Press Release

President Duterte decisive on national interest – Palace

Malacañang on Thursday, March 5, belied the claims of Senator Richard Gordon that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is too soft on China.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Salvador S. Panelo said in a press briefing that the recent issues relative to alleged illegal activities of Chinese in the country are already being investigated by concerned government agencies, and the Chief Executive is already waiting for the results of such investigation so he can act decisively on the matter.

“Well, as I’ve said, any malpractice, any corruption, any irregularity relative to any activity or project in this government is always being investigated. And after the findings, the President will act, as always, decisively,” the President’s spokesperson said.

Secretary Panelo added that the President is never soft on anything that relates to the national interest, adding that the latter “is a very decisive President.”

This issue came about after several reports about alleged activities concerning Chinese individuals were made, including sex trafficking, corruption in connection with Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO), and the presence of elements of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China in Manila.

As to the reports that there are at least 3,000 PLAs in Manila acting like civilians, the Palace official said that the report should first be validated given that PRRD, as a matter of practice and training as a lawyer, decides based on evidence.

“When the President decides on something, he has the goods to back up his decision,” Panelo stressed adding that “if he (President Duterte) has not received a comprehensive report, then you cannot hurry him up. Ganoon si Presidente. Abogado ito. Kaming mga abogado ganoon. Laging may ebidensiya [dapat].” ###OPS/PCOO