USEC. ROCKY IGNACIO: Good afternoon, Malacañang Press Corps. Kasama na natin si Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
SEC. PANELO: Good afternoon, MPC members. We’d like to condemn the assault on this Abante printing press shop. We cannot allow this thing to happen against any member of the Fourth State. The President will certainly be directing a thorough investigation of this case and we will prosecute those behind this dastardly act. We’ll be issue an expanded statement shortly.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyon lang po sa Senate hearing on the emergency powers. Si Secretary Tugade is pushing for it, but the senators including Senator Grace Poe says it’s not needed. Palace position? Ipu-push pa ba ‘yan ni Presidente considering what was said before at medyo na-turn off siya doon?
SEC. PANELO: Well, I think the position of the President remains; from the very start he wanted emergency power to solve the traffic problem/mess but when some senators issued statements against it and insinuated that there might be some abuse of power – he said, “O sige, ‘di kayo na lang,” at the EDSA rot.
In other words, the President wants to solve that and he really needs emergency powers. Now Secretary Tugade is pursuing it, but I understand some of the senators are for it; so let’s see how it goes.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, President wants it and really needs it—
SEC. PANELO: Well, ever since he wanted it but kung ayaw ninyo, ‘di huwag sabi niya. In other words, he will not go down his knees and plead. They should know what the President needs in order to solve the problems of the country specifically with respect to this matter.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, illustrate lang how the emergency powers will be helpful in solving the traffic mess?
SEC. PANELO: Like for instance, you can no longer file a petition for a TRO – that’s one.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: TRO on… Right of way?
SEC. PANELO: Ano?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: TRO po on what?
SEC. PANELO: Like for instance, if there are some projects that require construction, maybe project that may help in the traffic problem. Like when you want to open some roads in some areas which residents there might not want it. There are many things that an emergency power can do to solve this problem.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kasi sir, ang point yata sa Senate hearing is that if it’s really—if it’s… in a relation to mga procurement eh hindi naman daw kailangan ng emergency powers doon because madali naman iyong procurement. So any other areas that the emergency powers will be able plug in—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, iyon… ‘yung sinasabi ko kanina.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Iyong mga TRO? Anything else, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Pero I understand, isa lang naman yatang senador kumukontra ngayon. I have not heard of any other than the good Senator Grace.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sabi daw sir, eh hindi naman yata sinertify (certify) as urgent?
SEC. PANELO: Eh kasi nga si Presidente, kung gusto ninyo okay, kung ayaw ninyo ‘di huwag.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But, will he—but abot pa ba, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Eh the fact that he didn’t certified, ‘di bahala na. Kasi the assumption palagi is members of the Senate know exactly the problems of the land and that they can help solve it together with the Executive Department then they should.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Alright sir, thank you.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: But sir given the gravity of the situation as pointed out in a report yesterday that some patients are already dying while in transit to the hospital, iyong mga nasa ambulansya—
SEC. PANELO: Then, that should be addressed to the members of the Senate.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Do you think—does the Palace—dahil nga lumalala na iyong sitwasyon, does the Palace see the renewed push to certify this as urgent—
SEC. PANELO: Precisely nga. Because of that then with more reason that the members of the Senate consider the grant of emergency powers given that particular situation wherein even patients are dying because the ambulance carrying them could not reach the hospital on time.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, since given wala pa namang emergency powers na gina-grant kay President Duterte, ano pong call natin sa government agencies concerned to prevent it from further worsening given na ganito na umaabot iyong sitwasyon?
SEC. PANELO: Meanwhile, they should be creative. They should look for roads that are not traffic-laden or perhaps they can use choppers or an emergency flight.
MPC: Ah, you’re talking about emergency cases?
SEC. PANELO: Yes, emergency cases.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Just a curiosity, does the government have… like facilities for that? Like emergency choppers for ano—I mean readily available sa public, hindi lang iyong mga VIP?
SEC. PANELO: Well, we can always utilize the AFP with respect to choppers.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: How do—sir, i-operationalize lang natin ha. Kung sakaling umabot sa ganoon, how does an ordinary citizen go about that given na emergency situation siya?
SEC. PANELO: O ‘di siyempre the hospital—
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Saan siya dadaan, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Ang hospital ang—kasi kung ambulance, ‘di ibig sabihin iyong ordinary citizen nakatawag na iyon sa ospital, ‘di ang ospital na ang magre-request.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: This will—
SEC. PANELO: But I think the Secretary of Health as well as the Secretary of DND should be coordinating with respect to that.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: This is the Palace position sir or personal ano ninyo po?
SEC. PANELO: That’s my suggestion.
JULIE AURELIO/INQ: For government hospitals only, sir of course.
SEC. PANELO: Even including private. If it concerns the lives of people, then we cannot be distinguishing whether it’s public or private.
USEC. ROCKY: Henry, may tanong?
SEC. PANELO: The incoming president who will be having his oath taking, akala ko oath taking pa lang ngayon.
SEC. PANELO: Oh eh hindi pa. Ah formality na lang iyon.
HENRY URI/DZRH: How feasible iyong air ambulance?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman air ambulance, parang ano lang, carrying the patient. Kasi pag sa ambulance naman, hindi ba, sinisuwero lang, suwero lang naman iyon eh, papunta sa hospital. Eh kung nag problema mo traffic, hindi ka makarating sa hospital, baka naman chopper puwede, within minutes.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Kailangan po bang i-prioritize itong proposal na ito na ang Department of Health ang—
SEC. PANELO: Well, kung ganoon kaselan ang problema, then DOH should initiate it.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Do we have sufficient fund for that?
SEC. PANELO: Bakit naman hindi, I think it’s just a question of the Secretary of Health calling the Secretary of DND and agree on a modus vivendi on how to do it.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Okay. So ito ay para sa mga government hospitals pa lamang?
SEC. PANELO: Sa lahat, kung talagang ganoon kaselan ha.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero, hindi ba ito, Secretary parang hopeless measures naman, sapagkat kagaya niyan, iyong emergency power could be one solution, pero ayaw nga ng Senado. So wala na bang iba, talagang solusyon—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman yata ayaw ng Senado, baka naman isa, dalawa lang. Eh sa Senado naman majority rule eh.
HENRY URI/DZRH: So, umaasa pa ho ang Malacañang na mapagbibigyan ito ng Senado?
SEC. PANELO: Siyempre, we always hope for the best.
JULIE BAIZA/DZME: Sir, in other countries kasi, there are parang tinatawag na air ambulance. Do you see it feasible in the case of the Philippines to adopt this kind of facility para habang—
SEC. PANELO Siguro the DOH should consider that too in relation to public service. Perhaps they should include that in the next budget or they can ask the help of other agencies that can buy them choppers to be converted into an ambulance chopper.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Hindi n’yo naman naisip na italaga si Usec. Faeldon sa MMDA?
SEC. PANELO: Gusto mong sabihin, naiisip mo iyon?
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Hindi, baka balak ninyo. Para mawala rin iyong mga sasakyan sa EDSA—
SEC. PANELO: Alam mo nga, with respect to that nga pala ano. Kasi merong nag-text sa akin kanina o kagabi. Meron daw interview si Presidente about Faeldon na won’t—he is not inclined. In fact, I asked him last night eh. I told him na kinukulit ako ninyo na tinatanong kung ano ba talaga. And I told him na, sabi ko, ‘for all we know he doesn’t even want to be reappointed.’ The President agreed, ‘oo nga. For all we know, ayaw niya.’
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, going back sa traffic sa EDSA. Do you think na sadyang naubos na at nagawa na lahat ng MMDA and other concerned agencies iyong dapat nilang gawin at ipatupad para maibsan iyong traffic congestion sa EDSA?
SEC. PANELO: Sabi nila, hindi ba maraming mga proposals. In fact, marami akong itinapon sa kanilang proposal, ang daming dumarating na proposal from private citizens pinapasa namin sa kanila kung anu-anong mga proposal. Alangan namang nandoon lang sa la mesa namin iyan.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, kasi halos iyong panukala na using of air ambulance ay parang suntok sa buwan, dahil iyong mismong Air Force nga ay kulang-kulang sa air assets. How much more if we deploy sa emergency situations iyong air assets ng Air Force natin. So, hindi ba dapat mas higpitan pa nila iyong pagpapatupad ng mga batas trapiko at iyong disiplina sa mga nasa kalsada?
SEC. PANELO: Kasama lahat iyon, dapat talaga lahat tayo may disiplina, from motorist, policeman, traffic enforcers, lahat iyon kailangan mag-cooperate tayo. Ako hindi na ako dumadaan sa EDSA, kaya hindi na ako nata-traffic. I go to Makati, I take the Mandaluyong route. I reduced 30 to 40 minutes by using that, going there and coming back. Alam n’yo ba iyong rutang iyon? Diretso lang iyong Makati Ave., tapos you will be crossing Shaw, tapos nasa San Juan ka na kaagad, ang bilis eh.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, sir what happened to the proposals you said that you suggested to MMDA. It ended in deaf ears?
SEC. PANELO Ewan ko kung ano ang ginawa nila; basta nasa MMDA naman iyon. Dapat siguro imbitahan natin si Chairman o kaya iyong GM nila. Teka muna, ah bukas pala may bisita akala ko ngayon. Bukas may bisita tayo eh, basta bukas.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Legal?
SEC. PANELO: Surprise. We will give a portion of our press briefing to one particular office, nakikiusap.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: DA?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, palaging nagpe-presscon iyon eh.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi rin. Surprise!
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, comment lang. Kasi apparently, doon sa listahan ng mga pinalabas sa GCTA, parang ang mga nauuna ay mga maximum pa kaysa iyong mga minimum na konting-konti na lang iyong bubunuin. So to you, what does it mean and do you think this is parang medyo nakakaduda na practice—
SEC. PANELO: Ako, I’d rather wait for the investigation. Maganda iyong ginagawa na imbestigasyon ng Senado eh, ang daming naglalabasan.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Hi, sir. Good afternoon. Sir, just to follow up: Ano po iyong nasabi ni Presidente tungkol doon sa scrapping of GCTA? Because yesterday, we asked you kung do you mean na dapat ay ibasura na lang iyong GCTA for—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi namin napag-usapan iyon kasi madalian iyong ano eh …parang dumaan lang tapos diretso na.
Q: [OFF MIC]
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ang tagal namin doon sa state dinner nag-antay pagdating nung dalawa kasi nag-tête-à-tête pa sila eh.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: So meaning, ngayon, amendment pa rin lang iyong hinahabol ng Malacañang?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, kung ano iyong sinabi ni Secretary Guevarra. Unang-una, hindi ba sabi niya iyong implementing rules and regulation must be changed kasi nakapasok doon iyong heinous crime na dapat hindi – that’s one.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: And then?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba sabi ni Secretary Guevarra sinuspinde niya na muna. Sinuspinde niya muna iyon eh so hintayin natin kung anong next move ni Secretary Guevarra.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Sec., kuha lang ako ng statement ninyo doon sa Ombudsman suspension of 27 Corrections officials in connection with the supposed GCTA for sale controversy. Anong take ng Palasyo dito at ano ang expectations ninyo?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba sabi ni Presidente mula’t-sapul ay dapat i-refer sa Ombudsman para it will conduct its investigation. And apparently, they found probably cause, hence the suspension of 27 officials of that office.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So how is Malacañang taking this development?
SEC. PANELO: What do you mean how? Si Presidente nga ang nag-refer sa kanila eh di dapat welcome lahat iyon.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Ano iyong ini-expect ninyo given na nagsisimula na iyong process na ito and na-suspend na iyong 27 officials—
SEC. PANELO: Well, the expectation is we want the truth on the matter in the Bureau to come out so that heads will roll.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyong comment kay Sabio po. Mukhang medyo hindi sila nagkakasundo ni former Senator Trillanes. You know the issue?
SEC. PANELO: Not really, very hazy iyong issue. But it’s between him and Sabio. Ano ba ang sinasabi ni Attorney Sabio?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, parang naniningil ng 700,000 from former Senator Trillanes si Sabio.
SEC. PANELO: He was employed by Mr. Trillanes?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Iyon iyong sinasabi niya. Pero ang agreement nilang dalawa initially, according to Senator Trillanes is that pro bono iyon when he represented Matobato.
SEC. PANELO: But I understand, he admitted having given 35,000.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Parang mayroon yata siyang monthly na 30 to 10, but his after the 700,000. And aside from that, he’s saying now that Senator Trillanes is involved in the Bikoy video which the Senator denies. So with regard to that specific aspect of the involvement of Senator Trillanes in the Bikoy video, your comment? And then your comment on the tiff?
SEC. PANELO: First, according to Mr. Trillanes, he’s pro bono and yet he admits having paid him 30,000 plus; so that removes the pro bono aspect. Number two, as to the claim of Mr. Sabio, I watched that particular interview, parang iyong sinasabi niya lang he was only speculating na he might be involved. And his reason is, why is he getting me as his lawyer for this man if he is not involved. That’s the reasoning of Mr. Sabio. So we don’t know how true it is.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So in terms of credibility, does it speak of each side’s credibility in terms of their relationship now?
SEC. PANELO: Well, for one, only with respect to Mr. Trillanes’ claim it’s a pro bono, and yet he admits that he pays 30,000 plus. Eh di mas credible iyon isa kasi sabi niya, ‘No, I’d been employed kaya ako naniningil.’ Mas credible ngayon iyong isa with respect to that aspect. With the others, hindi ko alam.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Parang ayaw ninyo pong—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, kasi sinasabi mismo kasi ni Mr. Sabio ang impression niya. So hindi natin alam. In other words, he is only speculating also.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, i-follow up ko lang po iyong tungkol sa African Swine Fever. Sir this early, nanghihingi na ng tulong iyong mga hog raisers natin. So mayroon po bang inihahandang assistance ang gobyerno para sa mga affected hog raisers in case na hindi talaga masawata?
SEC. PANELO: I think he already announced it. Nakita ko na naman kanina parang inulit eh. Sabi niya, the Department is giving 3,000 and iyong local governments can also add to the 3,000. And I also read about his statement that only three areas are affected – Rodriguez, Antipolo and one in Bulacan. I forgot the name in Bulacan. So confined lang naman, limited.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: So, are you confident, sir, kasi marami tayong mga provinces na ang kanilang business is ‘yung hog raising like sa—
SEC. PANELO: As I said, according to the Secretary of Agriculture, there are only three places affected and he is confident that it will not affect the safety of our people in eating this. In fact, they showed us they were eating it.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Sir, ‘yung three thousand in case—
SEC. PANELO: Ako, kumain na naman ako kanina ng karne.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Sir, ‘yung three thousand in case na hindi pa siya enough, ‘yung government is willing to provide more for the hog raisers?
SEC. PANELO: Sinabi na nga ni Secretary Agriculture, ‘yung on top of the three thousand baka ‘yung mga local governments would want to add. At saka unang-una nga kung three lang ang affected eh ‘di ‘yung lahat ng areas hindi apektado, bakit ka magbibigay ng three thousand? Di dun lang sa lugar na apektado.
BELLA CARIASO/BANDERA: Okay, sir. Thank you.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi, sir! Good afternoon!
SEC. PANELO: Rose.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Sir, kahapon ‘yung pagdating ni Prime Minister Halimah Yacob—President pala, President, sorry. Sir, ‘yung mga batang ginamit para salubungin siya, nabasa po ng ulan at ilang oras pa po bago sila napauwi yata o nasundo. May practice po ba o may policy ba ‘yung Palasyo na gumamit ng mga bata tuwing may bisita ‘yung Palasyo?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung whose idea was that.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Basang-basa po ‘yung mga bata kahapon, hindi po sila pinasilong hanggang dumating po ‘yung Presidente ng Singapore.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam. Ano bang mga eskuwelahan ‘yun?
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Public school po – Pio del Pilar Elementary School at saka Dr. Celedonio—
SEC. PANELO: I will ask Secretary Briones.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Opo. Minsan naman po ‘pag hindi naman sila nauulanan, naaarawan naman nang ilang oras po sila dito sa may kalye. Bakit po naging patakaran ng Palasyo ‘yung paggamit ng mga bata?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t know. What I know… what I know is when we visit foreign countries ‘yun din ang nakikita ko.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Pero hindi po sila pinauulanan at saka pinaaarawan.
SEC. PANELO: Baka naman kung nagkataon naman na biglang umulan. Aksidente lang naman siguro ‘yun.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Pero po dapat po may contingency plan po tayo para sa mga bata.
SEC. PANELO: I agree… I agree with you. I’ll ask Secretary Briones.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Okay, sir. Thank you.
SEC. PANELO: And that should be a lesson.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Thank you.
USEC. ROCKY: Last question na tayo? Reymund.
SEC. PANELO: Wala si Pia?
MPC: [off mic] Gutierrez?
SEC. PANELO: Sabi ni Dra. Panelo—kasi nire-replay pala ito.
MPC: [off mic] Sa PBS.
SEC. PANELO: Sa gabi. Tamang-tama nagpi-flip kami biglang, Oh! Tapos sabi niya, ‘para palang classroom kayo diyan?’ ‘Oo, mayroon pa nga ika kong roll call diyan eh.’ Anyway…
MPC: [off mic] Unclear.
SEC. PANELO: Sinabi ko na nga eh, ‘di ba?
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, just quick two shots. Sir, your statement or position to the recent suicide bombing in Indanan, Sulu by a female suicide bomber.
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, we’re issuing a statement on that.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: And your statement also, reaction to the statement by the military that two more suicide bombers are on the loose. So, is this a concern to the—
SEC. PANELO: It’s a matter of concern, of course. Anything that will show a rise in terrorism in any area of this country is always a matter of concern and we hope our security will improve more on their devices to stop this. But you know, sometimes if it is a suicide bomber parang ang hirap din. I’m sure they’re doing everything to stop it.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: And also—last, your statement, sir. The Syrian District Criminal Court already handed or convicted the suspect, ‘yung pumatay at nagsilid ng OFW na si Joanna Demafelis sa Kuwait. How are you receiving this development? ‘Yung isinilid freezer na naging mitsa ng—
SEC. PANELO: Saan sa Syria?
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Yes, sir.
USEC. ROCKY: Sa Kuwait, sa Kuwait.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sa Kuwait pero sa Syria—Syrian national kasi ito so sa Syrian court, he was convicted guilty or murder—
SEC. PANELO: I haven’t read or heard about it but—
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: And I am telling you. I’m sharing you now, sir.
SEC. PANELO: —but coming from you, then we welcome. We welcome that news which means the justice has been meted to the culprits, to the killers.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Thank you, sir.
USEC. ROCKY: Okay, thank you. No more questions? Birthday girl Genalyn?
SEC. PANELO: Who’s birthday?
USEC. ROCKY: Si Genalyn po. September 8 nag-birthday.
SEC. PANELO: [Sing Happy Birthday]
USEC. ROCKY: And then, Maricel Halili bukas, sir. Birthday ni Maricel Halili tomorrow.
SEC. PANELO: Also? Wow! [Sing Happy Birthday]
USEC. ROCKY: Okay, thank you. Thank you, Secretary, thank you everyone—
SEC. PANELO: Dahil bukas wala tayo kaya ngayon na.
USEC. ROCKY: Okay. Thank you, MPC.
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)