SEC. PANELO: Good afternoon MPC. First, I’d like to express the Palace condolences to the family of Secretary Ramon Lopez for the passing of his mother Aurora Lopez.
Also, Mr. Ramon Ang would like to request people to stop releasing false news about his son being… or having been passed away, he’s still alive. I’m ready.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Secretary, the President removed the PNP’s procurement powers because of the supposed plan to purchase an overpriced traffic radar—
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Do you have any other details about this?
SEC. PANELO: He is angry about it when he discovered it. He could not believe that a radar would cost that much. In Davao City, it cost them only 10,000 pesos.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: So, is it a directive to abolish all procurement units of the Police. Because he said, he is going to task Secretary Año to do the procurement for the police. So, is he ordering the PNP to abolish all procurement units?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about that, that’s the only order I heard him say. I don’t know with the rest. But as far as the President is concerned, I think its Secretary Año who would be in charge of that.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Did he order an investigation on the supposed plan to buy overpriced radars?
SEC. PANELO: I suppose it goes without saying, when there is an anomaly, the investigation should be forthcoming.
FRANCIS: Sir, good afternoon. President Duterte will be visiting Batangas City later?
SEC. PANELO: 5:00 pm. First, he will send off the Marines.
FRANCIS: Anong expected natin sa visit ni Pangulo, sir, mamaya?
SEC. PANELO: Well, first he will have a briefing from the various agencies who are presently undertaking measures to help the victims, as well as make some undertakings that would be helpful to them. He wants to see for himself the devastation wrought by the eruption. And from there he would be… I suppose making orders to respond to whatever problems he will see there.
FRANCIS: Makakaasa po ba na magbibigay po si Pangulo ng any financial assistance sa mga victims?
SEC. PANELO: I do not know about that part.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Sir, noong isyu po ng Middle East crisis. The President tried to request from Congress extra power or authority for contingency funds and there was a response na merong 16 billion under the present 2020 budget. With the eruption of Taal Volcano, is there a need for additional funds o mag-request ang Pangulo ng extra standby or standby authority for…
SEC. PANELO: With respect to the Middle East, since there has been de-escalation of the conflict there, I suppose that is the reason why the President did not pursue with his request or call Congress to special session. Now, vis-a-vis the present eruption, I understand we have enough funds for that.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: No, need for standby authority?
SEC. PANELO: None that I know of.
USEC. IGNACIO: Questions, MPC, wala na kayong tanong?
SEC. PANELO: Punta na tayo sa Batangas? Are you going there, by the way? Nobody will go there? Ah si Joseph nauna na.
USEC. IGNACIO: May other teams daw po, Secretary.
SEC. PANELO: Eh kayo ang hinahanap ni Presidente, iyong mga mukha ninyo eh.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: So Secretary, the President will be going to Port Area to send the—
SEC. PANELO: Yes, sa South Harbor.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Okay, can you give us details about that… ilan iyong ise-send off and ano iyong ine-expect natin?
SEC. PANELO: I understand a ship will be going there. I’m not very clear on whether there are troops there. What I know is, one frigate has already been sent to secure the ship that has already been docked there near Qatar.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: So, why is the government pursuing this even if iyong mukhang nag-deescalate na iyong situation sa Middle East, iyong sa US-Iran.
SEC. PANELO: Because we don’t know exactly whether it will again escalate or deescalate. So, to be certain that our people there are safe and secure, we will be sending this ship.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Sir, meron po ba kayong ia-address sa mga evacuees ngayon na… meron kasi silang cloud of uncertainty, kung kelan makakabalik sa bahay, may danger sa Taal volcano eruption. Anong assurance ng gobyerno na matutulungan pa naman sila?
SEC. PANELO: Ang panawagan ko po sa lahat ng mga nanunuod ngayon diyan sa apektadong lugar, makinig po kayo palagi doon sa mga anunsiyo, pahayag na nanggagaling sa iba’t-ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno at ng pamahalaan kaugnay diyan sa inyong mga lugar. Pakinggan n’yo pong maigi, sapagkat iyong mga pahayag na iyon ay ang layunin noon ay upang ipaalam sa inyo ang pangkasalukuyang sitwasyon at kung papano kayo mailalayo sa panganib; iyon pong mga aral na ibinibigay sa inyo kagaya ng pagtatakip ng inyong mga ilong kahit na walang mask, meron namang puwede… iyong panyo puwede ninyong basain, ilagay sa ilong. Saka iyon pong mga sinasabing nasa lugar na mapanganib, wag na muna kayong bumalik sapagkat hindi pa tayo nakakasiguro kung safe na iyong lugar na iyon.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Sir, anong doctor’s advice kay Presidente kasi kahapon may binabanggit siya na parang meron yatang paalala sa kanya ang doctor. To be specific, magsusuot ba siya ng facial mask mamaya?
SEC. PANELO: Eh siguro, kahit ako gusto kong magsuot. Para safe tayo kung meron pang mga ash fall. Pero wala akong alam doon sa sinabi mong advice ng doctor, hindi namin napag-usapan kagabi iyon.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Kung kailangan niya pang magsuot ng facial mask?
SEC. PANELO: But I suppose he should. I mean, everyone should wear that especially in Batangas, it’s very near. Which reminds me, wala pala akong dalang mask. Marami naman diyang botika eh.
Q: Nagkakaubusan na.
SEC. PANELO: Noong isang gabi iyon, pero ngayon hindi na.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Sir, iyong kalusugan ng Presidente ngayon ay walang dapat ipag-alala?
SEC. PANELO: Wala, palagay ko naman ay kagabi—
HENRY URI/DZRH: Kahit pumunta siya roon?
SEC. PANELO: Kagabi anong oras ba kami umalis doon sa wake, gabi na rin, alas dose na yata. Wake ng mother ni Mon Lopez.
HENRY URI/DZRH: So, malakas ang katawan para salubungin iyong mga anumang toxic doon sa lugar?
SEC. PANELO: Oo naman, basta nakatulog siya ng buong walong oras okay na okay iyon.
USEC. IGNACIO: Questions, okay na tayo? Okay wala nang tanong Secretary Panelo.
SEC. PANELO: All right thank you, see you in Batangas.
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)