MODERATOR: Magandang tanghali, MPC. Kasama na po natin si Chief Presidential Legal Counsel at Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Good afternoon, sir.
SEC. PANELO: Good afternoon.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Hi sir, good afternoon. Sir, the Department of National Defense has confirmed na mayroon daw tayong pinurchase na aircraft from the US. I understand the President before has mentioned that we have no plans of having arms deal with the US anymore or acquisition of any military equipment or aircraft following iyong failed arms deal with US. So, does it mean na open na tayo ngayon with this?
SEC. PANELO: The Secretary of National Defense explains it as the plane will primarily serve as platform to carry senior leaders and commanders in the event of, for example, a crisis situation – that was his explanation.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: So—
SEC. PANELO: It is similar an airborne command post. It can—it has a capability better than the ordinary, like it requires a short – anong tawag doon? – runway.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: So meaning sir, we’re open doon sa idea of purchasing aircraft and military equipment again from US?
SEC. PANELO: Since we started one, that will be the logical consequence.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: What made Malacañang or the government change its mind compared doon sa naunang statement?
SEC. PANELO: Wala pa naman, isa pa lang naman eroplano ah. In your question kasi, kung it will open. It might… depende.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: No. Kasi sir before, parang firm iyong sinasabi ni Presidente na no more acquisition, no more purchasing of aircraft or military equipment from US.
SEC. PANELO: Eh siguro iyon lang ang mayroong eroplanong may kakayahang ganoon kaya kinonsider.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But, naging factor din ba iyong relationship ngayon ni Presidente kay US President Donald Trump?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam, kasi si ano naman ang nag-negotiate ng sale eh, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Okay, thank you sir.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, there is a Cabinet meeting on Friday, correct sir? Sir, nakita mo na iyong agenda?
SEC. PANELO: Wala pa. Binibigay sa amin on the day itself eh.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, madi-discuss po kaya iyong National Land Use Act again?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa alam eh, kasi on the day nga binibigay iyong agenda eh. Dapat tatanungin mo si ano, Secretary… CabSec.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Secretary, I will quote the President during his arrival last Sunday ‘no noong tinanong siya on the next PNP Chief sabi niya wala pa daw tapos, “Maya-maya madapa na naman tapos ako ang magkaroon ng problema.” What was his—ano ‘yung meaning niya doon?
SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala siyang sinabi kung anong meaning doon eh.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Was he referring to the PNP Chief, kasi sabi niya baka madapa nanaman kung magkaroon ng problema?
SEC. PANELO: I’ll ask him. I’ll ask him kung magkita kami mamaya.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Pero—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, tinatanong ko nga sa inyo eh. Wala pang sagot eh, iyong tinatanong ko kung nandito na.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Pero anong tingin ngayon ni Presidente doon kay PNP Chief ngayon given iyong recent developments and this statement nga na ‘baka madapa’.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba sinabi niya na titingnan niya iyong—magbe-vet pa kung sino. Vet… he will choose. Mayroong binabanggit na apat ‘di ba, apat na puwede. Pero knowing the President, iba naman ang style ni Presidente ‘pag ganoon ‘no. He always keep it to himself.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: The PNP Chief said, “Nagsalita na si Presidente, therefore we should move on from the ninja cops issue.” Does the Malacañang agree with that?
SEC. PANELO: Basta ang posisyon ng Malacañang ‘di ba, he will wait for the recommendation of the DILG Secretary relative to the investigation.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: But, should we move on already from the issue?
Given the investigations are still ongoing, should we move on—
SEC. PANELO: Eh ini-imbestiga pa nga eh.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: So, dapat na bang mag-move on from the issue?
SEC. PANELO: What do you mean by ‘move on’; we will forget it?
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sinabi ni PNP Chief Albayalde—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi nga. Hindi—you have to ask him what does he mean by that.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Pero as far as Malacañang is concerned?
SEC. PANELO: As far as Malacañang is concerned, there is an ongoing investigation as instructed by the President.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: So, hindi pa tapos iyong issue?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi pa, kasi wala pa namang rekomendasyon eh.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Okay, salamat Sec.
SEC. PANELO: Siguro ang ibig niyang sabihin ‘move on’, huwag na munang pag-usapan, antayin na lang iyong findings. Baka naman iyon ang ibig niyang sabihin. Pero I understand ‘di ba according to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee mayroon pa? Oh so… Ano iyon, bago o… kailan iyon? Ah so hindi pa, sinabi lang.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, iyong statement ni President about doon sa pagpili ng bagong PNP Chief, is that admission na nagkamali na si Pangulo sa pagpili ng PNP Chief?
SEC. PANELO: Wala naman siyang sinabing nagkamali siya ‘di ba?
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: “Maya-maya madapa na naman tapos ako ang…”
SEC. PANELO: Nag-i-speculate lang tayo. Eh siya ang tanungin ninyo. Mahirap mag-interpret sa sinabi niya dahil hindi… hindi… Hindi, kasi hindi masyadong klaro kung kanino niya nire-refer o whatever.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, pupuwede ninyo po ba kaming bigyan ng ideya? Paano ba ang proseso ng pagpili ng susunod na PNP Chief? Ano ba ‘yung mas matimbang na pakikinggan ng Pangulo? Iyong recommendation ba ng PNP Chief o ng DILG Secretary?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman nag-aantay ng rekomendasyon ang Presidente eh, haven’t you noticed? Palaging siya, sarili niya. Siya ang nag-iimbestiga, nagbe-vet.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Thank you, sir.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, nag-admit ka mahirap interpret si Presidente? [laughs]
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, iyong particular kasi hindi mo alam… Hindi… hindi—I don’t interpret the President’s statements.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Hmm?
SEC. PANELO: No. I only explain what his statements refer to or is meant to be according to him – not according to me.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, never nag-interpret, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Never.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You mentioned kanina in passing, 4 iyong names?
SEC. PANELO: Iyong mga nababanggit sa diyaryo. I don’t even remember their names.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero within the Cabinet sir, I’m sure mayroon na iyon kasi—
SEC. PANELO: Wala. Alam mo—maniwala kayo, ‘pag may ina-appoint si Presidente, wala nakakaalam. Laging he keeps it to himself.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero sir, when he said may mga vetting—
SEC. PANELO: Di ba sabi niya, I’ll vet.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero ibig sabihin may short list.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Iyong four po na sinabi ninyo is based from information in the Cabinet or…?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi nababasa ko lang sa diyaryo.
GENALYN KABILING/MLA. BULLETIN: Sir, ano pong qualification or criteria na hinahanap ni Presidente sa susunod na—
SEC. PANELO: Competence, honest – palagi naman iyon ang kanyang qualification di ba.
GENALYN KABILING/MLA. BULLETIN: Dapat corruption-free—
SEC. PANELO: Kaya nga honest eh, di kapag honest ka ‘di hindi ka corrupt.
GENALYN KABILING/MLA. BULLETIN: Walang hinaharap na kaso o hindi na-implicate sa ninja cops or…
SEC. PANELO: Basta pag if you are honest, di ibig sabihin wala kang kaso relative to any irregularity. Pag competent ka, di ibig sabihin magaling ka sa trabaho mo.
GENALYN KABILING/MLA. BULLETIN: So, you believe the PNP has a deep bench of these honest men deserving of the post?
SEC. PANELO: Every organization naman merong ganoong klase; hindi mawawala iyon.
JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER: Sir, if we try to dissect what the President meant by ‘madadapa’; does it mean na when he chooses the next PNP Chief, he will be more cautious po?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung ano ang ibig niyang sabihin, as I said earlier. Basta he will decide on the basis of competence and honesty.
JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER: Can we say sir na definitely, you said na hindi dapat linked sa irregularity. Can we say definitely na that the next PNP Chief ay dapat walang bahid ng links doon sa ninja cops?
SEC. PANELO: Basta iyon ang kanyang palaging basis ng appointment – honesty and competence.
JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER: Sir, ibalik ko lang po doon sa ano, iyong sa plea ni General Albayalde to move on. You said earlier na maybe he just want to stop talking about the issue. Do you agree na we should stop talking about the issue?
SEC. PANELO: We should ask him exactly what he means by it.
JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER: Does the Palace think that the public or we should stop talking about the ninja cops issue?
SEC. PANELO: In the first place, you can’t stop the public from talking about it.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Sir, gaano ka importante sa Presidente na personally kakilala niya iyong next PNP Chief na baka galing Davao na katrabaho niya, kasi nakita natin sa iba niyang appointment na importante rin sa kanya iyan. So, particular on this post—
SEC. PANELO: Depende kasi eh, si Presidente hindi ba kung minsan hindi naman niya kakilala, ina-appoint niya. Like si… Chief Albayalde hindi naman niya kilala personal iyon eh; si Secretary Briones hindi niya rin kilala; Secretary Diokno; marami ring instances eh.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Does it matter, sir, if the police official—
SEC. PANELO: Sometimes, siguro he appoints on the basis of reputation preceding the appointee; kung maganda ang reputasyon sa labas.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Does it matter, sir, if the police official is from the Philippine Military Academy or the PNPA. What is the Palace take on this?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung ano ang magiging criteria niya doon, basta honest and competent.
JOSEPH MORONG.GMA7: Sir, iyong sa ninja cops, involvement of the generals, I mean iyong sa mga 13 na mga high-ranking officials and some of them were COP and intel officer. Does it affect the credibility of the drug war, kasi mukhang di ba?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman.
JOSEPH MORONG.GMA7: Why?
SEC. PANELO: Because, unang-una, na-expose sila, kung na-expose sila di patay na sila, nasira na, na-derail na iyong kanilang programa. Pangalawa, tuloy pa naman iyong—ilan lang ba ang 13 out of so many thousands of PNP, kapiranggot lang iyon eh. Kapiranggot lang iyon, 13 out of how many other members of the police force.
JOSEPH MORONG.GMA7: Pero sir, iyong ano, na-expose iyon after three years into the campaign di ba, so meaning the first three years, panong ano ba?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi marami iyan, di ba as I’ve explained. First, there have been many factories of shabu dismantled. Second, many have been arrested; and even with respect to the policemen—ilan ba iyong sinabi kong napatay na ano, 142 ba na police during the operations against the policemen, oh eh doon lang di successful ka na. In other words, na-neutralize.
JOSEPH MORONG.GMA7: Address the public now, baka mamaya—na parang medyo hindi na sila comfortable doon sa drug war na… They shouldn’t?
SEC. PANELO: They should not be comfortable? They should be comfortable. The fact is the President has dismantled many drug apparatus in this country and jailed many police scalawags involved in the drug operation and arrested many people involved in pushing the illegal drugs and many have surrendered, many have been rehabilitated.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Follow up lang sir, from question ni Macy kanina doon sa jets. Kasi si President Duterte kasama siya sa puwedeng makinabang nitong bagong biling jets. Was it requested by the President himself?
SEC. PANELO: No, ano iyon, si Secretary Lorenzana.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, sabi po ni Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes, he is criticizing the purchase kasi po aabot po siya ng almost 2 billion and he said in his twitter post when you spend millions of dollars for the comfort of officials, while ordinary folks carry the daily burden of transport crisis.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman comfort iyon. Komportable ba iyon?
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: It’s for the senior officials, in times of crisis po.
SEC. PANELO: Oh, kung may in times of crisis di kailangan mo iyon. Kaya nga crisis eh, then there is necessity. Kung necessity papano naman magwawaldas ka.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: So justified, sir, iyong paggastos natin.
SEC. PANELO: Yeah of course. Eh si Presidente pa, di ba si Presidente napaka-frugal. He doesn’t spend unless necessary.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sit, you also mentioned yesterday in your interviews na the US should be pressured to give us fairer deals—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, hindi ko naman sinabing pressured; sabi ko baka maging insecure, eh magbigay na sila ng fair treatment sa atin.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: So do you think, sir, itong purchase natin with the US it’s the start of them giving fairer deals to our government?
SEC. PANELO: Sana, hopefully.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, patanong lang po ng office regarding ‘yung sa—
SEC. PANELO: Pang ano?
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: —anak po ni President Duterte, si Veronica.
SEC. PANELO: Ang pagkaalam ko ano… pagaling na siya.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Okay. Sir, knowing the Presidents being a doting father and grandfather, is it likely na he will be at the side of Veronica and—
SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba he’s still there until now?
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: So, wala siya this week?
SEC. PANELO: Mukhang wala pa siya rito.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Okay, sir.
SEC. PANELO: Kasi I haven’t received—tinext ko, wala pang sagot eh, ibig sabihin nandun siya.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: So, doon muna siya, sir, sa ano—to care for Veronica habang ano pa? I mean, ‘yung confirmation n’yo po na pagaling na, did it come from ano, from him?
SEC. PANELO: From the mother.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Ah, from the mother po. Ano pong—can you share with us kung ano ‘yung—
SEC. PANELO: Wala—iyon ang—tinanong ko kasi kung okay na. Sabi niya, pagaling na.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: The dengue, sir, was contracted when he was in Russia—
SEC. PANELO: Ah, hindi ko alam. I didn’t ask about it. Tinanong ko lang ‘yung condition at state.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, tapos si Veronica was inoculated with Dengvaxia tapos ngayon—
SEC. PANELO: Ay, hindi ko alam ‘yun. I don’t know about that kung—
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Na-inoculate po siya, sir, tapos ngayon nagka-dengue siya. Do you think, sir, na itong case ni Veronica is a vote against Dengvaxia?
SEC. PANELO: I’m not a doctor, so my opinion will be incompetent.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Pero for now, sir, the Palace is still pushing for the dengue immunization program despite iyong nangyari kay Veronica?
SEC. PANELO: Kung ano ‘yung agenda ng DOH, tuloy pa rin ‘yun unless stopped by the President.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Alright, sir. Thank you, sir.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, comment lang po dun sa study ng Deutsche Bank. Quality—
SEC. PANELO: Study ng?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Deutsche Bank, sir. German firm.
SEC. PANELO: German.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Quality of life index. So, for example: Quality of life in general, number fifty-four tayo out of fifty-six.
SEC. PANELO: Dati?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Hindi ko lang alam, sir, kung—
SEC. PANELO: Ayun ang problema.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: New entry tayo, new entry. New entry nakalagay dito.
SEC. PANELO: Kailangan alam natin ‘yung previous kung may improvement o—
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: No, new entry siya, sir, so wala tayo sa—
SEC. PANELO: Ano? Ano?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Wala tayo sa previous survey. We’re in the list now. We are number fifty-four out of fifty—
SEC. PANELO: Sa quality?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Quality of life.
SEC. PANELO: So, ibig sabihin pumasok na tayo sa ano, sa magandang buhay?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Well, we are—kasunod natin, sir, would be—susundan natin would be Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, tapos below us would be China and Nigeria. So, aside from the quality of life in general, doon tayo, sir, sa traffic commute time. I’m sure you can relate to this also. We are at number fifty-one tapos—
SEC. PANELO: Out of?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Fifty-six, sir. So, does it look like we’re having a nice life here in the Philippines?
SEC. PANELO: With respect doon sa quality of life, baka it refers doon sa: Is there food on the table? Are there hospitals providing you with healthcare? ‘Di ba? So, kung in reference to that baka iyon ang ibig sabihin pero kung sa traffic, eh may problema tayo sa Maynila. Maynila lang naman ‘yun.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Manila, sir, ‘yung measure. So, you agree naman that we are—‘yung fifty-one talagang we deserve that ranking in terms of heavy traffic?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kasi. I have… I don’t think I’ll be competent to judge that. Mga experts ‘yung nag-a-ano, hindi naman tayo expert dun.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero do we feel na we are at number fifty-one? I mean, even the traffic situation?
SEC. PANELO: Mahirap kasi dahil hindi, unang-una, dahil hindi natin line ‘yun, parang mag-e-speculate lang ako doon. You can only say out of your own experience that you’re having problems with going to a place if your short of a time, made-delay ka talaga.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, purchasing power, number fifty-three. So, medyo bottom rank tayo, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Tumaas ba ang purchasing power?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Well, number fifty-three out of fifty-six. So, ‘yun ‘yung mga medyo mababa tayo na ranking.
SEC. PANELO: Pero siguro, what we should consider is nagkaroon ng improvement ang ating—when the economy improves, then there should be an improvement on the quality of life.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: To us, what is more appropriate indicator of a good life for the people? Food on the table?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Yun na nga. Di ba ang gusto ni Presidente komportable ang buhay natin. Ibig sabihin lang naman noon: Is there food on the table when you need to eat? When you’re sick, are healthcare available? Do you have money to buy clothes.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, ano lang… Hindi ko alam kung natanong na sa inyo before. Do you agree that there is a transportation crisis?
SEC. PANELO: Ano ba ang ibig nilang sabihin ng transportation crisis? Ang nakikita ko lang traffic hindi ‘yung transport na iyon—mayroong transportation naman ah. Nakakasakay naman tayo lahat.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Ang quote pala, sir, is “mass transport crisis.”
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba nandiyan pa naman ‘yung tatlong… tatlong LRT ba ‘yun?
MPC: [off mic] Sira. Sira ‘yung 2.
SEC. PANELO: No. Nabasa ko ‘yung paliwanag, dati-dati daw halos araw-araw nagba-bog down. Ngayon daw once a week na lang. So, ang laki daw ng improvement.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And that’s good once a week na lang?
SEC. PANELO: Kung araw-araw tapos ngayon once a week, ‘di ang laki nga improvement.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. So, you don’t agree, sir, na mayroon tayong mass transport aah…
SEC. PANELO: Mukha namang wala pa.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Wala pa?
SEC. PANELO: Wala. Kasi nga makakarating pa naman ‘yung mga dapat makarating sa kanilang pupuntahan.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kailan ang tanong? So, for you, okay ‘yun?
SEC. PANELO: Eh, may solusyon naman doon eh. If you want to go… arrive early in your destination, then you go there earlier.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay, sir. Thank you.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, may mga netizens po kasi na nagrereklamo like for those affected by the breakdown of the LRT 2, those who are coming from eastern part of GMA, of Greater Metro Manila. May mga netizens na nagrereklamo it takes them seven hours, six hours, just to travel to their destinations usually here in Metro Manila or Manila. So, does the Palace think na given the recent breakdown of the LRT 2 ay wala pong mass transport crisis na nangyayari?
SEC. PANELO: Ang solusyon dun, there should be improvement in the LRT kung anong problema nila why it’s bogging down. So, ibig sabihin, maintenance ang problema, you’re not maintaining it properly. So, I think the management of LRT should know how to respond to this.
JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Is the President aware po of what happened recently at ‘yung effect nito sa commuters natin?
SEC. PANELO: The President receives briefers from every department, so he knows.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, do you think nine months is too long to fix that part of the LRT 2? Is it too long or…?
SEC. PANELO: As I said, dapat ang management should respond to that kind of questions. Kasi, bakit nagba-bog down? Ang palaging naririnig ko, kasi worn out, walang piyesa. Parang ‘yung mga problemang iyon ka dali lang naman bigyan ng solusyon ‘yun – ‘di um-order ka ng ano… i-regular ang maintenance mo.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So, you want them to justify the nine-month period?
SEC. PANELO: I want them to improve their services, if I were to be asked.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Alright.
SEC. PANELO: Kasi ang problema lang nga palaging nahihinto ‘yung operations, ibig sabihin something must be wrong. Bakit hindi nila nagagawan ng paraan. Baka kailangan ng palitan ang LRT? Bago naman, bumili ng bagong LRT. Ilan taon na ba ‘yan nag-o-operate?
SEC. PANELO: Ano ‘yun, Japanese ba ‘yun? Siguro pumili na sila ng mas quality-ng ano… LRT.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: If ever na wala pang mass transport crisis, you’ve mentioned na nakakarating pa naman ‘yung mga dapat makarating. So, ba’t ‘yung ganun, sir, should the public now, especially doon sa affected by this problem in LRT 2 and in the public transport, should just embrace and accept the situation?
SEC. PANELO: No. Kaya nga sinabi ko dapat magkaroon ng improvement. Hindi naman pupuwedeng forever tayong ganito. As I’ve said, if the problem is on the kind of transport we have, then there is a solution to that. You change the mean of transportation itself or if there is a problem 0n the operation with respect to its spare parts, hindi rin problema ‘yun; madali ring gawan ng paraan. I cannot understand why they cannot do that. If they cannot do that, then there’s something wrong with management.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So therefore – just like what the President usually does when he wants something done – you are demanding now LRT 2 management to step up and—
SEC. PANELO: They should improve on the services and tell us exactly what’s their problem so that we can do something about it.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: Sir, in relation to mass transport. Is there a need for the LTFRB to expedite release of franchises and the routes for the modernization of jeepneys? Marami kasi raw pending ngayon even if 2017 pa nag-order ang Malacañang ng modernization of jeepneys, kasi puwede siyang alternative transportation kung wala itong … o babagal ang operation ng LRT 2.
SEC. PANELO: That’s the call of the LTFRB. There must be a reason why there is a delay, kung may delay man. It should be competent to know whether or not it has to grant franchises to help ease the problem on transport.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: Sir, can we say that Malacañang will ask the DOTr and LTFRB at least to update us on these developments on—
SEC. PANELO: As I said, these offices and departments submit regular briefer to the President.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, would you care to comment on the PET? I know it has been deferred, but what do we know probably, Palace side?
SEC. PANELO: Anong PET?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Marcos vs. Robredo, sir.
SEC. PANELO: We will leave it to them. We are not—we will leave it to the Tribunal to decide on its own, whatever pending cases it has.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And accept whatever it decides on?
SEC. PANELO: Whatever—well, you know the President is always on the side of the law. Whatever the law says, he should enforce it.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, alam ninyo po ba iyong sa Rule 65 sa PET kasi I think that’s the bone of contention and the issue? Na parang initially, ang kailangang i-resolve ng Supreme Court is the… they have to follow 65, meaning, identify first three pilot provinces—
SEC. PANELO: Three?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Oo, sir. And then if you have recoveries, meaning may mga nakita na pagbabago sa mga boto, and then you can proceed to the next step which is a wider recount and revision. Ngayon kasi, sir, parang medyo may inclination na the PET will do away with Rule 65 and instead just grant a maybe wider recount and revision. Do you agree that the PET should do away with Rule 65 or should they follow it?
SEC. PANELO: Again, we will not intrude into the competence and the authority of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. It has to decide on its own on the basis of what is required by law and the evidence.
Q: Sir, do you have update na noong defense cooperation with Russia? I understand nag-tour, nag-inspect si Presidente ng Russian helicopters.
SEC. PANELO: Narinig ko lang na galing sila doon when they got inside the aircraft, nanggaling daw sila roon. Wala namang ibang kuwentuhan kung hindi galing kami doon.
Q: So tuloy iyong purchase ng helicopters?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa alam. Malalaman ko iyan siguro—tinext ko doon si Secretary Delfin, wala pang sagot.
Q: Hopefully sa next briefing, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Let’s see.
AILEEN TALIPING/ABANTE: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, the government loses another case versus the Marcoses, this is the one billion civil suit. Do you think the government lawyers did their best?
SEC. PANELO: I do not know whether they did their best. What I know is that it has been dismissed. And the court dismissed that on the basis of evidence. Ibig sabihin, kung na-dismiss mayroong reason for the dismissal.
AILEEN TALIPING/ABANTE: Pero hinahawakan ito ng Office of the Solicitor General, so it means to say, pinag-aralan nila iyong kaso.
SEC. PANELO: Alam mo, alam ninyo, kahit na pinakamagaling kang abogado kung kulang ang ebidensiya mo, wala ring mangyayari. Ang labanan kasi sa hukuman ay ebidensiya. Kung kulang ang ebidensiya mo and the court feels na you have not proven your case, your case will be dismissed. But it doesn’t mean na talagang talo ka; kulang lang iyong ebidensiya mo.
AILEEN TALIPING/ABANTE: So, sir, what do you think will be the next step of the government?
SEC. PANELO: Eh wala eh, kung na-dismiss na eh ano pang magagawa.
AILEEN TALIPING/ABANTE: Goodbye na? Thank you?
SEC. PANELO: Bakit, hindi pa sila nag-file ng MR? Mayroon pa naman, may MR pa, mayroon pang appeal. Hindi pa tapos iyan eh. Sandiganbayan pa lang iyan eh.
Q: [OFF MIC]
SEC. PANELO: I think it will, palagi namang ganoon eh. Wala namang hindi nagpa-file ng MR.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, sabi po ni dating Chairperson ng Commission on Human Rights Etta Rosales, naging timid daw po ang PCGG under the Duterte administration?
SEC. PANELO: Naging timid?
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Yeah, naging weak, timid at saka feeble po.
SEC. PANELO: Anong ibig niyang sabihin? Hindi ba lahat ng mga kaso ng PCGG nai-file na noon pa. Sino bang may hawak noon? Hindi naman itong administrasyon na ito eh. Kumbaga, puro minana lang ng administrasyon.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, you said the government will appeal the ruling ‘no sa Supreme Court. Why should we appeal?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung mag-a-appeal sila. Ang sabi ko—kaya ang tanong ko nga kung nag-appeal na. But ordinarily, the government always appeal naman. And for that matter, all litigants appeal kapag may talo sila. Depende iyon kay SolGen. That will depend on him.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You think he will?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t know. I will ask him. I will ask him.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero, sir, kung ayaw niya?
SEC. PANELO: Kung ayaw niya, siya ang abogado eh. Depende sa ano niya kasi, sa diskarte. If he feels na kahit na i-appeal niya ay ganoon pa rin ang magiging desisyon, hindi na siguro mag-a-appeal iyon. Pero if he feels na mali ang evaluation ng Sandiganbayan, mag-a-appeal iyon.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, si OSG, hindi naman siya shy about his fondness for the Marcoses?
SEC. PANELO: Who?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: OSG Calida. Do you think that will play into the decision of whether the government will appeal?
SEC. PANELO: No, si SolGen will always base his decision on the basis of the law and the evidence on hand.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, question on principle: Should we run after the Marcoses, recover all these alleged ill-gotten properties?
SEC. PANELO: Aba kung ill-gotten, then we should always run after. Basta ill-gotten, hindi na kailangan tanungin iyon. It should be a policy of all governments to run after ill-gotten wealth.
MODERATOR: Wala na pong tanong? Salamat po, Secretary Panelo. Salamat, MPC.
SEC. PANELO: Thank you. Happy Birthday.
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)