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. Good afternoon, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Good afternoon, MPC.

Remember there was an advisory from UK on Mindanao, giving the impression that there were—yeah last week, they were… the impression was that it’s so dangerous there and that the citizens of that country should not be traveling there.

He wrote me a letter – the Ambassador of UK, Ambassador Daniel Pruce and I would like to read it. He said:

Dear Secretary Panelo,

In the light of recent media reporting, I wanted to clarify that the UK has not recently changed its travel advice for the Philippines. Indeed, our current advice against all travel to Western Mindanao and all but essential travel to Eastern Mindanao and Southern Cebu has not changed since January of 2017. We did publish a factual update on December 31, 2018 recording the blast in Cotabato City.

We regularly make such factual updates to our travel advice, but this is not the same as a change in the level of our advice. Globally the UK keeps its travel advice under close review taking into account a wide range of factors with the intention of giving British national’s the best possible guidance.


In other words, the way some of you or some of your colleagues presented it, it is as if masyadonangmapanganibdoon. And they are saying na, “We did not change, kumbaga advice langnaminiyon.”

And also, I’d like again to warn the public. I’ve been informed that there is another false Facebook account on me. Hindi komaintindihan kung bakitnapaboritonilaakonggagawanngmga FB accounts. So Facebooknanaman, walaakong… no picture but iyongmga friends kopumapasokna. Let me caution that I have no more Facebook account, no more ano pa… Twitter, Instagram… mayroon pang isa eh, anoiyon?

They always believe. Sigurogagamitinnanamaniyon to get money. Kasi they’ve been successful eh, umaabotnayata half million, palagingsa Cebu nagde-deposit. Like for instance, iyongisang… Dennis Roldan, the one incarcerated, was able to talk to the wife. He said somebody was pretending to be me; nakikipag—tumawagsateleponotapos exchanging communication with him using my Facebook account o ano pang… “Are interested in releasing your husband…” ganoong, pera in other words. Sabiko, “Anongnangyari?” “Eh parang I sensed nahindiikaw, kasilagingnagpi-Pilipino eh.” O, so hindinatuloyperoparangsa Cebu nanaman. Anyway, so let me just forewarn the public not to believe in this.

I’m ready for any question relative to any issue.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi sir, good afternoon. Sir, may statement iyong NUJP nainaakusahaniyong PCOO nanasalikodng red-baiting sakanilanghanay or red-tagging.

SEC. PANELO: Eh hindinaman. Siguro—bakalang paranoid sila. Wala, there is no such thing. PCOO will not do that. PNP does not do that also. As explained by PNP Chief, its part of their intelligence work – they receive any info on a particular member… then they do some profiling. Walaiyon… If you are not doing anything, they don’t have to worry.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:Peropaglabagpoiyonsa Data Privacy Act ayonsaDepEd – iyong profiling ng ACT members.

SEC. PANELO: When you say profiling, anobaangginagawa? Ang profiling—

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:Nanghihingi raw pokasingmga personal details ngmgaguro.



SEC. PANELO: Eh hindibapumayagsila initially, tapos they—according to the secretary parangwinithdrawnila. But walanamangmasamadoon eh. Alam mo ‘pagwalakangginagawa, wala; walakangdapatnaikatakot.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:Perotinginninyo sir, hindipaglabagsa Data Privacy Act iyon ‘yungganoon, paghinging personal details ngkahitnasinongtao?

SEC. PANELO:Depende. Kung iniimbestigahanngangisang—in connection with a crime, eh hindimasamaiyon – it’s part of the investigation. Pero if you’re going to do that just to harass, eh definitely you’re committing a crime and we will not allow it.


PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Hi, sir. Sir, what does Palace have to say about the incident involving Michael Diño, Presidential Assistant to the Visayas yesterday; ni-landing daw poniyaiyong—nag-landing iyong chopper niyasa Ultra Pasig while ongoing iyongisangDepEd sports event?

SEC. PANELO: I asked Secretary Michael Diño about it, and he explained it in this way. He said he was going to attend an event, and they were going to pickup someone there. So they landed, I think the pilot didn’t know that there was a game going on. And so while they were waiting, he asked for a restroom and he went there. So—angtinginko, baka—I was telling him bakanamaniyong reaction, naguloiyong game, not you. Nagkataonlangnanakita ka doon.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: But mayroon pong report sir na according to the Philippine Sports Arena staff, there was no clearance for the chopper of Diño to land in—

SEC. PANELO: Then that’s the fault of the pilot, not the passenger.


SEC. PANELO: Happy birthday, Ace.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Birthday question daw sir.

SEC. PANELO: Okay sir.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Sir, iyon pong sa survey, SWS?


JOSEPH/GMA7: You’ve mentioned the state… you gave us statement already but for sounder purposes ‘no: The survey says that there’s an 11 point increase in the number of key percentage of people who believed or worried that the President has health problems. Comment please?

SEC. PANELO: Yes, as I said in my statement, that shows that there is an increase in people worrying and caring for the President. They want this President to remain in office. They don’t want to be deprived of the change that they have seen with his governance. That’s how I see it.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Sir, don’t you see this as a—parang… given that perception sir, wala pa tayongnakikitang need for the Palace, for the President to be a little more transparent about the President’s health?

SEC. PANELO: But he’s in fact the most transparent President: He keeps on telling us, itoangsakitko, may sakitakosa… walangaakongalamnaangPresidenteganoon eh – siyangaangpinaka-transparent eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Sec., follow up langdoon.


ACE/PHIL. STAR: Is it also possible that the survey results mean that the people are not convinced that the President is not that healthy?

SEC. PANELO:Kayanga as I said, nakikitasakaniyang punishing schedule eh. Hindi, I think they’re worried na may sakitsiya. But iyonghindinaniniwalana may sakitsiya – I think angtinginnilakayPresidente – kasisiPresidentemismo kung minsannagpapakuwelana may cancer, nabakamamatay. Eh ganoonangistiloniya eh, but his body language, his actions, his activities, all indicate the fear that this man is sick or nearing death or he is incapable of continuing, lahatano eh…

ACE/PHIL. STAR: Will this survey results prod the Malacañang to yield to demands for the President to release regular updates about his health?

SEC. PANELO: Eh, regular ngaang update niyasasariliniya eh.

ACE/PHIL. STAR: Hindi iyong official na bulletin, mgaganoon. Kasi ‘diba may nagde-demand nangmgaganoon before. Will this survey convince Malacañang to release doonsa updates—

SEC. PANELO: No, it will not because the Constitution requires serious illness. The President knows he is not in serious illness kaya he is not obligated to release anything about his condition.

ACE/PHIL. STAR:Salamat Sec.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, on the latest rant of President Duterte against COA auditors. Does the President want to implement changes or improvements with the way that the COA auditors are doing their jobs so as not to meddle or slow down government transactions like what the President is alleging?

SEC. PANELO: You know, I think the remarks of the President which was delivered in playful jest, actually it was a critic – criticism that COA should apply, even if the rules are very strict. You can liberally construe it within the ambit of the law that will not delay the delivery of services, that’s one. The other thing is I think it’s addressed to Congress. If there are provisions there that will impair the delivery of services, then Congress should amend the procedures of the auditing protocols: For instance, if the requirement is 100 days, o puwedemonggawing 25 days ‘diba? Anoiyan eh, it requires – on the part of COA – creativity and dexterity. They can bend a little but not in derogation of the provisions of the law, but still within the ambit.

PIA/ABS-CBN: Sir, can you give us examples?

SEC. PANELO: Like for instance, kung ang requirement mo sa bidding for instance, mayroong number of days nakailanganmag-submit ka ngganito. Puwede mo namangi-reduce iyon, kasi usually matagaltalagaang processing eh. So you simplify the bidding procedures parahindimatagal, kung maraming requirements, mahihirapaniyongmgaaplikante or iyong bidder o eh ‘di, tanggalin mo.

PIA/ABS-CBN: Sir is the Palace concerned that the President’s recent remarks – actually pangalawanaitona nag-threaten siya or nag… he commented on or he made statements about doing violence to COA auditors – don’t you think na his statements diminish iyong respect for the institution—

SEC. PANELO: If you look at the way he delivered it, it shows that he was just expressing an exasperation, he is visibly vexed dahilnade-delay iyongmga project nggobyerno, iyonlangnamaniyon eh, naiinis but that’s not a threat.

PIA/ABS-CBN: Okay sir. But does he still acknowledge the fact that the biggest, you know corruption, scandals in his administration was exposed by the Commission on Audit. For example iyongsa Department of Tourism which led to the resignation of the former Secretary of DOT?

SEC. PANELO: In fact, he always welcomes any information leading to discovery of any corruption or scandal, mas gusto niyangaiyon eh paranakakagawasiyangaksiyon. This precisely he has been telling all of us that we have to cooperate with each other. How can I do this if you don’t tell me?

PIA/ABS-CBN: So he acknowledges the role of COA in his campaign against corruption in government?

SEC. PANELO: Definitely. Sinasabiniyalangiyan, iyongmga rules ninyo ‘pagmasyadokayongistriktonapuwedenamang liberal without violating the law paralangpahirapanninyoiyongmgaibangtao. Alam mo kasitayongmga Pilipino, if we want to sit on a contract, on anything, uupuanlangnatin eh, ‘pagayawnatiniyongkaharapnatin, ganiyanang Pilipino eh. Kayamaraming delay in delivery of services, kahitsaangopisinanggobyernopalagingpumapasokiyongkulturanatin eh. Hindi public interest angisyu, kung minsaniyongsarilinatinkapagnaiinistayo, nabe-vex, inuupuannatin, kayaangtagal, angbagal, kayasiPresidentepumuputok, nagagalit.

Q: Last nalang, sir. Don’t you think that exasperation should be addressed not only to COA auditors but to other government officials as well?

SEC. PANELO: Well, when the President expresses something against a particular situation, then it refers to every agency with a similar identical situation.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, the President mentioned last night that Israel and US are assisting the government in fighting NPAs, the communist rebels. What specific agreements do we have with these countries, sir, in relation to the communist rebels?

SEC. PANELO: I think I would refer you to the Secretary of National Defense. He is more knowledgeable on that.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, doonlangposamga threats ‘no, sa COA, you’re saying it’s not a threat [unclear]. But the question is, sir, bakitganooniyong vocabulary niPresidente? It’s always about abuse, about power, about …you know.

SEC. PANELO:Ganooniyong style niya. That is his style and that endears him to the Filipino people. That is the very reason why he was catapulted to the presidency with an overwhelming mandate. Iyonang gusto ngtao eh. Transparent siya – kapaggalitsiya, sinasabiniya. Para namanhindimasyadongmasakitang dating sakanila, ginagawaniya kung minsankatatawananperonandoon pa riniyong … the message is not lost to the listeners; it is always lost to his critics and detractors who cannot see anything good to what this President does.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Sir, I just want the Palace’s reaction to the recently released Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index showing that Philippine is now ranking 53rd out of 167 countries po. It noted that Asia’s score in the democracy improved marginally in 2018, but they specified that there were dampeners such as the legal attacks made by the Philippine government against any form of opposition among others po. So what is the Palace’s stand on this po, sir?

SEC. PANELO: They are the ones acknowledging that there was an increase. Angsinasabinilang dampener ay iyon daw mga criticism, opposition, because they are listening to that. Eh kung hindisilanakikinigdoonsamali, it will not affect our rating.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: But, sir, our ranking po slipped from 51 po last year, naging 53rd napotayo, sir. So don’t you think this is the reason po why we slipped in this year’s ranking, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Because nga, according to them, because of these … from the point of view of the opposition and detractors and critics ay mayroongmga violations ng human rights. Pero kung walaiyon, hinditayobabagsaksa rating. So huwagsilangmakinigdoonsamgakritikonawalanamang basis.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: So, sir, ibigsabihinpo, kung walaiyong legal attacks from the opposition, hindinamanpotayomagkakaroonng—

SEC. PANELO: Eh mukha, iyon din angsinasabinila. ‘Di basinabinila, there was a marked increase kayalang may mgaganito, ganiyan. So it seems to me now naiyonpalaang reason, more on that, rather than walatayongginagawasaPilipinas.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: So is the Palace denying these legal attacks against the opposition po, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Definitely. Mali namantalaga, walanamang basis. Karamihannaman ay palaging misplaced namgaakusasyon.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, just on the Ultra incident. So you’re saying that the pilot was at fault for landing—

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, because if he was … he landed there when there was an ongoing game, eh maiistorbonga. Dapatiyonnagku-communicate siya kung clear baiyong ground.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: So siDiño has no accountability at all, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Sa akin, as far as I am concerned, anonamanangkasalananngpasahero eh pasaherolangsiyadoon.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER:Pero he ordered the unauthorized stop, sir, ‘diba? He ordered for the pilot to land the chopper doonsa Ultra, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Well, angpagkakaalamko, iyonang schedule nabinigaysakanila. But the pilot should have known that kasi you’re supposed to have clearance eh. Magpapaalam ka muna kung saan ka pupunta. Unang-una, hihingi ka ng clearance sa tower kung puwede ka nangmag-take off. Tapos kung saan ka magla-landing, dapatalam mo na clear doon. Mali angpilotodoon.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: So would he be charged, sir, if ever?

SEC. PANELO:Dapatmayroongnagrereklamodoonsaginawangpiloto. But I was telling nga the ano … I think—kasiparangang dating nag-abusosi Secretary Diño. Angtinginkodoon, nagkataonlangnanandoon ka, nakitamukha mo doon. Peroangreaksiyonpalagaykongmgataodoon ay iyongnagulo, ginambalaniyaiyong game ng chopper naiyon. Iyoniyon.

Anyway, you’re in the public office, talagangmaramikangano … you’re open to a lot of criticism.

CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: But should he also take the blame if ever, sir, siDiño?

SEC. PANELO: Eh iyon ay kung alamniya. Kung alamniyaanodoon, namayroong game, ay dapatsiya … malisiya as an official. Pero kung hindinamanniyaalam, kung pasahero ka lang. Like when you ride in an airplane and then, like me, I sleep kaagad, malaykoba kung anoangnangyayaridoon. So hindinatin—that’s why when someone sent that Twitter to me, tinextkokaagadsiya, “Oh, anobaangistorya?” So he told me about it.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, would you know kung sino—question poni Ina. Would you know kung sinoiyongpinik-up doon? Because in the video, there was a guy nanaka-red.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, hindikoalam.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You didn’t ask the Secretary?

SEC. PANELO: No, hindikoalam eh. I will ask. I will ask Secretary Diño. Secretary Mike, if you’re listening, you’re watching, you text me now.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay. No more questions? Okay natayo? Okay. Thank you, MPC. Thank you, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.


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