Interview with Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan by Howie Severino – News to Go, GMA 7

HOWIE:                                               …(recording starts). bakanalilimutan ng mga kababayan natin a lot of this is cultural ‘no—

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes.

HOWIE:                                               From the opening ceremony to what you were just emceeing earlier—

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes.

HOWIE:                                               May press conference kung saan nga ikaw ang nagmo-moderate doon po sa ASEAN music festival, may kumakanta pa ng opera na naka-tattoo—

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes, that’s right.

HOWIE:                                               So a lot of the side activities are actually non-political—

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes.

HOWIE:                                               They are cultural where there is not much disagreements.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes that’s right. Magkakaroon tayo ng ASEAN Music Festival tomorrow, November 14, 7 p.m., sa Ayala Triangle Gardens. And we will be featuring 9 music artists from all—

HOWIE:                                               All the member’s state.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes. Excluding Singapore kasi hindi siya makapunta but that still 9 different artists from Lao, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei. So viewers, Filipinos will be able to listen to the kind of music which is really beautiful.

HOWIE:                                               So while all of these is being prepared eh nag-uusap na iyong mga world leaders ‘no. So sabi mo kanina, there were some—there was an error in the announcement about bilateral between President Donald Trump and President Duterte-

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes.

HOWIE:                                               Because in the original schedule that’s—that would be this morning.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes, kasi nandito po sa[D?]11. But it’s not 11. So the DFA will be announcing the correct time of the US bilats.

HOWIE:                                               Okay so it’s—but it’s definitely today, early afternoon?

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes.

HOWIE:                                               Okay. Ano iyong nasa top of the agenda? Is there some guessing game about what they’re going to be actually talking about?

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Alright. So today is the summit proper. And in the summit proper, they will be discussing a moving forward, what is the ASEAN vision for 2025. They’ll also be announcing the new Secretary General. So right now what’s happening is still the opening speech. So after the opening speech then they will be discussing the vision for 2025. And then they’ll be announcing the new Secretary General for ASEAN.

HOWIE:                                               Iyong isang inaabangan kung ano iyong pag-uusapan ni Pangulong Duterte at ng Chinese premier, his delegation. So ano ba iyong latest na balita diyan especially about the Code of Conduct whether it’s—there’s gonna be agreement on the legally binding code. Anong lumalabas diyan?

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes. So actually nagkaroon tayo ng framework of Code of Conduct noong August. And today what’s going to happen between the Philippine-China bilats is we’re going to discuss the announcement of the negotiations on the Code of Conduct. So it’s still a long way, Howie—

HOWIE:                                               The process—

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   We’re going toward to that direction. This is a good step. We’re going to negotiation stage already.

HOWIE:                                               Okay doon sa speech ni Pangulong Duterte ano. He mentioned that terrorism, piracy and the illegal drug trade—

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes.

HOWIE:                                               I supposed this is going to be talking… He’s gonna be raising those issues with this—with the dialogue partners and with the ASEAN members themselves.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   That’s correct. So the issues raised by the President will be discuss during the ASEAN Summit proper as well as with the meetings with the dialogue partners and of course the otherobserver states.

HOWIE:                                               Okay. Of course there’s the thorny topic of human rights ‘no. Hanggang saan ba iyong puwedeng ibanggit—banggitin iyon ng mga ibang countries dito?

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Human right is the topic of 31stASEAN, Howie.In fact they will besigning a consensus on protecting this human rights of migrant workers within the ASEAN region. So—

HOWIE:                                               So ginanap iyan kay Pangulong Duterte.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes! It will signed either today or tomorrow.

HOWIE:                                               Kasi kapag napag-usapan iyong drug trade and illegal drugs and the threat of narcotics in the different countries here in the ASEAN. Baka mapag-usapan din iyong drug war dito sa Pilipinas and of course there are supposedly human rights violations connected to that. Puwede pang ma raise yun ng ibang countries dito?

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Yes posibleng ma-raise but to the extent of anong pag-uusapan nila, Howie, hindi natin alam kasi there are several meetings throughout the day with China, with the US, with Australia, with India. So we will see kung gaano ka in-depth iyong discussion nila on terrorism, on human rights and on security in the region.

HOWIE:                                               Okay, we’ll be talking to you again for an update.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Sure.

HOWIE:                                               On this issues and then discussions at the ASEAN summit. Maraming salamat po sa iyong panahon. Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan.

ASEC. ABLAN:                                   Salamat, Howie.