WEBB: Secretary, good to see you again. Welcome to the show as usual.
SEC. PANELO: Good morning.
WEBB: Let’s talk about Vice President Robredo being the Anti-drug Czar. She wants an increase in the budget of the ICAD. Is that possible?
SEC. PANELO: Not in this budget, because that has been already prepared in the previous year; kailangan niya siguro Kongreso.
WEBB: So, if she appeals as Secretary, dumiretso na siya sa mga Congressmen and Senators?
SEC. PANELO: Oo, kasi gawa na iyong budget eh for this year, ginawa pa last year iyon.
WEBB: And if there are possible realignment sir, that would have to come from both Houses of Congress.
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
WEBB: Kasi right now, pinasa na ng House sa Senado iyong budget.
SEC. PANELO: Nangako naman yata iyong mga ibang Senador at saka Kongresista sa kanya.
WEBB: Since, she took on the job. What’s your assessment so far, what are your thoughts on her being the Anti-drug Czar? It’s been more than a week ha?
SEC. PANELO: Ang assessment ko sa inyo, at saka sa lahat, masyado kayong nagmamadali, kakaupo lang noong Ale eh. Give her the chance, let her perform her job, saka na tayo mag-assess.
WEBB: When is the good time to assess? True it could be too early now.
SEC. PANELO: Six days pa lang naman, siyempre titingnan mo muna ang sitwasyon kung ano ang gagawin mo. Tama iyong ginagawa niya.
WEBB: You agree ha.
SEC. PANELO: Of course, kung ikaw ang nandoon, ano ang gagawin mo, siyempre you have to know the situation first. Kung kailangan mag-meeting muna lahat ng mga tao doon. Tapos hihingi ka ng mga advise sa ibang mga expert, saka ka ngayon gumawa ng sarili mong scheme, ganoon – tama iyon.
WEBB: So, iyong sinabi po ni—iyong ginagawa ni Vice President, that she’s meeting with the FBI, members of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, obviously, of the United States and officials of the UN office on drugs and crimes, you obviously agree with that, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Yes, because eh talaga namang mayroong coordination between this government and the American government with respect to that. Just to be informed, she has to inform herself. Paano siya gagawa kung hindi mo alam ang nangyayari?
WEBB: Palagay ninyo, iyon po bang pagpasok niya, you know, you see pictures like this, because lately hindi na masyadong nagbibigay ng statements masyado, si Vice President and you have US officials, you have UN officials – do you think that breeds—parang, is that giving new life to the government’s war on drug? Is that—maganda po ba iyon, does it paint a good picture?
SEC. PANELO: Iyong war on drugs continuing iyon at successful iyon. But since the VP said na para sa kanya ‘ineffective and then sabi niya let’s try different tact’, oh kaya sabi ni Presidente, baka mayroon kang mas maganda, oh di sige, this is your chance, oh iyon yun.
WEBB: I wanna put in the meeting, the statement of the US Embassy, sabi po nila, well of course they showed up upon the request of Vice President Leni Robredo. So, as I mentioned a while ago, you have officers of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, nandiyan din po iyong Department of State and US agency for international development. What do you think sir can possibly happen from meetings likes this? Moving forward – what can they give, what kind of partnership – do you see a stronger partnership between us and them?
SEC. PANELO: As I said earlier, educational iyon eh. She doesn’t know anything about it. So, that is the right step – knowing what are the facts; ano bang usapan ninyo, ano bang ginagawa ninyo. Eh kung ikaw nga naman eh, paano ka gagalaw kung hindi mo alam ang situation in your turf.
WEBB: Do you believed, as Secretary, na marami pong maitutulong si Vice President Leni Robredo, because if you look at the ICAD, there are four clusters, nandiyan iyong law enforcement, justice, rehabilitation, etc, sir. Where is she best suited for example doon sa mga clusters under the ICAD?
SEC. PANELO: Alam mo lahat ng tao mayroong puwedeng itulong. Let us not underestimate or diminish the capability of any person. I’m sure mayroon siyang maitutulong doon. Iyong mga clusters na iyon, may kanya-kanya silang ideas on how to do it, eh baka si VP Leni mayroon din, mas mabuti iyong. Di ba sabi nila mas marami iyong ulo, mas maganda.
WEBB: Sabi po ni Speaker Alan Cayetano from Oplan Tokhang, naging Oplan ‘all talk’ daw, do you agree?
SEC. PANELO: Iyon ang opinion ni Speaker Alan – may kanya-kanya tayong opinion eh – now Speaker. Eh, kung iyan ang kanyang pananaw, ano ang magagawa natin. Eh ako ang pananaw ko naman, tama iyong ginagawa niya.
WEBB: Okay, a number of things, sir, you have Phelim Kine, former Deputy Director of the Human Rights Watch, tweeting and basically saying that his bags are packed. He is ready to go to the Philippines. But if he had one suggestion, sabi niya, is to recommend the arrest of the President and those responsible for instigating this mass murder, first, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Did you say he is ready to pack? He better unpack. We will not be allowed entry here. You know, why he has already reached conclusion that this is a murderous country, ano bang klase iyan. He has no business coming here.
WEBB: On what grounds would you say, because I know that DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin said he is not gonna be allowed entry. I know that Secretary Salvador Panelo said, DFA Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin is right. Kailangan po ba may ‘grounds’ na sabihin na hindi ka puwedeng pumasok dito?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, discretionary na iyan sa bawat bansa, kung ayaw natin ng isang taong pumasok sa atin eh. We have that absolute right.
WEBB: You can refuse entry?
SEC. PANELO: Privilege lang iyang pagpunta mo eh.
WEBB: You can refuse entry to anybody?
SEC. PANELO: Of course.
WEBB: But you know, you have Secretary Guevarra, not so keen or not so fast rather in saying that ay hindi puwedeng papasukin si Phelim Kine. Sabi po niya, it will be prudent to comment, it would be not be prudent rather to comment unless we know the purpose and parameters of his visit.
SEC. PANELO: Eh di ba, eh sinabi na nga niya iyong purpose eh.
WEBB: To help in the war on drugs.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi lang to help – ipaaresto mo iyong Presidente ninyo.
WEBB: ‘If I were to advise you.’
SEC. PANELO: Iyon ang purpose you – that’s intruding in to our sovereignty.
WEBB: So, for sure, hindi ho siya talaga makakapasok.
SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi makakapasok, kaya mag-unpack na siya.
WEBB: what about other investigator sir, na puwedeng pumasok dito, let say members of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Agnes Callamard, iyong mga—those personalities, sir?
SEC. PANELO: You know, Pinky, the problem with them is they have already prejudged the situation in this country, kaya hindi pupuwede silang pumunta rito. Kailangan bago ka pumunta open-minded ka, objective ka, hindi iyong mayroon ka na kaagad conclusions eh – papano iyon? Naging ano ka na, judge-jury at the same time, tapos po-prosecute ka pa.
WEBB: So, who would not be allowed sir, who else will not be allowed entry to the Philippines?
SEC. PANELO: Eh di iyong mga taong mayroon na kaagad naunang paghatol sa ‘di umanong pangyayari sa bansa na wala naman sila rito in the first place.
WEBB: Such as – who would you name?
SEC. PANELO: Oh eh di iyong kung sino man iyong mga nagsalita laban sa gobyerno na merong nangyayari ditong hindi para sa kanila tama, with respect to so-called extra-judicial killings.
WEBB: Okay, cabinet meeting: Will the Vice President sir, attend – you know when we spoke upon her acceptance of the post, sabi mo ay puwede siyang pumunta, mamayang gabi mayroon kaming cabinet meeting, I remember you told me that you are in a phone patch, sir – puwede naman siya pumunta. However, Senator Bong Go says she can only attend if there’s an agenda on drugs, when there’s talk on drugs.
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, the President told me that.
WEBB: Okay, what did he say?
SEC. PANELO: And she should be happy kasi if you remember in the cabinet, kapag nandoon ka, magtitiyaga ka roon hanggang madaling araw makikinig ka, eh hindi mo naman turf. Mas mabuti kung ang pag-uusapan iyong sa teritoryo mo nandoon ka, pero kung wala maniwala ka, she should be thankful.
WEBB: You said the President told you that also?
SEC. PANELO: Yeah.
WEBB: Ano sabi sa iyo ni Presidente, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Sinabi niya nga, kasi sinabi ko, imbitahan mo ba, oo, iimbitahan ko basta tungkol sa kanyang drug operation.
WEBB: As long as the agenda on drugs.
SEC. PANELO: Pero kung hindi naman, hindi naman kailangan. Sabi ko ang suwerte niya.
WEBB: Pero, sir did he say when this would possibly be taken up, the agenda on drug?
SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi niya sinabi, but sinabi niya sa akin na I will invite her.
(SEN. BONG GO) Pero sa pagka-alam ko, parang wala pa pong plano na ipapatawag at isasama sa gabinete. Maybe kung pag-uusapan na po iyong droga. Pero if, wala naman po sa agenda, if nothing to do with drugs, ay hindi po.
WEBB: So pareho kayo ni Senator Bong Go. Sir, the question is, iyong ganoon din po ba iyong aksyon sa ibang mga secretaries, pag nasa agenda iyong kanilang areas of expertise or job description ay hindi sila imbitado or only the Vice President?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ordinarily nga—kasi hindi naman everytime kailangan nandoon, dahil kung mayroon kang lakad, tinatanong ka naman, tinatanong ka, puwede ka ba rito on this particular day, hindi ka puwede, di sabihin mo. Pero maniwala ka, she should be thankful, mahirap ang um-attend, she should know that.
WEBB: Yeah, okay so andoon na po tayo, again she should be thankful, she’s not to sit through this cabinet meeting, baka naman wala sa agenda. Again, but my question is, doon ba sa mga cabinet secretaries na wala sa agenda iyong kanilang pag-uusapan, mayroon din ho bang ganoong order na pupunta lang sila kapag nasa agenda?
SEC. PANELO: Members of the cabinet have the option to attend or not to attend.
WEBB: Pero mahihiya ka naman ata kay Pangulong hindi mag-attend ‘no?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman, bakit kung mayroon kang mas mahalagang bagay na gagawin at hindi ka naman kailangan doon, bakit ka naman pupunta?
WEBB: Who sets the agenda for the cabinet meeting?
SEC. PANELO: Di iyong cabinet Secretary.
WEBB: How do you guys know?
SEC. PANELO: Oh di sinasabihan kami.
WEBB: So, are there instances?
SEC. PANELO: Kasi you have to request eh.
WEBB: Tell us more about that, okay.
SEC. PANELO: If you want to present anything, you want to discuss a subject then you will request the cabinet secretary to put it in the agenda – iyon.
WEBB: And then who approves it.
SEC. PANELO: Oh eh di iyong cabinet Secretary, siya ang mag i-schedule.
WEBB: Pero kanino po ipinapasa ng Cabinet Secretary?
SEC. PANELO: Di siya ang maglalabas ng—ire-release na niya ngayon kung ano ang agenda. Ordinarily a day before or two days before, pero iyong mga nag-request alam na nila siyempre.
WEBB: And they have to be ready. All right we will be taking a short break, we’re going to talk about build, build programs. Is it a success or failure?
WEBB: Sir, Build, Build, Build Program of the Duterte administration. Senator Franklin Drilon calls it a dismal failure. In fact, he said it’s premature but at this point, it’s a little bit slow.
SEC. PANELO: Sabi ko nga sa statement ko, I admire his effrontery. Coming from one—
WEBB: What is that word, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Effrontery. Coming from one who is identified with the previous administration who has a zero accomplishment in infrastructure such chutzpah can only be matched by his ignorance. Ang dami-dami eh—
WEBB: Do you write those?
SEC. PANELO: Yes. You know when—during the press briefing, binasa ko iyong … it took me ten minutes nga eh, iyong mga ginagawa. There are how many, 35 constructions ongoing; there are 32 that will be started within six and eight months; and then there are 21 in the advance stages of approval by the government; twenty-two yata iyong feasibility. Tapos out of this, there will be 38 completed within the term of the President.
WEBB: A total of—sabi po ni Secretary Dizon, 38 projects are ongoing; 32 commenced construction; 21 are in the advanced stages of approval by the NEDA; and there are 38 ongoing projects expected to be finished by the end of the Duterte administration.
SEC. PANELO: Oo, kaya ano iyong sinasabi niyang dismal failure? Baka siya ang dismal failure, as an opposition.
WEBB: He is. You know, sir—
SEC. PANELO: You said that.
SEC. PANELO: I agree.
WEBB: Hindi, mine was a question mark. You said, “Baka siya ang dismal failure.” And I said, “He is?” Sir, you have Senator Kiko Pangilinan saying this, let’s listen—all right, I don’t think that’s available right now. But we’ll wait for that. Actually, what he was saying was… let me just translate that, “Well, maliwanag na hindi iyon totoo – iyong sinabi ni Secretary – kaya nakakalungkot na ang Spokesperson ay nagsasabi nang hindi totoo.” Because sabi mo naman ay zero infrastructure.
SEC. PANELO: Eh totoo naman. Ano ba, sige nga sabihin nila, ano ba iyong na-accomplish ng previous administration?
WEBB: Upon checking, sir, you have Abby Valte, the Spokesperson of the Aquino administration, ito po, it’s coming from the officialgazette.gov.ph: Aquino administration projects to be completed during the next administration. This is actually a copy of—
SEC. PANELO: To be completed.
WEBB: No, no, sir. This is the copy. I had it printed out ‘no. Mayroon pong for completion, mayroon din pong mga completed. For example, the Tignon-Goa-San Jose-Lagonoy-Guijalo Tourism Road—
SEC. PANELO: Major projects?
WEBB: July 2016. Well, these are just some of the projects that they had listed down. And mayroon pa pong September 26, access road Batangas.
SEC. PANELO: Eh kung iku-compare mo, walang ano…it pales in comparison sa mga major projects ng gobyerno.
WEBB: When you talk about that, I guess what you’re saying are big ticket project, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, of course.
WEBB: But a lot of the projects are also… rather, airports were initiated by the Aquino administration. Would you agree, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Hanggang ngayon wala pa. ‘Di ba, inaayos nga ng administrasyon.
WEBB: But ang sinabi ninyo ho kasi ay ‘zero infrastructure’ kaya ang sabi nila that’s not true. Would you care to change that, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Figure of speech.
WEBB: Aah, now it’s a figure of speech.
SEC. PANELO: Kumbaga nag-i-exaggerate sila, ini-exaggerate ko rin nang konti; I’m just throwing their own words to them.
WEBB: Okay. Sir, I’m going to move forward to this Speaker term sharing. Matutuloy ho ba ito? Kasi we had Speaker Alan Cayetano also—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba sinabi—sinabi ko na nga at sinabi na nga ni Presidente eh, nasa sa kanila iyon. Unang-una—
WEBB: Hands off? Sir, hands off policy?
SEC. PANELO: Teka muna. Unang-una, hindi naman si Presidente ang nag-decide noon. Lumapit sila kay Presidente, si Presidente naman, ‘Gusto ninyo mag-sharing na lang kayo.’ Pumayag naman sila, nasa kanila pa rin iyon eh. After all, sino ba ang nag-i-elect kung hindi sila-sila rin. Si Presidente kasi hindi nakikialam eh.
WEBB: Kaya nga, it’s a hands off policy, sir? Kahit na mayroong usapan na 15-21—
SEC. PANELO: Unless they, again, go to him and seek his advice.
WEBB: And in all likelihood, is that going to happen, sir?
SEC. PANELO: I do not know. I cannot read the minds of the lawmakers.
WEBB: Sir, palagay ninyo? Because they did go to the President prior to this, right?
SEC. PANELO: Oo. Siguro iyon ang mali nila. Bakit pa kailangan silang pumunta kay Presidente, puwede naman silang mag-decide.
WEBB: But, Secretary, let’s be frank: If the President says, it’s 15 to 21 iyong term sharing, hindi ho ba – I’m asking ha – hindi ho ba dapat ninyong panindigan iyon at ituloy iyon?
SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, hindi naman si Presidente ang nag-decide. Nag-suggest lang siya doon at tinanggap nila ang suggestion. So sino ba ang nagdesisyon? Eh di sila rin; it’s not the President.
WEBB: Yes, but it was suggested by the President. Hence, my question—
SEC. PANELO: Because they asked him.
WEBB: Dapat bang ituloy?
SEC. PANELO: Because they asked him, hindi ba?
WEBB: Sige, let me rephrase it: If they go on a vote at hindi po ituloy iyong 15-21 term sharing, would the President be okay with that?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba sinabi niya, hindi ako makikialam. Obvious naman iyong salita niya.
WEBB: So ibig sabihin nasa mga congressman talaga?
SEC. PANELO: Nasa kanila na iyon. Kasi ultimately, they will be the ones choosing eh.
WEBB: And either one of them or even the other candidates in the past, sir, kasi I remember before halos lima iyong tatakbo sanang Speaker of the House. Okay si Presidente kahit sino?
SEC. PANELO: At saka alam mo, ultimately ang barometro diyan o ang test niyan ay iyong Kongreso gawin ninyo iyong trabaho ninyo kahit sino ang leader ninyo diyan. Hindi naman importante kung sino ang leader, kung ano ang ginagawa ninyo bilang mga kinatawan ng inyong mga distrito—
WEBB: Is the President happy so far? They passed the budget, sabi nga nila; and there are surveys that said about 62 or 64 percent are happy with the Speaker of the House. Iyon po kasing sinasabi ng ilang allies ni Speaker Alan Cayetano that—
SEC. PANELO: Basta ma-approve mo iyong budget, siyempre you’re happy na maaga ‘di ba.
WEBB: What else does the President want Congress to prioritize, sir?
SEC. PANELO: To do their work.
WEBB: Yes, what work?
SEC. PANELO: Aba eh kung ano iyong urgent na sinertipay [certify] niya eh di dapat iyon ang bigyan nila ng pansin.
WEBB: You’re watching The Source on CNN Philippines; our guest today, Secretary Salvador Panelo.
During the break I was asking him, for those who are watching us on Facebook, because the Secretary sends out text messages to members of the media, including myself ‘no. And I was asking kung ikaw talaga ang nagsusulat noon.
SEC. PANELO: Of course.
WEBB: For example, iyong kay Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
SEC. PANELO: Of course. Ginawa ko iyon during dinner, kagabi.
WEBB: And how long does it take you to respond to something like that, to write something like that?
SEC. PANELO: Minutes.
WEBB: Ganoon po kabilis?
SEC. PANELO: Eh kasi naman I’ve been there for the last 35 years ‘di ba. Having clients, controversial clients, you have to respond immediately.
WEBB: Sir, I need to clarify what you said—
SEC. PANELO: Figure of speech?
SEC. PANELO: Kasi gumamit siya ng ‘dismal’ eh, oh di binalik ko sa kaniya. Oh sige, zero accomplishment kayo.
WEBB: But who said that was a figure of speech from the Senate Minority Leader, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ako ang nagsasabi iyong—kasi sabi nila, mayroon din naman kami – oo, mga minor. Pero kung ikukumpara mo, sa inyo ‘zero.’ Kasi gumamit siya ng ‘dismal’ eh para bang wala nang nagawa. Oh di ginamitan ko rin sila ng zero accomplishment.
WEBB: Pero hindi zero, sir, to be clear?
SEC. PANELO: Eh kung iyong maliliit na bagay, hindi nga zero – less zero.
WEBB: No, sir, seriously. I mean, kidding aside, it’s not zero, right?
SEC. PANELO: No, but kung ikukumpara mo kasi, malayung-malayo eh, malayung-malayo.
WEBB: But they did projects under the Aquino administration.
SEC. PANELO: Oo, na hindi natapos. Ngayon tinatapos na ng administrasyon. My point is, ang problema kasi sa inyo, naghahanap kayo ng mali.
WEBB: Sino ang naghahanap ng mali?
SEC. PANELO: Eh di iyong mga kritiko. Humanap kayo ng mabuti. Pareho rin ng media. Kasi sabi niya dismal failure, sinagot ko naman iyon pero ang hinedline [headline] pa rin ay dismal failure eh pinakita ko naman na ang dami-daming projects, ang dami nang nagawa.
WEBB: Well not just yourself, sir, also Secretary Vince Dizon. Of course, he had a press conference yesterday in Malacañang, talking about the flagship programs of Duterte administration. I believe from 75, medyo umakyat pa yata ng 100.
Emergency powers, before I forget, something Congress Joey Salceda is, you know, wants to put forward.
SEC. PANELO: I haven’t asked the President about that. Ang alam ko lang iyong sa traffic, na ayaw niya.
WEBB: Ayaw na niya iyon. Yeah, clear na tayo doon. Pero ito kaya, sir, you don’t know yet? It’s something that—
SEC. PANELO: I have to ask the President.
WEBB: Sir, what happened – on a last note – with the President? You said that – you can clarify this – he was going to take three days off tapos hindi naman daw. Ano ho ba ang nangyari?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, klinir [clear] ko na iyan sa media. Na ang una ko kasing sinabi, iyong tatlo kami na nag-uusap sa wake yata—
WEBB: Sino kayong tatlo, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Si Presidente at saka si Bong Go. Kasi tinanong ko, sabi ko, ‘Mr. President, tuloy ba iyong rest mo?” Ang sumagot ay si Senator Bong. Sabi niya, ‘mga Tuesday mag-start ng rest, parang two or three days pero trabaho pa rin.’ Kaya iyon ang sinabi ko sa media eh. Hindi kako certain iyon ha. Kasi, ‘magpa-file ba ng leave?’ Sabi ko hindi certain kung ano, depende lahat kay Presidente iyon, subject to change without prior notice. Iyon naman talaga eh.
Because, you know, the President knows his body. Pareho natin, alam natin kung kaya ba natin o hindi.
WEBB: At alam natin kung kailangan magpahinga.
SEC. PANELO: Kasi si Presidente kasi kapag nandito—pareho natin, kung nasa opisina talaga tayo, mahirap magpahinga after working kasi ang daming distraction. Pero kung nasa bahay, medyo mas okay doon. But he continues to do his work.
WEBB: So he is in Davao, still working. So hindi na tuloy iyong three days? Tama ho ba?
SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, wala namang three days. Parang ano lang iyon, nag aano ka lang eh… baka sakali, baka ganoon ang gagawin niya. Kagaya kahapon, the whole time nagtatrabaho siya, paper work. Ang dami niya backlog eh, iyon nga ang sabi niya eh.
WEBB: Ang daming backlog? You just arrived from a trip ha.
SEC. PANELO: Alam mo, parehung-pareho kami eh. Dalawang biyahe eh. Alam mo kapag nagbiyahe ka, tatambakan ka talaga eh kasi ang daming sumusulat, you have to respond to all of them. Pagdating mo, ‘Oh my God,’ aabot ka doon ng alas otso …
WEBB: Yeah. So he needs to catch up on that?
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, he needs to read. Ang dami niyang binabasa eh. Iyon lang mga bawat departamento, ang hirap magbasa.
WEBB: But he’s okay? His health is okay?
SEC. PANELO: If you say okay perfectly normal, it’s not. Kasi di ba ang dami niyang nararamdaman. Pero if you will look at him, like the wakes that he attended, tatlo—
WEBB: Tatlo sa Heritage, sir.
SEC. PANELO: Aba’y nagpaalam ako, iniwan ko siya on the third… alas dos na nandoon pa siya eh. Animated pa iyong kaniyang …
WEBB: I think he stayed until 3 A.M. in one of the wakes.
SEC. PANELO: Oo, kaya nga. Alas dos nga ako umalis noon eh. On the third wake na iyon.
WEBB: All right. We’d like to thank Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and of course, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Sir, maraming salamat.
SEC. PANELO: Thank you for having me.
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)