July 17, 2016 – Interview with Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar
Q: Magandang umaga, sir. Welcome po sa Radyo ng Bayan.
SEC. ANDANAR: Good morning, Albert. Good morning sa lahat ng nakikinig po sa ating himpilan sa Radyo ng Bayan. Mabuhay po tayong lahat.
Q: Alright, sir. Let’s go ahead with the questions po. Mula naman po kay Jo Montemayor ng Malaya. Ang tanong po niya: Are there contentious issues in the proposed FOI EO and what is causing the delay of its signing?
SEC. ANDANAR: Hello, Jo. Can you hear me?
Q: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Opo, sir. Clear po, sir.
SEC. ANDANAR: Hi, Jo ng Malaya. Wala naman contentious issues doon sa Freedom of Information executive order. As a matter of fact ay na-finalize na ito. Dumaan na ito sa ating legal counsel, sa pangunguna po ni Secretary Panelo. Ito rin po ay dumaan na sa mga abogado po, sa Executive Secretary at kay [Quitain?].
Ang nangyari po last week ay we were overtaken by the event. Like for instance the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. So doon po tayo nakatutok lahat. But this week, sisikapin po natin na mapirmahan ng Pangulo.
Q: Alright, sir. On another topic, ang tanong po: On Peter Lim, sir. He claimed he was not the same person who was referred to as the drug lord. Do we encourage other persons also named as Peter Lim to come out and subject themselves to investigation to the field?
SEC. ANDANAR: The alleged drug lord Peter Lim has come out in the open. He cleared his name and he has expressed his intention to the President that he will do just that. Now, the burden now is in Peter Lim and we do encourage the rest of the suspects to do the same.
Q: Alright. Follow up question po: Will the President apologize if proven that the Peter Lim who surfaced was really innocent?
SEC. ANDANAR: Let’s just wait until the final investigation comes out. Let’s just wait for Mr. Peter Lim’s evidence and what he can show to clear him from this allegation.
Q: Alright, okay, sir. Question naman po galing kay Giovanni Nilles of PhilStar. Question po niya: How are the SONA preparations going? What can the Filipinos expect?
SEC. ANDANAR: Hi, Giovannni from PhilStar. Good morning. The preparations for the first State of the Nation Address of the President is underway as we have seen in news releases last week.
Tomorrow, Monday, expect the office of the incoming Speaker Bebot Alvarez, expect the Presidential Communications Office, myself and the director, the Cannes winning, award-winning director Brillante Mendoza to be with us.
By the way, just to clarify, the reactions of the other people in the social media, has been negative about Brillante Mendoza. The great director is doing this pro bono, for free. Wala pong bayad si director Mendoza. If you have such a great talent like him who can volunteer his work at kung meron pa pong iba na gustong mag-volunteer, you are welcome at the Presidential Communications Office to contribute your inputs by making the State of Nation Address of President Duterte a meaningful one.
Q: Alright, sir. Another question po from Giovanni. Tanong po niya: Will the task force on media killings also investigate the killings during the previous administrations?
SEC. ANDANAR: Right now, we have the 20/20 hindsight of what happened in the previous years. But most important is we get through this task force versus, against media killings and once we have this signed, once we have this task by the President, the administrative order. Then, it’s a very positive direction for us to be able to investigate, to be able to seek justice for those who has been victims of extra judicial media killings and that’s the point, that’s the objective, that’s the goal of this to put a final period or exclamation point in finding out the root of these unnecessary and illegal killings of our brothers and sisters in the media.
Sa ngayon po ay tapos na rin po ‘yung draft ng administrative order and the legal counsel led by the Secretary Panelo and the other lawyers under the Office of the Executive Secretary are scheduled to do this for the President’s approval.
Q: Alright, sir. May follow up lang din po si Giovanni: Will it urge for the early resolution of the Maguindanao massacre case and who are the people that will compose this group?
SEC. ANDANAR: Can you repeat the question, Albert, please?
Q: Ang tanong po niya: Will it urge for the early resolution of the Maguindanao massacre case? And who are the people that will compose this group?
SEC. ANDANAR: Of course. That has always been the cry of people in the media and concerned quarters that our country and we will advise, we will recommend to the President that the past cases should be reviewed and you know what they say that justice denied is certainly injustice.
And, it’s about time, I believe that current Secretary of the Department of Justice also would agree to me that we should hasten all of the past cases and give justice to those families who have been victimized by the overdue process, the overdue process.
Q: Alright. Sir, mula naman po kay Marlon Ramos ng Inquirer. Ang question niya, sir: President Duterte has said that he will kill Peter Lim if he ever set foot in the country. Why did he let Lim live?
SEC. ANDANAR: I’m sorry. Why did—?
Q: Why did he let Lim live? Meaning the President daw po?
SEC. ANDANAR: Well, the alleged suspect, drug lord suspect, Peter Lim has already expressed his intentions to clear his name, let’s leave it at that.
Q: Alright, sir. Follow up po mula kay Marlon: Critics said only poor drug users or pushers are being killed while the big-time drug lords are still scot-free. Pag mayaman, may due process, pero pag mahirap walang due process. What’s your reaction to this?
SEC. ANDANAR: Well, as we can see that the President has even named the Level 5 drug lords. Level 5 drug lords or alleged drug lords are the highest that you can get in the hierarchy of those who are selling, pushing, peddling illegal drugs.
Now, as far as I can remember in the history, I have not seen a president who has been so brave in announcing to the public the people who have been or allegedly are behind this menace of drugs.
Q: Alright. Sir another question: Si Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach is scheduled to meet with the President. I think tomorrow, sir. May details na po ba tayo tungkol sa pulong na ‘yan sir?
SEC. ANDANAR: Yeah. Meron kaming meeting. At ‘yung gagawin ni Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach na courtesy call to the President. Kasama po diyan si Secretary Wanda Teo, ito po’y mangyayari sa Palasyo at nandoon po ako. Ako po’y magiging isa sa mga magiging saksi nitong courtesy call kay President. Then let’s see how it goes, let’s see how it comes out.
Q: Alright, sir. Question ho ulit mula kay Jo. Ang tanong niya: Any new appointment by the President?
SEC. ANDANAR: Wala pa po sa akin ‘yung listahan, sa harapan ko. Pero I’m sure that there are already names in the list of new appointees. Let’s find out tomorrow, first thing.
Q: Alright. Another question po mula kay Jo: What can you say about the criticism against the recent choices of the President? Some expressed doubts on the capabilities of his appointment and think of this as mere political accommodations and a show of gratitude for their support during the campaign?
SEC. ANDANAR: The appointment or appointments until — are merely rumors until the appointments are signed. So far, wala pa po naman akong nakikitang mga signed appointments of those who have been heavily criticized by the public. But then again if the president wishes to appoint anyone that the president deems credible. Then we leave the wisdom behind those to the President. I am sure that meron pong, meron po namang… marami sa ating Pilipino ang nakakaintindi doon sa tinatawag na presidential prerogative.
Q: Sir, meron lang pong follow up si Marlon. Sabi niya: Sorry po, pero hindi daw po nasagot ‘yung tanong na pang-mayaman lang ba ang due process under the Duterte administration?
SEC. ANDANAR: Siguro, ‘yan kasing mga ganyang tanong ay it has to be supported by facts, by evidence, by empirical evidence. Siguro what Marlon can do is to present all of his evidence na ‘yung mga nagiging biktima ay pawang mga users ‘no. As far as we know, the operation of the Philippine National Police has always been in pursuit of those who are peddling and pushing drugs.
Q: Sir, follow up din ni Marlon: Are there other drug personalities who met with the President in Davao after Peter Lim?
SEC. ANDANAR: I am not privy to the meetings of the President in Davao.
What I know is that I’ve seen the matrix and the drug matrix of those who are highly, allegedly involved in the sale of illegal drugs. What I can only tell you, that if you see the matrix, you’ll probably say that it is really unbelievable that ganon kadami, na ganon kadami na ‘yung mga involved at masusuka ka pag makikita mo kasi talagang kung titingnan niyo po ‘yung datos na ipinakita ng PDEA, conservative na 1.8 million people na involved po sa droga. At makikita mo po ‘yung mangilan-ngilang mga personalidad na involved po sa pagbenta, paglalako ng droga ay napakasakit po tingnan. Kakaunti lang po ‘yung involved pero ‘yung halos milyon-milyon mga kababayan natin, kabataan ang nasisira ang buhay. Hindi pa kasama ang kanilang pamilya.
Q: Alright, sir. So far, sir wala na po tayong natatanggap na — Wait. Meron pa pong follow up mula kay Marlon. Tanong niya: When will the President name the local officials who are also involved in the illegal drug trade? Before SONA po ba?
SEC. ANDANAR: Marlon, in time. Sigurado po ako. I-announce din po ng President ‘yung iba pang mga suspek, ‘yung iba pang mga persons of interest. Sa ngayon po, what we can do is enjoy the rest of whatever is left of our Sunday. Salamat, Albert.
Q: Alright. Well, ‘yun nga, sir. Wala na po tayong tanong. Any more message sir para sa ating mga taga-pakinig at sa ating mga kasama mula sa MPC?
SEC. ANDANAR: Abangan po natin ang susunod na linggo starting tomorrow. I assure marami pong announcement na gagawin ang ating Palasyo at marami pong magagandang mangyayari, mga preparasyon para po sa State of the Nation Address.
We should all move forward. We should all work hard for a greater Philippines, a better country. Salamat po.
Q: Alright. With that, sir, marami pong salamat sa inyong oras na binigay po sa bayan, sir.
SEC. ANDANAR: Thank you. Thank you, Albert. Mabuhay ka.