Interview

Interview with Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador S. Panelo by Christian Esguerra (ANC – Headstart)

Event Media interview

ESGUERRA: Let’s talk about this Palace memo. Is there really a Palace memorandum rejecting all forms of loans, aids or financial assistance from those 18 countries that supported the UN Resolution calling for investigation into the drug war under the Duterte administration?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes, a memo was issued by Executive Secretary Medialdea on the matter.

ESGUERRA:  Why did you deny it initially?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, because the question to me asked by media is whether or not, the President issued a memorandum with respect to 18-countries who voted and in favor of the Iceland resolution. And that’s what I asked him; he said I did not.

ESGUERRA:  What’s the difference between the Executive Secretary signing on behalf of the President?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh there’s a difference, because he is signing in behalf of the President—my question—he is lawyer and I’m also a lawyer. So, when I asked him, ‘did you issue a memorandum?’ He said, ‘no, my concern is on Iceland. With respect to these people are condemning human rights violations allegedly murders and so forth and so. And yet, it allows abortion of unborn children’—

ESGUERRA:  Before I go to that, the fact that you initially denied the issuance of a memo by the President, but now you are saying that there was a memo signed by the Executive Secretary—

SEC. PANELO:  I asked him about it, he said, ‘I did call at the height of the Iceland resolution.’ But somehow because of work probably when I asked him about it, he momentarily forgot it. But he said, I maintain that memorandum. I instructed him to do that at the height of the Iceland resolution. So I asked him, do you still maintain that? Yes.

ESGUERRA:  So, basically this was sanctioned by the President. This was ordered by the President but issued technically by the Executive Secretary.

SEC. PANELO:  Yeah.

ESGUERRA:  Which is the part of the protocol, so why denied ii in the first place.

SEC. PANELO:  It was not I who is denying. When I asked him he said, ‘no, I did not.’ Apparently, as I said, he might have forgotten momentarily. So, when I asked him again he said, ‘yes I remember calling the Secretary about it.’

ESGUERRA:  Somehow does it say something about a problematic procedure in the Palace?

SEC. PANELO:  No, I don’t think so.

ESGUERRA: Somehow ignorance of the protocols?

SEC. PANELO: That is more on lapse in memory a few minutes, because when I asked him again, he said, ‘yes I did.’  But what is important is that memo exists and it is maintained. And I asked him, ‘why did you issue that memo, Mr. President?’ He said, ‘this country is insulted of that kind of Iceland resolution and we cannot allow this country to be insulting us. A country who condemns allegedly our slaying of certain victims and yet it allows abortion of unborn children up to less than 6 months old.’

ESGUERRA:  But first, it’s quite surprising that this would slip the mind of the President when in fact this is something very important.

SEC. PANELO:  No, you are making a lot of fuzz about this.

ESGUERRA:  I’ll go to the bigger issue here. But my point is I just want to go inside the thought process of the President for something that would have very strong implications in the Philippines.

SEC. PANELO:  In the first he maintains that we will not accept grants, we will suspend everything. But you know, the critics are saying that it will affect our…of course not. Number one, the grants… existing grants and loans are being implemented, so it will not be affected, because it is being implemented.

Number two, these so-called grants, if accomplished, amount only to 21 million Euros. Now, there are other bilateral partners of us or other institutions that are offering the same grant—

ESGUERRA:  Like what countries?

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t know the countries, but that is according to Secretary Dominguez. So, in other words, it will not affect us. And other grants that are being offered are more on technical assistance. So, it will not affect this… the infrastructure of the government.

ESGUERRA:  So, are you saying that this is negligible, that the Philippine government can do without this?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes, of course. More over there are others who are offering their assistance or grants or loan and their rates are no better than the one being offered to us.

ESGUERRA: They say that this reaction by the President, by the administration is knee jerk.

SEC. PANELO: No. You know, you must—

ESGUERRA:  Parang he felt a personal insult that is why he decided to drag the country to this—

SEC. PANELO: No, it’s not personal; it’s an insult to the country when you pass a resolution condemning killings in this country, which are legitimate by the way and yet—

ESGUERRA:  All of them?

SEC. PANELO:  You know, the problem Christian is you keep on, including you, you’ve been harping on these 20,000, 27,000 deaths—

ESGUERRA:  I didn’t say 20,000. I never said 20,000. My point is these are hard questions that need to be asked of the government. So don’t take it against us if you are asked those questions.

SEC. PANELO:  Let me repeat it again: It’s not true that it’s 20,000, nor 27,000… now they are going to up it to 60,000. What is true is less than 6,000 and these are recorded deaths. If you ask us, when  this happened, we can show you the record;  under what circumstances,  we can provide you the record.

But if you ask these people – those criticizing the government – there are 20,000. Who are these, under what circumstances? Show us. But they could not, because precisely they are getting that out of thin air, just criticizing this government. You must remember that the latest survey, it’s 82%, which has not even change since it was taken, I think two years ago. In other words, how can people outside this country become more popish than the Pope, it’s the countrymen of ours saying we are satisfied with the drug war of the President.

ESGUERRA:  Now, of course, the popularity of a drug war is different from the supposed human rights violation?

SEC. PANELO:  Ah, you are wrong there, you know why? Because if it’s true that there are human rights violations then the people of this country will rise against this administration. But it has none. It is precisely they are contented, they are satisfied, the crime rate has gone down, they can walk on the streets, there are less addicts in the streets and many drug factories have been dismantled. That is the reality.

ESGUERRA:  But you know for a fact that there also other factors that come into play. Number one, the President’s immense popularity, the way he speaks, his populist approach at this particular war.  I mean these things could come into play.

SEC. PANELO:  You know, you are under estimating the intelligence of the Filipino people—

 ESGUERRA:  No, not exactly; I was just mentioning the other factors.

SEC. PANELO:  Even if you are an orator, you are a very eloquent speaker, and the facts there are there on the ground, they will be against you. That happened to Mr. Marcos.  Marcos was such an eloquent speaker, but look what happened to him.

ESGUERRA:  Yeah, he was booted out.

SEC. PANELO:  Exactly.

ESGUERRA:  But it took a while.

SEC. PANELO:  The fact is he was booted out. And this President for three years has been there, up there.

ESGUERRA:  No, you mentioned that you have all the records, the Philippine government.

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

ESGUERRA:  So why don’t you just open these records if you have nothing to hide in this UN Resolution calling for a comprehensive study?

SEC. PANELO:  It only means, Christian, that you among others are not watching television everyday coming from the government station. It’s being shown everyday, the recorded deaths of drug related incidents. It’s there.

ESGUERRA:  So what are you saying, for the UN Human Rights Council: Just watch the government programs?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes, because—you know, everyday we have a briefer; policemen give us these briefer – How many deaths, why it happened, where it happened, under what circumstances that happened.

ESGUERRA:  Why don’t you just open these records using official channels and cooperate with the UN resolution?

SEC. PANELO:  It’s there, it’s open, it’s being published everyday Christian, just watch PTV 4.

ESGUERRA:  So, you think, this is unfair, this resolution?

SEC. PANELO:  Certainly, it’s not only unfair, it’s an insult this Iceland resolution.

ESGUERRA:  Okay, let’s look at the exact language. It says take all necessary measures to prevent extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances, carry out impartial  investigations and hold perpetrators accountable. What’s insulting here?

SEC. PANELO:  The assumption is you are not doing it. That is why precisely they have introduced that resolution.  But the fact is we have. We have stopped extra-judicial killings, we have prosecuted people involved in it and it’s not true that you know policemen just kill at will. They cannot do that in the first place, how will you—as I repeatedly asked you, how will you explain the 86 deaths of policemen? How will explain – as the President said last night – how will they explain the more than 300 people killed during the serving of the warrant in that incident in Marawi and the thousands of soldiers being killed as a result of  that  serving of a warrant in connection with a drug related case.

ESGUERRA:  Actually, nobody is c0ntesting the fact that there were police officers and law enforcers who were killed in legitimate drug operations, but it doesn’t mean that abuses are not happening because you also have the accounts, the anecdotal evidence that show that there are certain abuses in the conduct of the drug war which should be looked into more closely.

SEC. PANELO: That has not only been looked into, they have been prosecuted, Christian.

ESGUERRA: Like how many policemen behind the abuses are actually jailed aside from those who are behind the Kian Delos Santos killing?

SEC. PANELO: Christian, I do not know of the exact figure. But what I am going to tell you now and the rest of the countrymen is: you cannot just prosecute; you need evidence. You need testimonial whether documentary or testimonial evidence. Now, if you do not file a complaint, how in heaven’s names can the government prosecute those violating the law.

ESGUERRA:  Yeah, that’s the lawyer in you talking, but if you go—

SEC. PANELO:  No, no that’s reality. It’s not my lawyering we are talking here

ESGUERRA:  But if you go to the ground, how can you expect someone who was a victim of a possible police abuse during an operation to testify against the policemen. Do you have enough safeguards to insure protection?

SEC. PANELO:  Why were they able prosecute this particular… in Kian Delos Santos case.

ESGUERRA:  Because there was a CCTV   and there was a public outrage; a lot of other cases didn’t have that benefit of a CCTV footage.

SEC. PANELO:  Even if there was such a public outrage, if there are no witnesses, if there are no testimonials regarding the incident, the case will be dismissed and I don’t think the Prosecutor will file it. So, you need evidence, you cannot just complain on air and let it go. No, you cannot do that. The Prosecutor will have to receive evidence, conduct a preliminary investigating finding probable cause and then he files the case; otherwise there is none. That is precisely we have been telling them, ‘you file a case.’ You cannot just be using media to hit this government.

ESGUERRA:  I think there is also a need to clarify the perspectives here. There’s no debate regarding the need to stamp out illegal drugs. I think the question is, over the alleged abuses by those who are implementing that drug war. Is the government doing enough?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh yes, because as I have repeatedly said every time there is a death in connection with the police raid or operation, that is automatically investigated by the police, they file administrative cases. You have to defend yourself, because you are being prosecuted for homicide.  It’s recorded.

ESGUERRA:  So that is why I’m asking about the figures, because you will need to—

SEC. PANELO:  You will have to ask the PNP and other agencies, not mine.

ESGUERRA:  You need to weight that with the scale or the gravity of the killing of the—in the drug war in general. For example, how many figures they have now, more than 5,500 right?

SEC. PANELO: But it’s not a question of figures. As I said, if you have complains against police abuses, then file a case. If you have enough proof, then submit it. So we can effectively prosecute any case involving this kind of abuses; otherwise, nothing.

ESGUERRA:  Earlier, we have Phil Robertson of Human Rights watch, he said that the UN resolution, Human Rights Council Resolution, is something that the Philippine government cannot ignore despite the fact that the administration decided to ignore it and continues to ignore it.

SEC. PANELO:   We have already ignored it.

ESGUERRA:  I mean, it will continue to move even with this government ignoring it.

SEC. PANELO:  It doesn’t matter to us. What matters to us, is we are doing our job, the President under the Constitution is constitutionally directed, commanded to serve and to protect the people. He is exactly doing that.

ESGUERRA:  Now, you mentioned earlier the fast that there was this latest SWS survey, saying that the support remained excellent.

SEC. PANELO:  Yes.

ESGUERRA:  But are you actually equating popularity with the righteousness of that poll?

SEC. PANELO:  Again, I will repeat what I said: if it’s true, that these kinds of abuses are validated by the very people who are the subject of a survey, then that would have come out. They are the ones, being asked by this SWS survey. They should be knowledgeable on those areas where they are residing, what is happening in their places.

ESGUERRA: Now, 18 countries, so those were the number of countries that supported the Iceland resolution. Now, how long do you intend to suspend negotiations regarding loans, agreements, etc.?

SEC. PANELO: As I said, it will not affect our country’s economy.

ESGUERRA: Hindi, but how long do you intend to keep that?

SEC. PANELO: Well, if it does not affect the country’s economy, so we will sustain it. There are other countries who are offering assistance, and their rates are no better than the one offering now – only 21 million Euros, Christian.

ESGUERRA: So what’s the preference of this administration? You give us assistance but don’t talk about our drug war?

SEC. PANELO: No. Give us assistance but don’t put any terms and conditions, imposing certain things which is offensive to the sovereignty of this country.

ESGUERRA: So what was the condition set?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know what’s the condition set.

ESGUERRA: I mean, when you talk about the possible loans or grants coming from these 18 countries, that they are actually tied up to the—

SEC. PANELO: No, but it’s not 18 countries; there is only one. There is only one – the United Kingdom.

ESGUERRA: Eighteen countries iyong covered ng memo ninyo eh.

SEC. PANELO: Yes, 18 countries but iyong sinasabing suspension with respect only to existing loan, and the existing loan refers only to one particular country.

ESGUERRA: Oo nga. Since you mentioned conditions, so iyon bang negotiations with any of these 18 countries actually tied up to the UN resolution?

SEC. PANELO: Eh unang-una nga, wala naman, hindi naman… hindi kasama iyong 18 countries; isa lang doon sa 18 countries.

ESGUERRA: So sa UK tied up?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean tied up?

ESGUERRA: Tied up doon sa human rights issue?

SEC. PANELO: Oh yes, kasama iyon, kasi nga bumuto sila. The President nga – if you [unclear] the mind of this President – he says, “I cannot understand why this Iceland will be pursuing that kind of resolution?”

ESGUERRA: Example, Spain, a long time partner of the Philippines. So let’s say new assistance is planned to be given to the Philippines, you’re basically telling them, ‘We don’t take your assistance because you signed that resolution.’

SEC. PANELO: First, if you are referring to Spain, if there is existing grant or loan, it’s being implemented so it will not affect it.  So wala.

ESGUERRA: Hindi ba masyadong mayabang iyong Pilipinas na—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi.

ESGUERRA: Iyong existing loans, okay lang. Pero iyong susunod—

SEC. PANELO: If you’re sovereignty is being insulted or being offended, then it is your duty, bounded duty to stand up and oppose it.

ESGUERRA: Again, what exactly was the most insulting part there?

SEC. PANELO: Because they—you know, when you file a resolution asking for an inquiry, asking for an impartial investigation, it means that we are not doing it. But we are doing it, so you are insulting us.

ESGUERRA: So that’s the insult that you were talking about?

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

ESGUERRA: Okay

SEC. PANELO: Apart from that, you know, this is what the President said last night, ‘How can Iceland file that kind of resolution, questioning the governance on the war on drugs when this very government of Iceland is allowing killing of unborn children?’ We cannot understand it.

ESGUERRA: This was also communicated by the Philippines before the UNHRC?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about the Foreign Secretary if he did.

ESGUERRA: Do you think this is something that we should also officially communicate with UNHRC?

SEC. PANELO: That’s for the Foreign Secretary to respond to. That’s his turf.

ESGUERRA: But what do you think?

SEC. PANELO: My thinking is irrelevant. I am not the Foreign Secretary and I am not the President. I only echo what they tell me.

ESGUERRA: But you speak for the President.

SEC. PANELO: Exactly. But if the President doesn’t say anything about it, I will keep quiet.

ESGUERRA: Here in the memo coming from Malacañang, signed by the Executive Secretary, sanctioned and ordered by the President, I still think your splitting hairs there. Anyway, you said, “A strong rejection of the UNHRC resolution ban on assistance would stay pending assessment of our relations with these countries.” What do you mean by that?

SEC. PANELO: First, let me respond to that hair splitting remark of yours. You’re nitpicking, Christian.

Now with respect to your second question, what about?

ESGUERRA: You forgot my question already? Nag-nitpick kasi kayo eh.

SEC. PANELO: Ginagaya lang kita.

ESGUERRA: Ban on assistance would stay pending assessment—

SEC. PANELO: Pending, precisely—

ESGUERRA: What do you mean by assessment of our relations with these countries?

SEC. PANELO: Eh di pag-aaralan natin kung ano ang relasyon natin sa kanila. Like for instance, iyong mga grants, will it affect us? It will not. 

ESGUERRA: Okay. But this will just cover the grants and loans?

SEC. PANELO: Yes. Iyong technical assistance, tuloy pa rin iyon.

ESGUERRA: So the Philippines is not exactly straining ties with these 18 countries?

SEC. PANELO: No, no naman. Kasi may mga existing eh, otherwise eh di tinigil na natin lahat iyon.

ESGUERRA: Iyon nga eh, hindi ba parang masyado tayong nagmamalaki na iyong existing grants and loans and assistance okay lang, pero iyong susunod ay huwag na?

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo ang problema kasi—sabi na nga ni Secretary Domingo, 21 million Euros lang iyong sinasabi nila.

ESGUERRA: That’s for UK?

SEC. PANELO: Yes. Eh iyong 21 million na iyan, marami nang nag-o-offer sa atin, pareho rin ng rates. So kahit na wala sila, okay lang sa atin iyan.

ESGUERRA: Okay. Now let’s talk about the other problem, the other issue. At the Philippine Military Academy, there was a freshman cadet who was allegedly victimized by hazing and he died. Now, there’s an upcoming House investigation into this but we already have a strong supposedly anti-hazing law which was signed by the President last year. So what more can we do to ensure that these things won’t happen again, in terms of implementation?

SEC. PANELO: I think the superiors in that Academy should be held accountable, from the top to the bottom who are supposed to know what is happening in their Academy. If they cannot stop the hazing, then they have no business staying in their positions. They should be charged administratively, if not criminally.

ESGUERRA: So one congressman is calling for the resignation of the PMA Superintendent—

SEC. PANELO: He should, he should if … you know, if I were the superintendent, and I would not know what is happening in my academy, then I have no business staying in my position. How come there is stilling hazing there, I cannot even understand that. When you are the boss, then you should be telling your underlings, ‘I will not allow it. I’ll fire all of you or I’ll put you to jail.’ But if you are not … if you’re a weak boss, then this will happen.

ESGUERRA: So this was reflective of weak leadership?

SEC. PANELO: I think so.

ESGUERRA: So what do you think should happen at the PMA? Are you expecting a revamp? Should there be a revamp?

SEC. PANELO: I think there should be an investigation, as the House of Representatives is asking for it. And if it shows that indeed there has been negligence on the part of the superiors, then they should be prosecuted administratively.

ESGUERRA: But do you think the law which was strengthened last year, as signed by the President, is that enough to actually address this problem which has been ingrained in the culture of a lot of sororities and fraternities?

SEC. PANELO: You know, again I will repeat what I said, to my mind as a lawyer, if you put this people under the concept of command responsibility, even criminally liable, I think that will stop. If you’re the boss, and there is a hazing there, you will be criminally prosecuted as part of the entire conspiracy.

ESGUERRA: So just implement the law strictly?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah. Or even amend the law that will make the head of an agency or head of a school criminally liable.

ESGUERRA: Okay, for command responsibility.

SEC. PANELO: For command responsibility.

ESGUERRA: And negligence also?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes.

ESGUERRA: How about a proposal to classify hazing as a heinous crime?

SEC. PANELO: It should. To my mind, as a lawyer, I think it’s about time we make it a heinous crime. If you want to stop all of this, just like if you want to stop corruption, then do what the President says.

ESGUERRA: What?

SEC. PANELO: What is he doing now in the Bureau of Corrections, he wants a total revamp. He is removing all the people responsible for the so-called good conduct allowance procedure.

ESGUERRA: Doon sa ano, speaking of the culture of hazing that is ingrained in a lot of fraternities, you’re a frat man yourself, right?

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

ESGUERRA: Iyong ganiyan, you yourself, did you experience hazing?

SEC. PANELO: Definitely we were subjected to physical corporal punishment, yes.

ESGUERRA: So looking back, now that you’re an accomplished lawyer, somehow do you think that helped?

SEC. PANELO: No.

ESGUERRA: Was that needed?

SEC. PANELO: No. that’s why precisely I want it be classified as a heinous crime. I’m against it.

ESGUERRA: Like what kind of punishment did you experience at law school?

SEC. PANELO: All the kind of physical—

ESGUERRA: Like what was the worst?

SEC. PANELO: Padding, padding would be one of them. And then you’re being punched, you’re being kicked. All kind of physical punishments, apart from the psychological torture of course.

ESGUERRA: Intimidation, threats.

SEC. PANELO: Intimidation. They will ask you to jump, for instance, sabihin nila bangin, tumalon ka. Biruin mo bangin tatalon ka.

ESGUERRA: Blindfolded.

SEC. PANELO: Blindfolded ka, so hindi mo alam kung totoo o hindi.

ESGUERRA: So you need to trust your brads, that’s the idea. My question is, I’d just want viewers to somehow get a deeper look into the mentality of a frat man, and whether that culture deeply ingrained for so many decades could still be changed?

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo kasi, when you are in a school, bago ka, probinsiyano ka tapos mayroong frat, makikita mo ang ganda ng mga samahan nila, you will be lured into joining kasi bago ka nga eh, natural lang iyon. You will risk. Pero iyong medyo mahina ang loob, hindi papasok diyan.

ESGUERRA: Now, how problematic is this? This happened in the military school of the Philippine government, the PMA. It’s no ordinary law school; it’s in the PMA that happened.

SEC. PANELO: That’s precisely why I am suggesting, you prosecute criminally those heads as well as the superiors of this plebes, mga plebo na naghi-haze. Isama mo lahat iyan, tigil iyan. Maniwala … ano iyan eh, psychological iyan eh.

ESGUERRA: Is this also how the President looks at it? Because we also hear some graduates of the PMA who somehow tend to justify certain actions while in that school, iyong somehow common iyan eh. Medyo mahina lang siguro ang katawan that’s why they weren’t able to … not to endure it.

SEC. PANELO: You know, the President is outraged by any kind of oppression. That is oppression. You oppress a plebe or one who wants to apply to a fraternity, that’s kind of oppression. He abhors that.

ESGUERRA: Now, let’s go to the third and last topic. You mentioned earlier the need to stump out corruption within the Bureau of Corrections in the Philippines. We’ve been hearing a lot of revelations coming from the Senate investigations. And one that was quite telling was mentioned by former CIDG Chief Benjie Magalong. He said, all roads led to the NBP. Meaning, the drug lords, the Chinese drug traffickers were still running the entire show nationwide from the NBP.

Now, we know that the President already sent the SAF members at the NBP pero ganoon pa rin eh. So how do you solve this very corrupt system at the BuCor?

SEC. PANELO: You know my suggestion there is, forget about the good conduct thing. If you are sentenced to 15 years, you serve 15 years whether you are a good or a bad inmate. If you’re sentenced 40 years, life imprisonment, you serve that. You take out the discretion and there will be no corruption. Kasi kapag may discretion, may corruption. Kasi makikiusap sa’yo, magbibigay ka para huwag mong ibigay ito o ibigay mo sa akin iyong ganiyan. Tanggalin mo lahat iyon eh di tapos ang usapan.

ESGUERRA: So let’s say you’re sentenced 40 years …

SEC. PANELO: Forty years ka diyan.

ESGUERRA: Forty years.

SEC. PANELO: You know why, kasi when the law gives you that punishment precisely because you committed a crime and the equivalent penalty is being given to you. Binabayaran mo iyong utang mo sa lipunan. Eh ano kung mabuting tao ka na diyan, it doesn’t matter … eh may ginawa ka na nga eh.

ESGUERRA: But that is a reformative perspective in the penal system.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi pupuwedeng reformative dito sa Pilipinas. Alam mo tayong mga Pilipino, masyado tayong incorrigible kaya kailangan talagang strong hand. Kailangan disiplinang totoo.

ESGUERRA: But your proposal would only cover the GCTA abuses or the credits that are granted. What about the hospital passes? They were also quite telling and disturbing. Example, in the hearing last week, there was the Chinese drug lord, si Yu Yuk Lai, spent ten months at one point in the hospital.

SEC. PANELO: Eh kasi nga may discretion because the doctor is being given the discretion to decide whether or not you can be confined or not. ‘Di ba? Kailangan siguro mayroong second opinion. Kapag sinabi ng mga physician sa BuCor na ganito, ibigay mo sa private, ‘Totoo ba?’ Eh di tapos ang usapan.

ESGUERRA: And remember, Senator Gordon said after that hearing last Thursday, na there were certain revelations made by certain BuCor officials that he told Senator Bong Go listen to so that he could relay that to the President. Some of them, I think, were discussed in executive sessions.

So my point here is this: Are you expecting a total revamp, total cleansing at the NBP, at the BuCor?

SEC. PANELO: Kaya nga ang sabi ni Presidente, ang gagawin niya, lahat ng mga heads tatanggalin niya lahat iyon. And then iyong mga second liners or third liners, iyon ang magti-take over. Hindi mo naman basta matatanggal lahat din iyon eh, siyempre it takes a little time. But ang pinaka-immediate noon, tatanggalin mo talaga iyong mga head.

ESGUERRA: Now, the new appointee, the new BuCor Chief, there are a lot of controversies that also hound him ‘di ba because of the cases that he’s facing. The President actually mentioned that grenade ‘no. So the fact that he was put there, is that meant to actually scare once and for all—

SEC. PANELO: Siguro, kasama siguro iyon kaya siya na-appoint. Apart from he is honest, he is competent eh may reputasyon pa siya. Eh di iyan ang kailangan ng mga hardened criminals.

ESGUERRA: Okay. So matatakot ang mga hardened criminals?

SEC. PANELO: Hopefully.

ESGUERRA: Okay. Attorney Salvador Panelo, thank you very much for joining us.

SEC. PANELO: Thank you for having me.

 

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