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 afternoon Malacañang Press Corps. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO:  Hello, good afternoon. I’m ready.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, iyon munang sa sin tax ‘no, since you’ve been discussing it. Alright. So sir you said in the statement that President approved the increase, it could not be the TRAIN Law because the TRAIN Law will just move as approved sir ‘di ba? So iyong increase talagang mangyayari ‘yan even without the action of the President. You’re saying its Senator Pacquiao’s bill that has been certified as urgent, can we have some more details about it sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes. There is—the recommendation of the Department of Finance and… is that this bill should be certified as urgent. Because under the proposal, the tax on tobacco would be raised to P60 per pack, while on the part of alcohol it will be P40 per liter. So the recommendation is that, that bill should be passed and signed into law – that was what was approved last night.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  This will be on top of what is provided for in the Package 1 of TRAIN Law? So—kasi sir staggered iyon right, so first year, second year, third year…


 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Parang twenty five pesos at the end of the third year if I understand it—if I remember it correctly.

 SEC. PANELO:  Yes, they are staggered…

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So at the end of 2021, mayroon tayong P25 na increase sa tobacco plus P60 pa, parang ganoon sir?

 SEC. PANELO:  Hind yata ah… Iyong P60 parang ano iyon eh, parang staggered din iyon eh.

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  But it will be on top of—

 SEC. PANELO:  It will be—

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Plus sin tax?

SEC. PANELO:  I think so, kasi right now ang total yata is P32.


SEC. PANELO:  Parang lalabas iyong total, eventually will be P60 on a staggered basis – iyon ang pagkakaintindi ko.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Alright. Sir, can we have the copy na lang of the bill later para—

SEC. PANELO:  Bibigay ko sa inyo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Alright. Okay sir, of course the principal of course is the President’s a former smoker himself…

SEC. PANELO:  No. Apart from that, revenue measure din ‘to eh… to finance iyong mga kailangang mabigyan ng kaukulang pansin – lalo na sa medical needs. Apart from it’s a health measure of course to dissuade people from excessively smoking like Joseph Morong [laughs]

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Another topic, sir… [laughs] Just kidding sir, iyon na muna.

 INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Sir, again, just a clarification. Because the TRAIN Law already provides four tranches increasing sin taxes gradually until 2023… oo iyong TRAIN Law. So how will that bill affect this law?

 SEC. PANELO:  Oh, if it passes into law then that will automatically amend what is stated in the previous law.

 INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Okay. So the figure stated in TRAIN will be revised altogether?

 SEC. PANELO:  Eh kung—‘yan ang magiging—that will be the effect of a subsequent law.

 INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Okay, thank you sir.

 GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN:  Sir, you mentioned earlier that the President is looking into using the Road Tax to fund the cleanup of Manila Bay. Sir, can you elaborate?

 SEC. PANELO:  Yeah, that’s one of them. The other one is the victims of Usman in Bicol. He wants to use part of that fund also to fund the medical… hospitals; we need hospitals in many parts of the country.

 GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN:  Sir on the cleanup of Manila Bay. How much exactly does the government need to implement the cleanup of Manila Bay?

 SEC. PANELO:  From what I hear last night, I think it’s 46 billion pesos parang ang budget doon.

 Q:  [Off mic]

 SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, ang total ng ano is 100 thousand plus eh—100 billion rather. Parang 132 billion eh – that’s only part of the Road User’s Tax. Malaki iyong Road User’s Tax, that’s why nga earmarked doon iyong Storm Usman victims, tapos iyong mga hospitals pati na iyong Manila Bay.

GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN:  Sir, sa hospitals magkano po iyong gagamitin?

 SEC. PANELO:  Hindi natin alam exactly, basta the primary purpose is to get those funds to defray expenses for these items: Storm Usman victims, hospitals and cleanup of Manila Bay.

 REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:   Sir, but is it possible legally or to use or divert the Road User’s Tax into a project not for the road maintenance as recognized na paggagamitan lamang ng pondo?

 SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, ganito iyon – kaya nga hindi ba gusto ni Presidenteng i-abolish iyon. ‘Pag na-abolish na iyon, the funds there will be placed sa National Treasury; and then Congress will enact another law appropriating the funds there to do the specific purposes I mentioned earlier – ganoon ang mangyayari doon.

 REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:   So unless… Pero still, habang hindi pa naa-abolish iyong Road User’s Board, iligal na i-divert iyong Road User’s Tax?

SEC. PANELO:  Ay hindi, hindi naman iyon gagawin ng Presidente eh. Precisely nga gusto niyang ma-abolish na iyon para maibalik na sa National Treasury fund, and then he will urge Congress to pass law that will appropriate this particular fund into the items I mentioned – iyon ang mangyayari doon.


INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Sir, did the President give a timeline on how long he wants or how fast he wants Manila Bay cleaned up? Like Boracay 6 months, for Manila Bay gaano katagal?

SEC. PANELO:  He asked Secretary Roy eh, parang ang timeline ni Secretary Roy—dahil ang laki ng Manila Bay eh, ang daming rivers na lilinisin, ang daming esteros. Parang hopefully sabi niya, at the end of your term matatapos ‘to.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  So, several years… No, no…

SEC. PANELO:  No specific. Ang tinanong, halimbawa, for next year, how much percent? Sabi niya depende eh, so hindi natin—what is important to the President is that we will cleanup this Manila Bay.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Is the Palace looking at possible closures of establishments operating near Manila Bay? Establishments which may be found to be dumping their wastes there?

SEC. PANELO:  Ay siyempre the policy of the government is if you violate certain regulations – then you have to pay for that. Kung ano iyong ginawa natin sa Boracay, iyon din ang gagawin natin sa lahat.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  How soon will informal settlers be relocated? Because that’s another issue in this—

SEC. PANELO:  Pero matagal pa siguro iyon. Because you know – when I listened to the discussion last night – maraming rivers eh ‘di ba… papunta lahat doon sa Manila Bay. Kailangan tanggalin mo muna iyon, iyong mga esteros lilinisin, so palagay ko matagal na process ‘to. It will take some time, but what is important is uumpisahan.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Hi, sir. Sir, the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay will start as soon as funds—


ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  —are made available from the Road Board? So, ano iyong timeline ng abolition ng Road Board, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Aba’y hindi ba sabi ni ano eh—mayroon kasing… mayroong conflict iyong dalawa. Ang sinasabi ni Senate President Sotto, “Tapos na eh, enrolled bill na ‘yan kaya puwede nang pirmahan ni Presidente.” Sabi naman ni Andaya yata, eh kailangan pang pumasok sa bicameral committee. Sabi naman ni Senate President – which is logical – “Eh ano pang pag-uusapan natin sa bicameral, eh in-adopt na nga namin iyong version ninyo eh,” ‘di tama nga naman. So dapat talaga diretso nang pirma ni Presidente iyon.


SEC. PANELO:  So hangga’t hindi—pero hangga’t hindi pa nakakarating kay Presidente iyon, wala pang pipirmahan.

Q:  [off mic]

SEC. PANELO:  Oh, they have to resolve their conflict.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  So, we cannot start the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay without funds from the Road Board?

SEC. PANELO:  O eh… iyon namang abolition eh will come sooner than we expect – because both Houses naman eh agree.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  How soon do we expect—

SEC. PANELO:  Oh then, we have to ask them… that’s for Congress to decide when to submit the enrolled bill for its abolition.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Secretary, maglalabas ng executive order ulit ang Pangulo para sa rehabilitation ng Manila Bay kagaya ng ginawa niya sa Boracay?

SEC. PANELO:  Most likely.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Uhum… 47 billion for 7 years.

SEC. PANELO:  7 years?

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Oo, iyon ang sabi ni—sa interview namin kay Secretary Manny Piñol kanina, iyon ang napag-usapan sa Cabinet meeting daw kagabi – 47 billion for 7 years. Pero ang Pangulo, mayroon na lamang nalalabing 3 years. Ano ang assurance na after his term magtutuloy-tuloy ito at maa-accomplish iyong project?

SEC. PANELO:  Walang problema doon. You know, kung may appropriated fund for a specific purpose, iyon ang gagawin ng susunod na administrasyon.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Especially with an EO?


 HENRY URI/DZRH: With Executive Order.

SEC. PANELO:  Kumbaga, it behooves the succeeding President to adopt the previous policy with respect to their clean up of the Manila Bay. Kasi nandoon iyong pondo eh, appropriated na for that purpose eh.

 HENRY URI/DZRH: Opo, pero ang daming stakeholders sa Manila Bay ano. Madaming—

SEC. PANELO:  Well, in Boracay marami ring stakeholders, but it required political will of the President and he will do it. To my mind, what is very important is finally we are going to start cleaning Manila Bay. Iyon ang importante doon – na umpisahan.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So, ano ang aasahan ng mga—well, may mga establishment diyan, of course supporters by the President ang may-ari—

SEC. PANELO:  Eventually, siguro they will have to toe the line, wala naman silang choice; saka sa kabutihan din naman nila iyon eh. There will be always initial resistance, pero hanggang doon na lang iyon.

 HENRY URI/DZRH: May warning ba sa kanila?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, we don’t have to warn them, alam na naman nila iyong policy ng gobyerno eh.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO/INQUIRER:  Sir, wala bang instruction si Presidente last night on the abolition of the Road Board?

SEC. PANELO: Of the what?

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO/INQUIRER:  On the abolition, wala siyang instructions on the abolition of the Road Board?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, gaya ng sinabi ko, nasa Congress iyan. Hindi naman nakikialam si Presidente doon, nag-aantay lang siya. Basta sinabi niya na, na I don’t like that. And agree naman sila; di ba initially ayaw nung House, very eventually nag-isyu ng statement, okay. So, it’s a matter of submitting the enrolled bill to the President.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So, sir, for clarification. Before kasi ang sabi ninyo may document na po from Senator Sotto, but it was just the resolution ‘no stating na dapat walang perang lalabas doon sa Road Board, correct?


JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So right now, sir, we don’t have any document from Congress on the Road Board abolition. We are still waiting, yeah?

SEC. PANELO:  Yeah, yes.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, I understand that was presentation by – I don’t know – DENR, DOT regarding the Manila Bay Rehabilitation last night?

SEC. PANELO:  Si Secretary Roy, DENR.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Could you just give us, maybe broad strokes of how we are going to proceed with the rehabilitation?

SEC. PANELO:  I think for more particulars, we should ask Secretary Roy. From what I gathered the last night, as I said – uulitin ko na naman – merong mga rivers, merong mga estero, iyon ang uunahin nila. Kasi doon nanggagaling iyong source ng dumi, hindi naman ang Manila Bay, iyon lang dumping. So, lilinisin muna iyong pinanggagalingan.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And then, anything else, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Eh di eventually, malilinis ang Manila Bay. Sabi ni Presidente eh, kailan ba tayo makakalangoy diyan sa Manila Bay?

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Sir, may we have the statement of Malacañang with regards to the position of the Psychological Association of the Philippines saying that the administration’s policy  on criminalizing drug users will not solve the drug addiction problem in the country. It has been proven as ineffective for the longest time.

SEC. PANELO:  Ineffective where?

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Hindi naman daw kasi, sir, naso-solve iyong isyu ng drug problem despite the criminalizing, like iyong Tokhang efforts of the government?

 SEC. PANELO:  Bakit naman hindi. We have reduced—we have dismantled in fact a huge chunk of the illegal drug apparatus. Number two, when you say you cannot solve the drug problem, anong alternative proposal nila, wala naman silang sinasabi. Because we are not limiting our solution to the arrest of those involved in drug industry, we are also having rehabilitation centers established all over. So, two pronged eh: aarestuhin mo and then may rehabilitation at the same time. So, anong—what are they complaining about.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  So meaning, sir, the government has no intentions of changing the policy when it comes to drug addiction or the drug problem.

SEC. PANELO:  Definitely not.

 ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  You said the President was briefed about the effects of the reenacted budget for 2019.

SEC. PANELO:  The President was what?

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Briefed about the effects of the reenacted budget for 2019. So, ano po iyong guidance niya po sa Cabinet?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, I don’t know if you read my statement.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Yes, I did sir.

SEC. PANELO:  We urgently call Congress and graciously urged them to pass the General Appropriations Bill. Why? Because it affects so much – social services will be affected; the salary hike, the fourth tranche noong mga government employees, mga police, mga teachers, lalo na iyong mga teachers. That’s one.

Maapektuhan—it will delay for instance the implementation of new infrastructure projects, not only will delay the initiation, pati iyong continuation, kasi meron ding budget doon and then iyong operating expenses natin for maintenance apektado; maraming maapektuhan eh.

That is why we said on our statement that Congress cannot shirk from this constitutional duty, because I don’t think the Filipino people will take lightly its neglect. Kasi parang neglect iyan, because as we said, we submitted the General Appropriations Bill on the first day, 29 days earlier than the 30 days.

Now, I forwarded my statement to Senate President Sotto. And his reply was, ‘I concur; we’re doing everything in the Senate.’ The problem sabi niya is they submitted the bill 30 days from the time it was submitted to the House. So sinasabi niya na, kami we are doing our work, pero mukhang ang problema iyong House.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Sir, in connection to that. House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. warned of filing a case for mandamus against Budget Secretary Diokno if DBM fails to implement the salary increase this year. Eh, isa nga po sa mga effect ng reenacted budget, hindi mai-implement iyon pong salary increase. So, ano po ang reaction ng Malacañang?

SEC. PANELO:  Let me read to you the text of Secretary Diokno, because I asked him particularly, alam ko tatanungin ninyo eh.

Ito ang sagot niya: ‘It’s elementary. The salary level authorized in the 2018 budget covers the third tranche of SSL ‘only.’ The fourth tranche is provided for in the 2019 President’s budget.’ Para sa next year. So, since the 2019 budget is yet to be approved and we are operating under a reenacted budget – 2018 – necessarily, logically there is no legal basis for giving the fourth tranche. Kumbaga, common sense. So, apart from may problema yata iyong kaibigan kong Kongresista eh sa—sabi ng isang editorial, ang problema mo kasi, hindi mo tinitingnan ang meaning ng ‘in law’. Mali ang definition mo ng ‘in law.’ Mukhang kulang din siya sa common sense kung babasahin ko itong sagot ni Secretary Diokno. Iyon ang sabi—iyan ang logic ng dating ng sagot.

Eh tama nga naman, if the fourth tranche is not included in the previous budget eh papano mo nga naman… makakakuha, wala kang mapagkukunan, third tranche lang iyong covered eh. Kaya Secretary Diokno is saying, oh di mag-demanda ka. It’s a free country.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  So, hindi po nasisindak iyong Palace doon po sa warning ni Congressman Andaya?

SEC. PANELO:  Obviously. Kaya nga—in fact, he is being dared to file it. Kumbaga, do your worst and we will do our best.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Sir, pero in a way pinagpaliwanag ba or tinanong ba ng Pangulo si Secretary Diokno, iyong latest na parang mga alegasyon na naman ni Congressman Andaya about sa mga flood control projects ng DPWH na allegedly ay jinak-up ng DBM with Secretary Diokno?

SEC. PANELO:   Hindi. Alam mo, si Presidente kasi dating member of Congress eh, alam niya iyong nangyayari doon. Nasa Executive siya kaya alam niya na hindi talaga kasama si Secretary Diokno doon. Like, sabi ni Presidente kagabi, ano iyong insertion, how can you insert something na ikaw ang nagpe-prepare? Kaya nga nagpe-prepare, di ikaw talaga ang gumagawa noon, hindi ba.

Ang sabi ni Congressman Andaya, eh paano may mga insertion. Eh talagang gagawin namin iyon, kasi kami nga ang nagbibigay ng budget sa inyo, di kayo ang gumawa ng gusto ninyong amendments.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, just to be clear about it: So the budget submitted by the Executive to the Congress na kasama nga doon iyong sinasabi ni Congressman Andaya na jacked up iyong mga flood control projects, the President was very much aware with the preparation?

SEC. PANELO: Of course. Alam mo, iyong sinasabi nilang budget na iyon, ang sinasabi nga ni Secretary Diokno, ‘Wala ako doon. Ang nagbibigay sa akin niyan iyong mga departamento. Public Works, sila ang nagbibigay ng…kumbaga, niri-reduce ko lang into writing tapos ibibigay ko sa kanila. Ano bang pakialam ko naman doon,’ sabi niya.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary, can we be specific here: Sino iyong kulang sa common sense na binabanggit ninyo?

SEC. PANELO: Ayun, sinasagot na ni Ina.

HENRY URI/DZRH: For the record, sir, can you mention his name?

SEC. PANELO: Kasi nga ganito iyon—teka muna, teka muna.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Can you say his name, for the record lang.

SEC. PANELO: Eh andaya mo naman.

HENRY URI/DZRH: All right. So it’s Andaya. Why?

SEC. PANELO: Kasi nga, ‘di ba sinasabi niya na, ‘Oh, puwede mo namang gamitin iyang budget nung dati ha, idemanda kita kasi may pera naman.’ Ang sabi naman ni Secretary Diokno, ‘Wala nga. Kasi iyong fourth tranche ay wala doon sa previous budget.’ So kung iyong previous budget, iyon ang gagamitin natin, anong basis mo para kumuha ka ng pera for the fourth tranche eh para sa 2019 budget iyon. Iyon ang common sense.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Siya rin iyong kulang ang pagkakaintindi sa definition ng ‘in law’ na sinasabi po ninyo?

SEC. PANELO: Iba pa iyon. Ang sinasabi ko ay iyong editorial ng isang diyaryo. Kasi sinasabi niya, in-law, iyon pala ay hindi naman in-law. Kasi ang in-law lang iyong mismong kinasal doon sa anak mo, iyon ang in-law mo, hindi iyong parents, hindi iyong mga kapatid. Kasi ang lumalabas, hindi naman talaga in-law kasi the daughter of Diokno, Ben Diokno, is married to the daughter [sic]… nung nanay niya na kinasal sa iba … pangalawa, kumbaga – iba na eh. Ibang pamilya na.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So Congressman Andaya, kulang sa common sense.

SEC. PANELO: Iyan ang sinabi mo, I agree with you.

But in fairness to him, baka only for this purpose. [laughs] Only for this purpose, unless he will persist in showing the lack of it.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, short comment lang. Si Secretary Bello yata is calling for the ouster of Commissioner Manuelito Luna for divulging the names of the Cabinet members or—


JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  Comment, sir, si Secretary Bello kasi mukhang galit ‘no, he wants Commissioner Luna of the PACC to be dismissed for—

SEC. PANELO: Ang statement yata ni ano, ‘Bakit naman hindi ninyo ako sinasabihan? Mayroon kayong complaint, you didn’t even afford me the fairness to respond. At saka nag-iimbestiga kayo, nag-iimbestiga kayo sa diyaryo.’ Iyon ang nakita kong statement niya.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  And then he said, he is going to talk to the President and then ask for the removal of Commissioner Luna.

SEC. PANELO: Eh di tingnan natin kung ano …

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:   Anong ibig sabihin, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Then that’s the call of Secretary Bello. If that will be his wish to the President.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  Do you think—sino ang kakampihan ni Presidente, sir?


JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  Sino ang kakampihan ni Presidente?

SEC. PANELO: Sinong ano? Kakampihan? Si Presidente ang kinakampihan lang iyong nasa tama.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, sa HIV Bill, that was a question yesterday; and today, I’m still asking it. I understand—sir, ilang days ba bago mag-lapse into law?

SEC. PANELO: Thirty days.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  Thirty days po. Okay, so what’s the status now?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi natin alam kung kailan dumating. Tinatanong ko nga iyong Office of the ES.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  From my desk, sir, November—

SEC. PANELO: But regardless of whether it will be passed into law by reason of the failure of the Chief of Executive to sign it or because he signed it, eh ganoon pa rin iyon, batas pa rin.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  November 26 daw po naipasa ng Bicam sa Palasyo. So that’s way more than 30 days.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, iyong submission sa Presidente ang bilang doon; hindi naman iyong passage sa Bicameral.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  No, sir, the Bicam forwarded it to the President on the 26th of November. Meaning, it was in the Palace 26th.

SEC. PANELO: Iyon ang sabi ko nga eh, hindi pa natin sigurado iyon kung 26 nga dumating. Eh kung during the transit may delay – akala mo naipadala mo, iyon pala iyong messenger mo nagkasakit, hindi niya nadala. Let’s just wait for the Office of the ES kung—kasi he told me na he will text me kung kailan natanggap.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  All right, so we don’t know that information yet ‘no?

SEC. PANELO: Not yet.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  What is the President’s position on the HIV Bill? Because some of the advocates are saying that non-action for the past couple of weeks is a sign that he does not support the Bill.

SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily. You know, the President is laden with so many responsibilities, activities, events. Ang mahalaga doon, kung ito ay batas na makakabuti sa bayan natin, whether it was signed or it has lapsed into law, ganoon din iyon. Dahil kung ayaw niya iyon, eh di vineto (veto) niya kaagad iyon immediately, ‘di ba? Kung ang isang presidente ay ayaw sa isang proposed bill—

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  So, sir, he will not veto it?

SEC. PANELO: —sigurado veto na kaagad iyon kung ayaw niya iyon.

JOSPEH MORONG/GMA7:  So he will not?

SEC. PANELO: So the fact na hindi niya ginagalaw, most likely gusto niya iyon.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, just a quick follow up doon sa PACC kanina. Do you think it’s proper for a government official na isapubliko iyong pangalan ng mga other government official kahit na under investigation pa and it’s not yet proven whether they are guilty or not?

SEC. PANELO: Sa akin, if you ask me as a lawyer, dapat bigyan mo ng pagkakataon din iyong dinidemanda mo. Kasi in my office where we receive complaints against a particular agency or a particular government official, ang ginagawa namin, pinapadala ko doon sa person concerned or agency concerned, ‘Oh, may reklamo rito, please respond … kahit anong response mo.’ Hindi mo dapat nilalabas kaagad iyon kasi otherwise, you might be unnecessarily maligning a reputation na walang basis eventually. Kawawa rin naman.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, on other issue. May we have your reaction po doon sa statement ng rector ng Quiapo Church na ipagdarasal daw nila si President Duterte sa Pista ng Nazareno bukas kahit na hindi pa naniniwala si Presidente?

SEC. PANELO: Salamat naman. Dapat lang talagang ipagdasal. Kahit ako ipinagdarasal ko sila eh. Hindi, whether you believe it or not, I really pray and everybody is included, including enemies. Dapat iyon daw ang dasal eh.

Tandaan natin, why am I saying that they should be praying for the President? We’re all parts of one whole. Sa Pilipino ay “Ang sakit ng kalingkingan ay dama ng buong katawan.” The failure of this President will be the failure of all of us. So we really have to pray na mag-succeed ang presidency dahil tayong lahat ay makikinabang. Kung mabigo man siya, bigo tayong lahat.  So we really have to pray for each other.

JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Sir, any directive lang po para po sa Traslacion bukas from the President po? Message or directive from the President?

 SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung mayroong message. Kasi ang Office of the President ang gumagawa ng message. I’ll check on it.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Sir, doon sa issue of … iyong posisyon ni Presidente on the apparent tiff between Secretary Diokno and Congressman Andaya. So he cleared the Secretary from the allegations of insertion?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, yes, because very clear naman iyon eh. ‘Anong insertion,’ sabi niya. Talagang dapat kaming magtrabaho, maggawa niyan. Executive nga ang gumagawa ng budget eh. Kasi parang ang dating ay hindi ka puwedeng maglagay. Eh talagang ilalagay mo nga sa budget iyon. But the … iyong sinasabing insertion, iyon iyong mga items na galing doon sa mga agencies, inaayos lang para klaro. Oh, ito, galing ito sa ganitong departamento. Ito ang kailangan ng pondo.

Ang may problema—actually kahit na iyong—I remember Ping Lacson saying – and I agree with him correctly – there is no such animal as insertion; there is only amendments. Kasi kapag dumating sa kanila, sa House, kapag ayaw nila iyon, ia-ammend nila. Hindi sila nag-i-insert; they will be amending that. Kasi parang kapag sinabi mong insertion parang iligal eh, irregular.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Sir, napag-usapan po ba iyong alleged projects that were given to the supposed in-laws – iyong sinabi mong mali naman – or relatives of Secretary Diokno sa Casiguran?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi. Wala. Hindi napag-usapan iyon.

USEC IGNACIO: Okay. Thank you, Malacanang Press Corps. No more questions? Okay. Thank you, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Thank you, MPC.


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