Press Briefing

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

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Magandang umaga, MPC; magandang umaga Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Spokesman Secretary Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO:  Good morning. Good noon to MPC.

BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Any statement, Secretary?

SEC. PANELO:  We would like to condemn the killing of a broadcaster, blocktimer Dindo Generoso, who we understand was killed at around 7:25 this morning. We—or the President has directed the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and to prosecute those behind the killing.

We’re ready for any question.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, yesterday you had a Cabinet meeting ‘no, but Vice President Robredo wasn’t there because wala pa namang invitation that has been issued to her?

SEC. PANELO:  And even if there was an invitation, I don’t think she could, because it was such a short notice.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Yes, sir. Any sentiments from the President after the decision of the Vice President?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, he welcomes the appointment—rather the acceptance to the appointment of the Vice President.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  What did he say about it?

SEC. PANELO:  He expressed its good that she’s back in the Cabinet, that’s what he said.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And, when are we going to invite her?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh, ES I think must have already done that.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  ES has already…

SEC. PANELO:  May have already done that. I haven’t talked to him, but he’s supposed to send the invitation.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Alright. Is this going to be—the setting will be a Cabinet meeting or one-on-one with—

SEC. PANELO:  I think it should be a one-on-one.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  When we’ll see this happening, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t know.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay sir, iyon muna.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, doon sa Cabinet meeting, did the President discuss kung ano ‘yung magiging scope ng trabaho ni VP Leni?

SEC. PANELO:  No, we do not. I need to take this call, sandali ha.

BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Babalik ang press briefing maya-maya lamang. Balik muna tayo sa Radyo Pilipinas saka sa PTV 4.  [COVERAGE CUT]

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  [COVERAGE RESUMES]… agencies to support to VP Leni.

SEC. PANELO:  He has already a memorandum. May written order na.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Thank you, sir.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, may ongoing demolition.

SEC. PANELO:  Demolition na?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sa Bulabog Beach sa Boracay, right? And understand your son is lawyering for the property owners there.

SEC. PANELO:  Ah he is the lawyer, yes.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Yes. ‘Di ba nasa court ‘yan? May court order?

SEC. PANELO:  Oo, may legal issue nga.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Correct. So, anong—

SEC. PANELO:  So I think there has been a gentlemen’s agreement not to proceed with the demolition.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Pero it’s proceeding, as we speak.

 SEC. PANELO:  Sabi nga.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So may illegal ba iyong… ginawa yung LGU or the task force?

SEC. PANELO:  I’m not the lawyer of anybody so I will let the case proceed.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay. Sir ano lang, clarification ha. So, wala pang sini-set na meeting with the Vice President?

SEC. PANELO:  Supposed to be the Executive Secretary will write VP Leni para magkaroon ng meeting.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  When sir iyong next Cabinet meeting? December na sir ‘no, first Monday.

SEC. PANELO:  Ah, December na ‘yan siguro.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay. You will let us know if the President—

SEC. PANELO:  Of course.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay, thank you.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Sir, good noon. Sir, maliban sa mga nabanggit mo, ano pa ‘yung mga ibang issues na natalakay other than what you have mentioned?


REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Sa Cabinet meeting. Iyon lang?

SEC. PANELO:  Mayroon na akong statement ha.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Kaya nga. Ang tinatanong ko nga kung other issues. Baka mayroong iba na hindi mo nailagay doon.

SEC. PANELO:  Ah hindi, lahat na iyon ‘yung nakalagay diyan sa statement. Walang nabanggit. Eh we usually stick to ano eh—we always stick to the agenda.


GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN:  Hello, sir. Sir, iyong doon sa ban—on the proposed ban on plastic products, single use plastics iyong gusto ni Presidenteng ipa-ban ‘no.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko exactly alam kung single use or—basta sinabi niya lang na inclined siya na i-ban.

GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN:  Sir, bakit po na-raise iyong ano—plastic pollution?

SEC. PANELO:  In connection with the climate change issue.

GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN:  Sir, on another issue tackled in the Cabinet meeting. The President approved the use of contingent funds for assistance for hog raisers affected by ASF. Magkano po ‘yung budget na—

SEC. PANELO:  Ah, hindi ko alam iyong amount. I’m not privy to the amount.

GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN:  Satisfied po ba si Presidente sa efforts ng DA at ibang government agencies in dealing or controlling the spread of ASF?

SEC. PANELO:  I think so, yes. Wala naman siyang sinabing he is not satisfied.


JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, soundbyte na lang. Why the President allowed the—to access the office—Office of the President fund ‘yan sir, ‘di ba? OP?

SEC. PANELO:  Uhum… Why? Eh kailangan eh. It’s necessary.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Necessary, because…?

SEC. PANELO:  It is necessary because we need funds to help in the—in the drive.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And the hog raisers?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes. We need to help the hog raisers.


SEC. PANELO:  Because it’s their livelihood. They have been affected by the swine fever.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Any method to access the fund, sir? If for example sir, may mga nanunood sa atin na hog raisers and then there’s this available fund, how are they going to access that?

SEC. PANELO: Iyon ang hindi ko alam. You have to ask Secretary Dar.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, for sound bite lang for TV. Reaction lang doon sa SWS survey results.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba, I already issued a statement. The survey result shows that it’s still very good and if you compare that with other previous administrations’ performances, mataas pa rin si Presidente. And more importantly, the ratings received by the President on the issues like helping the poor, providing information needed by the citizens to know what this Government is doing, as well as having clear policies, those subjects got the highest ratings, which mean that the people have acknowledged the President’s genuine empathy and transparency, as well as decisiveness. It shows the political will of this President.

Moreover, with respect to surveys, the President has repeatedly said, “I am not here for any popularity contests. It doesn’t affect me at all if whether my rating comes down or goes up. What is important is that I have a job to do and I do it in accordance with the dictates of the Constitution.”

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hi, sir. Good afternoon. Sir, sa tanong kahapon about doon sa balak na magpahinga, may update po ba?

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang binanggit kahapon eh. No mention was made.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Okay, sir. Idugtong ko lang doon sa issue kasi di po ba sa ASEAN, may mga critics na nanguwestiyon doon sa absence ng Pangulo doon sa last two events—

SEC. PANELO: No, wala namang nag-question. Nagtatanong lang sila—

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Iyon pong RCEP Summit and then iyon pong closing ceremony ng ASEAN.

SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, iyong photo op, he had to relieve himself and took a little time. Iyon namang last summit, according to Sonny Dominguez, is more of a technical thing. And the economic managers had to be there, not the President.

And I asked the President why he was going to forego the closing ceremony, and he said, “Alam mo, mayroon tayong slot – slot ng eroplano is 7:30. We have to take off at 7:30, otherwise baka bukas pa ako aalis eh ang daming trabaho sa Maynila.” That’s the reason why. Anyway, closing naman iyon.

And not only that, there were other heads of the state who were absent, who missed that. In fact, even during the session, umalis si Prime Minister of Malaysia – Mahathir.  Another session, umalis din si Singapore Prime Minister Lee.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sorry sir, I have to ask this question. May mga nagsabi po kasi na imbes daw po sana ginastos sa trip ay dapat daw po ay naibigay na iyong tulong sa mga biktima ng lindol.

SEC. PANELO: Eh bakit, kumpleto naman tayo sa …hindi ba, in place lahat iyong ating mga tulong sa biktima ng earthquake. Wala naman tayong problema doon. Importante iyong ASEAN, hindi pupuwedeng i-forego that because that concerns common interests in the region by the countries. They have to get together and unite against common concerns like terrorism, like the drug menace – marami eh.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Iyon nga daw po sir, importante ang ASEAN pero hindi dinaluhan lahat. Although na-read na namin iyong explanation ninyo, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Anong hindi dinaluhan lahat, dinaluhan nga lahat eh; Ang sinasabi ninyo ay iyong closing – ano ba iyong closing? “Thank you for coming here and goodbye.” That was the closing ceremony, ano pa ba naman … hindi naman importante iyon. Eh wala nga doon iyong marami eh.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, balikan ko lang iyong survey. Sir, the administration, specifically the President, is enjoying a high satisfaction/approval rating with regard to the anti-drug war of the administration. With VP Robredo at the helm, do you think in one way or the other would affect the ratings of the President with regard to the drug?

SEC. PANELO: I think that will depend on the performance of the VP as drug czar. And ultimately, will depend on the respondent’s subject of the survey; how they will evaluate or assess the performance of the Vice President.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Iyong sa reaction lang ng Pangulo sa pagtanggap ni VP Robredo sa posisyon, did he expect na tatanggapin nga ni Bise Presidente iyong offer?

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang binabanggit. Basta winelcome niya lang. In passing lang eh. But we expected her to accept the President’s appointment.

 REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Iyong pagkasabi sa iyo, parang…iyong sinabi niyang—

SEC. PANELO:  The President’s appointment to—

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Ang sabi niya sa iyo, it’s good na tinanggap.


REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Iyong sinabi sa iyo, di ba, parang it’s good tinanggap. Sincere naman siya sa pagsabi na it’s good na tinanggap.

SEC. PANELO:  Wala naman siyang sinabi na it’s good. Ako, ako ang nagsabi noon, it’s good na tinanggap. Wala, wala siyang sinabi; sinabi niya lang na welcome.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Nasa statement n’yo po na, sir, the President mentioned—

SEC. PANELO:  Sa interview niya?



REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  That he mentioned that it’s good.

SEC. PANELO:  No. Sinabi niya lang na… parang wine-welcome niya si Leni Robredo, the Vice President, to rejoin—in rejoining the Cabinet.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay sir, just to be very clear about it. What did the President say—

SEC. PANELO:  I was not there when he made those utterance; it was just relayed to me by a fellow member of the Cabinet.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  What did the President say according to the Cabinet—

SEC. PANELO:  Na winelcome si VP. Iyon lang.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Winelcome. Did the President expect the VP will accept it?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam kung in-expect niya. Basta the point is he believes in the capability of the Vice President that is why he offered initially and he appointed. That alone should tell us that he believes in the capability of the Vice President to perform a job tasked to her.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Remember Agnes Callamard, the UN Rapporteur for extra judicial killings? She has been trying to access the Philippines, right, to investigate the EJK. With Vice President Robredo at the helm of the anti-drug council and if she does maybe entertain the thought of allowing Miss Callamard to enter the Philippines, will the President allow that?

SEC. PANELO:  Ay, iyan ang hindi ko alam. Baka policy ano iyon… baka government policy. When it’s a government policy, then all officials will have to follow the policy.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  When you say a ‘government policy,’ what is the government policy—

SEC. PANELO:  The policy of the President, that he doesn’t want this people intruding into the affairs of the state.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  All right. Because the President doesn’t want it, even if the Vice President wants it, the President prevails of course?

SEC. PANELO:  That will be speculative; we will have to wait for…

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, merong isang movie ‘no, it’s a Spanish movie, its El Cano and Magellan, the first voyage around the world about Magellan.

SEC. PANELO:  Did you watch it?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Not yet, sir. But according to Variety, it’s an online entertainment magazine in the States. Well, some netizens are objecting to the portrayal of Lapu-Lapu.


JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Na siyempre Spanish movie, si Lapu-Lapu is a villain to Magellan’s hero role. Will we ban the film considering the perspective of the film, depicting Lapu-Lapu—

SEC. PANELO:  I think that’s the jurisdiction of the MTRCB, sila ang magde-decide niyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Pero we don’t have any objection, sir, of Lapu-Lapu being considered—

SEC. PANELO:  We will not want to preempt the jurisdiction of that agency.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Iyong Bayan and Kabataan Party list, may crackdown doon sa mga offices nila. Is this a government policy to surveillance or…?

SEC. PANELO:  The government policy is always to investigate complaints on criminal activities and if they have evidence, then they will take action.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So nothing wrong, sir, with tagging iyong offices of the group ‘no, Bayan and Kabataan as possibly…?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, if the evidence shows that they have been engaged in criminal activities.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So, okay iyong surveillance, police surveillance?

SEC. PANELO:  That’s supposed to be the duty of the police security, if they have basis for surveillance.

Where is Ina, are we going to celebrate her birthday? Naka-leave?

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Sir, habol na lang, may nagpapatanong lang. May nabanggit ba si Presidente tungkol sa next Chief PNP?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala. Wala siyang binanggit. Kasi alam mo sa Cabinet meeting, kung nandoon kayo, kung ano iyong agenda, iyon lang ang pinag-uusapan. Wala, walang tsismisan, paano magtsitsismisan eh ang tagal-tagal mag… baka makaabot—matagal ang mga presentation.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Sir, doon pala sa discussion sa… about sa water issue, water shortage. MWSS Administrator Emmanuel Salamat asked that the Laguna Lake be declared as a vital source of water which needs protection and security. In-approve ba ito ng Cabinet, ng Pangulo?

SEC. PANELO:  Which one ang hiningi?

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Na ideklarang vital source of water ang Laguna Lake.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko narinig iyong portion na iyon ah. I didn’t hear that portion. What I heard about when I was there during the discussion, DOJ Secretary has recommendation how to go about certain provisions in the contract between these private companies and the government that are onerous, disadvantageous to the government.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Walang napag-usapan like mga action plan towards the—kasi iyong sinabi ng Pag-asa baka until March, baka iyong water shortage daw ay aabutin na hanggang March, which is summer time na.

SEC. PANELO:  I will have to look at the transcript.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Okay, please. Thank you, sir.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  No more MPC, maraming salamat.



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