Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador S. Panelo

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Building, Malacañan Palace, Manila

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS: Magandang tanghali, MPC. Magandang tanghali, Presidential Chief Legal Counsel and Spokesman Secretary Sal Panelo. Good afternoon, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Good afternoon, MPC. I’m ready.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Hi, good morning sir. Sir, can you share with us what was discussed during the meeting of President Duterte with PDEA and PNP last night?

SEC. PANELO: I was not present but I was able to talk lengthily with PNP Chief General Albayalde. And he told me that he updated the President on the status of the drug war; he told him about the so-called ninja cops syndicate and revealed to the President that that ninja cops syndicate is a thing of the past – that happened during the previous years of the previous administration. That has been dismantled during the term of former PNP Chief General, now Senator Ronald Dela Rosa and during his term.

What we have are police scalawags. He told the President that he has precisely undertaken measures and operations, and those operations yielded 124 policemen killed during entrapment operations and so many policemen arrested.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: So meaning sir, it is safe to say that the PNP now is free from ninja cops?

SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely. If you are referring to the ninja cops that was a syndicate during the previous administration, yes. But we have police scalawags still involved in the drug thing.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: How about sir the 22 names that was—I understand discussed during the executive session of ninja cops?

SEC. PANELO: From what I gathered from the PNP Chief, those involved in the ninja cops before are either dead or have been separated from the force or have been retired.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: So meaning sir, hindi na ito papangalanan ni Presidente? Is that what you’re saying?

SEC. PANELO: Ah, hindi ko alam. Eh kung mayroong mga pangalan doon na presently involved, ba’t naman hindi. Baka naman iyong listahan na iyon, baka iyong mga present police scalawags. Kasi mayroon talagang mga police involved eh, eh 124 na ngang napatay sa police operations. Siyempre nanlaban, eh mga pulis iyon ‘di lalo na may baril din sila.

TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sir, follow up. So, what was the atmosphere during the meeting—

SEC. PANELO: I was not there, so I will not know the atmosphere. But I suppose it’s the usual atmosphere when the President listens to reports coming from sources. You know the President… the style of the President is he listens. He rarely talks, he listens.

TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: So, the President listened to the PNP Chief. Did he believe the PNP Chief?

SEC. PANELO: Until such time as the President doesn’t say anything officially or publicly or on the sides, the presumption is he trusts the sources that are brought to him.

TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sir, did you have any idea or information if the President confronted Chief PNP Oscar Albayalde over reports that he was part of the—those… allegedly part of the police officials who covered up for some illegal activities in the past?

SEC. PANELO: General Albayalde did not mention that.

TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Oh what about the Senator Bong Go, if he already presented the list or the transcript of the executive session with the Mayor Benjamin Magalong—

SEC. PANELO: You will have to ask Senator Bong Go on that.

TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Don’t we have any information from the Palace’ side?

SEC. PANELO: No, I do not have. In my office, none.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, would we know if the President already has the transcript of the Senate?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba kasasagot ko lang? Wala akong alam. Hindi ko pa alam.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kasi kagabi daw dapat ibibigay ni SAP.

SEC. PANELO: Ay baka… hindi ko pa alam. I’ll ask. Mamaya text ko si SAP.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, just an elaboration on why the—as per Chief Albayalde ‘no, iyong ninja cops syndicate has been dismantled. Did he mention how many were really involved?

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang binanggit, basta sinasabi niya iyong panahon pa noong mga nakaraan ‘yan, wala na ngayon ‘yan. Giniba na ni General Bato ‘yan at saka siya. Mayroong mga police scalawags, in fact kaya nga may operation kaming in-undertake; maraming naaresto, marami ring namatay. [unclear] bigyan mo nga ako ng list para ibigay ko sa media; and he will.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: List po ng?

SEC. PANELO: Ng mga napatay na mga pulis at mga entrapment operations, mga inaresto.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Uhum… So—sir anong difference ng—

SEC. PANELO: And, mayroon pa siyang binigay sa akin. Kasi I’ve been saying that—hindi ba the critics are saying na, “Pinapatay lang ng mga pulis ‘yan nang walang kalaban-laban.” And I’ve been saying that, how can you explain 76 policemen dead in the police operations?

I have a new statistics, it’s no longer 75 policemen dead – it’s 144 policemen dead during police operations and raid. And General Albayalde promised to give me the list of those names.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So sir, I’m going back to the syndicate ‘no. So ang sinasabi ninyo either patay na or—

SEC. PANELO: Na wala na.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Wala na sa serbisyo. So, walang accountability iyon sir? I mean, nag-retire lang nang—

SEC. PANELO: Bakit naman wala, eh kung mayroon tayong ebidensiya against them then we’ll have to prosecute them – except when they’re dead. Let the devil punish him there.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero sir, walang finile (file) na cases about this syndicate?

SEC. PANELO: Ah, hindi ko alam. Hindi ko alam yung portion na iyon. Kasi kung wala na, o eh ‘di sino pang hahanapin mo?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, anong difference ng mga ninja cops sa scalawags?

SEC. PANELO: Ah… Ang difference daw is iyong ninja cop is it was a syndicate; sindikato, kumbaga talagang may conspiracy, may mga link ang bawat isa. Pero itong mga police scalawags, kaniya-kaniya… kaniya-kaniyang kita; ‘pag nakakaamoy na pupuwede silang kumita, ginagawa nila. Kumbaga mga individual cases, walang conspiracy among themselves.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kumbaga—pero same system, they recycle drugs.

SEC. PANELO: Ah siguro, eh kung involved ka sa drugs ‘di ganoon nga ang gagawin mo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Iyon po ‘yung sinabi niya, nagre-recycle ‘tong mga scalawags?

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang sinabi, but ano ba ang—how do you involve yourself? One is, kasama ka sa source; number two, kasama ka sa nagpu-push ‘di ba; number three, kasama ka sa nagpo-protect. O iyon, ‘yun ang klaseng involvement. Iyon nga ang kaibahan, noong panahon sindikato daw talaga; talagang kumpleto ang linkages, kumpleto sa rekado. Pero ngayon, kaniya-kaniya na lang.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Yeah, sir. I mean, it sounds like an organization ‘no iyong—

SEC. PANELO: Noon daw.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Noon. Pero sino iyong—kung if you’re talking about it as an organization, ano bang structure nito? Sino iyong—

SEC. PANELO: Ah, hindi ko alam. Basta ang sabi lang ni General Albayalde, sabi niya: “Alam mo sir, nag-umpisa ‘yan sa Manila Police District ‘yang sindikatong ‘yan.”

And I remember when I was a practicing lawyer, marami nga akong kinasuhan yatang mga pulis nga kasi iyong kliyente ko parang sinet-up nila eh… mga pulis talaga. Mahuhulihan ng ganiyan, pagkatapos ide-declare lang ganito, ibebenta iyong… Iyong mga panahon… almost be 10/15 years ago.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Can I continue with the narrative sir? So ang sabi niya, ang Manila Police nagsimula iyong scalawags—

SEC. PANELO: Tapos kumalat ‘yan hanggang naging sindikato na nga. Pero wala na raw ‘yan.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Does it seem sir that—well, I mean impression lang. Is he sweeping it under the rag, that issue of ninja cops, Chief Albayalde—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi nga. Sinasabi niya na nga na… mas matindi nga ang operation nila ngayon. Can you imagine, 124 policemen killed in entrapment operations? Ah, hindi biro iyan.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sige iyon muna, sir.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So you are dismissing the claim of General Aaron AQuino.

SEC. PANELO: I am not dismissing it. I am just relating to you what the PNP General said.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So you are not solved or taking the side or the explanation of General Albayalde?

SEC. PANELO: I’m the messenger. That’s the message.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, puwede pa na it could be ninja cops actually is or still existing until now.

SEC. PANELO: Me, personally, I believe in what he is saying. Why? Because General Albayalde has developed a reputation for a man of integrity; iyon ang reputasyon niya kahit na hindi pa siya Chief, naririnig ko na ang kanyang character.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: What about also the, same, a man with a good reputation – si dating CIDG Chief Benjamin Magalong, now Baguio City Mayor na saying—

SEC. PANELO: Siguro tama iyong sinasabi niya, dahil talaga namang mayroon eh, noong nakaraan.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Pero sabi niya sa senate hearing, active PNP officials.

SEC. PANELO: Baka mayroon pang natira. Alam mo lahat iyan puwedeng sasalain na lang natin kung ano ba iyong tama sa sinabi niya, ano iyong medyo late na siya sa balita. So lahat iyan i-evaluate ni Presidente.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: And even DG Aaron AQuino.

SEC. PANELO: Oo, lahat iyan. Kasi lahat iyan pinagkatiwalaan ni Presidente, so papakinggan niya lahat iyan.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Bakit nag-compare notes sina DG AQuino at NCRPO Chief Eleazar ng list nila ng existing ninja cops? So, facts established na may ninja cops. So, bakit ninyo, parang, if you are to believe, you believe Albayalde?

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo, ang problema kasi, ako sa tingin ko ke ninja cops iyan o scalawags iyan pareho silang involved. In other words, siguro it’s a matter of term, you classify them as ninja cops. Pero sinasabi nga, iba noong panahon dahil sindikato talaga, siguro mayroong bossing doon na nagdi-dictate on the operation. This time may kanya-kanyang kita. Talagang mayroong – and the fact alone na 124 ang napatay na policemen, eh talagang matindi iyong mga police scalawags.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Parang nagkaniya-kaniyang kilos sir, pero nandito pa at-large iyong sinasabi na drug Queen.

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo, iyon lahat ay sinasabi, hindi pa lahat validated iyon. That’s precisely why na kay Presidente eh, so, the President will validate that on his own resources and he will tell us kung ano ang nangyari sa kanyang validation or probing.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, categorically, final: ninja cops, is a thing of the past?

SEC. PANELO: Per general Albayalde. But there are police scalawags involved and in fact, I will repeat, 124 killed in entrapment operations. These are policemen and many were arrested. And I will provide you with the names, because the PNP Chief committed to me that he will submit the names including those arrested.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Secretary iyong real number tungkol doon sa.., 144?

SEC. PANELO: 124 killed, mga police scalawags, arising out of entrapment operations. 124.

Q: off mic.

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang sinabi, pero siguro during his term – Albayalde. Sa Monday imbitahan ko siya dito. Pati si AQuino iimbitahan ko din; oh ayaw ninyo naman – imbitahan natin separately.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Sir, iyong sa ni-relate po ni General Albayalde sa inyo about his meeting with President Duterte, ika-clarify ko lang po. Ninja cops is syndicate na involved as per General Albayalde’s definition on ninja cops is a syndicate involved in recycling of drugs, tama? The police scalawags exclusively po ba, involved din sa illegal drugs or other racketeering like extortion, you know, other illegal activities ng police natin?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi siya nag-differentiate doon, pero since we were talking about drugs, eh siguro sa drugs iyon.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Ah okay, pero hindi—walang clear definition from him kung ano iyong sakop nang police scalawags.

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang sinabi. But the presumption is we are talking about drugs, sa drugs involved iyong mga police scalawags.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Tapos, sir, did General Albayalde mentioned kung may figure siya kung sino doon sa mga ninja cops iyong nag-transition to police scalawags?

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang sinabi, basta ang sinabi niya iyong mga sindikato daw na iyon, either namatay na, siguro matatanda na rin or nag-retire na o wala na sa police force.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Given na si General Albayalde ay nakipag-usap po kay President Duterte, is the President considering na talking to General Magalong as well?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam. That’s the call of the President.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: From the reaction of the President last night, ano ang—

SEC. PANELO: Wala nga ako doon eh, so how can I decipher his reaction. I was not part of the meeting.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: But did General Albayalde say kung ano ang tingin niya kung naniwala si Pangulo sa kanya?

SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala siyang sinabi, basta tinanong siya “General ano ba ang nangyari?”. Sir I made a report on this, and that. I told the President this and that – kung ano iyong mga binibida ko sa inyo, iyon na iyon.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Sir, malaman lang namin, nasaan ngayon dito iyong drug matrix na ni-release ng Presidente dati?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Nasa ninja cops, nasa police scalawags?

SEC. PANELO: Antayin natin si Presidente, di ba sabi niya mayroon siyang ire-reveal na names, so let’s wait for him.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Tapos sir, pangalawa. Sir, mag a-apat na taon na ang administrasyon. So ano ang impact ng mga lumalabas na information na ito sa overall drug campaign ng Pangulo – ano bagsak ba, pasado?

SEC. PANELO: We are succeeding siyempre in the war on drugs. The fact alone that can you imagine na 124 policeman killed in entrapment operations – successful ka. Can you imagine kung hindi mo napatay itong mga nagpu-push na ito na involved sa drugs, oh di lalong may problema tayong malaki. Can you imagine kung hindi nila na aresto iyong so many policemen facing now administrative and criminal charges? Marami tayong na-dismantle. Tinanong ko siya, “How much in terms of money eQuivalent na na-dismantle ninyo sa drugs?” Ang answer niya, 132 billion pesos worth. So, can you imagine kung iyong 132 billion pesos worth of shabu eh naikalat sa buong Pilipinas, eh di ang laki ng problema lalo natin. That fact alone will show that we are succeeding in the war on drugs.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Even if medyo nabuking rin iyong operations sa BuCor, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Tapos mayroon pa siyang sinabi eh: Maraming naarestong high-valued targets – thousands. From the time of General Bato if I am not mistaken, 84,000; sa kanya daw 86,000.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: 86,000 arrested?

SEC. PANELO: Mga arrested, kasama na iyon, lahat mga naaresto.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Drug suspects, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Mga suspects.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Sir, you said, you believe General Albayalde’s statement, saying na wala nang ninja cops, dahil nga pertaining to the syndicate. Yet you are also saying na practically, it’s the same, whether or not they work in a syndicate or individually.

SEC. PANELO: No, there’s a whale of a difference between a syndicated group and individual undertaking.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Yes, but since they still recycle drugs, that’s the concept on ninja cops. And you yourself said earlier na it’s the same.

SEC. PANELO: Oh, kaya nga, so what are we debating about.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: No, if exist or not.

SEC. PANELO: The fact is, basta sinasabi ni General Albayalde wala na iyong sindikato na may conspiracy ang lahat ng mga police. Siguro, mga heads of mga presinto and everybody. This time, eh kanya-kanyang kita na lang ginagawa nila.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Okay. Iyong tanong lang na mayroon o wala, di mayroon?

SEC. PANELO: Mayroong ano?

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Mayroon o walang ninja cops?

SEC. PANELO: Definitely mayroong involvement ang mga pulis, iyan ang sinasabi ni PNP General Albayalde but not iyong syndicated before.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Okay. Now, did the—

SEC. PANELO: Paulit-ulit na tayo.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: No, no, no. Kasi earlier you were… it sounded like you were saying na wala nang ninja cop when in fact there still are?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, pinagpipilitan ninyo kasi ninja eh ang sinasabi naman ni Albayalde, ‘Walang ninja syndicate. Mayroong police scalawags.’

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: It’s the same nga, you yourself said earlier.

SEC. PANELO: No, it’s not the same. Sinasabi nga, iba iyong organized crime sa loob ng pulis at iyong kaniya-kaniyang individual na kita-kita.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Yes, but they still recycled drugs and it’s the same.

SEC. PANELO: It doesn’t matter whether it’s recycled or not. Ang pinag-uusapan natin, mayroon bang sindikato na organized, kumbaga mayroon directing operations. Dito nga raw wala; may kaniya-kaniya na. Kapag nakakakita nang pagkakakitaan, iyon nakakarating—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Exactly, ninja cops pa rin iyon. Anyway, sige, moving forward, sir. Did the General also explain iyong speculations or insinuations that he may be – natanong na medyo ni Tina iyon kanina – involved or is among the so-called ninja cops? Napag-usapan po ba iyon kagabi?

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang binabanggit.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Okay. And the President did not ask him about it?

SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala ako doon eh so… kung ano lang iyong kinuwento ni General Albayalde.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: What does the Palace think of those reports?

SEC. PANELO: Again, the Palace will always, as I said repeatedly, when reports come in, the President listens and studies it and validates it and then he makes official announcement to the matter with respect to the same.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, there are two claims, and you said that the President will study it. Mag-i-investigate ba?

SEC. PANELO: Kasama iyon siyempre.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Sec., linawin lang natin nang maigi. Iyong matatawag kang ninja cops kung ikaw ay scalawag na pulis?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, both puwede iyon. Basta iyong—kasi ang sinasabing ninja cops, sinasabi ni Albayalde, iyon iyong mga syndicated na grupo ng mga pulis.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Na nagre-recycle ng droga?

SEC. PANELO: Na-involved sa drugs, regardless of whether nagre-recycle o … basta involved sa drugs.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Okay. So sabi ninyo, wala na iyon under this administration?

SEC. PANELO: Sabi nila; hindi ko sinabi iyon. I’m just echoing him.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Ano ang kanilang patunay at katibayan para masabing wala na iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Tanungin natin si General Albayalde. Huwag mo akong tanungin diyan.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Hindi nila sinabi sa iyo o hindi ba kayo nanghingi ng rason kung ano ang katibayan para kapag humarap kayo sa media ay—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko na trabaho iyon. Kapag humarap sila sa media, tanungin mo sila, at I’m sure they will answer you.

HENRY URI/DZRH: All right. Iyong scalawags then, mga tiwaling pulis?

SEC. PANELO: Mga tiwaling pulis na—

HENRY URI/DZRH: Na?

SEC. PANELO: Involved sa drugs.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Involved din sa drugs.

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero hindi na sindikato; kaniya-kaniyang galaw na.

SEC. PANELO: Korek. Iyon ang kaibahan.

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Hindi natin alam kung mas maliit.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero iyon, hindi organized iyon?

SEC. PANELO: As compared doon sa nakaraan, sabi ni General Albayalde.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Okay, so malinaw. Napag-usapan din ho ba kagabi naman si Peter Lim, iyong tinuturing na numero unong drug lord sa Cebu—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, hindi iyan kasama sa nabanggit ni General Albayalde. Kaya nga dadalhin ko na rito si General Albayalde para straight from the horses’ mouth. PNP Chief, if you are listening, you are invited on Monday as my guest and the guest of the MPC.

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Two o’clock daw in the morning, General, sabi ni Joseph Morong.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Last Question, Secretary. Ano ang gagawin ng kapulisan o ng Palasyo doon sa mga police scalawags once and for all?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba sinabi nga ni General Albayalde, kaya raw siya mayroong task force na talagang iyon ang hinahanap lang nila iyong mga pulis na iyon. Sinu-surveille nila, pagkatapos ay ini-entrap nila. And ang resulta, 124 policemen killed and hundreds arrested.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Sec., sinabi ninyo iyong difference between scalawags at saka ninja cops ‘di ba.

SEC. PANELO: Iyon ang definition ni General Albayalde, and I agree with the definition.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Okay. So nabanggit ba niya sa inyo gaano ka-seryoso naman iyong problema sa scalawags? Kasi sabi niya wala nang ninja cops. Gaano naman ka-serious iyong extent ng scalawags problem sa PNP?

SEC. PANELO: Seryoso siyempre. You know, when even one policeman involved it’s serious. Can you imagine, law enforcer ka pagkatapos iyon pala law violator ka; eh talagang ay problema ka. Talagang seryoso. But sabi niya, precisely, nag-concentrate ako doon, mayroon akong task force doon, at ito ang yield namin — 124 killed, hundreds arrested. Eh di okay.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: But the problem remains serious despite iyong 124—

SEC. PANELO: You know why? Hindi ba pinapaliwanag ni Presidente, kasi nga the lure of money is so strong. Bilyon ang involved sa drugs eh kaya hirap na hirap talaga na mapigil. Palaging kapag nakuha mo iyon isa, mayroon na namang papalit.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: May nabanggit po siyang figures para i-Quantify iyong serious na problem sa scalawags?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ang tinanong ko sa kaniya, how much ba na ang nasira ninyong ano? Sabi niya, 132 billion pesos eQuivalent ang na-confiscate naming shabu.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Pero mga ilan pa kaya raw po iyong mga scalawag cops ngayon sa PNP?

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang binabanggit.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Wala siyang estimate or …

SEC. PANELO: Pero siguro by this time, if all members of the policemen are listening, huwag na kayong sumali doon sa 124 na napatay. Sooner or later, you will be entrapped and you might end up dead if you fight and resist arrest.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Hindi naman majority iyan ng PNP?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, you said that the President will still announce the names of the police officials involved?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ang sabi ko ‘he might.’ Kasi when he says something, he does it ‘di ba.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: But this will be based on what information?

SEC. PANELO: Eh di siyempre, kagaya ng sinabi ko, siyempre kung ikaw din ang Presidente, siyempre kapag may binigay sa iyong impormasyon, paiimbestiga mo rin how true.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So it will not be directly come from … iyong information coming from iyong Senate executive session, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Lahat iyon siyempre ay i-evaluate ni Presidente. You should always remember that this President is a lawyer. Kaming mga abogado, we just don’t open our mouth without studying, without looking at the provisions of the law. Kasi mahirap kasi na mag-prejudge ka. Iyon ang problema sa mga abogado.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Okay. Sir, categorically, does PNP Chief Albayalde still have the trust and confidence of President Duterte?

SEC. PANELO: Until such time as the President says otherwise, he remains in full trust and confidence of the Commander-in-Chief.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Another Question. Sir, may information ba tayo if President Duterte also met with Baguio Mayor Magalong last night and PDEA Chief AQuino?

SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala. I don’t think so. Walang binanggit. Eh di sana nabanggit na.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Kasi may information, sir, that Mayor Magalong was here last night daw in Malacañang?

SEC. PANELO: Tanungin ko mamaya.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, ito na lang. Itong sinabi ni Senator Bong Go that President Duterte wants parang magbigay ng reward doon sa makakahuli sa mga pulis na involved sa drugs. Sabi niya one million sa mga makakapatay, 500,000 sa buhay, two million sa mga manlalaban. Does this still stand po?

SEC. PANELO: Iyon ang sinabi ni SAP, ni Senator Bong, that means mayroong authority to speak for the President; napag-usapan nila iyon.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So, sir, hindi ba delikado ito, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Bakit?

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Kasi one million sa mga makakapatay, 500,000 lang sa buhay, tapos two million sa manlalaban. Hindi ba parang it denies the right to due process ng mga pulis na who will be accused of being scalawags or ninja cops?

SEC. PANELO: Bakit naman magiging denial of due process if you are involved in a criminal act ‘di ba? Pagkatapos hinuhuli ka, citizen’s arrest, nanlaban ka, napatay ka in the process eh ‘di walang violation.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Kasi sir, mas malaki iyong reward kapag patay eh.

SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, alam mo kung ako rin… halimbawa ako, narinig ko na may 2 million, iisipin ko rin: “Teka muna, may 2 million nga, eh paano kung ako mapatay ng pulis na iyan,” ‘di ba? Hindi naman ganoon kadali, eh kung they are involved in drugs, lalo na kung they are taking it tapos pulis pa sila, may armas pa, eh bakit naman ako—why should I risk my life for 2 million?

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Okay, sir. Sir last na lang. Kahapon sinabi rin ni Presidente mayroon siyang message doon sa mga pulis na involved in drugs. And he said, “Well, I’m sorry to tell you everybody dies in this world but you will go ahead first, remember that.” Can you please interpret that statement?

SEC. PANELO: Oh exactly, iyon ang sinasabi ko ngayon. Hindi ba sabi ko, don’t include yourself in the list of the 124, because sooner or later, eh baka masama kayo doon if you keep on involving yourselves and resisting arrest kapag kayo ay nahuli.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So, it could not be interpreted that the President is declaring open season doon sa mga pulis accused of dealing with drugs?

SEC. PANELO: That’s a warning to all of them. You cannot—hindi ba sinasabi ni Presidente kagabi doon sa mga Chinese investors, “If you will violate the law, I will kill you. Just follow the rules.” Eh iyon nga sinasabi… But you know, when he says ‘I’ll kill you’, it means he will pursue you to the ends of the Earth and put you behind bars. Now if you resist, oh that’s the time you will be killed – in defense.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hi sir, good afternoon. Sir kanina po minention ninyo na mayroon po kayong mga clients na sini-setup ng mga police scalawags.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi clients, my client – my client.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So isa lang po, sir. Can you tell us more about this specific case?

SEC. PANELO: Ah nakalimutan ko na, ang tagal na, 20 years ago pa eh. Basta alam ko—teka muna. Ang alam ko, involved siya sa pag-aresto, iyong palit-ulong tinatawag. Noong makuha daw nila iyong pinaka-source, siguro kung sabihin mo mga 100 kilos, ang idi-declare lang doon baka isang kilo lang – iyon. Ganoon daw ang ginagawa ng mga…

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Okay, so, 20 years ago pa po iyon. Pero sir, iyon pong effort ni President para po resolbahin iyong suliranin patungkol po sa mga tiwaling pulis, may admission ba ang President na hindi po sapat iyong gina—kasi iyong internal cleansing na ginagawa ng pulis ngayon, nabanggit ninyo rin kanina na parang mas tumindi pa.

SEC. PANELO: Oo tumitindi nga, kasi nga ang daming involved na pulis, ‘di ba.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Admission din po ba iyon on the part of the administration na the efforts of the President is not enough; na handa siyang magbigay ng reward money against ninja cops..?

SEC. PANELO: It is in fact a validation that the police under PNP Chief Albayalde is succeeding. Uulitin ko, can you imagine 124 killed? I was shocked when he told me 124 killed ang involved sa entrapment tapos hundreds arrested. O ganoon katindi, pero that means you’re succeeding.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Okay sir, thank you sir.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Good afternoon, sir. Sir how will the President validate itong claims ni General Albayalde; which agencies will be involved in the validation of the..?

SEC. PANELO: Ah presidente ito eh, siyempre kapag presidente ka marami kang sources.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Oo, kasi galing na po sa PNP Chief eh so most probably other agencies.

SEC. PANELO: Even then. Ang presidente, kapag presidente ka you have all; unlimited ang resources mo to validate things that reach your ears.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir nabanggit ninyo kanina, hindi pa tayo sure kung na kay Presidente na iyong transcript, pero once nasa kaniya na iyong transcript at iyong listahan, knowing the President, how will he treat this? No sacred cows?

SEC. PANELO: Oh… he will read it, he will study it and he will do something about it.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: If in case sir lumabas doon sa validation process na kasama nga si General Albayalde, what will be the response of the President; nababanggit ninyo sir palagi –no sacred cows?

SEC. PANELO: Eh obvious na iyong response. Hindi ba si Presidente, eh ilang beses na eh. Basta si Presidente: “Walang kamag-anak, walang kaibigan, walang kapartido.” Basta kapag involved ka, you’re fired. Ganoon lang kasimple si Presidente, hindi ba? Until now ba, mag-aapat na taon na si Presidente hindi ninyo pa alam estilo.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: So kung kasama po si General Albayalde—

SEC. PANELO: Kahit na sinong kasama.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: He will be fired?

SEC. PANELO: Kahit na sinong kasama, kapag involved, tatanggalin ni Presidente iyon. Hindi lang tatanggalin – may criminal prosecution. Kumabaga, walang sinasanto ang administrasyon ni Presidente. No sacred cow, paulit-ulit nang sinasabi ni Presidente iyon.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, mabilis lang. Sir sinabi ni Senator Bong Go na the President wants the transcript and the list from the Senate ng mga ninja cops to be cross-validated bago niya ire-reveal sooner. So, do we expect some announcing from the President these coming days?

SEC. PANELO: Siguro, since iyon ang sinabi niya eh.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: And also, iyong sinabi ng PNP na the Senate or even the—whoever should have due diligence daw sa pagni-name names ng mga pulis, kesyo malabag daw iyong kanilang human rights. So, malalabag daw iyong human rights ng mga pulis na papangalanan as ninja cops. Do you believe so?

SEC. PANELO: Palagi namang ganiyan ang sinasabi nila eh. Basta ang importante diyan, kung mayroon kang involvement at ma-validate ni Presidente, ngangalanan ka noon; ipo-prosecute ka noon.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Like iyong ginawa ‘di ba sa mga barangay officials and previous na pinangalan ng Pangulo rin.

SEC. PANELO: Oo.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Okay, thank you.

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: Sir, like I was saying earlier, yesterday at a media forum, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said that “China will attempt to reclaim Scarborough Shoal before the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022 dahil daw the President himself said na he cannot stop China from doing so” – reaction po?

SEC. PANELO: Was he saying that as a matter of observation, or is he saying that as a matter because he has access to the Chinese government?

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: His analysis.

SEC. PANELO: Can you read the mind of the Chinese government? We don’t know, hindi natin alam kung—but definitely gaya ng sinasabi in Presidente, I will not allow during my incumbency any assault on our sovereignty. That arbitral ruling is final, binding and not subject to appeal. Iyon ang sabi niya eh.

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: And he also claim, sir, that China would be willing to finish na iyong crafting ng Code of Conduct of the Sea once they reclaimed daw part of Scarborough Shoal and nakapag-build na ulit ng artificial island. Saan po kaya niya nakukuha yun—

SEC. PANELO: Ito namang fraternity brod kong justice eh, he is very fond of engaging in speculations. What is important is China is being pressured in a sense, dahil di ba, the President when he went to Beijing said that he will raise that issue to the President of China that a Code of Conduct should now be crafted; and the President of China naman acceded, sabi niya dapat meron na tayo.

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: So sir, come the next ASEAN Summit in Bangkok late October, are you confident na may significant strides na po towards the COC?

SEC. PANELO: Hopefully, considering that even the President of China has agreed with the President that there is a need for stability and peace of the region, there must be a Code of Conduct.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Sir, ano ang tingin ninyo doon sa possibility that China may erect installations in the Scarborough. Is this objectionable from our perspective, from our rights perspective?

SEC. PANELO: Anything that will go against the arbitral ruling would be of course objectionable for us, I think that’s a given. Because we are against any intrusion into the sovereign affairs of the land; eh kung magtatayo ka doon, eh sinasabi ng arbitral ruling sa atin iyon. Meron tayong karapatan doon, oh di bina-violate mo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: But if China does proceed, can we stop them?

SEC. PANELO: We can always try.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Meaning, how?

SEC. PANELO: Meaning—of course, we will—the usual, we have to file a diplomatic protest.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Puwedeng extension lang ng subject? Sir, si Secretary Locsin, I think is in New York ‘no.

SEC. PANELO: Pabalik na yata.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: And then he—iyung GA, General Assembly, and then he said that iyon pong mga Chinese commitments to the Philippines, parang wala namang nangyayari?

SEC. PANELO: Kasi hindi pa kumpleto. You know why? One time kausap ko si Ambassador Zhao, sabi niya sa akin, eh papano ang in stringent iyong mga reQuirements ng gobyerno n’yo, ang daming mga processes. Sa parte namin, wala kaming problema; pero sa inyo, ang tagal. Oh iyon, yun ang reason kung bakit hindi completed iyong mga—o puro palaging nag-uusap, ang daming mga reQuirements daw eh.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Like what, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung ano ang tinutukoy niya, basta binabahagi ko lang sa inyo iyong sinabi niya.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: I’m sure those in stringent measure are there for a purpose. Does China want to disregard all of those?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi niya sinasabi iyon. Basta kami wala kaming problema, sabi nila, kami palagi kaming okay. Eh, kayo mabagal. Parang ganoon ang dating.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA: Nothing in particular, may mga projects that he mentioned like—

SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala general iyong statement niya. Tagal na iyon, he mentioned that must be two years ago.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Sir, and you accept that reason from the Chinese Ambassador?

SEC. PANELO: Na ano?

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Na mabagal iyong side ng Philippine government?

SEC. PANELO: Whether I accept it or not, kung iyan ang sa palagay nila, ano ang magagawa natin.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: No, but as far as Malacañang is concerned, our processes slow?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about that. We should have to ask NEDA. Kasi sila ang mga involved diyan – NEDA, Public Works, Finance, sila ang nakikipag-deal eh.

ALEXIS ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: So given that remark, do you see the need for adjust—

SEC. PANELO: Given the what?

ALEXIS ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: That remark by the Chinese envoy, do you see the need for adjustments or we will stick to our current processes?

SEC. PANELO: Eh kung ano iyong sabihin nila Department of Finance Secretaries, like Secretary Dominguez, Secretary Cusi, Secretary Pernia, Secretary Villar. Kasi sila ang involved diyan eh, hindi natin alam kung why it’s talking long, we’ll have to ask them.

ALEXIS ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Kais di ba iyong China may mga record na, you know, iyong mga allegations ng corruption, anomalies, sa previous… iyong mga dealings nila with other countries. Don’t you think tama lang iyong mga ganoong stringent measures?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko nga alam kung ano iyong… what the Chinese Ambassador was referring to two years ago. Hindi ko alam.

ALEXIS ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Ah two years ako po iyong commentary.

SEC. PANELO: Two years ago pa iyong conversation namin.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Sir, also sa UN. Sabi ni Secretary Locsin sa tweet niya, noong may photo shoot sila with President Trump. Sabi raw, say hi to Frank Sinatra for me, sabi in President Trump referring to President Duterte. Tapos sabi—

SEC. PANELO: Frank Sinatra? Bakit Frank Sinatra si Presidente Duterte?

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: So, na-recall raw ni—

SEC. PANELO: Ah dahil sa kumakanta.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Kumanta di ba, sir, noong ASEAN?

SEC. PANELO: Ah okay, ngayon?

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Sabi raw ni President Trump, ‘I love that guy.’ So any response from the Palace?

SEC. PANELO: I think he loves him too.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: So the feeling is mutual, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, let me tell you this. You know if you recall the style of the President was much earlier than Trump. Bago pa nagkaroon ng Trump may Duterte na eh. Nagulat nga tayong lahat na ganundin ang style. Oh siyempre pag ganyan pareho ang style ninyo di meron kayong mutual admiration society.

TINA/MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: So does this mean that..?

SEC. PANELO: I will ask him para … sigurado sasabihin niya, “Anong response mo doon, he loves you?” Then I’ll tell you tomorrow.

TINA/MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: What about iyong strengthening of bilateral ties through defense cooperation?

SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba sabi naman ni Presidente, it doesn’t mean na nakikipag-deal ako sa Russia at China ay sira na ang relasyon sa US – nandiyan pa rin. Basta beneficial sa atin, I’ll be always open.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, although your conversation with Ambassador Zhao took place two years ago—

SEC. PANELO: And I think that was in reference to one particular project.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Yes, what project is that?

SEC. PANELO: Nakalimutan ko na kung ano iyong project. Mayroong—

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Ano? Alin?

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Nakalimutan ko na, basta one project lang. Sabi ko, ‘Anong nangyari?’, sabi niya, ‘Ang bagal ninyo.’

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So you confronted him on that project?

SEC. PANELO: No, hindi ko kinumfront [confront]. Tinanong ko lang, “How’s the project?” parang ganoon ang … I remember, sabi niya, ‘Ang bagal ng …marami kayong mga ano … mga reQuirements kaya ang tagal.’ Parang ganoon lang, in passing.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Is it a bridge project?

SEC. PANELO: Nakalimutan ko na. I forgot kung anong project iyon.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, reaction lang. According to a study by the Asian Development Bank, Metro Manila is the most congested city in developing Asia. What does it say sir, about the effectiveness of the administration’s effort to resolve Metro Manila problems?

SEC. PANELO: The traffic, or the congestion, what?

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Traffic, congestion.

SEC. PANELO: Oh ‘di ba sinabi ni Presidente, ‘Eh gusto kong gawan ng paraan, ayaw ninyo naman.’ Kailangan kasi all branches must cooperate with each other. Hindi pupuwedeng isang branch lang ng gobyerno ang mamamahala at tutugon sa pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin, otherwise, talagang mahihirapan.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, we have the Build, Build, Build Program of the administration. Do we expect itong problem na ito ng traffic and congestion to be resolved by the end of the President’s term?

SEC. PANELO: Hopefully. Kagaya ng sinabi ko sa inyo, iyong proposal ni Mr. Ramon Ang, maganda iyon; kapag nagawa niya iyon in two years, walang trapik ang EDSA. Kayang-kaya raw iyon in less ng two years eh – 33 billion dollars – worth!

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, what about the congestion problem, ano po ang … as far as the administration is concerned, ano iyong ginagawa po natin to resolve the problem, sir? And do we expect that to be resolved by the end of his term, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Siguro pag-uusapan sa Cabinet iyon kung mayroong mag-ano, will raise that issue.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sorry sir, kailangan ko lang tanungin. Ano po ang masasabi ninyo doon sa kumukuwestiyon sa nagkasakit si Pangulo, pero the other night ay kumakanta sa isang party?

SEC. PANELO: Bakit? Gusto mong sabihin kung mayroon kang sinat ay hindi ka na makakakanta? Eh kung nangyari iyong pagkanta bago sininat eh, ano ba namang problema doon?

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: How about sir, doon sa mga kumukuwestiyon naman sa mga dinadaluhan niyang mga minor engagements, pero iyong mga major events na dapat nandoon ang presence niya ay hindi siya nakakapunta dahil nga pagod sa ibang activities?

SEC. PANELO: Alam ninyo, the President is a normal person kagaya nating lahat. Mayroong mga oras na masama ang pakiramdam natin, kung minsan masakit ang ulo natin, kung minsan sinisinat tayo. Nangyayari sa lahat ng tao iyan. You don’t have to be President to be like that. Kung nagkataon lang, walang dapat na ikabahala ang taumbayan. Eh nakita ninyo kahapon, ang lakas-lakas niya na naman.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, nag-announce po iyong DOH na iyong kinonfirm [confirm] po iyong death ng bata dito sa Manila caused by diphtheria po – a highly communicable disease. Iyon nga ang reason sir, bakit nagkakaroon tayo ng outbreak – diphtheria, polio – lately, dahil doon sa pagbaba nga ng vaccine, iyong mga batang nagpapa-vaccine. Ano po iyong utos ng Pangulo, sir, dahil nga ang sinasabi po ng ibang mga grupo sir, mas dadami pa ang mga outbreak ng iba pang sakit na matagal nang hindi present sa bansa dahil nga doon sa—

SEC. PANELO: Kausap ko si Secretary DuQue noong isang araw. Sinasabi niya, the situation is under control. Mayroon tayong mga programa sa mga vaccination all over, kahit sa mga barangay mayroon tayo.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sir, acceptable sa inyo iyong rason sir, na under control pero iyon nga sir, nagkakaroon tayo ng iba’t ibang outbreak ng ibang mga sakit na matagal nang wala. I mean, iyong issue ng vaccine sir, dahil daw iyong sa Dengvaxia scare. So sa tingin ba ninyo sir, acceptable pa iyong trabaho ni DOH Secretary DuQue ngayon na nahaharap po iyong kalusugan, karamihan po, mga batang nagkakasakit ng mga ganitong klaseng sakit dahil nga doon sa—

SEC. PANELO: Ako, naniniwala ako na ginagawa niya ang lahat niyang makakaya upang pangalagaan ang kalusugan ng sambayanang Pilipino.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir last na. Are we confident na hindi naman mauuwi sa outbreak ito? Kasi iyong diphtheria ay hindi pa naman siya outbreak as of this time?

SEC. PANELO: Sabi niya, hindi raw. Sabi ni Secretary DuQue.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: And the Palace is confident with the work of DOH na hindi ito mauuwi sa outbreak?

SEC. PANELO: Oo naman.

ALVIN BALTAZAR: Okay, maraming salamat, MPC; Maraming salamat Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, Secretary Sal Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

###


SOURCE: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)

 

Resource