing to lose the presidency rather than lose his identity. Damn, I wish I had guts like this guy. Such a majestic unorthodox candidate. I’d go for him.”

And Duterte is apparently a fan of Invictus. He invoked it. What was that all about?

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

(cover image by mindavote 2016)

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