DAVILA: Secretary thank you so much for coming to the show. Thank you.
SEC. PANELO: Thank you for inviting me.
DAVILA: All right now, it’s historic for the Philippines that you have other Chinese President already kicking off his state visit today is the first day. And yet the Filipino people have spoken, just as the Filipino people have spoken with their support for President Dutete, they are quite clear that when it comes to the China issue, it says here, they don’t trust China. The trust rating for China is poor, very good for the US, moderate for Japan, Malaysia and Israel. 65% are aware of China’s abuses to Filipino fishermen, 87% of Filipinos want the Philippines to regain control of the islands occupied by China in the West Philippine Sea. What is President Duterte going to do about it now that Chinese President Xi Jinping in coming?
SEC. PANELO: Well, first, with respect to the SWS survey, I am not surprised after all we have been used to dealing with the US. In fact, we have been described as following… toeing the line of US policies.
Number two, perhaps the Filipinos by reason of criticism against the policy of the President are not aware of the real… the geo-politics in the region. You know, the President is a very cautious diplomat. He would not want to trigger any conflict in that area because if he does that, then we stand to be a flaming collateral damage in case of conflict, if not arranging inferno, if we become the object of an strategic assault.
So, rather than provoke, he’d rather talk with him and get some trade relations that will benefit this country.
DAVILA: Okay. Let me take you up on two points that you mentioned. First, you mentioned that in effect, the Filipino people don’t trust China, because you had said that we have been—
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, we have been used to US.
DAVILA: Okay. You are saying we have been used to the US. But it’s been two years. It’s been two years. The Filipino people at some point accepted the pivot to China. Could it be—I mean that you are not giving the Filipino people enough credit.
In 2016 Duterte left Beijing with 24 billion dollars in Chinese loans and investment pledges. And yet, no less than Secretary Diokno ha – a Cabinet member of this administration – said, it is time to pressure the Chinese bureaucracy to speed up the process. I mean, only a 167 million dollars from China have gotten off the ground, small projects – two bridges, one irrigation facility. 24 billion dollars were promised, could it be that—the Filipino people aren’t naïve, it’s that they see nothing.
SEC. PANELO: Perhaps yes. But you know—
DAVILA: I mean—
SEC. PANELO: We have to consider also that—
DAVILA: Shouldn’t this government listen to the Filipino people, they have spoken?
SEC. PANELO: Oh, it is listening. What I am saying is that it is not that easy to get investments from China or for that matter—
DAVILA: They pledged 24 billion dollars—
SEC. PANELO: Yes, I know. But the bureaucracy in China – as well as in the Philippines – is also difficult. You know I have a friend or some friends who are trying to get some projects in China but it’s almost two years they could not get, why? One, it’s very difficult in China—
SEC. PANELO: And it’s also difficult here. There are so many requirements, stringent. So, it takes a little time. That’s why one analyst said that it’s reassuring that—it takes a longer time, because they are looking at all the conditions, the terms.
DAVILA: Yeah. But the only reason you said that’s reassuring, that particular professor, is because many fear that we might end up in a debt trap with China. I mean a 2% interest rate, that’s a commercial loan over let say Japan’s .25%.
So, question needs to be asked: why do we trust China this much, when they haven’t yet really shown the Duterte administration that you know what—you President Duterte has professed his love for China in his earlier speeches when he won in 2016 and yet China has not delivered.
SEC. PANELO: Well—precisely, that is why the President of China is here. There will be talks, there will be negotiations and that will be touched upon during the talks.
DAVILA: Okay. What is the agenda of the President’s—his talks with Chinese President, what is the top priority?
SEC. PANELO: Well for one, this is to—his visit would further strengthen the relations between the two countries. Number two, they will be discussing the common problems in the region – security for instance, the terrorism and then they will be talking about – as you said earlier, about the trade relations between the two countries. These are the things that they will be discussing.
DAVILA: Is the President going to already put a condition on China on certain matters regarding the West Philippine Sea? Like for example, it’s already been revealed that you have Chinese fishermen or the Coastguard asking Filipino fishermen to surrender their catch or part of their catch. Will the President bring this up?
SEC. PANELO: Well, definitely that will be part of the discussions.
DAVILA: How do you know, did he say it that he would bring it up?
SEC. PANELO: Because there have been complaints. Necessarily, the President will have to touch on that. Secondly, you must remember there is now a discussion among ASEAN countries about the Code of Conduct with respect to the navigation as well as the over flight. They want to know exactly what China wants with them, with respect to these issues. They will have to sit down and the President is the head coordinator of the ASEAN countries.
DAVILA: So, is the Code of Conduct a major agenda in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit?
SEC. PANELO: I think so. Because the President wants to know exactly: what are your terms, what do you want. Because as of now, they are saying: this is ours. But we have to use that too and many countries want to use that.
DAVILA: Secretary, take us behind the scene first so we understand. How does the President prepare for things like this? Because I am not about to read to you the basics of like, okay there’s a wreath laying, he’s gonna do that. That’s all given right? Okay, events in Malacañang. There is a wreath laying ceremony in Rizal Park in Manila. Okay, welcome by the House Speaker, so and so.
But take us what kind of briefing does President Duterte get? I mean, this is Chinese President Xi Jinping, he can demand, he can ask, he can set conditions. How do you guys brief the President? In other words, does he sit down and do you have, Mr. President one, two, three, four, five to ten, this as to be brought up. How this it go, sir?
SEC. PANELO: First, the President is a very studious thinking President, he studies, he learns, he reads a lot. And even during the conferences among countries he and the President of China talks on the sidelines. And when you said, the President can demand about the common concerns—
DAVILA: No, I am just asking, will he demand anything as I mean conditions set up—go ahead, go ahead.
SEC. PANELO: As I was saying, the common concerns, the common problems will be discussed by both leaders. And when you said that this President of China will demand and impose conditions, excuse me, not with our President. This is a different President. In fact the leaders of ASEAN countries are in awe of this President because he is such a brutally frank person and he has a very independent policy. He is careful, pragmatic, but don’t underestimate this man.
DAVILA: Okay. In saying ‘don’t underestimate President Duterte.’ What did he mean when he said that China is already in possession of the South China Sea?
SEC. PANELO: But that’s reality.
DAVILA: And he told the United States to end military drills because it creates friction. What did the President mean when—he was telling the US to end military drills, because at the same time, there were two US aircraft carriers with 150 fighter jets in the area. Okay, what did the President mean—first, what did he mean when he said China is in possession of the South China Sea?
SEC. PANELO: First, that’s reality.
DAVILA: Possession means you own.
SEC. PANELO: No, not necessarily. When you occupy a certain property it doesn’t mean you own it, you are a possessor of that property. But it doesn’t mean ownership. Number two, what he is saying is we have to exercise self-restraint, because any conflict that arises in that region will definitely affect us. As I said earlier, we could be in flaming collateral damage or a raging inferno. Why? Because US keeps provoking China; and I don’t think China will just sit down and be idle, it will have to do something about it. And if it explodes, then the first country that will be affected will be us due to the proximity between the two countries.
DAVILA: But why does the President believe that war is about to ensue when clearly trade is so important to China? I mean, no analyst says that China is acting that they’re up for war. Clearly they’re in the mode of strengthening and the reason that they’ve reclaimed these islands is really for trade control?
SEC. PANELO: Yes, but if your forces are there in their region, you will feel threatened and they will have to do something about it, that’s why they are demanding for them to remove all these forces.
DAVILA: Yeah, but does the President know he is in no power to also tell the US to end their military drills because we are not the only ally of the United States in Asia too. I mean, Japan is there, Korea is there. In other words, these are military drills conducted—you know—
SEC. PANELO: Karen, what he is saying is that, look here, don’t provoke, don’t trigger an armed conflict because we are in a nuclear age, all of us will be destroyed. That is what he’s saying. Just because he is—
DAVILA: But isn’t President Duterte playing exactly to what China wants?
SEC. PANELO: That?
DAVILA: I mean, he is almost reasoning out for China.
SEC. PANELO: No, not really. You must remember that, precisely, the thinking of the President is, any armed conflict arising in this region will affect, first, the Philippine territory and that will bring—that will bring damage and loss of lives. And he will not allow that during his watch.
DAVILA: Okay, alright. So let me say also that the exact quote is, China is here—
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
DAVILA: That’s what the President said, that’s a reality. And America and everybody should realize that they are here. Okay, he said, ‘My country will be the first to suffer if—
SEC. PANELO: Exactly.
DAVILA: …if war erupts. But then you also pointed out that the Philippines has a mutual defense treaty with the United States where—I mean, being President of the Philippines, would a mutual defense treaty with the US is—isn’t President Duterte taking into consideration the benefits of that mutual defense treaty?
SEC. PANELO: Yes, but the problem is when the President asked the Ambassador then if we are attacked by the Chinese, will they help us and they said, ‘No, we will not intrude into any territorial disputes. If they attacked us, then we will defend ourselves.
DAVILA: Okay, alright. So, let me also—this is coming from President Duterte ‘no. So he said conflicts over the South China Sea could be settled through talks. But he says the US turns up the heat through displays of force as freedom of navigation exercises.
Secretary, when has freedom of navigation exercises ever been seen as a display of force? In the Philippines today, we have the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US wherein we have rotational US forces already in the Philippines as we speak. We’ve also—I mean, military cooperation between the US and the Philippines has improved. So why does Duterte see these exercises, the freedom of navigation exercises as display of force? Why does he see it that way?
SEC. PANELO: Well, because precisely I said earlier, that China feels threatened by these forces. It feels threatened and they are in fact demanding the US to remove their forces there.
DAVILA: And we should give in?
SEC. PANELO: What do you mean—
DAVILA: We should play to China’s hand?
SEC. PANELO: No.
DAVILA: Because you’re saying—
SEC. PANELO: You must remember that the President is doing that because he is taking into consideration the safety of the Philippines. Not because he is siding with China, no. The security of this country is foremost in his mind.
DAVILA: So are you saying that with the partnership we have with China the Philippines is still under threat when it comes to China? After two years of the President’s building relations with China, are you saying we are still under threat?
SEC. PANELO: It’s not the Philippines; it’s the presence of the US forces there that is creating the threat and the risk of an armed conflict. You must remember, Karen, that we are having this discussion to craft a Code of Conduct. In other words, what we may not be able to get out of that arbitral ruling we can get through the agreement among the ASEAN countries on the Code of Conduct in that area.
DAVILA: But clearly, I mean, you have China that is buying time. The President has been in power for two years, our foreign policy has had a clear pivot to China and yet China has not given much.
SEC. PANELO: Well, hopefully his presence… the Chinese presence, the Chinese President presence will improve the relations.
DAVILA: Okay. So what is the President expecting? In other words, in terms of coming out with something concrete, what is Malacañang’s agenda? What are your expectations? I mean, when the President first visited Beijing in 2016, he came out with pledges of 24 billion dollars. And I remember Secretary Alan Cayetano was here on the show and he said, this is the first time that a President has come out with this kind of pledge and loans, the largest ever. And yet, I’m sorry to say, it’s not fallen through—
SEC. PANELO: Then this is the best time for the President to exert pressure on the Chinese President.
DAVILA: So do you believe the President will exert pressure?
SEC. PANELO: I think so.
DAVILA: Has it been discussed that he will exert pressure?
SEC. PANELO: Knowing the man, he will do that. He is that kind of person.
DAVILA: Your job is hard—my question is—I mean, do you speak for the President just knowing what kind of person he is or do you come from a meeting, Secretary Sal—
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
DAVILA: And do you all talk to each other and say, ‘Okay, Mr. President, what are the expectations when we talk—
SEC. PANELO: He told us exactly what he is going to do and he will do that.
DAVILA: What he is gonna do? Can you be specific? He said—
SEC. PANELO: All the areas of concern will be discussed.
DAVILA: Which are?
SEC. PANELO: One, the security, the trade relations and the conflict among the claimants.
DAVILA: Okay. So it was specific?
SEC. PANELO: Oh yes, definitely.
DAVILA: Okay, alright. Now, China continues—the Chinese President continues to mention that it is important, in all his speeches, proper handling and managing of the disputes.
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
DAVILA: What—how does Malacañang take that statement?
SEC. PANELO: I think it means there should be negotiations. In other words, this should be a give and take thing.
DAVILA: But China clearly perceives the Philippines as a province. I mean in all the speeches, you already have them, already say that in that particular area, they believe that it is theirs. They still stand by the nine-dash line. Will the President bring that up?
SEC. PANELO: You know, Karen, whether we like or not, the arbitral ruling will be there forever. They cannot take it away from us. Now, how do you enforce it? Right now, even the United Nation, first, cannot enforce it. The US is also adamant to do it. So what is your best thing to do? You negotiate. You may be able to get what the arbitral ruling is giving you which you can’t but you can get through negotiations.
DAVILA: So what you’re saying, that the arbitral ruling is declared those islands, the West Philippine Sea, the Exclusive Economic Zone as rightly ours and yet we need to negotiate with China because it is ours.
SEC. PANELO: Because precisely you cannot enforce it. No power on earth right now can enforce it. So what is the best thing for you to do?
DAVILA: But is this the game plan of the President? I remember during the campaign season, this was the President who said ‘I’ll jet ski to the Spratlys and put the Philippine flag there.’ In other words, holistically speaking, this was the President who said he would fight for our rights against China. Never in the campaign did he show the Filipino people that he would play this way.
SEC. PANELO: He is doing it precisely. As I said earlier he is cautious, he is diplomatic. He will get things that he cannot get through the enforcement because no power on earth, as I said, will enforce this arbitral ruling. And it’s there forever; you cannot get that away from us anymore.
DAVILA: Okay. When the President negotiates – I’m curious – with China is—how does it work, will the economic team be with him? Because issues that have been raised, if China truly is an ally, why would they give us a commercial loan of 2%, over Japan for example where loans are at .25%. The only reason I am asking is, is there a team that’s actually feeding the President, you know what, renegotiate this part, renegotiate this part?
SEC. PANELO: Karen, this is what I am going to say: That can be the subject of a negotiation, that 2% thing that you said. We can always negotiate with them that’s too much, we want this—
DAVILA: Yeah, but is he gonna do that, is that part of the agenda or this is just you?
SEC. PANELO: No, no, no. That’s definitely the President’s.
DAVILA: Okay, all right. There are 20 projects under the build, build and according to the budget Chief of China they are committing to provide 9 billion dollars in loans for the administration’s build, build, build. Is asking for the 9 billion dollars to be released part of this trip?
SEC. PANELO: Oh, definitely, because we need money, we need money, that is part of all these negotiations between the two Presidents.
DAVILA: But then the problem is they have not released, I told you. No less than Diokno said ha, we must demand. Diokno’s words, ‘we must demand the Chinese government to honor its pledges.’ In other words, no less than the Budget Chief of the President, President Duterte, no less than Diokno is saying, it’s delayed, we must demand, we must take action already in these pledges. He is frustrated, Diokno is frustrated.
SEC. PANELO: Everybody is frustrated when a project doesn’t coming into fruition. But the President will be doing all these things that we expect him to do.
DAVILA: Okay. Among all the 20 agreements, so far two bridges, one irrigation facility have broken ground, that’s only 167 million dollars which you could gotten by the way anywhere else. What is the priority of President Duterte in terms of projects? Would you know? I mean the railway system clearly hasn’t started yet.
SEC. PANELO: The airport.
DAVILA: The airport. So, what do you think is the priority of the President in asking China, because we are giving him the red carpet treatment?
SEC. PANELO: The economic managers would be more knowledgeable on that.
DAVILA: If I were to ask, before we go a quick break. What do you think is the President’s biggest achievement with it comes to China because many have said, when the President—I mean, issued those statements against the US, the Balangiga Bells are not gonna be returned to us. So, many credit the President’s strong stand against the US with the Balangiga Bells. But the US acted fast. In fact, they are retuning the bells already within two years ha of the President’s—within two years of the President’s pronouncements, US pledges have increased dramatically. So, in other words, the US has acted fast. The question is: what is the President expecting after—what he has given to China?
SEC. PANELO: Sometimes or somehow you forget or a lot of people forget what the President said in one of those moments where China asked or used a language that the President didn’t want. He said, were supposed to be friends. You don’t treat us like this, because if you do that, I’m going to war, he said that.
DAVILA: When was this, can you remind us?
SEC. PANELO: Several weeks ago—I think two months ago. Remember they said that—he didn’t like the language/address, because he was saying that, we were supposed to be neighbors and friends, you don’t use that kind of word because if you do that, I’ll go to war with you. He said that. But somehow the media didn’t catch on, but I read that.
DAVILA: You read that. Okay, all right. So we are gonna continue our conversation with Palace Spokesperson Sal Panelo after this short break. Hot Copy will be right back.
DAVILA: Actually, this morning. What time does Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived?
SEC. PANELO: I think he has arrived already.
DAVILA: He has arrived. So, it’s a two days state visit. Wherein, it’s historic for the country and the biggest question is: what is on President Duterte’s agenda, as he speaks with the Chinese President?
I wanna read you a feedback from one of the viewers and one of the viewers… well this one it says Eta Ann. She asked: Secretary Sal who is really provoking? China has set up military installations in the artificial islands still asserting the nine dash-line which has already been rejected by the tribunal settlement. We can only equal with China by asserting what we won in the tribunal with multilateral support like Japan, ASEAN, Australia. The Code of Conduct is China’s initiative to evade the tribunal settlement. Independent foreign policy must be asserted. What do you think?
SEC. PANELO: Now, how did China able to build all these structures. Many years ago they did start that, right?
SEC. PANELO: But the US didn’t do anything about it. It allowed China to build all these structures then suddenly they are complaining. They could have done something about that.
DAVILA: Well, they are not a claimant island.
SEC. PANELO: Even then. The fact is, they want to be a policeman of the world and that was one thing that could have triggered a reaction for them, but they did not. Now, they are complaining, it’s funny.
DAVILA: Okay, now first, quickly. With Palawan being divided into three provinces—you know Senator Riza Hontiveros has fear that it could lead to Chinese intrusion. It’s not completely unfounded ha. Because when you split Palawan, I mean that’s already off, you know. I mean, in fact Palawan there’s a part of Palawan that’s already really slightly, medyo mas malayo na to the main land. Isn’t that worth considering that it might—I mean, Chinese intrusion might happen if Palawan is split into three. Has the President spoken about how he feels about Palawan breaking up into three?
SEC. PANELO: No, he hasn’t mentioned anything. But you know, the threat of intrusion will always be there from any other country which is near you. But we should be ready for that and we will not allow it, definitely. Not this administration.
DAVILA: Okay, all right. But when you say this administration will not allow it. What actions is it taking to make sure it does not allow it? I mean, are we giving this, you know, this vibe, we don’t allow it or we are giving the vibe na, okay China whatever you want, we negotiate. What’s our vibe?
SEC. PANELO: Again, I will refer to what he said earlier, when he said, you don’t do that to me. I’ll go to war. He is showing his character. You don’t mess with me. The way he doesn’t want to be any person messing with the Constitution, he doesn’t like that.
DAVILA: Are you also warning China that the President is not a man to be triffled with.
SEC. PANELO: I am not warning them. I am reminding them of what kind this man is. And I think President Xi admires him.
DAVILA: Know that. All right, very quickly the joint exploration. There have been issues on constitutionality. Will that be brought up in this meeting?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t think that will be an issue, because our Constitution is different from theirs. In other words, we are confident that any challenge to any joint venture would be upheld by the Supreme Court.
DAVILA: Okay. Now maiba man lang tayo sandali ‘no, on other issues naman tayo. First, how long are you staying as Palace Spokesperson? I mean, is it true—because I read that, I think you are transitioning, that you are not—is it true that the President is already looking for a replacement? What exactly is your situation right now? I mean, it’s also not good that you have different Spokespersons all the time.
SEC. PANELO: Not really, you know when you are Spokesperson, you speak for the President as Teddy Boy Locsin succinctly expresses, the Spokesperson reports, he does not decide. If there’s nothing to report, you cannot report—
DAVILA: But you were quoted—
SEC. PANELO: In other words, what I’m saying is, the disposition and for all that matter all positions of the government are temporary, Karen. It’s always at the judgment of the President discretion we are at the pleasure of the President. We are soldiers. We follow instructions.
DAVILA: But you did say in an interview, ‘I am scouting.’ That’s you ha, I’m scouting for—
SEC. PANELO: Me?
DAVILA: Preferably someone from the media community.
SEC. PANELO: No that was—
DAVILA: That’s the President?
SEC. PANELO: That was President.
DAVILA: What did you tell him when he said, he was scouting for someone from the media—
SEC. PANELO: None.
DAVILA: So you’re okay?
SEC. PANELO: It doesn’t—because this is just temporary.
DAVILA: Parang in other words—
SEC. PANELO: Everything is temporary. Whatever is best for the President and for this country, we will do it. We are good soldiers.
DAVILA: Just off hand, I mean I do know that Attorney Harry Roque is already running for the Senate. He was here yesterday. Will the President still have been open to taking him back?
SEC. PANELO: We’ll have to ask the President. I cannot read his mind in this particular issue.
DAVILA: Okay, alright. There are no names just yet on who may replace you? Or why does it have to be one Spokesperson, can’t it be two or three?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t know. The President is the best person to decide on that.
DAVILA: Okay. Now, we do know that the Senate already wanted the Office of the Press Secretary back. I’m correct? ‘Di ba the PCOO removed Office of the Press Sec., na?
SEC. PANELO: That’s a plan. There is no Executive Order yet creating that. It’s still in the works.
DAVILA: So right now you’re still on that old system? You’re the Spokesperson, the PCOO exist. There is no Office of the Press Secretary yet?
SEC. PANELO: Yeah.
DAVILA: But the value of the Office of the Press Secretary was it was supposed to form liaisons, it was supposed to have liaisons, press liaisons in different countries?
SEC. PANELO: Until the Executive Order that will craft that is there, we can only speculate.
DAVILA: Okay, another question is the third telco provider. It’s been quite controversial in some sectors because it’s no secret that Dennis Uy is a close friend of the President—
SEC. PANELO: Correction, perceived close to the President.
DAVILA: So they’re not close?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t think so. They are from Davao. But they are not close.
DAVILA: Dennis Uy and the President are not close?
SEC. PANELO: They know each other, Dennis helped him but it doesn’t mean anything. I mean, you help somebody because you believe in his cause, doesn’t make the person your helping obligated to you or indebted to you. This President as a lawyer has been trained to follow what the law says and that has been his underlying principle ever since when he was campaigning – just follow the law.
DAVILA: But then, you also have the President in a speech in November where he said, ‘Give China Telecom – I mean something to this effect – what it wants, make it easy for them.’ And Dennis Uy is partnered with China Telecom.
SEC. PANELO: So what? I mean, if they have the best offer to give—
DAVILA: But there was no contest, Secretary. Two were already—you don’t—we have no idea—I mean, first of all expecting ten, Korea didn’t even bid.
SEC. PANELO: Karen, we follow the rules. There is a law that requires certain conditions imposed on the bidders.
DAVILA: Agree, agree.
SEC. PANELO: Now, only this particular company of Dennis Uy in joint venture by the Chinese complied.
DAVILA: So is the President satisfied with that? Would he have wanted—I mean, other companies from ASEAN to have participated.
SEC. PANELO: Again, the President does not interfere. He gives the departments and the offices the authority to do as it pleases in accordance with law. If you follow the law, then it’s alright with the President.
DAVILA: Alright. Another question – elections. You did say that the President does not interfere—
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
DAVILA: Even with the Sandiganbayan rendering its judgment 27 years after, right?
SEC. PANELO: 27 years.
DAVILA: Yes, yes, 27 years after.
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
DAVILA: What will happen to Imee Marcos – she’s known to be a close ally of the President – after that Sandiganbayan judgment wherein it found Imelda Marcos guilty on—was it for 7 counts of graft?
SEC. PANELO: Yeah 7 counts.
DAVILA: 7 counts of graft. Does this mean the President will not endorse Imee Marcos for senator? What would happen?
SEC. PANELO: One, the conviction is not yet final. So I think we’ll be speculating whether it would be final or she will be acquitted in the end. Number two, when the President endorses it means that he believes in the person that he is endorsing, is trustworthy.
DAVILA: Yeah, so he may still endorse?
SEC. PANELO: Depends on him. I mean, with respect to that. What I know of this President, he is not respecter of friendship, of alliances, of kinship. As far as he is concerned, you follow the law and I’ll be with you, you go against it and I’ll be your worst enemy.
DAVILA: Okay, and then the President recently also fired three DSWD Undersecretaries?
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
DAVILA: Okay. Alright, last words. Some have asked: how does the President fire? Does he listen also to their side or he does it with one person telling him, because this is not—he’s fired a lot.
SEC. PANELO: There is always an investigation before he does it.
DAVILA: A quiet investigation.
SEC. PANELO: Yes, definitely.
DAVILA: Okay, on that note, Secretary Sal Panelo, we discussed a lot of matters today. But what’s the big event for today? Would you know—
SEC. PANELO: State dinner tonight. Are you attending?
DAVILA: No, I’m not invited. Okay, but the state dinner tonight. Are we expecting a major speech from the President at the state dinner?
SEC. PANELO: It should be a welcome speech or remarks by the host as well maybe of the guest.
DAVILA: Okay. On that note—so we’ll see what’s gonna happen, that’s Head Start today. I’m Karen Davila. Thank you for watching.
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)