Press Briefing

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

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

USEC. ROCKY IGNACIO:  Good morning Malacañang Press Corps, Happy New Year; Happy New Year Secretary Salvador Panelo. Let’s now have Secretary Panelo.

SEC. PANELO:  Good morning. Happy and a prosperous New Year to the nation, especially to the members of the Malacañang Press Corps. I’m ready if you are…

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, may balak po ba si President Duterte na bumisita doon sa mga nasalanta, mga apektado ng landslide anytime?

SEC. PANELO:  We’re scheduled to visit tomorrow.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Saan sir particularly?

 SEC. PANELO:  Sa Bicol area, Camarines Sur.

 JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Anong balak pong gawin ni President Duterte?

 SEC. PANELO:  Siyempre we will check on the stricken areas para malaman natin kung ano pang kailangang gawin.

 JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  May mga ibibigay po ba, sir… assistance?

 SEC. PANELO:  Mayroon nang mga naka-ready. Mayroon na ngang nauna eh.

 JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Pero, will that be part pa rin—

SEC. PANELO:  Oo kasama iyon, kasama lahat iyon.

 JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  What kind of assistance, sir? Financial assistance or goods? Ano pong—

SEC. PANELO:  Lahat ng kailangan nila ibibigay ni Presidente.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir in general po ba, si President Duterte ay masaya or satisfied with the preparations done for Bagyong Usman? Kasi kahit hindi po ganoon ka—kumbaga it weakened as low pressure area, pero iyong effect po niya sa ground marami po iyong namatay. So, may pagkukulang po ba sa—

 SEC. PANELO:  Natural lamang na malungkot ang Presidente sa mga panahon ng kalamidad, pero ginawa naman natin ang lahat na maging handa. But there are things you cannot control, may mga dumarating na mga panahon na talagang magkakaroon ng mga trahedya.

 JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Wala po ba sir pagkukulang sa part, let’s say ng LGUs or national government agencies pagdating sa pagbibigay ng warning or saan po kaya nagkulang possibly sir? Bakit ganito karami iyong affected and iyong number of people who died?

 SEC. PANELO:  Eh, mukha namang wala sapagkat gaya ng sinabi na natin noon pa handa tayo. Pero there are areas for instance na biglang nawalan ng kuryente, kaya iyong mensahe hindi nakarating doon sa mga kinauukulan kaugnay sa paghahanda sa Storm Usman; mayroong mga ganoon. Like in Sangay, ang sabi noong mga tao doon eh the day before pa wala na silang kuryente kaya hindi nila na-monitor iyong mga nasa radyo; hindi nila alam na magkakaganoon.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, what can be done to prevent that from happening again?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh siguro ayusin natin iyong energy; titingnan natin kung bakit nagkaroon ng brownout in the first place – kung ito ba’y cause pa ng storm.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  And other contingencies, sir?

 SEC. PANELO:  Yeah, we will learn from whatever lesson we have seen. Ganoon naman tayo eh, ‘pag medyo nagkamali o mayroon tayong mga dapat na gawin, gagawin natin.

 ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  So, satisfied si President Duterte sa preparations at saka sa response noong agencies sa Usman?

 SEC. PANELO:  Mukha naman. But siyempre gaya ng sinabi ko kanina, there are certain matters na hindi kaagad nakaresponde at mayroon namang mga paliwanag din iyung mga LGUs. So tingnan natin kung anong puwede pa nating gawin upang lalo tayong maging handa sa anumang panahon ng sakuna.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Salamat, Sec.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:   Hi sir, Happy New Year. Sir pero ang trend na ngayon, ang parang killer o pumapatay hindi iyong pagbaha or typhoon per se, kundi iyong landslides na dahil sa mga pag-ulan. Sir, mayroon ba tayong plano actually na ipatupad na iyong hazard map, iyong kung saan may mga landslide prone areas na hindi dapat tinitirhan at dapat magkaroon na ng permanent evacuation iyong mga tao doon?

SEC. PANELO:  Siguro tatanungin natin si Secretary Roy sapagkat ‘yan ang kaniyang area of responsibility.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:   Also sir, sinabi ni NDRRMC Executive Director Jalad na may pagkukulang sa part ng—or hindi masyadong pagkakaunawa ng mga local officials doon sa PAGASA warnings; like for example doon sa rainfall, iyong storm surge and iyong pagguho—na dahilan ng pagguho ng lupa, iyong mga pag-ulan. So may balak ba tayo na mas paigtingin iyong kampanya/pagpapaliwanag dito at magkaroon ng mas malinaw na… kumbaga sistema sa pagpapaliwanag ng mga warnings ng PAGASA?

SEC. PANELO:  Well certainly, if that is the omission o pagkukulang eh dapat nating punuan. Kung kailangan na magkaroon pa ng mga seminars upang ipaliwanag ang mga dapat nilang gawin eh gagawin natin.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:   Thank you, sir.

JAM SISANTE-CAYCO/GMA7:   Hi, sir. May we get your comment on the statement of Joma Sison that the CPP-NPA will intensify its offensives this year and that they will broaden their alliances to oust President Duterte?

SEC. PANELO:  Well he has been saying that and as I said much earlier and even recently – his is a failed rebellion. It’s about time that he realizes that fact that 50 years of rebellion has not borne any fruits in so far as the intention of the rebellion he has launched is concerned. In fact the very people that he has sought to fight for, eh sila ang nagiging biktima ng kanilang ginagawa.

JAM SISANTE-CAYCO/GMA7:   These are essentially just empty threats sir, walang patutunguhan sir iyong mga sinasabi?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh… just like the rebel senator, he is an illusionist; a visionary that has become illusory. Palagay ko panahon na na magkaroon siya ng enlightenment.

But I don’t blame him, given the fact that he is how many thousand miles away. Wala talaga siya sa reyalidad eh. Hindi niya nakikita ang nangyayari dito sa Pilipinas.

MYLENE:  Follow up lang, sir. So sa madaling sabi sir, hindi po dapat seryosohin ng gobyerno?

 SEC. PANELO:  Wala naman talagang maselan na threat iyong… kay Sison mismo. Pero iyong nasa ground na sila ang gumagawa ng mga pagsalakay, iyon ang mga banta – but ready naman ang ating Armed Forces diyan.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:   Sir, nag-release na po or nag-issue na ng travel advisory ang United Kingdom and Australia following the bombing in Cotabato City. Do you think that they have enough reason to fear for the safety of their citizens here especially in Mindanao?

SEC. PANELO:  You know, it’s natural for any foreign government or any government for that matter to be concerned sa welfare, sa safety ng kanilang mga mamamayan. And we cannot blame them kung nagkaroon sila ng ganiyang pananaw sapagkat nagkaroon ng bombahan sa Cotabato, but iyon ay isolated case lang naman. So in so far as the National Defense Secretary is concerned, it’s very safe to travel sa Mindanao.

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

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Secretary, what are your thoughts on the ongoing congressional probe regarding the Bicol flood control projects?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, it’s the job of the House to conduct investigation. We’ll leave it to them, and then let’s see their findings.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  What are your expectations?

SEC. PANELO: The expectation of any executive branch relative to the investigation conducted by an equal branch is one of understanding and one of action if it so requires to do such acts. Depende kung ano ang magiging resulta ng imbestigasyon.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  But how are you taking that deal?

SEC. PANELO:  Sa amin, okay lang iyon, kasi may kanya-kanyang function ang bawat sangay ng gobyerno, gawin nila ang tungkulin nila, gagawin ang amin, magtutulungan tayo sa ikabubuti ng mga kababayan natin.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  But are you optimistic that the budget department will be able to answer whatever question will be thrown to them?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh, I’m sure, definitely, Secretary Diokno. He is very competent to respond to any question directed to him.

 BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Hi sec. Confirm, lang po namin kung napirmahan na po ni President iyong resolution extending the validity of 2018 appropriations po, as claimed by Representative…?

SEC. PANELO:  I just texted the Executive Secretary, wala pang response, tsine-check ko. I’ll let you know.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR:  But, sir do you agree with Representative Andaya’s statement that in effect, if the President really sign the resolution, does this mean that the government is doing away with the cash-based budgeting system po?

SEC. PANELO:  I will ask Secretary Diokno, mas—area of competence niya iyan.

USEC. IGNACIO:  Sir, question from Celerina Monte about the woman’s statue in San Pedro, Laguna. Can we get Palace reaction on this, why was it removed? Was there a directive pressure from the national government and or Japan to remove it?

SEC. PANELO:  We don’t know exactly who initiated the removal. But as far as the government is concerned, in the case of the statue built at the Roxas Boulevard, we said then, that we would not want to offend our ally – Japan; now it maybe that the local government did it, pursuant to the policy of the government.

Sino ang kasama bukas?

USEC. IGNACIO:  Sino daw ang pupunta sa Bicol, MPC?

Q:  Sec, Happy New Year. Sir, hihingin ko lang po iyong statement ninyo kung agree kayo doon sa sinabi in Senator Ping Lacson na dapat i-follow up iyong case ni… the DOJ should follow up with the court, the proscription case versus the NPA as a terrorist group as per section 2, of RA 9372, following po nung sinabi po ni Joma Sison – iyong mga ganoong statement?

SEC. PANELO:   Pending iyong case sa RTC, di ba. The DOJ is doing its job.

Q:   But, sir do you agree?

SEC. PANELO:  That?

Q:  Iyong po sa sinabi ni Senator Lacson. Na dapat i-follow up?

SEC. PANELO:  It doesn’t need to be followed, its’ pending in court. So, it’s the court’s call when it will rule on it.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, what can the Palace say about the concerns of some OFW groups that President Duterte’s controversial statement about touching a maid could encourage harassment against maids, especially those working in other country, sir?

SEC. PANELO:   I think we have explained the circumstances surrounding the remarks of the President. We said that was a made-up story, which is his way of criticizing the hypocrisy of some members of the clergies, specifically the priest who sexually abused him when he was still a student as well as his fellow students at that time.

The President uses any method that will dramatize and will call attention and will bring the messages he wants to impart to those concerned.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Pero, sir made up or not, don’t you think that those kind of statements actually encouraged violence against women or harassment against women?

SEC. PANELO:  I do not think so because precisely, it was dramatized in such a way that audience will laugh. But, even that the message is not lost on the listeners – alam nila na merong mensahe si Presidente kahit na dinaan niya sa pagpapatawa sa kanila.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Recently sir, the President has been very vocal about his concern for the rights of OFWs, particularly iy0ng mga Filipina workers working as household help in other countries. Parang… would that bring his advocacy… push that backward, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi naman, kasi alam naman ng mga foreign governments ang naging posisyon ni Presidente diyan. You remember iyong sa isang Middle East country, he threatened to stop OFWS in working there. Kaya umatras sila, nabigyan tayo ng magandang kalakaran sa trabaho para sa ating mga OFWs.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Pero sir, do you really see it as necessary just so, to deliver the message of the President of the abuses of the Priest, iyong using graphics, as iyong paglalarawan na ‘pagpasok’ sa ganito, then ‘basa’, iyong mga ganoong graphics na terms?

SEC. PANELO:  If you noticed the President has been doing that, even during the campaign. And that has been very effective on the listeners, klaro din iyong mensahe. Kaya sa tingin ko, he will not stop doing this, kasi nakikita niyang effective, naiintindihan siya.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Perhaps it is effective doon sa discerning and adult listeners, pero what about the minors, iyong mga bata na makarinig exactly iyong mga ganoong terms, hindi ba medyo alarming na ganoon iyong marinig nila na—?

SEC. PANELO:  First iyong mga minors, meron silang mga magulang na nakakaintindi. So, iyong mga magulang ang magpapaliwanag sa kanila. Pangalawa, iyong ganoong—kung you are referring to mga elementary, palagay ko ni hindi nila maiintindihan iyon.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV/RADIO:  Sir, follow up po, regarding po doon sa mga binibitawang pahayag ni Pangulo in a national scope na maraming nakakarinig, pati po international, hindi po ba lumalabag ang Pangulo sa Code of Ethics  for government officials na siya bilang highest official of the government. Papano pa mako-control iyong mga nasa ibaba niya na magsalita rin ng mga ganoong klaseng mahahalay na pahayag po.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi rin. Unang-una hindi naman mahalay iyong kuwento niya, nagtatawanan nga eh. Alam mo kapag mahalay ang reaction ng audience eh masama, magagalit sa kanya, hindi iyong magtatawanan, kasi magaling siya doon. Haven’t you noticed, napakagaling ni Presidenteng maggawa ng mga kuwento, mga kathang kuwento o kuwento na nangyari, pero ine-exaggerate niya para lang ma-tone down iyong bigat ng mensahe para mas madaling tanggapin. Rather than iyong style na mumurahin mo ng husto iyong dapat mong banatan.

 ROSALIE COZ/UNTV/RADIO:  Pero, sir, is that a good example for other lower public official po – iyong ganoong style na ginagawa ng Pangulo? Kasi we have the kasambahay law para itaas ang karangalan, gawing importanteng sector ng lipunan ang mga  domestic helper, pero  po doon sa naging pahayag ni Pangulo, parang masyado po silang nade-degrade doon sa example na ikinabit dahil doon sa abuse na ginawa ng pari noong menor de edad pa po siya?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t think na degrading, alam mo gaya ng sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte kaugnay doon, ipinakita niya lang na wala namang… walang kasalanan na dapat siyang sabihin pero pinipilit siya noong pari habang siya ay ginagalaw. Kumbaga ipinapakita niya iyong kabastusan noong pari at ginawan niya ng kuwento ng ganoon na lang para makita ang kahubaran or nakedness ng hypocrisy ng partikular ng paring iyon.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Pero sir, at the expense of a domestic helper sir?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman eh—

ROSALIE/UNTV: So there’s nothing—

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo mayroon rin naman akong katulong sa bahay. Wala naman siyang reaksiyon na nagalit kay Presidente. Natawa nga eh, natatawa lang sila eh, natatawa sila eh.

ROSALIE/UNTV: So sir, there’s nothing—

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo ang nagiging problema lang yata kasi iyong masyadong, iyong mga ultra-conservative at iyong mga taong hinahanapan talaga ng mali ang Presidente. Iyon ang gagawin nilang reaksiyon; but by and large, hindi naman eh. They know exactly the message of the President.

ROSALIE/UNTV: So hindi rin po natin in-e-expect na mag-apologize ang Pangulo doon sa—

SEC. PANELO: Definitely hindi, precisely sinadya niya nga iyon, kaya nga sinasabi niya, ‘that was intentionally made.’ It was concoctive story to dramatize the hypocrisy of a particular man in cloak.

KRISTINE AVENDAÑO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, is the President aware that he gets into trouble when he makes this kind of statements?

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo ang Presidente, siya iyong tipong, he couldn’t care less whether there will be an erosion in public support. Ang kaniyang intensiyon palagi ay magbigay siya ng mensahe na maintindihan siya at magiging epektibo gaya noong mga banat niya sa Simbahan, para sa kaniya he is initiating a discourse. Gusto niyang buksan ang taong bayan upang magkaroon ng malawakang at malalimang diskusyon kaugnay sa mga paniniwala sa punto ng relihiyon na maaaring sa halip na makatulong ay hindi.

Gaya ng sabi ng mga ibang philosophers, ang relihiyon ay nagiging isang opium na ginagamit ng mga naniniwala sa isang partikular na relihiyon at tinatakasan nila ang reyalidad. Kaya siguro kailangan natin ng Presidenteng ganito ‘no na lumikha ng ganitong mga kontrobersiyal na pahayag upang mahikayat ang taong bayan na namnamin, alamin, tanungin, hanapin, suriin ang katotohanan sa anumang relihiyon na kanilang niyakap.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, if you say that—that if the President was very successful in driving the point home that the Church is a hypocrite or—iyong hypocrisy ng mga pari or mga religious leaders then why are we talking about his statement and why are we talking about sexual harassment, violence against women and not what the President intends to talk about which is the Church?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean? I didn’t get that.

PIA/ABS-CBN: Hindi kasi you’re saying that with his controversial statement, he has been very successful in proving that the Church is a hypocrite but why are we still talking about his statement—

SEC. PANELO: Not proving but he is precisely opening a natural discourse to—for the faithfuls to study and to probe deeper into what he is saying.

PIA/ABS-CBN: But given that sir, I don’t think that the focus was placed on the Church but on his statement kasi. So do you think na there was still a point in saying that?

SEC. PANELO: That is one point of view but there are millions of people would have a different view.

PIA/ABS-CBN: Sir, could you explain to us iyong value na binibigay ni President Duterte or iyong reason niya on using this very controversial statements to prove whatever point he wants to prove?

SEC. PANELO: Ipinapakita ni Presidente na hindi siya iyong tipo ng taong na nagtatago o may maskara. Siya iyong tipong lantad sa atin, walang pagbabalatkayo. Sinasabi niya exactly what he feels and what he wants and he does what he said he would do during the campaign. Ganoon siyang klaseng tao eh, walang gahiblang pagbabalatkayo si Presidente.

PIA/ABS-CBN: Last na lang sir. Sir, every time kasi na may pasabog na statement si President Duterte natatanong na ito pero wala po bang nagsasabi sa kaniya or nag-a-advise sa Palasyo na to, parang medyo hinay-hinay lang sa mga ganiyang klaseng statement, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Alam po ninyo si Presidente 23 years siyang naging alkalde, iyon ang naging kaniyang istilo ng pamamahala. That was his type of governance and it was very effective, minahal siya ng taong bayan ng Davao City at hanggang ngayon ay mahal na mahal pa rin siya kaya hindi na natin mababago iyon sapagka’t nakita niya na ito ay epektibong pamamahala sapagka’t ito ay matapat na pamamahala.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Sec., ito pakipaliwanag na lang kasi sabi ninyo kathang kuwento iyong sinabi ni Pangulo doon ‘di ba para ma-lighten iyong message. Ito iyong actual statement niya. Sinabi niya, kinuwento niya ‘di ba tapos sabi niya, ‘ganoon man iyan, kayo ayaw lang ninyong ma… hindi ninyo masabi dito. Ako wala man akong media, totoo man, it’s true. Lahat man ng mga bata dumaan ng… and then,’ ano kaya ang ibig sabihin noon, Sec.?

SEC. PANELO: Eh ‘di ganoon na nga, gumagawa nga siya ng kuwento eh.

ACE/PHIL. STAR: Hindi, ang sabi niya totoo man.

SEC. PANELO: Kasama iyan doon sa kuwento. Kasama iyan sa kuwento, eh kaya nga sinabi niya, that was a… iyon nga exact words of the President when he told me, ‘that’s a concoctive story to dramatize the hypocrisy of the person I was referring to.’

ACE/PHIL. STAR: Iyong claim ninyo regarding na nagustahan ng tao iyong ganoong style. Hindi kaya iyong achievements ni Presidente iyong gusto ng tao, hindi iyong manner of speaking?

SEC. PANELO: Kasama lahat iyon. Alam mo kapag tatanggapin natin si Presidente, lahat kasama iyon eh. Parang ‘pag umiibig ka sa isang tao eh, warts and all; ganoon ang pagmamahal. Ang kagandahan kay Presidente kasi at saka iyong majority ng mga Pilipino, they see in the President themselves, because iyong mga sinasabi ng Presidente, iyong kaniyang pamamaraan, kung kayo ay bukas lamang, pumunta kayo kahit saan, ganoon din ang istilo ng ordinaryong tao eh, nagmumura, nagagalit, nagkukuwento ng ganoong istilo, ganoon na ganoon eh. Kaya they relate to him. Now, si Presidente naman galing din siya doon eh at sinasabi niya iyon, kaya alam niya. So it has evolved into what I will call – as Tony Lopez describes, even mine and the President – nagkaroon ng mind melt ang Presidente at ang taong bayan. They have merged into one, kaya mahihirapan talagang sirain si Presidente. Walang magtatagumpay na anu man ang itapon mo kay Presidente sapagka’t ang taong bayan ay niyakap na nila si Presidente bilang sila kaya mahal na mahal siya. Haven’t you notice, two and a half years, ganoon pa rin ang consistency ng kaniyang rating. There is no other explanation but that.

ACE/PHIL. STAR: Salamat po.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay, no more, MPC? Okay, thank you, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Is that the color of the year? I bought one suite like that. Thank you.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay, thank you, Malacañang Press Corps. Back to our main studio sa Radyo Pilipinas and People’s Television Network.

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

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