ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, I wonder – although these agreements will be signed this afternoon – do you know which areas are covered?
SEC. PANELO: No. I have not been informed.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Okay.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Sir, formally dineclare na ng Department of Agriculture iyong affected na tayo ng African Swine Fever and apparently, sir, parang—I don’t know kung nagiging transparent ba ang DA. Meron bang directive ang Palace sa DA na maging transparent? Kasi parang before—kasi parang hindi nila dinisclose kung sana-saan talagang lugar, ngayon lang sinabi na aside from Antipolo, Rodriguez, Rizal and Bulacan may mga affected areas pa rin ng African Swine Fever.
Meron bang directive na maging transparent, parang hindi ba dina-downplay ng DA iyong problem? Kasi parang… magugulat na lang iyong publiko na mayroon nang—gaano na kalaki iyong problema natin sa ASF?
SEC. PANELO: There is no need for a directive to be transparent. All agencies of the government and departments are expected to be transparent on their activities.
Now with respect to that, I’m sure the DA knew only of the affected areas at the time that they released the report. I saw the DA Secretary earlier… this morning and confirming that the disease is an African Swine Flu. And I’m sure the DA is already doing something about it.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: So, gaano kalala iyong problem, sir, na-contain na ba iyong problema doon sa mga affected areas and meron bang assurance na safe ba na kumain iyong public ng meat products?
SEC. PANELO: Just like any other sudden foreign disease that affects the swine industry, the DA will undertake all the measures necessary to secure the public for their safety, that’s SOP.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Sir, will you encourage the public na it is safe to eat meat products despite na meron na nga tayong African swine fever sa bansa?
SEC. PANELO: Well, the reasonable thing to do is to avoid it. But I’m sure the DA will be issuing circulars relative to that.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Sir, you are encouraging the public to ‘avoid it’—
SEC. PANELO: To avoid eating.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Yeah, avoid eating.
SEC. PANELO: Well me, I’m avoiding it; but this morning I ate. [laughs]
We have to wait for the circulars or information coming from the DA to tell us exactly what we have to do, those who are in the eating business, which is the daily habit for all of us.
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sir, any directives po kasi ‘Ber’ months na po tayo, sir eh, marami tayong mga handaan and 95% po iyong local producer po ng pork natin, tayo po ang nagpo-produce. Kung may nakapasok na pong ASF sa bansa, paano po iyong assurance ay hindi mako-compromise iyong supply po natin ng pork?
SEC. PANELO: As I said, the DA will take care of that. I’m sure the DA Secretary is competent enough to handle the problem.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Sir, sabi n’yo po ‘avoid’ pork muna, ano?
SEC. PANELO: No me, me I’m avoiding it.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: I mean, as a policy because we have that result?
SEC. PANELO: No, we have to wait for the DA Secretary exactly kung is it safe, which part of the areas are safe, because if some areas are affected by the swine flu, then the reasonable thing to do is to do whatever the DA Secretary will tell us.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Sir, parang kumain na sila kaninang umaga.
SEC. PANELO: Pero kumain ako kanina.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Hindi sir, sila Secretary Duque, sila Secretary Dar. They had a … four hours ago.
SEC. PANELO: Kumain sila?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Boodle fight, sir.
SEC. PANELO: Eh ako rin kumain eh. Oh, sige, di ibig sabihin, safe.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Okay, no need to worry.
SEC. PANELO: I think there is no need to worry, considering that the DA Secretary has not cautioned us not to avoid—or not to eat or to avoid.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Should we wait a couple of hours, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Eh di tingnan natin, the fact alone na kumain iyong mga Secretaries and me, oh eh siguro, wala namang nangyari sa akin; lalo yata ako naging healthy.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, si Mrs. Thelma Chiong has expressed her disappointment with the statement of the President saying that the President still trust Nicanor Faeldon. What do you want to tell her?
SEC. PANELO: Mrs. Chiong, the President knows Mr. Faeldon personally. And there have been experienced in the past that gave him the trust to him remaining until now. If you haven’t known it yet, he has repeatedly said, the smuggling of the Mighty Cigarette would not been exposed if Mr. Faeldon kept quiet, he could have earned billions; because we were able to get about 37 billion pesos out of that. So, I would suggest trust the President’s words.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But I think, she is—of course, she’s still hurting. Kasi nung Friday, she went to Cebu City to personally thank the President pero nag-walk out na lang daw siya after hearing the statement of the President.
SEC. PANELO: I would suggest that she monitor the Senate hearing, because right now, there is an ongoing investigation, an inquiry of that. And it appears that the corruption is on the lower level, from what I can see from the testimonies I have heard so far.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But although given na iyong sinasabi ni Presidente na may nagawa si Faeldon specifically doon sa Mighty Cigarette. But don’t you think, sir, iyong mga failure, other failures ni Faeldon are sufficient not to reappoint him in any other government position?
SEC. PANELO: That is the call of the President, he has the absolute discretion to appoint anybody whom he trust, whom he feels competent and whom he feels could do miracles in one particular department or agency.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: So, does the stand of the Palace remains the same that the President is still open in reappointing Faeldon?
SEC. PANELO: Certainly, if the President appoints him then we’ll have to trust him on that. But considering the—you know, I’ve watched him during the Senate hearing when he was… when his service were terminated. He said, he felt so relieved; and he looks it. For all you know, he doesn’t want to work already in the government, dahil palaging napapaso.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Why does the President keep appointing him then?
SEC. PANELO: Ay, bilib sa kanya, hanga sa kanyang—kasi si Presidente talagang ang gusto niya iyong very honest.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, what does that statement do to the investigation of the Ombudsman?
SEC. PANELO: Ganun pa rin, wala. It doesn’t mean anything. That’s a personal statement of the President because he knows him personally and the Ombudsman will never be influenced nor intimidated – knowing the Ombudsman – Ombudsman Sammy Martires. His reputation is solid. He will go about his work as the Constitution directs him to do.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, hindi naman po parang it has effect of absolving even—
SEC. PANELO: No, I don’t think so because there is an investigation. ‘Di ba sinasabi na kahit may tiwala ka diyan kung when the investigation shows na nagkamali siya. Kung performance-wise, competence-wise, ibang usapan ‘yan doon sa corruption.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, ‘your comment kasi I’m sure—you mentioned naman parang nakapanood kayo ng mga Senate hearing.
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, yeah.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. Mayroong corruption, I think that’s probably clear, ‘no?
SEC. PANELO: From the testimony of those who have been gypped/swindled of that like that woman of fifty thousand, ‘di ba? There is.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And even the President said—
SEC. PANELO: You know why? The President—I agree fully one hundred percent with the President that you know, if you give discretion to particular government official, talagang magkakaroon ng corruption. Kaya ano… kung ako ipinatawag sa Senate, pag tinanong ako ‘anong solusyon mo?’ Simple lang ang solusyon diyan. Kung ano ‘yung sentence ng court – minimum and maximum, ‘yun lang, regardless of good conduct or bad conduct.
In fact, kung may bad conduct at recorded, automatic dapat dagdagan’ yung kanilang sentence para wala ng discretion; kung ano ‘yung nakalagay sa batas. You served fifteen years, minimum na-serve mo ‘yan di tapos. You serve maximum sentence of twenty-five years, tapos.
Do you know why? Because precisely the court has considered all the evidence, the nature of the crime and it has precisely given you a sentence that is appropriate to what you did. So, regardless of whether you’re good there or bad eh dapat pagdusahan mo ‘yun.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Policy question, sir. Does the Palace wants the GCTA Law scrapped?
SEC. PANELO: I haven’t talk with the President; but knowing him, what he wants is that walang corruption. Kailangan susundin mo ‘yung regulasyon – kung ano ‘yung nandun sa batas, ‘yun ang gawin. ‘Yun lang si Presidente palagi.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kasi medyo ngayon lumul—parang mga ano naman… secret na alam naman ng lahat, ‘yung paggamit ng Wi-Fi, for example, nakakapag—
SEC. PANELO: Wi-Fi?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi. Nakakapag-Facebook daw po ‘yung ibang inmates doon and then ‘yung bilihan nga ganiyan—
SEC. PANELO: Simple lang ‘yan. Madali na rin ‘yung solusyon na ‘yan. Bakit naman ‘pag mayroong mga state visit bigla tayong walang cellphone—
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: No, but the fact—
SEC. PANELO: All you have to do is to cut that off.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: No. They turned off, they turn on.
SEC. PANELO: Who will cut that off? O ‘di siyempre the operator ng Smart, ng Globe, tapos. Ganun lang kasimple ‘yun. Then the law should require them to stop the signal, the operation of a particular use of communication system within an area.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You want that policy?
SEC. PANELO: If you ask me personally—
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Palace.
SEC. PANELO: I will suggest to the President.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Na tanggalan ng signal ‘yung sa BIlibid?
SEC. PANELO: Yes, kung ‘yun lang ang problema. Kung nakaka-aggravate sa problema, o ‘di tanggalin na lang natin para wala na—
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: ‘Yung sir, corruption, what is our going—what is our plan to solve it?
SEC. PANELO: Well, they will be prosecuted, they will be dismissed—
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Revamp everything?
SEC. PANELO: —administratively. Most likely that—the President will do that. And in fact, ‘di ba sinabi na niya, Office of the President na, wala na sila diyan sa DoJ.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, most likely President will what?
SEC. PANELO: The President will undertake measures to stop corruption in that place.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: How about the revamp?
SEC. PANELO: We will—I will ask him today.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Alright po. Thank you, sir.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Secretary, the President said he fired Nick Faeldon because—
SEC. PANELO: For disobeying.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Yeah, he disobeyed the orders. But yet he still believes in him. Does this not send a wrong signal to the bureaucracy that you can disobey the President and yet you can retain his trust?
SEC. PANELO: Na-remove ka pa riyan. Even if you are trusted but you have been removed, ‘di ganun ‘yun.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: What does this say about the standards of personnel that we’re trying to recruit for the bureaucracy?
SEC. PANELO: The standard is you will be removed either for incompetence, for corruption or for disobeying direct orders of the President – those were the standards.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Pero ‘yung quality nung personnel na ilalagay natin sa government hindi ba parang masamang senyales ‘to, kasi okay, dinisobey and then puwedeng ilipat sa ibang post?
SEC. PANELO: Kung nag-disobey ka eh ‘di ibig sabihin you’re not performing competently kasi you’re disobeying a direct order. Puwede ka rin eh kung mapagkakatiwalaan ka naman. Pero the fact is when you are removed, o ‘di siyempre mahihirapan ka ng bumalik.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sige, Sec.
USEC. ROCKY: Questions, MPC? Reymund Tinaza.
SEC. PANELO: Wala si Henry?
SEC. PANELO: Naka-sign-off?
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, good afternoon!
SEC. PANELO: Reymund.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, the President dismissed Faeldon because of disobedience. Pure disobedience lang para sa inyo o baka—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi. ‘Yun ang sinabi ni Presidente. That’s what he said.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: He disobeyed because of corruption.
SEC. PANELO: That is what he said.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Tapos ‘yung sa signal jam parang easier said than done kasi sir, ‘yung sinasabi n’yo na parang signal jamming or signal jammer doon sa—‘di ba mayroon nang existing pero may access sila kasi nagbabayad nga ng permit to access ‘yung Wi-Fi saka telco connection doon eh. So, ‘yun ‘yung problema.
SEC. PANELO: Ang sinasabi ko hindi ‘yung jamming kung hindi—‘di ba ang nagtatanggal ng signal kung sino ‘yung server. ‘Pag tinanggal ‘yan ng Smart saka Globe, eh ‘di wala na. ‘Di ba ganiyan ang ginagawa nila ‘pag mayroong head of state, bigla tayong wala lahat. Sa China, kahit saan kami pumunta ganun eh, nawawala lahat ng signal.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, you are suggesting or recommending all year round—
SEC. PANELO: I will suggest… I will suggest to the President.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: All year round na ganun?
SEC. PANELO: Siguro kasi kung ‘yan ang nagiging problema, they are using the communication system to commit illegal acts o ‘di might as well…
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Categorically, sir. Anong mayroon kay Faeldon na parang ang hirap bitawan ng Pangulo, other than ‘yung tiwala niya na tapat ang taong ito. Anong mayroon si Faeldon?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Yun, ‘yung honest siya, ‘yun ang hanga si Presidente sa pagka-honest niya, Kasi nga kung talagang iko-consider mo, kumita sana ‘yun sa Mighty Cigarette. Kulang ang isang bilyon doon. Ang amount involved sa smuggling magkano? Fifty billion. Kung tumahimik lang siya dun eh ‘di—Pero nakita naman natin ‘yung mama ganun pa rin.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: At sa tingin ng Pangulo iisa lang—iisang Filipino lang ang mayroong ganun – si Faeldon lang.
SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily. Ikaw naman… Puwedeng ikaw din mayroong ganun kaya lang hindi pa natutuklasan ni Presidente.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Thank you, sir.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Hi, sir! Follow-up lang po kay Reymund. Sir, the fact remains, sir, na parang hinahabol si Faeldon ng controversy ‘di ba mula sa Bureau of Customs tapos ngayon dito sa Bureau of Corrections. Hindi ba nadadala si Pangulo na kapag in-appoint siya sa ibang position ganun pa rin? May ibang controversy na naman na lilitaw.
SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, premature lahat. We’re all speculating that he will be appointed to another position. The President has not done that, so premature lahat ng speculation.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Pero parang, sir, mayroong kasing possibility pa rin.
SEC. PANELO: Parang which means parang or possibility it’s still in the realm of speculation.
USEC. IGNACIO: Chona? MPC, wala ng tanong? Okay na tayo? Ace.
SEC. PANELO: Anong oras ba ‘yung ano, ‘yung pagdating ni Presidente? Ah, three pa.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sec., during the press briefing of the President last week he said he suspects may corruption doon—
SEC. PANELO: True enough, ‘yun ang lumalabas.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Baka ‘yung iba nabili, sabi niya. And since Mr. Faeldon is the head of BuCor and given the policy of the President na ‘no whiff of corruption allowed’, how do you reconcile that?
SEC. PANELO: Dismissed na nga siya hindi ba? Ano pa bang… ano pa bang gusto n’yo? He’s been given the—
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Pero he still trust him—
SEC. PANELO: —highest penalty of dismissal from his position, regardless of whatever reason, tinanggal niya pa rin.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Pero he still believes in him despite ‘yung—
SEC. PANELO: Personal ang kaniyang tingin doon. Ibig sabihin, hindi siya involved. Kumbaga parang sa Customs, napalusutan siya na naman. Eh, mahihirapan din naman kasi kung ‘yung mga tao dun ever since, panahon pa ng ilang administrasyon dati na nilang ginagawa ‘yun. You must remember, like ‘yung isa dun twenty-five years, o, ilang administrasyon na ‘yun? Must be four administrations, dati nang nandun, dati nang ginagawa. Kahit sinong ilagay mo doon kung dati nang magagaling sila doon, talagang mapapalustan ka nga.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: What’s the President’s basis for saying na baka hindi siya involved doon or at least believing na hindi siya involved doon when the investigation is still ongoing, ‘yung Ombudsman ginagawa pa ‘yung investigation—
SEC. PANELO: Eh, kasi nga—
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: ‘Yung Senate is still conducting its hearings—
SEC. PANELO: Kasi nga hanga siya sa honesty ng mama. In other words, he was thrown into a situation where he could have corrupted himself but he did not bite. Kaya humanga si Presidente doon.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Okay, Sec.
USEC. ROCKY: Wala ng tanong. Julie?
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: Sir, reaction lang. Sabi ni Senator Gordon, dapat daw pong mag-ingat si President Duterte sa pagsasalita about Faeldon kasi… paraphrasing what he said, sabi niya baka daw kasi magkaroon ng kaso si Faeldon—
SEC. PANELO: Eh ano kung magkaroon ng—hindi ba—alam mo si Presidente, he is a very fair man. Hindi ba palagi kong sinasabi sa inyo, iyong kaniyang perception of relief on a particular person or agency is subject to change without prior notice if there are circumstances that will alter his belief. Kung mayroong ebidensya, lumalabas, oh di ibig sabihin iyong katapatan ni Mr. Faeldon at a particular time ay mukhang na-break on this particular instance. Until such time, hanggang hindi niya nakikita na na-break iyon, ang kaniyang paniniwala at pagtitiwala, nandoon pa iyon.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: But it may change kung sakaling magkaroon ng—
SEC. PANELO: Definitely, si Presidente ganoon eh. You must remember he has fired friends, allies in the Cabinet.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: Sir, and then Senator Gordon also observed na si … although, basing on the testimony of one of the witnesses last week, si Camilon, hindi na-tag si Faeldon directly doon sa GCTA for sale scheme. Wala raw silang transaction directly. Pero Senator Gordon noted na when it came to abuse of discretion such as iyong napapayagang pumirma iyong mga subordinate niya, mukhang doon siya magkakaroon ng problema. Hindi po ba reflection din po iyon of competence or iyong kaalaman ni Faeldon about the inner workings of the BuCor?
SEC. PANELO: The guilt of Mr. Faeldon, whether criminal, administrative, will depend on the result of the investigation and the recommendation of the inquiring body like the Senate, as well as the Ombudsman. Kung anong makita nila, iyon ang gagawin nila.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: So whatever findings of the Senate, sir, the President will respect it, even if it’s against Faeldon?
SEC. PANELO: Certainly. The President always respects the decision of independent bodies whether constitutional or not, even its own departments or agencies.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hi, sir. Good afternoon po. Last week po, sa briefing ninyo po last week, na-mention ninyo po na we will coordinate with the police authorities regarding foreign convicts na napalaya through GCTA. May update na po ba tayo, kung mayroon na po tayong ginawang pakikipag-ugnayan? Because according to the report of the Philippine National Police, there are 17 foreign convicts of heinous crimes na napalaya na po at nakalabas na po ng bansa. Some of them are Chinese, Malaysians, Singaporeans and …
SEC. PANELO: The Bureau of Immigration has not given us a final listing of those who have been released or those who are still staying in the Bicutan jail. Naghihintay kami noon.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So what will be our action po regarding po sa—
SEC. PANELO: Iyon na nga, we’re waiting for their report. Unless, they’ve already gave it to the President. I haven’t talked to the President with respect to it.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: For example, sir, nabigay po iyon bilang, are we going to pursue them, for example?
SEC. PANELO: Kung ano iyong batas. The law says, they will either be prosecuted or they will be deported.
INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Sir, just a quick one. The President admitted that or confirmed that he ordered the transfer of high profile inmates from Bilibid to a military or rather a Marine barracks in Taguig. Sir, I was wondering kung hindi po ba ni-report iyon, hindi malalaman ng … if media did not discover it, hindi po ba idi-disclose ng Palasyo or any other government official concerned?
SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, any order is always covered by a memorandum or a direct order coming from the President. Ganoon din sa bureau, kapag mayroon silang natanggap na kautusan galing sa Presidente, recorded iyon. Ganoon din naman iyong pinag-transferan because they will be receiving the prisoners, the body of the prisoners, so they will have to have basis kung saan nanggaling, so it’s there.
INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Yeah, it’s there but what I’m asking is, there’s no proactive effort to disclose this to the public considering na high profile convicts po iyong involved.
SEC. PANELO: Sa tingin ko, iyong ginawa ni Presidente akin to the witness protection program na you have to protect. If there are lives endangered inside the prison cell relative to certain witnesses, eh dapat talagang i-secure mo iyon.
You must remember the … as I state in my statement, there is one cardinal rule in all jails in the world: omertà of silence. Anybody who violates that will be liquidated; and we have seen histories of that. Eh iyong mga … hindi ba iyong mga nagsalita noon, marami silang involved doon. O kaya, siyempre maraming magri-react sa kanila din.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, shift tayo, sir. Si Mr. Tiglao had a column—
SEC. PANELO: Bobby Tiglao?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Bobby, yes. And then he asserted that the tribunal petition—
SEC. PANELO: The what?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: The tribunal award kind of reduced—
SEC. PANELO: Arbitral ruling?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Opo. Reduced our EEZ because some of the features in the Kalayaan Group of Islands, hindi na sila itinuturing na islands so therefore they cannot generate EEZ. So the ruling says, they are just rocks so parang by that declaration, parang nawala na raw po iyong some of our portions of our EEZ. What do you think of that?
SEC. PANELO: Well, I think we should ask the Department of Foreign Affairs on the theory of Mr. Tiglao. I read about it; I’m waiting for Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, to his reaction on that. And perhaps, I will ask the President tonight if I’m able to talk to him if he has read that particular column of Mr. Bobby Tiglao.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Sec., i-clarify ko lang para mas malinaw, para walang misinterpretation. Iyong napalusutan kanina, are you saying it’s possible na napalusutan din si Faeldon sa BuCor?
SEC. PANELO: Everything is possible in the bureau of prisons as what we are seeing now on national television. Hindi ba, nakikita natin ngayon kung papaano nagmamaniobrahan iyong mga nasa lower echelon. Kasi nga, iyon nga ang problema, may discretion kasi; they will have to determine whether qualified ka or not. Talagang magkakaroon ng avenue for corruption.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Kasi given the President’s suspicion na may corruption daw and then he still believes in him. So iyon din ba ang position ni Presidente na baka nga napalusutan si Faeldon doon sa BuCor?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung iyon ang magiging … I will ask him kung ano talaga ang posisyon niya kay Mr. Faeldon. I will ask him also direct if he is going to reappoint him any position. And maybe I should ask also Mr. Faeldon if he is even willing to serve in any government position.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: Sir, kung puwede lang pong balikan iyong tanong ni Ina on the transfer of the inmates. Last week, when the President announced it, it was questioned by the Free Legal Assistance Group. Sabi nila, dapat may court order daw covering the transfer; and Secretary Guevarra agreed. Sabi niya, there’s nothing wrong with it kung may court order iyong pag-transfer na inutos po ni Pangulong Duterte. Ang tanong ko po: Mayroon po bang court order?
SEC. PANELO: I’m not sure about that. Moreover, iyong ta-transfer is from one jail to another, baka pareho lang iyon. I’m not very sure.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: Pero kasi, sir, ‘di ba kapag ganoon, sa commitment order, sa court po nanggagaling iyon when it comes to inmates, trial pa iyon or convicted na?
SEC. PANELO: I will ask about that kung ano ang basis.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: Tapos, sir, patanong lang po ng office. Given na inutos po ni President Duterte na ilipat iyong mga inmates na who are testifying against Senator Leila De Lima na nakakulong—
SEC. PANELO: Teka muna, regarding the transfer, I remember, even DOJ Secretary made some transfers during the time of De Lima – from Munti to NBI. Mayroon siyang mga nilipat noon, iyong mga involved doon sa drugs. Palagay ko wala ring court order iyon.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: Do we know that for certain, sir, na walang court order iyong dati?
SEC. PANELO: Basta ang alam ko ay mayroon transfer, hindi ko lang alam kung may court order. I will check with that and together with Secretary Guevarra, and on our end para malaman na rin.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: Tapos, sir, given na si Senator De Lima ay nakakulong and the inmates being transferred or testifying against her, ibig sabihin po ba nito ay natatakot iyong Duterte administration kay De Lima to effect such a move?
SEC. PANELO: No. Precisely the purpose is to secure the safety of the witnesses para, unang-una, eh they will remain alive; number two, they can say whatever they want to say in court.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, para malinawan lang. Doon sa discretion kasi nagkakaroon ng corruption doon sa GCTA law. So pabor kayo sa panukala ko na dapat totally scrap na lang iyong batas at wala ng diskusyon kasi wala namang good conduct, bad conduct – subjective eh—
SEC. PANELO: Exactly, hindi ba iyan ang sinasabi ko. If I were invited in the Senate, if I were asked, I would just say, “Just serve the sentence, what the court says regardless of good conduct or bad conduct.”
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So the Palace supports iyong pag-repeal na sa GCTA law?
SEC. PANELO: I will ask the President. I’m just expressing my personal opinion had I been invited to the Senate.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Kasi kahit nagbagong buhay na eh nakapatay na ‘di ba? Useless naman na kahit nagbagong buhay na, nakapatay na, naka-rape pa.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba sinabi ko na, regardless of whether nagbagong buhay ka o hindi, kaya ka nga sinintensyahan dahil para pagbayaran mo iyong ginawa mong krimen.
USEC. IGNACIO: No more questions? Okay. Thank you, Secretary Panelo.
SEC. PANELO: Thank you.
SOURCE: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau)