Aug. 22, 2016 – Press Conference of PCO Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, DILG Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno and Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon
|Press Conference of PCO Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, DILG Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno and Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon|
|Press Briefing Room, New Executive Bldg, Malacañang|
|22 August 2016|
|Rocky Ignacio (Moderator): Good morning, welcome po sa press briefing ni Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar. Happy birthday, sir, and good morning.
SEC. ANDANAR:Thank you, Rocky. Happy birthday to you, too. I would like to congratulate the new MPC officers ‘no. I believe that you just elected a new set of officers.
Now, kung maalala niyo po noong mga nakaraang lingo ay nagkaroon tayo ng bisita mula sa ibang departamento: si Secretary Vit Aguirre, si Secretary — o si SolGen Joe Calida, of course, kilala niyo na po si Secretary Sal Panelo. So, ipinagpapatuloy po natin ‘yung ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa iba’t ibang departamento ng ating gobyerno. Kaya today since yesterday was my birthday, my birthday gift to you is star-studded guest list.
Kasama po natin ngayon ang ating Kalihim po ng DILG si Secretary Ismael Sueno, Mike Sueno; at kasama rin po natin ang ating commissioner ng Customs, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
Meron silang mga balita na ibibigay sa atin para punung-puno ang ating diyaryo, ang ating mga pahayagan, ang ating TV newscast at radio newscast at online newspapers by tomorrow, Rocky.
So if I may I will now introduce our first resource person is fellow man of faith. Before his foray into politics and government, Secretary Sueno graduated Arts from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Seminary in Marbel and pursued Philosophy from the Regional Major Seminary.
Later in his life, Sec. Mike chose to do more by serving our countrymen first as elected mayor of Koronadal South Cotabato and then served as governor of South Cotabato.
In 1997, Sueno was appointed to the Southern Philippine Council for Peace and Development consultative assembly by then President Fidel V. Ramos.
Prior to his appointment to the DILG, Sec. Sueno has been active in various local and community organizations in South Cotabato. He founded the South Cotabato Foundation Inc. and Tinguha Foundation, which are helping the poor in the provinces.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, let us please welcome Secretary Mike Sueno.
SEC. SUENO: Hello, good morning and happy birthday, Sec. Mart. Okay po I am ready.
You know before I used to watch this Malacañang Press Corps on TV. Now I am here standing before you and I hope I can answer all your questions.
So, maybe… I was asked by Sec. Ernie to maybe I can talk about the “Masa Masid” updates. You know what “Masa Masid” is?
So, Masa Masid is an all barangay approach to eliminating illegal drugs, corruption and criminalities and enhancing development in the countrysides.
So Masa Masid stands for masa is people, masid is watch. Masa Masid is actually an — because we will focus on the barangay, this is an umbrella organization of all government groups located in the barangay plus volunteers from the barangay.
So parang…They will group, they will volunteer to come out in support of our government especially now that our President won on the basis of volunteers coming from the entire nation.
Now we know that this volunteerism among our people still exists. This is why our President has a high trust rating.
So we will seize this opportunity for our barangay people to volunteer themselves especially in the elimination of drugs, criminality and corruption and also enhancing development.
So the objective of Masa Masid is to lift our people in the barangays out of poverty and becoming a society — a self-sustaining society and a happy community, free from drugs, corruption and criminality.
And our strategy is to coordinate all agencies of government in the barangay plus volunteerism from the people at the lowest expense from government and evoking immediate action from our people in the barangays, from the government and people in the barangays. Iyon ang strategies natin.
Pia Ranada (Rappler): Good morning, sir. I just want to ask ano na po ang update on the investigations of the mayors linked to drugs? For example, the Albuera Mayor was able to go back to his position? Will the same fate… Will the other mayors also — will that happen to them? And what will be the basis for saying that there is not enough evidence and thus they can go back to their positions?
SEC. SUENO: You are referring to this particular mayor from Albuera?
Ms. Ranada: Sir, yes and also the others who have been —
SEC. SUENO: Yeah, all the others who were mentioned by the President, many of them came to our office but they denied involvement in drugs. All of them denied. But one thing is — one thing good is that they agreed to open themselves to investigations.
So, they have signed waiver for us to investigate them. So, we are now in the process of investigating all these mayors.
As to the mayor of Albuera, he is back to his office because…I spoke to General Bato yesterday, he said that there is no warrant of arrest yet issued against him but the CIDG has already filed cases of illegal possession and the possession of 11 kilos of shabu and we are just waiting for the warrant of arrest to come out to arrest him immediately.
Maricel Halili (TV-5): Hi, sir, good morning. How about, sir, the five narco-generals? Are you going to file cases against them?
SEC. SUENO: For the two, maybe I can already mention, Pagdilao and Tinio — Generals Pagdilao and Tinio — we are ready with the prima facie case against them, which I will sign when I get back to my office.
As for General Diaz, we are finalizing the evidences against them because he was assigned in Region 6 while Tinio and Pagdilao were assigned here in Metro Manila.
So, it takes some time for us to really gather evidences against General Diaz but we are sure we have the goods against him, we have evidences against him.
As for Mayor Loot… Mayor Loot, we already lifted the — his supervision over the police. And we have also cancelled his licenses or permit to own guns and bodyguards. We also cancelled all those.
And since he is a new mayor, we cannot come up with evidences administratively against him as mayor. So… But what we are doing is we are conducting lifestyle check on him to find out that his assets are not proportionate to his income. So that is our strategy.
Ms. Halili: Sir, what particular cases are you going to file against the two narco-generals and when are you going to file this, sir?
SEC. SUENO: We will come out with the cases to be filed against them in due time. So maybe we can wait until tomorrow. We will publish that tomorrow.
As for General Garbo, well, he is not in active duty right now. He is neither an elected official so the CIDG will file cases against him.
Alexis Romero (Philippine Star): Sec, have you seen the matrix of narco-politicians?
SEC. SUENO: What do you mean matrix?
Mr. Romero: The matrix, the list of politicians allegedly involved in drugs that is — that was forwarded to the President.
SEC. SUENO: We have our own — what’s this — our own record. So, maybe… I know the President has many sources. So we have our own source — records also.
Mr. Romero: So based on your sources, how many local executives are allegedly involved or believed to be involved in narcotics?
SEC. SUENO: Well, we cannot reveal. But I am sure that there are more local executives who are involved in drugs.
Mr. Romero: Kahit rough figures. Hundreds ba or—?
SEC. SUENO: If we include the barangay captains, maybe hundreds.
Mr. Romero: Hundreds?
SEC. SUENO: Still hundreds, if we include the barangay captains.
Mr. Romero: Kung ‘yung local executives lang?
SEC. SUENO: Kung local executives, maybe not… Maybe about 50.
Mr. Romero: 50? All throughout the country po?
SEC. SUENO: All throughout the…All I can say is that, there are more who were not announced by the President.
Mr. Romero: And they are being investigated?
SEC. SUENO: They are validated up to now.
Mr. Romero: And they will likely be part of the exposé, the next exposé?
SEC. SUENO: We are not sure, but this is up to the President.
Mr. Romero: So, since you have… 50 you said. You have 50—
SEC. SUENO: Maybe, maybe more or less.
Mr. Romero: What do you say…What does this say about the problem?
SEC. SUENO: This says that the problem on drugs is enormous. It has gone — what’s this — it has expanded not only in one province but all throughout the country.
This is why the President— We can understand the passion of the President in really eliminating drugs because it has proliferated, mainly because of the protection given by our local executives and our police.
So, this is why maintindihan natin kung gaano siya ka-passionate ang ano niya. This is his primary mission, really why he run for President, to save our country from the clutches of drugs, the menace of drugs.
Mr. Romero: Thank you, Sec.
Marlon Ramos (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning Secretary. Sir, I understand you submitted a list of provincial governors who were doing their part in curbing illegal drugs in their communities. Can you explain, sir, ‘yung vetting process niyo?
SEC. SUENO: They are not only after or containing the drug problem in their provinces. But they are also model governors ‘no.
They are governors in governance and transparency ‘no. They are awardees and they are good in the disaster preparedness. They have made their provinces competitive when it comes to business.
These are model leaders, model local executives. So that the President is not only exposing the bad guys, but also the good guys in government.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, I understand one of the criteria used was dapat ‘yung governors who were identified or described to be members of political dynasties should be excluded from the list and also those who are facing charges in the Office of the Ombudsman.
SEC. SUENO: Yes.
Mr. Ramos: Pero, nandoon po si Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and Isabela Governor Bojie Dy are both members of well-known political dynasties in their provinces.
SEC. SUENO: Well, maybe they are. They are members of the dynasties, but they have proven to be very good administrators and very good governors.
So maybe na-outweigh ‘yung pagka-members nila ng dynasties and by their performance as governors.
Mr. Ramos: They are exempted from that criteria?
SEC. SUENO: Not really but they still remain as a — having dynasties in their respective provinces but they are well-known to be good administrators.
Mr. Ramos: May we know, sir, anong particular award ‘yung ibibigay sa kanila and kung may ibibigay ba sa kanilang some form of assistance as part of the recognition?
SEC. SUENO: Not yet. But, as per record these are the governors, list of governors, who have done very good to their provinces, so sa listahan.
Pero we are not giving them extra bonuses by being announced as the good guys in government. So we are not giving them awards.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, magiging ano ba ‘to, regular, on a regular basis? And will you also recognize mayors and other local officials?
SEC. SUENO: Yes. Maybe next week, we will come out with good city mayors and the following week, with the good municipal mayors. Good performing local executives.
Mr. Ramos: Thank you, sir.
Dexter Ganibe (DZMM): Sir, follow-up lang doon sa war on drugs. May complete list na po tayo kung ilan ‘yung mga tauhan natin sa PNP na nasusugatan or nasawi dahil dito sa war on drugs?
SEC. SUENO: Hindi ko… I am sorry I do not have the list yet ‘no.
Mr. Ganibe: Or numbers—?
SEC. SUENO: We expect the list to come to my office pretty soon. But right now, we do not have the list yet.
Mr. Ganibe: Last na lang, sir. Follow-up lang. Doon sa kay retired General Garbo, do we have the whereabouts of the general now?
SEC. SUENO: Well, that is highly confidential, so we cannot reveal that.
Joseph Morong (GMA-7): Sir, just on the two, si General Pagdilao and Tinio. What’s our basis for saying that we have, you have a prima facie evidence against the—?
SEC. SUENO: That’s why let’s wait until tomorrow, until I sign it and we will make it public. That’s tomorrow.
Mr. Morong: Tomorrow na ‘yun, sir?
SEC. SUENO: Yes okay.
Mr. Morong: Pero ‘yung drug involvement nila ‘yan sir ‘no? I mean their role?
SEC. SUENO: Yes, their role, involvement, and their involvement in drugs because this is the basis of the pronouncement of the President.
Mr. Morong: So ‘yung sa, si Mayor— ‘yung sa Albuera. Why was he allowed to return to his post in the first place?
SEC. SUENO: Mayor of Albuera?
Mr. Morong: Yes, sir.
SEC. SUENO: Because there is no warrant of arrest issued against him yet. So, this is why, the CIDG has already filed cases against him and we are waiting for the arrest warrant to be issued?
Mr. Morong: Sir, hindi naman ‘yon tatakas or something?
SEC. SUENO: Hindi naman siguro.
Mr. Morong: May commitment naman not to?
SEC. SUENO: Oh yeah, oo. May mga policeman tayo doon.
Mr. Morong: Okay, sir.
SEC. ANDANAR:Daghang salamat, Secretary Mike Sueno. Thank you so much for gracing our media briefing today. On to the next resource person is a man of great courage and conviction, a nationalist and patriot. Commissioner Nick Faeldon started his career in the military as a third class trainee of the Naval Combat Engineering Brigade, formerly Naval Construction Brigade or “Seabees” and was called into active duty by the Philippine Marine Corps in 1992.
In this life, every one of us is given a choice but the choice of Commissioner Nick is what separate greatness from the ordinary. And Commissioner Faeldon chose the former by choosing the more difficult path of refusing a plea bargain from a sitting government.
We are thus confident that such moral conviction will see this Batanes-born who had been awarded a Gold Cross medal among others through as he heads the Bureau of Customs.
Commissioner Nick has 23 years of government service before rejoining the administration of President Rody Duterte. Ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, please welcome Commissioner Nick Faeldon.
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: Happy birthday, sir. Yes, after 50 days, I believe we have to report to the people kung ano ‘yung nangyari na sa Customs. 1.3 billion of different types of contraband had been seized by the Bureau of Customs, ranging from drugs, red onions, sugars, and kasama ‘yung mga propaganda, mga fake, without FDA permits coming from the different parts of the world na pumasok.
So meron na tayong na — including 10 high-powered firearms that were intended to be sneaked to the country through Balikbayan boxes.
Ano pa? We have also have a strong case against one of our employee, the name is Customs Police Captain Arnel Baylosis; four individuals who have direct transactions with him, testified through affidavit that previously since 2012, they have been giving bribe money. It’s called in the Customs “tara,” amounting to at least 100, 220 million pesos monthly.
So I’ve already forwarded the case folder of this employee to the Department of Justice for investigation.
That’s so far as our effort to curb corruption in the bureau is concerned. We have now a very strong case against this individual.
In our effort to make the bureau more transparent to the public, by next week you can now view the Office of the Commissioner through online.
We have set up, right now… The setting up of CCTV cameras in all the frontline offices of the Bureau of Customs have been ongoing. We expect that in the next 30 more days, the big ports in Manila will now be — can now be viewed publicly, all the transactions being done there. But, my office is the first one. So that no employee will refuse the setting up of the CCTVS.
By next week, you can now view me in my office, in my conference rooms and everywhere that’s within the Office of the Commissioner. So I’ll set an example on the setting up of these CCTVs.
Since my day one of office, I have invited you, the press people, go to the bureau and look for whatever you want and our office is open. This is in line with the President’s position of transparency. Even without the law being passed, we’ll open up our offices. You can ask anything you want and we will provide it to you.
So that’s as far as the transparency of the Bureau of Customs is concerned. We are continuously isolating and tracking all the bureau officials that are believed to be very corrupt.
In your previous reports, some of you have already reported activities I have done, set up standards with the Bureau officials. Iyon so. Questions?
Ms. Ranada: Sir, President Duterte last weekend said that all the posts that are not Cabinet Secretaries and not career officials will be vacated. Do you consider your post vacated as of today?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: I received instructions from last night, through Secretary Medialdea to continue to discharge my duties.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, regarding the Customs personnel you said, nagbibigay ng “tara”. Sino ‘yung mga nabigyan niya? Sino-sino ‘yung mga tao na ‘yun na—? Are you considering also filing cases possibly against them?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: That’s why I turn over the case folder to the Department of Justice so that they will be the one to conduct investigation and come up with whatever courses of action it is necessary to be done.
Mr. Ramos: Were you able to speak, sir, with that guy, that personnel?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: Yeah. I’ve spoken to the official immediately, within the day that I received the information. And then of course nobody —
Mr. Ramos: He denies?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: So that’s why… Let’s see the result of the investigation. These…The affidavits was given to me in the first week of July, immediately when we assumed.
This is a result of a follow-up investigation I conducted after I apprehended at least 88 containers of red onions. My follow-up on the smuggler and because of the smuggler, he was able to reveal to me the people who’ve been facilitating the smuggling commodities on the country and that’s the result of my investigation.
So he named two people. One is a subordinate. That’s why I immediately recommended to the Department of Justice the conduct of investigation.
So this has been an investigation in place since 30 days ago already. So we did not break it to the news so that the investigation can be conducted properly.
Mr. Ganibe: Sir, follow-up dito sa ibinunyag ninyong mga pangalan kay Baylosis. Pending the investigation ano po ‘yung order niyo po sa status niya as one of the employees ng BOC?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: We are awaiting for the recommendation of the DOJ how to handle the case.
Mr. Ganibe: So, pumapasok pa rin siya sa work as of this time?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: Yes.
Mr. Romero: May we know commissioner what is your revenue target for this year?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: It’s 406 billion.
Mr. Romero: 406 billion. Now that we are now in August, what are the indications of the revenues for the second quarter?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: Third quarter.
Mr. Romero: Second quarter kasi June — tapos na ‘yung June ‘di ba?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: Yeah.
Mr. Romero: So ano ‘yung — meron na bang figures for June?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: In the past 30 years — 20 years — there is only one year that the bureau has hit the target. Okay, we should understand that.
So, this year is not an ordinary year. It’s a normal year for the BOC meaning it’s behind the target. Now, in the first semester, two quarters, it’s how many percent below the target and then we are picking up in this month. So hoping we can recover up to December.
But if that’s the direction of the correction, we are improving in this month but in July it’s very low, as low as the other months of the year.
Mr. Romero: So what’s the likelihood that you will reach the target for 2016?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: We will work hard to at least reach the target but it’s really one — just one of the mandates of the bureau.
Mr. Romero: But is it doable? The target?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: I think it’s doable. It depends on our ability to address the other issues, that we improve the revenue collection.
Mr. Romero: How optimistic are you that you will reach the 2016 target?
COMMISSIONER FAELDON: You know when you talk about BOC, some people really try to rate the performance of the BOC on the revenue collection. We can bring in a lot of commodities and reach the target but we might sacrifice our mandate of border security. That’s why we have these balikbayan boxes inspected, we have controlled the delivery of these 10 high-powered firearms to make sure that we will not just bring in commodities here so that we can hit the target at the same time we sacrifice one of our mandate that is border security.
So if you are going to rate the Bureau of Customs based on the tariff or the revenue collection performance alone, then you will be missing two mandates that’s border security and trade facilitation.
SEC. ANDANAR: Thank you, Commissioner Nick Faeldon. And the good news is Commissioner Nick has agreed to give his briefs — not the brief but the briefs, the news briefs, here at the Malacañang Press Corps. Right, Comm Nick? Yeah, so once in a while he will be reporting here. Also DILG Secretary Mike Sueno will be reporting also his accomplishments here at the Malacañang briefing center.
And now we continue with normal programming. The next resource person is the most — the most resourceful. [laughs] He does not need any introduction but he is a man of God. May we welcome our [laughs] the mainstay, the main anchor of this press briefing room — Spokesperson Abella, sir. It’s your turn already. I am sure you have more questions.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: All right, good morning. [No it’s perfectly alright.]
Actually this whole — this whole period was really dedicated to them but…So we will allow for about two or three questions. Okay.
Ms. Halili: Hi, sir. Sir, I just would like to clarify the statement of President Duterte with regards to United Nations. When he said that maybe it’s about time to — for the Philippines and the UN to separate, what does he mean by that?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Well, basically, he was really just reiterating the fact that — he was reiterating national sovereignty and the fact that he did not welcome interventions or what he would consider meddling.
But this entire…But you know the entire process of decoupling is not [laughs] decoupling is not…[what’s her name Gwyneth Paltrow is it?] is not to be taken lightly. But he was basically stating the fact that the Philippines is a sovereign nation and should not be meddled with.
Ms. Halili: But, sir, what will be the possible implication of this? I mean to our relationship to our countries, other members of UN or the UN per se?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Well, we are not decoupling I said. It was simply a matter of — it was a matter of record, it was a statement. He was simply stating the fact that the Philippines is sovereign in itself.
Ms. Halili: But is the President willing to undergo in any kind of investigation or at least to answer the questions of UN?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: He welcomed it, right? Thank you.
Mr. Morong: Sir, you said that the statement underscoring our sovereignty should be taken lightly. But also you said that we are not separating from the UN, right?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I said basically it was not a statement of…It was a way of stating…It was a way of stating that the nation is sovereign. Okay. It was not a statement of fact that we are leaving.
Mr. Morong: So no plans at all, sir?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I said… [laughs] No backtrack, okay.
Mr. Morong: Just to be sure, sir.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Let be backtrack that it was basically a statement stating that we are a sovereign nation.
Mr. Morong: Okay, no intention to get out of it? Just to be clear, sir.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Okay, let me just put it this way. He said that…Basically it was a statement of sovereignty, period.
Ina Andolong (CNN Philippines): Hi, sir. So how would you then describe the statements of the President then? I mean he was talking about possibly taking back or stopping our payments to the UN if only to start the — our withdrawal from the UN. How would you describe that? I mean, was it a spur of the moment comment —
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It was not spur of the moment.
Ms. Andolong: I mean out of anger, ano po ba?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Basically, it’s a way of explaining…You have to take it within the context of his conversations with the press, right? You know that he’s…Well, kumbaga kukunin mo ‘yan — you get the core of the statement. And this was all a matter of explaining his basic core statements that we need not…As a sovereign nation, we cannot be meddled with.
Ms. Andolong: Okay. He also used the term “inutil” to describe the UN. How would you then reconcile… I mean does he not recognize, let say, aid given to the Philippines by the UN previously?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No…He talks about… I don’t think he was referring to that. He was referring exactly to the way that the UN some… Well, “inutil” that was the term that he used “inutil” ‘no that in terms of effectivity in implementing force, for example — when they are, for example, intervening in conflicts, international conflicts.
Ms. Andolong: Lastly from me. He called out the UN head basically here.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Rapporteur?
Ms. Andolong: Yeah. In the… No also when he was talking about parang protocol issues.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Oh, yes. Right, right.
Ms. Andolong: Bakit daw hindi… He wasn’t informed by the UN maybe representative here. Is there now any effort to reach out to that I believe resident coordinator ang meron tayo dito sa Philippines to clarify?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No, having said what he said. It’s now… Its’ now incumbent upon the other person to respond to that statement.
Ms. Andolong: Thank you, sir.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Any other question?
Mr. Romero: Sec, wala ba kayong concerns since ‘yung Philippines is one of the most prone to disasters and then ‘yung UN tumutulong sa atin tuwing may disaster?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: This is not to negate ‘no — we are not negating anything. We are not negating support. We are not negating aid. We are not negating all of those things.
We are simply… The President was simply stating the sovereignty of a particular nation.
Mr. Romero: What do you think are the advantages of leaving UN?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I do not have any opinions about that, okay. There are no advantages or disadvantages. The President did not mention that.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, the President agrees with the UN and all other human rights advocates na dapat ‘yung due process must be upheld in dealing with criminals in enforcing the laws. Why does he consider the UN statement against extrajudicial killings as meddling with his governance?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Simply because we are able to handle our own investigations. And he, in fact, if you notice his statement if you took in particular, he, you know…He was referring to the fact that the United Nations seem to be singling out the Philippines in particular.
And he was actually referring how come you don’t — how come you don’t make human rights statement about, for example, the US actions against blacks? You know. So in other words, he felt…He was basically just reiterating the fact that these things are within our ambit, with our — in the ambit of national — national sovereignty, national concerns.
And that there was no…There was no call for the United Nations to… At this stage, there’s no call for the United Nations to make any investigations. And that, of course, he, in fact — as the question of Ms. [Calalang?] earlier that they should have been…If they really have any intentions, serious intentions about investigating these matters, they should have made formal presentations and I just made general statements.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, does the President consider any statement, which he consider, sir, against his policy as meddling, as interference?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No, as I stated he is…The United Nations being a public institution should have made formal representations because we also are a formal institution.
He said the statement that he was referring to — it was a fact that they were making statement out…They were just simply making statements without having made formal representations with the — with the nation — with President himself.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, apparently the President is not aware of the assistance that UN has been giving the Philippines, lalo na noong panahon ng Yolanda, humanitarian aids —
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Excuse me. Those things are two entirely different concerns. He was not disclaiming the aid. He was simply disclaiming… He was taking umbrage of the fact that the United Nations through their representatives were making public statements without having made formal representations.
Mr. Ramos: But the President said UN has done nothing to us anyway. He said that.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Come again?
Mr. Ramos: Sabi po ni Presidente Duterte, the UN has done nothing to us anyway so might as well sever ties with them.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Come again?
Mr. Ramos: So might as well na we bolt out from the UN kasi wala naman sila nagagawa for the Philippines? I’m not saying that…Kasi are you planning to brief the President at least on the relationship between the Philippines and UN, and how UN is extending assistance to nations like the Philippines?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The President does not need briefing from me. Okay. He is perfectly aware of the situation. Thank you very much.
Ms. Halili: Sir, ‘yung sa… Sir, klaruhin ko lang po ‘yung sa instruction ni President Duterte na ‘yung mga presidential appointees should consider ‘yung kanilang mga position na vacant starting today. Sino-sino po ba ‘yung sakop nito? Is he talking about all the appointees?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: As per update according to Sec. Andanar, that this refers to appointees from the past administration. And that with the exception of to — that were actually addressed, it does not apply to the current appointees.
Ms. Halili: Aquino and —?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The hold over…Basically that… This refer to… Well, as you would say hold overs, but basically, these are appointees from the past administration and does not refer to appointees of the current administration except those who are — those who have been made reference to.
Mr. Morong: Sir, you mentioned there were two? Sino po ’yung —?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No, they made reference to.
Mr. Morong: Ah okay. So, akala ko may dalawang tao.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It’s a dangling participle.
Mr. Morong: So, sir, ilan po ‘yun na hanggang ngayon ay nasa hold over capacity pa rin?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: We don’t have the numbers.
Mr. Morong: Okay. So, sir, ‘yung sa LTO and LTFRB, will they be called to — sa Cabinet meeting later?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I’m not sure about the process but they have been referred to.
Mr. Morong: ‘Yung sa LTO, LTFRB, sir, hold over ba ‘yung mga ‘yun?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Come again. I’m not sure now. Okay.
Weng Dela Fuente (Net 25): Sir, clarification with the ceasefire announcement. Kasi doon sa briefing po ng Presidente ay hindi pa niya alam kasi he said that he will consult the Defense and the military officers.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: He did make that… In other words, he’s not just, “the date is here, let’s go on.” You know, he said it had to be…It had to be [what do you call it?] it had to be reviewed but I’m sure they will act on it as soon as possible.
Ms. Dela Fuente: So the announcement was made with the approval of the President?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Which one?
Ms. Dela Fuente: The restoration of the unilateral ceasefire. Kasi it was announced Saturday by Secretary Dureza, but during the early morning briefing with the President, parang hindi pa niya alam kasi hindi pa niya alam kung kailan ire-restore ‘yung ceasefire.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No, he was aware. He was aware of the restoration except that there were some details that needed to be worked out.
Ms. Dela Fuente: So, the announcement was known by the President?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: He was aware of the… He was aware of the promise to restore it but there had to be some items that needed to be worked out. That’s why he said, “we will review”.
Ms. Dela Fuente: So, going back to UN, sir, are we going to pull out our troops?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: We’re not making any drastic moves regarding those matters, all right?
Mr. Ganibe: Sir, follow-up lang doon sa vacancies. Binabanggit na ‘yung mga appointments, hold over appointees ‘nong nakaraang administrasyon, tama po ano?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Come again.
Mr. Ganibe: ’Yung sa mga vacancies na kailangang ano—
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: What about the vacancies?
Mr. Ganibe: ‘Yung in-announce ng Pangulo na ‘yung mga appointees na mava-vacant ‘yung kanilang mga position.
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: So what is the question?
Mr. Ganibe: Hindi po ba meron tayong Administrative Order No. 1 stating that until July 30 lang ‘yung mga nag-hold over… Oo, so ibig sabihin ba nagtuloy-tuloy po sila? And kasama din po ba ‘yung binabanggit na past administration na mga appointees? Kasama rin po ba dito ‘yung mga, ‘yung kanilang termino ay fixed?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Merong pong… There’s going to be a review of those who have ano — those who have tenure. Heads of agencies who have tenure, they will also be reviewed.
Reymund Tinaza (Bombo Radyo): Sir, good afternoon. Sir, just your reaction to the ongoing Senate investigation of Senator De Lima? And is the… Are you aware if the President watching, monitoring what is going on at the Senate hearing?
SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: He most probably is. Thank you.