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. IGNACIO: Good morning Malacañang Press Corps; happy Monday. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps. I’m ready if you are.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi sir, good morning.

SEC. PANELO: Rose.

ROSE/HATAW: Sir, sa tingin ba ng Malacañang tama iyong ginagawa ng Philippine National Police na profiling sa mga teachers na member ng Alliance of Concerned Teachers?

SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, tinanggi na nila iyon. Siguro ang nakikita ko diyan baka iyong pino-profile o mino-monitor iyong mga nakikita ng PNP na maling ginagawa nila. Kasi tandaan ninyo iyong ACT is a legal organization na-identified sa kaliwa and sinabi na ng PNP at ng Presidente na may mga legal fronts pero actually talagang kasama sila sa kaliwa. So tinanggi na iyon, trabaho kasi ng PNP na mag-monitor. If you’re not doing anything, why should you be afraid? Tapos narinig ko iyong isang nagsasalita sa kanila, takot daw sila and then sinasabi niya, ‘Hindi kami matatakot, matatapang kami.’ O eh, anong problema? If you’re not doing anything, wala namang mangyayari eh.

ROSE/HATAW: Eh sir, given na hindi ganoon kalaki iyong populasyon ng pulisya, hindi ba dapat mas pagtuunan nila iyong criminality kaysa iyong mga teacher na nagtuturo sa mga kabataan? Tinuturing ba silang kriminal?

SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, the assumption is wrong na iyon ang pinagtutuunan nila ng pansin. Hindi lang iyon ang trabaho ng ating mga pulis, maraming trabaho sila, kasama iyon. But tinanggi na nga nila na hindi naman totoo eh, baka isa o dalawa lamang sa kanila ang mino-monitor nila, baka iyong mga hardcore leaders.

ROSE/HATAW: So ano iyong payo sir ng Malacañang sa PNP? Gawin ba nila iyon o hindi nila dapat gawin iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Gaya ng sinabi ko, hindi totoo iyong akusasyon, kung mayroon man baka isa o dalawa na sa tingin nila may ginagawang mali. Pangalawa, alam mo iyong ACT, sabi nga nila, ‘We organize this para sa aming kapakanan, mga benefits.’ Si Presidente nga eh inaalagaan niya nga ang mga teachers ‘di ba nag-ano siya, nangako siya na dodoblehin ang mga suweldo nila at kung hindi ako nagkakamali, sabi ni Secretary Diokno, two or three months from now may release ng salary hike. Inaalagaan ni Presidente iyon, I remember ang nanay yata ni Presidente teacher din, pareho ng nanay ko, kaya malapit sa kaniya ang mga teachers.

ROSE/HATAW: So wala po dapat ipangamba?

SEC. PANELO: Ah, wala, walang dapat na ipangamba.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, doon lang. Wala bang—hindi ba objectionable iyan, I mean, why would the—to belabor lang the point ha, why would we be surveilling our teachers?

SEC. PANELO: Again nga eh, sinabi ko na kanina, hindi naman totoo sabi ng PNP. Kung mayroon man ibig sabihin may reason ka to surveille.

JOSEPH/GMA7: And that is—

SEC. PANELO: Kung halimbawa may nag-report sa iyo na itong isang teacher na ito o dalawang teacher na ito, nakitang nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga identified na mga NPA o na pinagdududahan na NPA. Eh kung ikaw ba pulis, hindi mo imo-monitor iyong galaw nila?

JOSEPH/GMA7: And the crime is?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, there is no crime. Ano bang crime ng monitoring?

JOSEPH/GMA7: No, no, I mean crime on the part of the teachers.

SEC. PANELO: Aba, you mean to tell me, you have to wait for them to commit the crime before you proceed. Eh ‘di siyempre titingnan mo na para alam mo na kung may balak man, ma-stop mo.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Yeah, what is the potential crime?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, eh ano bang gusto ng mga rebelde kung hindi ibagsak ang gobyerno.

JOSEPH/GMA7: So rebellion?

SEC. PANELO: It is. Iyon ang ano eh…

JOSEPH/GMA7: So we are—sir, kasi may mga documents eh oh.

SEC. PANELO: Na ano?

JOSEPH/GMA7: For example, this is from the Manila Division, January 4… dated January 4, and I could just read—

SEC. PANELO: Na ano raw?

JOSEPH/GMA7: Attached is a copy of a numbered memorandum dated December 26 signed by a certain Chief Director who is… from the Chief Intelligence Branch, inventory of all public and private teachers who are members of Alliance of Concerned Teachers. So there is a document authorizing this.

SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, hindi natin alam kung authentic iyan o hindi. We have to validate that first.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Pero sir in principle?

SEC. PANELO: Basta definitely iyong policy is not to surveille teachers. Mahal ni Presidente ang mga teachers.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Not to surveille?

SEC. PANELO: Definitely, iyan ang policy. Pero kung you’re doing something illegal or irregular, natural lang trabaho ng pulis iyon ay i-monitor ka kung anong ginagawa mo.

JOSEPH/GMA7: For possible connivance to—

SEC. PANELO: Correct, kung may nagrereklamo. Sa intelligence for instance, nakatanggap ka ng isang report, eh siyempre kung ikaw ba pulis, anong gagawin mo?

JOSEPH/GMA7: And the crime is against—

SEC. PANELO: Trabaho, trabaho, that’s their job.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Parang conspiracy to commit rebellion, ganoon?

SEC. PANELO: Correct.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Okay, iyon muna sir.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Hi sir—

SEC. PANELO: Ano mo si Mayor Halili?

MARICEL/TV5: Kaapelyido sir. Sir, may we have the reaction of Malacañang with regards the announcement of PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna na mayroon daw pong three Cabinet members na iniimbestigahan ngayon because of corruption?

SEC.  PANELO: Well, with regard to that maghihintay kami kung ano iyong findings. Kung ano iyong rekomendasyon nila, kung may ebidensiya. Then the President will act on that.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Is this a cause of concern on the part of Malacañang, sir, considering na tatlo iyon, and that include Secretary Bello, Commissioner Lapeña and NCIP?

SEC. PANELO: You must remember that the President’s policy ever since: There are no sacred cows in this administration. You violate the law, regardless of your status – whether you’re a friend or ally or a political adversary or a relative or a friend or a fraternity brother – wala lahat iyon. You violate the law, you are accountable.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But while the investigation is still ongoing, they will remain in the Cabinet?

SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, anong status ng HIV Act? Was it signed or did it just lapse into law?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong info doon eh, nag-text na ako hindi pa ako sinasagot eh. Sabi siguro dahil ang daming trabaho. Mamaya mangungulit ako; ite-text kaagad kita.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Sir, confirmed ba, later there will be a Cabinet meeting?

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: So the first for the year, what’s the agenda?

SEC. PANELO: Iyong agenda, hindi ko pa nakikita iyong agenda. Pero the usual, siyempre the concerns and the needs of the governed, and the requirements of governance. Palagi naman iyon ang agenda eh.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, balik lang ako doon sa three Cabinet secretaries. The President said before that “a whiff of corruption, you’re out.” Marami na tayong naririnig, sir, kay Secretary Lapeña—

SEC. PANELO: Let me correct you there. Kapag sinabing whiff of corruption, mayroon nang substantial grounds. Pinapaimbestigahan kaagad ni Presidente iyon. Hindi naman basta porke’t inakusahan mo na nagnakaw nga, tatanggalin ka na agad. Hindi naman ganoon si Presidente. He is a lawyer, remember. Always don’t forget that.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, another question. Sir, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is calling for international support to defend Taiwan’s democracy amid threats from China. How will the Philippine respond to that?

SEC. PANELO: It’s between the two countries. Tayo ang concern natin ay iyong OFWs. Kapag medyo may problema doon arising out of that conflict, saka tayo kikilos for the safety of our OFWs.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So we are not going to express support for Taiwan?

SEC. PANELO: Eh sa ngayon hindi natin kasi alam eh. Hayaan mo na muna sila.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: We are friends with China, will we support Taiwan?

SEC. PANELO: Depende.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Depende on what, sir?

SEC. PANELO: I think I would leave the response to the proper authority – the Secretary of Foreign of Affairs. That is his turf.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Pero, sir, paanong depende?

SEC. PANELO: Ha?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Paanong depende, sir?

 SEC. PANELO: Paanong alin?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Paano pong depende? Depende sa alin, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ang ibig kong sabihin is hindi ko na sasagutin iyan kasi kay Secretary Locsin iyan.

[off mic]

SEC. PANELO: Eh may policy tayo ng ano eh… so palaging consistent with that policy.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.net: Sir, the President mentioned during his situation briefing in CamSur last Friday that Bicol politicians may risk losing financial aid from the administration if they will not support three of his endorsed senatorial candidates.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, nagbibiro… masyado namang obvious iyong … nagbibiro si Presidente. Nagloloko na naman siya. Kalokohan lang iyon. Pakuwela lang iyon, patawa lang iyon. At saka iyong—alam mo iyong Bicol will definitely support iyong tatlong kandidato na iyon. Unang-una, Bikolano iyong isa doon, si Francis Tolentino. Si Bong Go naman mukhang mahal ng mga Bikolano kasi marami nang nagawang tulong. Si Bato rin bilib sila dahil sa kaniyang pagiging PNP Chief. In fact, I talked with a lot of mayors there, without me asking them, sabi nila susuportahan namin iyang tatlong iyan.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, Solicitor General Calida has asked SC to dismiss the petition challenging the legality of BOL. Are we still confident that BOL will be ratified despite this—

SEC. PANELO: BOL?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Yes, yes.

SEC. PANELO: I understand there is a petition before the Supreme Court, so we’d rather not say anything about it because it’s sub judice. We’ll let the Supreme Court decide.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  SolGen Calida has asked SC to dismiss the petition?

SEC. PANELO: Well, that’s for the Supreme Court to decide. Sub judice eh, ayaw kong mag-comment on that baka tayo ma-contempt.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, prior to our asking about the three Cabinet, alam na ni Presidente na may iniimbestigahan, including si … would you confirm, si Secretary Bello, Lapeña and Quintayo ‘no?

SEC. PANELO: Kung in-announce na, eh ‘di alam na niya ngayon by this time.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Yeah. So Secretary Bello is a close friend, so?

SEC. PANELO: Kagaya ng sinabi ko, wala namang friendship-friendship diyan eh. Kung may ebidensiya, the ax will fall where it should.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, sa BOL lang. I mean, not naman merits ‘no, but there’s going to be a plebiscite, I think January 19 or 21? Twenty-one ‘no.

SEC. PANELO: January?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Twenty-one, sir. So doon na iyong magkakaalaman whether it passes into ano, I mean—

SEC. PANELO: Kung maratipika.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Yeah, of course, the Palace is pushing for the ratification.

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Any statement, sir?

SEC. PANELO: That’s the position of the Palace. Palagi naman, the people will have to decide on that. In those areas affected sila pa rin ang magdedesisyon. We will have to respect the sovereign voice.

USEC. IGNACIO: No more? Wala na? Okay. Thank you, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

##

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

Resource