Interview

Media interview of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following the oath-taking of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) officials and presentation of the 12th Ani ng Dangal awardees

Event Oath-taking of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) officials and presentation of the 12th Ani ng Dangal awardees
Location Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: One at a time. So… What’s… First question.

Q: Mayor, ABS-CBN President Carlo Katigbak has

apologized to you if you were offended over the airing of a controversial political ad. Are you accepting the apology of the…?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, tao lang rin ako. So… Alam mo I… Truth to tell, I have kept a healthy distance from… It’s now in — that they are deliberating in Congress, the Lower House and the Senate. And there’s a plan that they would pass a joint resolution something.

But fundamentally, really, ang decision nasa House ngayon. Not so much of the Senate because the Constitution says all of these things must originate from the Lower House. ‘Yan ang ano. Forget about all these hullabaloo.

Ang ano diyan nandiyan sa House. The critical move is in the House and I tell you I am not going to interfere. Wala talaga ako. Kung maniwala kayo, okay. Kung hindi… But those who knows me — who know me, alam nila.

Q: But are you supportive of the franchise renewal of ABS?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No, I said I’ll leave it to Congress.

Q: How about the apology sir? Are you accepting the apology?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. Eh nandiyan ‘yan. I accept the apology, of course.

Q: So sir will you also accept the 2.6 million na sinasoli po nila?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Anong nangyari sa ano mo?

Q: Ash Wednesday.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Bakit ganun ang…? Ah, cross.

Q: Cross, sir. Sir, will you accept the 2.6 million na isinosoli ng ABS-CBN? Ito daw po kasi ‘yung…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Huwag na. Ibigay na lang nila sa any charitable institution of their choice.

Q: Sir, now that they apologized, are you keen on telling SolGen Calida of — parang i-atras sir ‘yung quo warranto petition?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ang problema kasi nitong sa SolGen, once he makes an official statement that there is a violation of law, then estopped na ako. Parang [stifle?], hindi na ako makagalaw.

I cannot tell him to stop. The SolGen can [always?] announce that there is a violation of law and that he is going to investigate it. Wala na akong… Well, hindi ko masabihan, “Do not do it. Stop it.”

‘Yan ang problema sa SolGen. The SolGen does not clear with me unlike the Secretary of Justice. He will call my attention or he will bring it up in the Senate — in the Cabinet.

Ang SolGen, hindi. He studies and he goes to the public and say, “There is a violation here.” Hindi ko na mapigil ‘yan. Otherwise… Alam mo kung sabihin mo may tao may kasalanan or there’s a violation or any — whatever that does not — in consonance with law, wala talaga akong…

‘Yan ang… Iba ang opisina ng SolGen kaysa Secretary of Justice. Ang SolGen mismo, hindi mo ma-ano. If he makes an announcement during his office hours… ‘Yung ulo ni ma’am. May cross pa naman.

Q: Sir, other topic, sir. Meron na po kayong decision kay Commissioner Morente po?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Again?

Q: Morente, po. Immigration.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I think there’s going to be an investigation by Congress. I defer to Congress first before I make any decision. Ano, para walang masabi na ano. Kung ano man sabihin niyo, nandiyan siya. He tells the story from where he stands.

Q: So mananatili po siya sa kanyang position sa ngayon?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala, wala akong gawin. Not yet. Not after the investigation. But I think the Secretary of Justice is also doing his homework. At kung sino lang mauna.

But at least there is somebody who would tell me that these are the things that should not happen or should have happened.

Q: Sir, dismayado po ba kayo doon sa ‘Pastillas’ scam? Dismayado ba?

Q: ‘Pastillas’ sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: ‘Yung ano, I am insisting on the ouster of all who are connected. I think we have terminated. But there will be more. I think I’d… Meron atang napaalis na. But they should be replaced, all of them.

And I am for the… I am asking the commissioner of the Civil Service na to give me a list of first grade nung nakapasa. For those who have good records scholastically, sa academic. Eh pwede niyang — [unclear] pangalan. I will replace almost all of them, yung nasa Customs ngayon.

Q: Sir, may plano po ba kayo i-review ang POGO policy? I-review ang pagpasok ng mga POGOs dito?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I will wait for this thing to settle down. I will not investigate when there’s a flurry of, you know, actions being taken here and there and also with the — the investigation sa China. It would be prudent for me, I think, to just wait.

Q: Sir, do you have new directives po doon sa African Swine Fever because I understand you had a meeting yesterday po?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, we — I asked the Secretary of Agriculture to come up with a protocol — how to control. For example, pagka lumabas ‘yan in — those who are declared freed of the swine flu, matatakan talaga. So that they can travel. Kasi ‘yung iba ayaw pa ipadaan eh. They do not allow the cargos of the pork meat to pass the highways that traverse the local government units, magulo ‘yan. So kung may tatak na, ‘yung wala at meron pa ‘yung swine fever, eh ‘di huwag na muna.

Q: Sir, directive po sa COVID 2019? May travel ban po sa Korea?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ah, ayoko.

Q: Next, sir, ‘yung travel ban sa South Korea kanina, will you expand because of COVID-19?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi kita nakuha, ma’am.

Q: ‘Yung COVID-19, sir, kanina merong…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: ‘Yung corona na lang.

Q: Opo, ‘yung corona. Will you expand ‘yung travel ban kasi meron na…?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ban?

Q: Opo.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No. I cannot do that. No country can do that. If it — if the guy is healthy, why would you…? You cannot do that. There cannot be a total travel ban and you do not allow anybody to enter the… You are going to lockdown the entire Philippines for that.

It’s — it ain’t that way. And for those who are healthy, they should come in. And for those who had been identified from other countries, then that is the time that we can raise the objection of his entry.

But walang previous ano naman or cured and they have passed the 14 days, 15 days sa — ano ito, sequestration — okay naman siguro. But me personally, if you ask me, my answer now is I cannot do it. I will not allow ‘yung travel from…

Q: Sir, ‘yung sa Hong Kong and Macau? What are your plans? Hong Kong and Macau and China?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: My plans about what?

Q: Coronavirus pa rin, sir. ‘Yung travel ban. Kasi nag-partial lifting na sir, Hong Kong and Macau.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I will leave it to the DOH and the guys who are in charge of it, whether it would be safe or not. They can do it. I am not a medical person. I’m a lawyer. So what a lawyer should do before making any decision is really to consult the expert. The expert in this case is the DOH.

Q: Hi sir, good evening po. ‘Yung sa pagkamatay po ng mother ni…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Where are you?

Q: Sir, sa ano po — regarding doon sa pagkamatay ng mother ni Vice President Leni Robredo. Kayo po ba ay pupunta sa wake po ng — niya, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: [If I never had?] time. I just came in from Davao. But I sent my — I conveyed my condolences. And — well the flowers. Kasali man sa kultura natin ‘yan. We do it with flowers.

Q: Last po, sir. Nakausap niyo po ba siya personally or through phone?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: No, but I’d like to say now that I am sad and I share her grief. I also lost a father once upon a time.

Q: Sir, you mentioned that the franchise [off mic] is now up to the Congress. But sir, personally po ngayong nag-apologize na sila, are you now keen on supporting its renewal?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Wala. Ano ako, wala akong — basta sabi ko tinatanggap ko na ‘yung… What… Ako, wala akong kinausap. Magtanong kayo. There are about 200 of them and you can ask anybody.

And if there is a congressman who would say na ano — well then if it is true I will resign. I never, never, never really called anybody about this. Even before, wala akong kinausap na tao dito.

Q: But mayor, kapag nakarating sa table ninyo for example ‘yung bill. Will you sign it?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I will cross the bridge when I am there. Maybe I will call the media to help me out. It’s — it would be a difficult decision really. So I will — I will cross the bridge when I’m there.

— END —

 

SOURCE: PCOO-PND (Presidential News Desk)

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