Press Conference of Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella
Press Briefing Room, New Executive Bldg, Malacañang
10 OCTOBER 2016
Q: Sir, your statement po muna on Agot Isidro?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Statement regarding that. Alright. Ms. Isidro is entitled to her own opinion. However, precisely her position is the kind of mental attitude that the President wants to address, which is when he mentioned that we tend to have a mendicant or a beggar’s mentality.

We tend to be afraid about losing aid, when this is exactly what he wants to address, that we become independent, mentally, emotionally, internally, and be willing to risk a bit of sacrifice so that we can establish our own independence, in terms of policy and not be dependent on foreign aid.

Q: Sir, si Presidente mentioned in one of his speeches na he called on the Filipinos for little sacrifice.


Q: Does he really anticipate ‘yung ganon klaseng fallout?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I supposed what he’s really… doing is, is really challenging our sense of patriotism. He’s challenging us to become more nationalistic, to be proud of who we are and not to go back and fall back on these dependencies.

So basically, it’s really a challenge for us to become as Donald Dee said the other day, last week, when he mentioned that we need to be more patriotic and more nationalistic and more proud of our being Filipino.

Q: But sir the term ‘psychopath’ do you find it offensive?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Let’s not refer to that, that’s… those are, those are–

Q: Isn’t a bit too much?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It’s a little… it’s really going to the edge ‘no. It’s really going to the edge. But, but more than that, I think the President sees… has a higher perspective and sees that this is… while it can be irritating, it’s, it’s something that, just demonstrates where she is in terms of, in terms of being a patriot or a nationalist.

Q: Sir pragmatically, kaya ba talaga natin to do away with, not just US aid, but international aid?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: We’re not doing away with international aid. We’re simply saying that we should not be dependent on these things.

Q: How about your reaction to the French newspaper’s calling President Duterte as serial killer?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yeah. I think that’s rather unfortunate ‘no. And for me, it demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of the Philippines situation.

Considering the fact that it is a left-leaning paper, I believe they should have been more appreciative of other things that are happening in the Philippines.

For example, the peace process in Oslo. They should have been more, they should have been more aware of that and more appreciative, rather than focus on these things which is not really… which I think is really unfounded, you know, considering the fact that again and again, we have emphasized the fact that police actions and their campaign against illegal drugs really assumes that certain amount of regularity, na we stay within bounds.

Q: Sir, what’s the Palace reaction on Fidel Ramos’ column saying that the Philippines has been losing to the Duterte administration’s 100 days?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: You know, si President, former President Ramos is a senior statesman and he’s acting in the sense of, parang in a sense like a father ‘no.

He’s not referring to the actual actions. He’s referring to the public relations, foreign relations that tend to be affected by the President’s language.

So in a sense, yes we listen to him, we respect him. But we’d also like to balance his perspective by the statements, as you very well heard, his former National Security Adviser when asked how to assess the first hundred days of the President, he referred to the fact that based on the three-point mission, which is to reduce poverty, which is law and order, which is peace within our borders, he said that the President did exceptionally well.

So there are really mixed reactions and while they maybe some concerns, we’d also like to, you know, at the end summarize the fact that the President is a man of action and really we need to appreciate that more.

Q: Sir, si Presidente ba alam ‘yung comment ni FVR?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The President is a reader. I supposed he’s come across the column already.

Q: Sir what will he do after, if he’s going to do anything, after the–?


Q: Si Presidente po. What is he going to do after FVR issued his, you know, opinion?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I do not, I cannot presume on what he’s… on what the President will do. But I’m sure, you know, we understand where each one is coming from. Each one has his own perspective.

But the President is his own person and definitely— but on the other hand also, the President is not just a reader, an actor, and a listener so we can, we can expect, we can expect that he also has his own decision-making processes and so may respond in a mature way also.

Q: Sir, si Presidente naman is not… I mean sinasabi niya na malaki ang utang na loob niya kay FVR–?


Q: And I think he has his ear ‘no?


Q: Ano ‘yung value na ina-ascribe natin doon sa opinion ni FVR?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Like I said, he’s a senior statesman ‘no. And, he has his opinion and he’s, he has concerns, especially regarding foreign relations and these are also worth looking into.

Q: Do you think he will listen?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The President is a wise man. Thank you very much.

Q: Sir, last na. Do you agree doon sa assessment niya that at least Duterte administration has something to improve on in terms of leadership–?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Basically, he did not expound on the teamwork. But he did talk about leadership and how sometimes… I think he was quoting Dick Gordon ‘no. He was quoting Dick Gordon.

And you know, but I understand and appreciate where, we can appreciate where President FVR is coming from.

On the other hand, we also continue to move on according to the lights of the President.

Q: Do you agree that President Duterte’s been distracted by criticisms, rightly or wrongly, by the EJK? Parang medyo in terms of focus, doon lang siya natatali.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It’s not so much him but the public I think. I think what the public needs is a better appreciation of the President’s vision for… the President’s vision for the nation which is that we come into our own and truly have an independent mindset, independent spirit and that we will truly, fully embrace our being Filipino. Thank you.

SOURCE: PND – Transcriber