January 14, 2017 – Interview with Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella
|Interview with Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella|
|DZRB – Kaagapay ng Bayan by Marie Peña Ruiz and Melanie Baldoz-Reyes|
|14 January 2017|
|MELANIE: Sir, magandang umaga.
MARIE: Good morning, sir.
USEC. ABELLA: Good morning, good morning po.
MELANIE: Opo, good morning, sir. Sir una nga nating tanong, iyong pinapatanong ni JP Bencito ng Manila Standard. Sabi po niya, can we seek comment on the latest Pulse Asia survey wherein 84 percent of Filipinos said that they approve the way the administration is handling the fight against criminality, but lacking resolve in controlling inflation? How will the government address this urgent concern raised by many Filipinos?
USEC. ABELLA: We need to understand that the President is working with a wide range. Mayroon siyang malawak na menu, kumbaga ‘no, na ginagawa. Now, iyong inflation po is not something that we can unilaterally control. It is something that is also dependent on the worldwide economic condition. But, ang kuwan is we need to understand that our—kaya nga po minsan na-misunderstand iyong ating economic managers because siyempre mayroon silang in-e-exercise na fiscal discipline ‘no. Pero on the whole po, in the same way na mataas ang approval rate ng bayan tungkol po sa pagpapatakbo ng Presidente, I think we also need to appreciate the fact na (unclear) in terms of managing our economic conditions, maganda po ang pagpapatakbo rin natin. It may not be ideal in this stage, but then nothing is ideal right now in the world economic socio-political condition.
MELANIE: Okay, sir, dito sa Philippine Daily Inquirer may lumabas na iyong United Nations Population Fund is lauding, pinipuri po nila ang Executive Order No. 12 ni Pangulong Duterte, Ito iyong kaniyang intervention para magkaloob ng libreng contraceptive sa mahihirap na kababaihan sa ating bansa. At ayon dito sa pahayag ng UNFPA, ang order ng ating Pangulo ay major push para sa family planning program.
USEC. ABELLA: Opo. Ano po iyan, very significant, kasama po iyan sa 10-point agenda ng Presidente. Iyong kaniyang 10-point economic agenda, kasama po siya. Ngayon, we have to appreciate the President dahilan sa kahit hindi po popular iyong ano, hindi po popular with certain sectors, iyong (unclear) tungkol sa reproductive health, ay tinutulak po niya, dahil po ang pananaw ng Presidente is not just to serve the interest of a small group, but to serve the interest of the whole nation. Unang-una, alam po natin nilalabanan ng Presidente ang poverty ‘no, anti-poverty; hindi lang basta anti-poverty, but he also wants to have inclusive prosperity, na ang lahat po umunlad. And kasama na po diyan na kung ano, we can—if women are empowered – basically mayroong silang health, and they can also help contribute to the financial health of their family. Kaya po we also applaud the ano—we continue to encourage, and we thank the Filipino people for supporting that; and also to the United Nations for recognizing the efforts of the President.
MARIE: Ang inyong panawagan naman dito sa mga patuloy na kumokontra dito. And there’s a party list, iyong Buhay party-list, ang sinasabi nila po ay pagaaralan nila word for word iyong EO 12, at maari daw na kuwestyunin nila ito sa Korte Suprema. At ganoon din po sa Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, na patuloy na ino-oppose ito po. Ano na po ang panawagan natin, sir?
USEC. ABELLA: Ang panawagan po natin sa kanila is to have a broader and a more open mind, hindi lang po basta’t pure… you know, iyong basta’t coming from ideology; kailangan po siguro na mag-evolve rin ang pagiisip ng certain sectors in society na to become… na maging mas bukas sila, at naintindihan nila ang kalagayan ng tao, at hindi lang just—hindi naman sa ano, hindi ko minamaliit ‘no, pero we need to be able to more responsible even (unclear). Sabi niya kailangan mapakain din natin iyong pamilya natin ‘di ba?
MARIE: Sir, may tanong po si Leila Salaverria ng Philippine Daily Inquirer.
USEC. ABELLA: Sure.
MARIE: May we get the Palace’s comment on the report of Human Rights Watch that lists President Duterte among the strongman leaders who ignore the rule of law. And how would the Palace describe the leadership style of President Duterte po?
USEC. ABELLA: The President is very decisive. He is very—he’s a man of action. Kasi iyong mga terms, iyong mga labels na nilalagay ng ibang tao, ano po iyan eh, pag binigyan ka na ng label, parang you cannot—they limit you. They do not see what you’re actually doing, basta nagbigay na lang sila ng label. But the President is very authoritative and he—nakikita naman kasi niya iyong trabaho eh. And let us remember that he (unclear) by the rule of law. Siguro that’s why they call him – especially the liberal media and the liberal political order – eh siguro antagonistic sila sa more authoritative forms or styles of governance. Katulad ni Lee Kuan Yew, you know very strict din siya pero mayroon siyang—dati-dati very strict siya when he was still in leadership, but then you can also see the progress of the nation. So ano po siguro ito, we need to—hindi lang po tayo basta ideological ang mga kilos natin, but we need to also understand that ang kapakanan ng bayan ang tinitingan. In the Philippines kasi, (unclear) being very Asian and being very Malay, tayo po kasi, ang ating pinapairal talaga ang common good eh. Minsan kasi, from the liberal institution, we tend to emphasize individual rights, which is valued of course. However, we also need to understand that it has to be placed in the context of common good, iyong kapakanan ng lahat.
MELANIE: Sir, may tanong ulit si JP Bencito ng Manila Standard. Ito po iyong naging pagbisita ni Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sa Pilipinas, sabi niya, “How does the Palace see the longer… the long-term impact of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the country? And in what key growth areas do we expect to deal with Japan in the next five years?”
USEC. ABELLA: Mayroon ano ‘no, mayroon namang pinu-pursue na ano… hindi naman pinu-pursue, but there are certain areas of agreement between Japan and the Philippines ‘no. Iyong mga business-to-business, ganoon, tapos emphasis on economic support. At nakita naman po natin that Japan has… Japan has decided ‘no, based on, I suppose, based also on the relationship between the President and the Prime Minister, maayos eh ‘no, kasi nakikita natin na—and the President, iyong ating Presidente is very Asian in the sense of putting value on relationships. Ganoon lang po din talaga ang relationship style niya, and mukhang maganda naman ang relasyon natin sa Japan, and so we can look forward to more progress ‘no, more progress especially nagbro-broaden ang ating mga—nagbro-broaden ang ating economic track.
MELANIE: Sir, mayroon pa pong follow up question si JP Bencito. Sabi niya, “Sir, can the public expect any changes on the President’s demeanor towards the US, following his assurance to Prime Minister Abe that there is a mutuality of interest to make sure that the United States will remain an influential force in the region, according to Secretary Jun Yasay?
USEC. ABELLA: Pakiulit iyong statement ni Secretary Yasay.
MELANIE: Sabi po ni Secretary Yasay there is a mutuality of interest to make sure that the United States will remain an influential force in this region.
USEC. ABELLA: The way I see it po, the way I… based on the President’s actuations in the past, when—he will… he especially gives respect, lalo na po when you’re also accorded respect ‘no. I think it’s based on a mutual respect, and I think that the mutual respect between Pres—presently, up to this point, that there seems to be a mutual respect between President-elect Trump and President Duterte. So naniniwala po ako na ganoon din po siguro ang pagpapatakbo ng ating mga relationships, na it’s a question of—the President is very keen that the Philippines is respected, and its sovereignty, its independent sovereignty is respected. So I expect… we can expect that given the fact that President-elect Trump seems to understand where President Duterte is coming from, I believe we will have a better relationship.
MELANIE: Sir, iyong next question ko naman po. Kasi noong last two days, January 12 to 13, nagdatingan na lahat iyong ating mga bisita sa Ms. Universe Organization, mga kandidata po, nandito na sa Pilipinas. Sa ngayon nga po ay nasa Boracay na sila. Ano po ang mensahe ng Malacañang dahil nagsisimula na po iyong mga aktibidades para sa 2016 coronation night ng Ms. Universe?
USEC. ABELLA: Let us enjoy this moment of—let us enjoy this particular moment when people are coming together and celebrating not just beauty, but also the empowerment of women. Iyon lang po ang masasabi ko.
MELANIE: Ah, sir, may schedule na po ba kung kalian imi-meet ni Pangulong Duterte ang ating mga Ms. Universe candidates?
USEC. ABELLA: Hindi ko po mako-confirm, but I can confirm it later.
MELANIE: Sige po.
USEC. ABELLA: Thank you.
MARIE: Sir, so tomorrow naman ang launching ng chairmanship ng ASEAN 2017, with the President himself leading the ceremony po. Mayroon po ba kayong mensahe rin sa ating mga kababayan, sir?
USEC. ABELLA: Ah, patungkol sa ASEAN ano. We appreciate and celebrate the fact na we are taking on the ASEAN leadership at chairmanship for this particular year, and we look forward to more fruitful and more… truly more fruitful achievements in the coming year, lalo na po sa regional cooperation.
MARIE: Okay. Maraming salamat, sir. Happy weekend.
MELANIE: Thank you po.
USEC. ABELLA: Happy weekend.
|SOURCE: NIB Transcription|