Press Briefing

Mindanao Hour Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella with Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Jr. Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima Deputy Administrator for Administration Office of Civil Defense

Event Mindanao Hour
Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building

 

OPENING STATEMENTS:

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Good morning. To give us updates of the Marawi situation, we have Major General Restituto Padilla, Jr. and Asec. Kristoffer James Purisima, Deputy Administrator for Administration of the Office of Civil Defense.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us welcome Major General Padilla and Asec. Toby.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Thank you very much, sir. Providing you an update now for the Mindanao situation, but focused on Marawi itself.

A few days after the liberation of Marawi, and still continuously addressing the remaining armed elements, I have the following statistics for you today.

The number of — and this is as — we are now on Day 151st, 20 October, and the data that I have for you is as of 7 p.m. last night.

The number of enemy killed stands at 897. And this has increased substantially with the additional enemy killed since yesterday.

Number of civilians killed remain at 47, the firearms recovered has remained unchanged as well at 850.

Civilians rescued now stand at 1,777. Buildings cleared yesterday, there were none. But the day before that, eight.

The number of unexploded ordnance that were found and dealt with safely were 22, as well as IEDs, two.

I am sad to inform you that in the process of clearing the remaining areas where still stragglers from the other — from the rebel group remains, we incurred another casualty in the — with one of our soldiers dying in one of the assaults that was conducted yesterday.

We also suffered a few wounded, around three of them, but thank God these are not life threatening and they are all safe.

So this is what I have for the statistics and for the significant developments, as you may have been well following, the death of Mahmud has been confirmed through the account — a first-person account of a hostage who knew Dr. Mahmud and who saw the events unfolding.

He died during the assault of our troops the other day — or the other night, where 12 other rebels died. And we are on the process of recovering the body of Dr. Mahmud.

This was also reported by the Chief of Staff and some of the good developments also from Marawi itself is the rescue of hostages.

As was reported and given out to the media this morning by no less than the Commander of the Western Mindanao Command, he confirmed the rescue of 10 hostages.

And we are processing now 11 others who were also rescued yesterday to ascertain whether they are truly hostages or a member of the rebel group.

As soon as this is done, an appropriate announcement will be made.

May I also announce to the public that as we see the endgame of the armed hostilities inside Marawi, we will be shifting our forces to other areas for their required training and for their scheduled battalion or unit activities.

In fact, this morning, the Commander of Western Mindanao Command, General Galvez, as well as other officers in the area sent off one of the first units to have arrived in Marawi during the siege. And this is the First Infantry Battalion under Colonel Tampus.

Colonel Tampus’ unit was assigned to the Western sector or the other side of the bridge, or the other side of the Agus river to secure that area and hold off any enemy from making it across the bridges that have been there.

Colonel Tampus’ unit received the Silver Cross Medal and a Command Plaque from the Western Mindanao Command. They were responsible for the successful and safe rescue of 34 hostages during one of the heights — in the height of our campaign. The unit also suffered wounded and one killed.

The area that will be vacated by this unit will be taken over by other units of Joint Task Group Ranao under Brigadier General Rami Rey.

They will also be going back to Luzon for a much-needed break and for their long-delayed training in Fort Magsaysay and in other camps of the Philippine Army to enhance their skills and prepare them for their next mission.

There will be other units that will be leaving Marawi after First Infantry Battalion, and the basis for their departure from Marawi will be, as I mentioned earlier, if you came in first, you will be the first to leave.

And most of this will be dependent also in the key sector or areas in Marawi that they are holding. If these are relatively safe, then we will free up our units to depart.

However, many are asking whether we are compromising the security of Marawi. We are not. We are actually leaving other units to ensure the continuity of security coverage even during the process of the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and rebuilding of Marawi.

As to the issue of IDPs, which we have been continuously asked, again, I would like to reiterate that we are not allowing any residents from entering the inner parts of Marawi yet because of the many hazards that still remain, and which have — which we have continuously emphasized repeatedly as IEDs, booby traps, and unexploded ordnance.

For those who remember a bit of history, the cases that happened in Indochina before, like in Cambodia, Laos, and other areas after the war, those countries suffered a lot of their citizens getting injured, getting maimed because of unexploded ordnance that they would meet along in the fields, in areas where battles have taken place, which resulted to the loss of limbs, or the loss of lives.

And this is something that we would not like to happen. Ito po ‘yung bagay na kinakailangan maintindihan po ng karamihan sa ating mga kapatid na mga Muslim at mga ibang IDPs diyan po sa Marawi ngayon na ang kapakanan po ninyo ang aming iniisip, kaya pagpasensyahan niyo po muna at konting pasensya dahil kinakailangan po natin talagang suyurin ang bawat sulok ng mga lugar kung saan nagkaroon ng bakbakan.

Kinakailangan hanapin po natin lahat ng naiwang mga bomba na hindi pumutok, mga patibong na iniwan na hindi po namin nakita, at mga bagay na maaaring makasakit sa inyo.

Nakakasama naman po ng loob kung mahigit limang taon po kayong nanirahan sa mga evacuation center, at kayo po ay nag-survive dito, pero pagbalik niyo po upang kunin ang mga nalalabi niyong mga kagamitan o mga pag-aari ay mapuputukan kayo ng mga bombang ito at ikamamatay niyo or ikal — ikawawala ng kamay o paa, o anumang bagay ng katawan. At ayaw po natin itong mangyari.

Kaya hinihingi po namin ang pasensya at pag-unawa ng lahat. ‘Pag oras na po na kami’y ganap na sigurado na hindi na po talaga ito magiging balakid, kami po’y magbibigay ng senyales at makikipag-ugnayan sa local government upang pahintulutan na po ito.

Pero bagamat ganun po ang ating anunsyo, nagkakaroon na po ngayon ng effort sa may Western side, dun po sa kabila ng ilog kung saan hindi po naganap ang mga bakbakang matitindi.

‘Yan po ay na-clear na natin at nagkakaroon na po ngayon ng massive clean-up drive kasama ng ating kasundaluhan na sine-secure ‘yung mga kalalakihan na mga nag-volunteer sa local government na naglilinis po ng mga kalye at mga lugar na kinakailangang daanan.

At ito po’y magpapatuloy hanggang sa takdang panahon na maayos na po ang lugar na ‘to upang matulungang ibalik sa normal ang takbo ng lahat.

May I also emphasize that there still remains a conflict area there about half a hectare na lang ho and a few more buildings that we have to clear.

With the number of hostages that has been rescued in the last 24 hours, we look forward to getting the rest of the hostages that still remain and addressing the armed threat that still exists.

And we are praying that this be today or the following day. So let’s give it our — we are giving it our best and we’re doing all that we can so that we can end these hostilities in this part of Marawi.

This is all I have for you and thank you very much.

ASEC. PURISIMA: Thank you, sir. Good morning, Malacañang Press Corps. Here are the updates from your Task Force Bangon Marawi.

The Post-Conflict Needs Assessment, particularly the Damage and Losses Assessment continues in Clusters 1 to 5, composed of 24 barangays in Marawi City.

The assessment focuses on four major sectors in the PCNA process, namely, infrastructure, productive, social, and cross-sectoral.

For the infrastructure sector, we look at the power supply, the water supply, telecommunications, and transportation.

For the productive sector, we look into agriculture, mining, tourism, culture, industry, trade and services.

For the social sector, we look at education, housing and health.

And for the cross-sectoral sector, we look at government, macro-economic assessment, social impact assessment and environmental assessment.

To date, 10 barangays were already assessed by the inter-agency PCNA teams. Sixteen more barangays from the 5 clusters, including Barangay Bito Buadi Itowa and Barangay Bito Buadi Parba are yet to be visited.

Each OCD-led teams are provided with security escorts composed of PNP and AFP personnel as well as other logistical necessities such as first-aid kits, umbrellas and raincoats.

Initial consolidation of outputs has been conducted given the few days of field deployment.

In terms of infrastructure, minimal damages on residential houses and other structures were observed since the assessed barangays are located in the outskirts of the city.

We expect that most damages to infrastructure will be noted during the assessment at ground zero.

On the productive sector, production losses due to the abandonment of farms during the armed conflict were noted.

The economic impact is predominant since all the establishments in the assessed areas were closed during the height of the conflict.

Lesser damages and losses were observed under the cross-sectoral and the social sectors. However, incidents of looting in schools and hospitals were noticed.

Meanwhile, as mentioned earlier, a cleanup drive dubbed as “Brigada Marawi” was launched on October 4, led by the local government of Marawi City with the assistance from the AFP.

As of yesterday, October 19, 22 barangays benefitted from the clear — cleanup drive and more sectors and stakeholders are joining the Marawi City local government unit, where they aim to restore the cleanliness and sanitation in the city. That is all I have. Thank you.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Thank you.

On martial law in Mindanao:

The death of the ring leaders of the Marawi rebellion, which include Omar Maute, Isnilon Hapilon, and Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, does not automatically result in the lifting of martial law.

There are remnants, including networks supporting the Maute — the Maute cause within Mindanao.

The President is duty-bound not to compromise public safety. The Commander-in-Chief however will confer with the members of his Cabinet — Security, Justice and Peace Cluster, particularly the Secretary of National Defense, who is the designated Martial Law Administrator and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who is the designated Martial Law Implementor, on the necessary action to be taken.

On the firing of a DBM Undersecretary:

The President yesterday announced the firing of an Undersecretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), whom Secretary Benjamin Diokno actually confirmed.

The President’s action highlights that no government official is sacred under this administration. Let this be a reminder to all public officers that we are all here – not for ourselves – but for the greater good of the nation.

On the — PRRD has pledged better conditions for BJMP jails to benefit both inmates and jail personnel.

The President wants every inmate to have a chance for a new life.

Hence, jail conditions must be conducive to reform. Let this directive debunk those who claim the President has no heart for the down and out.

We’re ready for a few questions.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Rose Novenario (Hataw): Hello, good morning, sir. Kay General Padilla. Sir, sa pagkamatay po ni Doc Ahmad, meron pa po ba tayong tinutugis na mga iba pang mga foreign terrorists or foreign jihadists sa Mindanao?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Meron pa po at may isang prominenteng commander diyan, si Commander [Baku?] kung hindi ako nagkakamali, na atin pang hinahanap at maaaring naging parte na ng mga ilang namatay noong mga naunang pagkakataon.

So ‘yan po ‘yung mga bagay na kasama sa ating mga nais maberipika sa mga ginagawa nating hakbang sa loob ng Marawi.

Ang mga grupong pinamunuan niya o ‘yung grupong pinamumunuan niya ay isa sa mga nagpahayag ng kanilang allegiance sa Daesh noong araw at naging kasanib sa puwersa nitong mga Maute brothers pati ng grupo ni Hapilon, ‘yung ASG component na nagpunta diyan.

So ‘yan po ‘yung parte na ‘yan. ‘Yung binabanggit po ng ilang analysts na bagama’t hindi nanggaling sa Marawi at nagsasabi ng kanilang mga inputs tungkol dito, ‘yung iba po dun ay medyo panis na, hindi ho tama.

At wala ‘yung mga binabanggit nilang ibang pangalan, hindi ko na ho papangalanan, ay wala doon sa lugar na ‘yun at hindi sila current doon sa situation.

Sa ibang parte naman ng Mindanao, ang Armed Forces po ay patuloy na nagsasagawa ng operasyon, lalo na sa mga lugar ng Jolo, Basilan, at Tawi-Tawi, at parte ng Maguindanao, at Cotabato, kung saan may nananatiling malalaking puwersa na maaaring manggulo.

So these are the subjects of these operations and we will be relentless and we’ll not cease until we have adequately or completely addressed the destruction of these networks or these units that will pose danger to public safety.

On another note, may I also just make mention that in one publication today, in page seven of that publication, there was an… there were articles that came out that talked about the surrender of the relatives of the Hapilons and the Mautes, particularly the Hapilon relatives in the area of Basilan.

We are happy to note that there is some sense entering into the minds of all these relatives who bear arms and who have been part of the network.

And as the days go by, let this be a good message to all these armed individuals and armed elements.

Maging magandang mensahe po sana itong mga nangyayari sa Marawi na talagang determinado ang Armed Forces at ang ating pamahalaan na i-address lahat ng mga armadong grupo upang talagang manatiling safe ang ating mga kanayunan at ang ating mga siyudad.

Kasi habang meron pong nagdadala ng armas na mga iligal, maliban sa mga otorisado, mananatili pong may maaaring kaguluhan na mangyari.

Kaya’t kami po ay patuloy na humihingi ng tulong ng publiko at hinihimok ho ang lahat na dapat nakikipag-isa sa ating pamahalaan. Unang-una, para ma-address ang loose firearms.

Hangga’t hindi po naibabalik at naisu-surrender lahat ng mga loose firearms, ‘yung mga armas na hindi dapat nasa kamay ng mga tao na wala namang lisensya at hindi naman dapat naghahawak ng armas, dapat makuha po natin lahat ‘yan nang sa ganun, masabi nating ganap nang maayos ang ating mga komunidad.

Ms. Novenario: Sir, follow up po. Pwede po ninyong banggitin kung ano ‘yung mga foreign jihadist groups na may presence pa po sa Mindanao or ano po ‘yung mga front organizations po nila doon?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: ‘Yung mga kilala po natin na talagang naging tanyag na. Alam naman po natin, ‘yung grupo ni… ‘yung AKP, ‘yan ‘yung Toraype na wala naman doon sa Marawi pero nagpahayag ng kanilang pagsanib-pwersa.

‘Yung BIFF na patuloy na nagbibi… nakikitang ‘yan ang isa sa pinakamalaking kayang… may kakayahan na manggulo dahil may puwersa pa sila. At ‘yang ASG at ‘yung Maute group.

‘Yun lang namang apat na ‘yan at ‘yung mga ibang grupo na nababanggit at nasa listahan po ng… o ‘yung website ng Daesh ISIS na kinilala nila. Madami po ‘yan eh, mga 18 to 21 kung hindi ako nagkakamali.

Napakaliit nung mga ibang grupo na ‘yan. At ‘yang mga grupong ‘yan ay maaaring lima hanggang 10 nga lang na mga grupo.

So ‘yung nabanggit ko, ‘yun ‘yung pinakamalaki na kinakailangang ma-address. At ‘yung mga… ibang mga maliliit na grupo na ‘yan ay patuloy namang mino-monitor. Salamat po.

Deo de Guzman (RMN-DZXL): General Padilla, sir. Sir, you mentioned kanina na napatay si Mahmud with other 12 rebels?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Doon po ‘yun sa — Nangyari po ‘yan noong nag-assault po ang ating puwersa nung isang gabi pa.

Mr. de Guzman: Nung isang gabi po? Doon po sa mga napatay na ‘yun, ilan po ‘yung mga foreign fighters?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: ‘Yun nga ang gusto naming matiyak kaya kailangan makuha namin ‘yung lahat ng labi.

As of yesterday, hindi pa tayo talaga ganap na nakakapasok kasi may pumuputok at lumalaban pa, kaya nga namatayan tayo ng isang tao.

So hangga’t hindi natin naki-clear na ganap itong mga lugar na ‘to, mahirap pasukin at i-recover itong mga cadaver. May na-recover lang na isang cadaver kahapon.

Mr. de Guzman: Sa estimate niyo po, General, ilan po ‘yung mga foreign fighters po na napatay na since day one?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: ‘Yung bilang po ng sinasabi nating naiwan pa diyan matapos na nagdeklara po ng liberation ng Marawi ang ating Pangulo ay nasa six to eight. At parte na diyan sa bilang na ‘yan si Mahmud.

Ngayon, ‘yung simula po, may mino-monitor po tayo noong bago nagsimula ang Marawi siege na mga mahigit 20.

So ‘yung mga mahigit 20 na ‘yan ay maaaring kasama doon sa total na bilang ng mga nakisanib-puwersa sa Maute group doon sa loob ng Marawi.

Mr. de Guzman: Thank you, sir.

Pia Gutierrez (ABS-CBN): Sir, recently the United States have declared that ISIS has been defeated inside their self-proclaimed capital in Raqqa, in Syria. Following their defeats here in Marawi and also in Raqqa, what is the military’s assessment, sir, of the threat posed by ISIS, especially here in the Southeast Asian region?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Well, first off, we are part of a global alliance of nations who are working together to deal with this global threat, the threat of terrorism, particularly from this group.

Now, with the fall of strong areas in the Middle East, held previously by the ISIS and the Daesh. We see that their influence will continue to wane and their ability to put up sizable forces to control and gain hold of territories will almost be nil because of these events.

Now, one of those things that’s also coming out from these recent developments is that nations are wisening up and their knowledge and understanding of the Daesh and its network is increasingly becoming better.

So this knowledge of the enemy will allow nations to deal with these forces much better than they have been dealing with them before.

So by and large, there still remains a threat from this group, but not in the magnitude that we have seen in the Middle East nor in the scale by which we have confronted Marawii. This is our assessment.

But the most dangerous thing here that may come out is, their remaining network, which may consist of as few as one or two, may still impose a degree of threat in many parts of the world, not only in the Philippines.

And you have seen things happening in Europe, Great Britain, regarding lone wolf type attacks. And these are the kind of threats that may come out.

So it is imperative that we all still continue to work together.

Kinakailangan po lahat ng mga bansa sa buong mundo na may ganitong kinakaharap na problema, ay kinakailangan magsanib-puwersa at magtulungan, mag-share ng information kung may mga nakikitang pagbabanta sa mga iba’t-ibang lugar para makapagbigay abiso sila kung may mga lugar tulad ng sa Middle East, sa Europe na maaaring pinupuntirya nitong mga grupong ‘to.

At malaki po ang magagawa nitong pagsasanib-puwersa o pagtutulungan na ito, dahil tulad ng mga nangyari noong araw na tayo’y naabisuhan na meron pala ditong dalawang banyaga na tumutulong sa grupong ito, nahuli natin sila.

So our Bureau of Immigration and Deportation were able to deport them, send them back to their home countries.

So they may have already funneled so much funds to all these groups inside the Philippines.

I’m talking about the Kuwaiti and the Syrian national who were arrested in the Global City. So there are the kind of incidents that we have to guard against.

Kaya nga po kami, matapos nitong assessment na ‘to, nakikita natin, kinakailangan patuloy pa rin nating paghirapang buwagin itong mga natitira pa nilang mga grupo at mga organisasyon, mga networks nila.
Kasi habang nanantili ‘yan, ‘yung banta na ‘yan ay maiiwan.

At isa pa, ‘yung aming panawagan sa lahat, lalo na po doon sa sinasabi nating konsepto ng shared responsibility in security ay napakahalaga at napaka-importante kasi hindi talaga kakayanin ng bilang ng pulis, ng bilang ng sundalo na bantayan ang bawat sulok ng kapuluan.

Pero kung ang bawat mamamayan ay kaparte nitong pagbabantay na ito, mas nagiging mainam.

Mr. de Guzman: Sir, meron pong sinabi si Presidente na he would like to arm the citizens para po — citizens —

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Yes.

Mr. de Guzman: — para po makapagbantay na rin o makatulong sa pagbabantay ng government against terrorists and other elements. Okay po ba sa inyo ‘to?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: I think the — That is already under study hanggang sa kasalukuyan. At ginagawa naman natin ito lalo na sa mga liblib na lugar kasi nag-e-employ tayo ng mga CAFGUs ‘di ba? ‘Yung mga special CAFGUs natin na ina-assign diyan.

Pero kinakailangan ‘yung proseso na ito ay kinakailangang dumaan sa isang maayos na pamamalakad kasi we need to train them, orient them, and prepare and equip them appropriately so that we will avoid abuses.

So if these forces are properly motivated, properly trained, and which we have done so with a lot of our CAFGU units, ‘yung incidence ng mga complaints tungkol sa mga abuso, nababawasan, kung hindi nawawala na totally.

So ‘yun lang ang magiging participation namin. To ensure that the training and the equipping will go hand-in-hand with the best practices that we have already been employing.

Mr. de Guzman: Thank you, sir.

Ian Cruz (GMA): General Padilla, good morning ho.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Yes, Ian?

Mr. Cruz: Sir, ‘yung problem ng looting, siguro, malaki sigurong impact ito sa mga residente kasi may mga naglinis na doon sa bago mag-Mapandi. Nakita nila ‘yung bahay nila. Wala na ‘yung mga gamit nila. And may mga nakausap din ako ng nagpunta ako sa Marawi na may malalaking bahay doon, ‘yung vault nila sira din. Pero wala naman daw labanan doon sa area nila. So papaano kaya natin ma-a-address ‘yun sir?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Well, kinakailangan ho maintindihan natin na noong nagsimula itong kaguluhan na ‘to, 96 barangays were under the control of the terrorists.

And as they may… as our forces made their way into Marawi, doon pa lang sila umatras nang umatras doon sa pinaka-loob-looban ng siyudad, which is the commercial business district center.

Eh nung mga naunang linggo at buwan, nandoon pa sila sa mga outskirts. So it is not far-fetched na pwedeng dinaanan din ‘yan.

Pero kung hindi sila satisfied sa ganung klaseng paliwanag at ano, kinakailangan i-subject natin sa isang investigation ito.

For the Armed Forces, we have, time and again, informed everybody that we are an accountable organization and if it’s proven that we have committed some abuses, we will submit our personnel who are guilty of having committed those abuses and those acts to the proper venues.

So we’re not escaping from any kind of responsibility. But we have been very strict. Naging matigas po ang Armed Forces dito sa bagay na ito at lagi naming pinaalalahanan lahat ng ating tropa tungkol sa kanilang misyon sa lugar.

At kami po ay natutuwa dahil sa tingin namin, naging disiplinado po lahat ng ating tropa at ginampanan ang kanilang tungkulin.

Kaya nga po nakita niyo, hanggang sa kasalukuyan, madami pa rin na nasusugatan at may namatay pa kahapon dahil sa ginagawa nating tungkulin na ‘to.

Dexter Ganibe (DZMM): General, good morning. You mentioned around four groups, ito ‘yung mga malalaki na mino-monitor niyo, AKP, BIFF, ASG and Maute. ‘Yung sa Maute, sir, kahit patay na ‘yung mga lead — tumatayong leader, may kapasidad pa ba sila?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Almost totally decimated na itong ano ‘no, o halos napulbos na sila o na-erase na sila ‘no, pero hindi natin maaalis na maaaring may naiiwan pa.

Tandaan natin, nung 2015 hanggang 2016, nung nagkaroon ng matinding bakbakan diyan sa Butig at sinasabi natin almost na-wipe out na sila, eh parang ilaw sa kandila na nagfli-flicker tapos nabuhay ulit.

So maaaring mangyari uli ‘yan, sa pamamagitan ng ilan diyan sa mga miyembro nila.

Kaya nga kinakailangan nating manatiling mapagmasid at laging alerto tungkol sa mga bagay na ito dahil may maaaring nakatakas, tulad ng mga nahuli natin sa Cagayan De Oro noong mga naunang linggo na nandiyan pa rin, lurking around and just looking for an opportunity.

Mr. Ganibe: So AF — hindi pa siya kino-konsidera ng AFP na…

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Hindi pa po. Hindi pa siya totally erased sa listahan. Nandiyan pa rin po ‘yun at mananatili diyan hanggang sigurado tayo.

Mr. Cruz: Sir Toby, ‘yun po bang sinasabing military reservation doon sa… sa ito po’y sa rehab phase na, ‘no. Matutuloy po ba ‘yun? Tsaka may binabanggit din si Assemblyman, si Alonto Adiong na meron din silang plano na i-preserve na part nung Marawi para maging, alam mo na, pwedeng pasyalan ng mga tao, maaalala nila ‘yung nangyari.

ASEC. PURISIMA: Pinag-aaralan natin lahat ng options na ‘yan, particularly dun sa land issue ‘no.

Meron ding sub-committee ang Task Force para pag-aralan lahat ng land issues, kasama na diyan ‘yung extent ng military reservation, ‘yung extent ng existing proclamations covering Marawi City.

So lahat ‘yan pinag-uusapan at seryosong issue ‘yan kaya’t hindi natin ‘yan pinababayaan ‘no.

Pagdating naman doon sa preservation ng certain parts ng Marawi City, pinag-aaralan din ‘yan dahil siyempre meron tayo ditong issues of course, regarding the costs of rebuilding the city or whether we will entertain other options.

And that’s why we’re always consulting with our stakeholders. Lalo na with the… our local government stakeholders, our IDPs, and also, our partners, private sector partners, para tingnan kung ano ‘yung pinaka-magandang option moving forward.

At siyempre, gusto na rin natin ibalik o bigyan ng satisfaction ang ating mga IDPs na makita na nila ‘yung areas ‘no. At kung makakabalik sila, ibalik na sila.

Ngunit their safety is our concern kaya gagawin natin ito sa isang maingat na paraan.

Mr. Cruz: Sir, pabor ba kayo doon sa sinasabing i-pe-preserve (preserve) ‘yung ibang parte doon para maging remembrance ng nangyaring siege?

ASEC. PURISIMA: Well, that is a decision that has not yet been made by the Task Force and the Task Force is aware of those proposals and we will study it.

In fact, tomorrow, meron ulit executive committee meeting ang Task Force sa Iligan. Kaka-meeting lang ng executive nung Miyerkules at mag-mi-meeting (meeting) ulit ngayon at nakikita talaga dito na talagang todo na ang partisipasyon ng lahat ng government agencies pagdating dito sa rehab and recovery ng Marawi City.

At bibigyan namin kayo ng updates tungkol dun. Makakaasa kayo, lahat ng ito, lahat ng mga proposals na ‘to ay pag-uusapan.

Alvin Baltazar (Radyo Pilipinas): Sir Toby, magandang umaga. Sir, 47 sets of heavy equipment pinadala ng China just recently. Sir, meron pa po bang ibang bansa na nag-pledge ng… tutulong, magpapadala din ng the same assistance para sa Marawi?

ASEC. PURISIMA: Lahat ng tulong ng ating mga donors ‘no, whether they be — are foreign countries, whether they be private sector, stakeholders, domestic or foreign.

Lahat ng ito ay pinag-uusapan at kino-course through sa tinatawag natin na financial management sub-committee ‘no.

Dahil lahat ng ito — ito ‘yung clearing house. Magiging clearing house ang lahat ng donations dahil gusto nating maging maayos ito ‘no.

Meron tayong — this is primarily composed of DOF, DBM, NEDA. So lahat sila ang aware sa mga nagbibigay ng pledges at sa mga nagbibigay ng donations at lahat ng ito ay nililista na para maging comprehensive ang ating listing.

At tayo naman ay accountable institution para malaman talaga natin kung ano ‘yung sagutin natin sa taong bayan.

So kung meron pang future donations, future pledges, lahat ‘to naman nililista ‘no at pinag-uusapan ito doon sa Resource Management Task Force — subcommittee

Mr. de Guzman: General Padilla, sir, with the death of the three leaders, supposed leaders of the terrorist group in Marawi City, would the AFP suggest to the President another extension of martial law or would the… would the imposed martial law until the end of the year suffice?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: At the moment, we’re working on the timeline that was provided to us which is towards the end of the year.

Ngayon, ‘yung towards the end of the year na ‘yan, ‘yung gagawin natin diyan is to address the remaining networks at saka ‘yung iba pang mga terrorist organization.

Even the President himself last night has mentioned that until such time that one terrorist remains, martial law will remain.

And we’re very appreciative of the declaration of the President because we actually really need it.

It enables our forces to act quickly para ma-address ‘yung mga security threats, particularly in Mindanao.

Now, as was mentioned also by Sec. Abella a while ago, there will be a meeting of the security cluster to deliberate, to deliberate, to assess and to study if it should be extended beyond the end-of-the-year timeline.

Mr. de Guzman: Thank you, sir.

Ms. Novenario: Hi, sir, good morning po uli. Sir, sa pagkamatay po ni Doc. Ahmad bilang financier po ng Maute group, at ‘yung pagkahuli po ng lady police colonel sa Bohol, saan pa po pwedeng magmula ang pondo ng mga terorista rito sa Pilipinas?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Madaming pamamaraan eh kasi hindi naman [unclear] kahigpit ang ating pagmomo-monitor tulad ng nangyayari sa ibang bansa.

Kaya kinakailangan may mga ibang panukala o mga batas na kinakailangang idagdag o palakasin ‘yung mga existing na batas upang makapagsagawa ng pagbabantay na ito.

Ngayon, ano ‘yung ibang pamamaraan? There’s so many numerous ways. The innocent donation for a certain project perhaps can be a means.

That’s why there needs to be a clear determination on the source and the beneficiary of all these donations, particularly in certain areas na… which can arouse suspicion.

So unless these are closely watched, it’s really hard to monitor everything, lalo na ‘yung pagdaloy ng pera kasi madami hong pamamaraan.

Ms. Novenario: Hihingi po ng tulong sa AMLC ang AFP?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Nagpanukala na rin at laging nagbibigay po ng abiso ang AFP sa AMLC kung saka-sakaling may namo-monitor po ito pero hindi ho palagi kasi ang AFP naman ho hindi naman kami nagmo-monitor ng mga financial transactions.

‘Yung ibang institutions pati mga bangko, may kanya-kanyang mga procedures. Ang BSP natin, may mga kanya-kanyang procedures po.

So kailangan po talaga magkaroon ng isang sistema na makapag-enhance dito sa ginagawa natin sa kasalukuyan para direkta, magkakaroon ng red flag kung may mga substantial amounts of money na pumapasok.

Ngayon, kung maliliit naman na paulit-ulit, ganun din po ‘yun eh. You may be able to have a red flag warning on certain sums na malalaki, pero ‘pag pinag-hati-hati na ito, mas mahirap nang sundan.

So ‘yun ay mga bagay na kailangan pag-aralan po ng ating mga eksperto, mga dalubhasa sa mga bagay na ito upang makapagbigay sila ng angkop na measures para ma-screen or mabantayan.

Chona Yu (Radyo Inquirer): Sir, lighter side. Kailan daw ‘yung Hong Kong trip na pangako ng Pangulo sa mga sundalo?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Maganda tinanong niyo ‘yan kasi kaya nga po excited ang mga sundalo na matapos na eh kasi tutuloy na sila Hong Kong. [laughter]

Ms. Yu: Tapos, sir, kay ano… Sir, ‘yung ginagamit ‘yung ano, ‘yung Bangon Marawi project. Ano ‘yung ginagawang measures para masiguro na hindi ito nagagamit ng iba’t-ibang fake organizations para lang mamera, mangolekta ng pera?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: By far, ‘yung dito sa Joint Task Force Bangon Marawi, I will have to defer that to Asec. Toby.

But alam po namin at nakikita naman namin na halos lahat po ng pumasok na donasyon dito ay pumunta doon sa mga intended beneficiaries kasi kino-contact din kami upang tumulong na mag-deliver.

‘Pag may mga pagkakataon na nakikita namin na iba ‘yung ulterior motive, kami na ho mismo nagsasabi na, “’Wag nalang.”

May I also add nung ano ‘no. I failed to mention that the President repeatedly was mentioning that he would give firearms to soldiers ‘no. Individual firearms.

Now recently, we had been implementing that already. Nagkaroon po ng ceremonial na 500 na naibigay ang ating Commander-in-Chief sa ilang mga kasundaluhan.

Ngayon, nasundan na po ito ng palagay ko 3,000 or 5,000 more firearms na ide-deliver, na ibibigay at ipamamahagi po sa ating mga kasundaluhan.

So ito’y… kaya ko binanggit po ito. This is a promise fulfilled slowly because of the process of acquisition.

And the good thing here is the President’s decision to source this locally, also based on the request of soldiers to have it at a certain caliber.

So ngayon, itong pino-produce po na ito ay sinource (source) na sa isang local na company na nabalitaan namin ay dahil sa order na bulk ng ating gobyerno, nakapag-employ sila ng mga karagdagang tao.

So with the President’s delivery of his promise, we also saw a lot of opportunities because the local arms industry was steered up and resulted to the employment of so many.

I think there were over a thousand already employed who are helping produce those firearms for our soldiers.

So that’s something good because it’s trickling down to the economy. And this is what we would like also to do with our modernization later on.

As we acquire more weapons, as we acquire more platforms and equipment and tools, we will capacitate our industries so that we can generate more jobs for our people.

Ina Andolong (CNN Philippines): For Spokesman Abella. Sir, do you have any directives regarding the Visayas and Mindanao — parts of Visayas and Mindanao affected by the typhoon “Paolo”? Zamboanga City has been placed under a state of calamity and lima po ‘yung patay. Do you have directives on those?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: So far none. We will be awaiting any statements coming from the Office of the Executive Secretary. We’ll be awaiting, okay? Saan manggagaling?

Ms. Andolong: Sa OCD, sir?

ASEC. PURISMA: Yeah, we’re monitoring the situation. On the part of OCD and DRRMC, we are aware of these situations and we’re…

Our regional offices are constantly monitoring this. The feedback that we’re getting is that our regional offices and local government units are capable of addressing the issues as of this point, but we’re prepared to augment if necessary.

Ms. Andolong: Thank you, sir.

Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning. For Spokesperson Abella.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes, ma’am?

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, according to Secretary Cayetano, the way he understood the President was that we would be rejecting all kinds of aids and grants from the European Union. Sir, does this include any help or aid the EU may offer in rebuilding Marawi?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I don’t know if it specifically has to do with that, but we can say this, that we’re always open to the offer of constructive advice and of course…

But when, you know… We are also very, very open to trade. And not so much to aid and grants with conditions.

Meaning to say, if it’s tied to and if certain conditionalities are tied to the aid and grant, we must respectfully decline as we do not wish to subject ourselves to monitoring or be dictated to.

That is apparently the position of the President at this stage.

Ms. Salaverria: So not all, not all kinds of aids and grants? I mean we will still be open to assistance for Marawi, for instance?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I cannot specifically answer for that. It’s just… it all depends on the conditionalities that are being given, but one thing we are sure, we are open to, of course, is trade.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, last na lang. I asked this kasi sir, can we afford to reject any offer of help, considering that we need a lot of funds to rebuild Marawi?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Certainly we have a lot of needs. The nation is quite challenged in many areas.

However, the President has again and again underlined that this is not… we are not to be mendicants and that we are not to compromise the sovereignty of the nation.

Llanesca Panti (Manila Times): Sir, follow-up po ‘yung sa EU aid.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes, ma’am.

Ms. Panti: You mentioned about being mendicants. I mean is…

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: This is the position the President has said very early in his Presidency, yes.

Ms. Panti: But the — have you heard from these foreign governments or the EU or any other foreign government for that matter? Do you feel that we are being mendicant if we are…

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I said either mendicants or being — or our sovereignty is being compromised.

Ms. Panti: How, sir?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: When we are being told. In the President’s words, “that when we are being dictated upon.”

Ms. Panti: Okay, sir. ‘Yung next po.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes, ma’am?

Ms. Panti: About estimates on the funds. Sorry for — because you mentioned about funds for Marawi.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I did not mention it. She mentioned it.

Ms. Panti: Yeah. My colleague mentioned it. Defense Secretary Lorenzana increased it to 100 billion from initial 50 billion. Would that be accurate or would that be updated?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: And your question is?

Ms. Panti: The needed fund for Marawi, is it 100 billion or 50 billion as initially announced?

ASEC. PURISIMA: We’re continuing to assess the situation because the assessment of PCNA is not yet done.

Actually, the big bulk of the PCNA has not even started because of the — Hindi pa cleared ‘yung main area ‘no.

So we’re still looking at that. There are estimates, initially it was 50, and it was increased to a hundred.

But it really depends on the final assessment ‘no because we will continue to refine our plan.

Remember, the output would be the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan for Marawi City, the CRRP, and that would contain our plans moving forward.

So before that time, all of these numbers will be estimates. But of course, we’re looking at the situation on the ground. We will adjust accordingly.

Ms. Novenario: Hi, Secretary Abella. Sir, good morning po. Sir, may mga lumabas na reports na nakipagkita si Senator Trillanes kay Senator Rubio ng US. So may — para pong lumabas sa report na may background daw po ‘yung Senator Rubio na isang CIA agent at diumano’y sangkot daw po sa pagpapabagsak ng pamahalaan sa Venezuela. May pangamba po ba ang Palasyo na maaaring gawin din po ito ni Rubio sa tulong po ng ilang mambabatas ng Pilipinas?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Wala po tayong mga — We don’t have any comments regarding the matter, ma’am. It’s… whatever we say at this stage will be mere speculation so…

Ms. Novenario: Wala po bang report ang Philippine Embassy tungkol po sa naging aktibidad ni Senator Trillanes sa US?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: As far as we know, he is in the US and hanggang doon lang muna siguro masasabi natin.

Mr. de Guzman: Sir, you said po, ayaw pong tanggapin ng Presidente or ng country ‘yung mga tulong from EU na mayroong mga condition, conditionalities. Meron po bang mga grants? Meron po bang mga donations ang ibang country, NGOs na walang condition? Kasi as far I know po, meron pong mga conditions talaga lahat ng mga grants.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Correct. And so, maybe the clearest statement would be, we are committed to trade, not so much to aid and grants with conditions. Okay. So we’re more committed to that than… rather than pursue aids and grants with conditions.

Mr. de Guzman: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Thank you.

— END —

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