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 morning, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Good morning… By the way 646, Proclamation 646 was signed January 10 – a Special Non-Working Holiday in Sulu and ARMM and Basilan, for the plebiscite. 646 ‘yun ha, mali iyong—may nag-text sa akin iba ang number. Okay, questions…

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Sir, how about February 6 sa Lanao?

SEC. PANELO: Ano ba iyong February 6?

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Plebiscite din sa Lanao.

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong natatanggap noon, iyong ano pa lang, 21…

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, what was the discussion on the Hanjin issue last Tuesday night? Kasi Secretary Lorenzana said the government is interested in taking over Hanjin.

SEC. PANELO: What I know is when I asked Secretary Lorenzana, ang parang sinabi lang ni Presidente, “Tingnan natin”… madaling sabihin it’s just a proposal.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So, is the President interested?

SEC. PANELO: Eh iyon ang kaniyang sagot eh, “Tingnan natin.” O ibig sabihin siguro, pag-aaralan.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Ibig sabihin pag-aaralan, so that’s possible really to take over Hanjin by the government?

SEC. PANELO: Proposal pa lang ni Secretary Lorenzana iyon, so let’s see how it evolves.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Okay, thank you—but do you think sir, that’s a good idea?

SEC. PANELO: Maganda rin siguro iyon kung tayo na magpapatakbo noon – sa akin, personally.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Instead of foreign companies?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, eh kung kaya ba natin patakbuhin ba’t naman hindi.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Bakit, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Bakit hindi, eh ‘di ba income iyon? We are I understand the number four in the world ranking in shipbuilding… eh ‘di magandang kita iyon. But it’s just a proposal, tingnan natin.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Okay, thank you sir.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir in relation sa Hanjin, pinapatanong po ni Bernadette ng Business Mirror. Kasi huwag daw po muna pakialaman ng gobyerno iyong Hanjin kasi under rehab pa ng mga bangko; ‘pag pumasok ang gobyerno, may papaboran lang daw po na mga kumpanya – ayon po ‘yan kay Senator Trillanes.

SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, wala namang nakikialam [laughs]. They are already jumping the gun. Masyadong advance eh, asikasuhin niya lang iyong kaso niya.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Sir, you mentioned for now it’s just a proposal by Secretary Lorenzana. Did he make a presentation before the President?

SEC. PANELO: No, parang—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Paano niya tinry—how did he raise this proposal?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi… ang pagkaalam ko lang during a conversation, parang nag-usap sila. What he told me is the Senate yata is parang… it’s a good idea daw during the hearing. Parang receptive daw ang Senate.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: So the Defense Secretary talked to the President about this on the sidelines of the Cabinet meeting, ganoon ba iyon?

SEC. PANELO: I think so… baka during the command conference.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Uhum… Did he raise specific points, and can you share with us any—on the benefits?

SEC. PANELO: No. Basta sinabi niya lang… Wala, wala eh… masyadong ano lang… too hazy. Walang klarong ano… basta it’s a proposal.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Okay, thank you.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, ano po iyong main highlights doon sa naging joint command conference ng AFP and PNP? What were the directives of the President?

SEC. PANELO: Ang sinabi sa akin ni Secretary Lorenzana, napag-usapan doon – at saka ni Secretary Esperon – iyong localized peacetalks, parang doon ang concentration.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Ano po iyong specific directives ni President Duterte?

SEC. PANELO: Ibig sabihin, ini-encourage iyong peacetalks sa local – hindi iyong national.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Back channeling talks hindi sir napag-usapan?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, how about BOL. Making sure na magiging safe iyong plebiscite ng BOL? Was it also discussed?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, it was discussed. It will push through as scheduled. The President will go there tomorrow and make a pitch for the ratification.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Sir, quick follow up lang. Why is there a need for the President to make a pitch sa BOL? Is the Palace not confident that…

SEC. PANELO: Well, you must remember that the President was in favor of BOL. So it’s just logical for someone who is in favor of particular idea to make a pitch for it.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, can you confirm that President Duterte did not authorize any backchannel talks with Communist leaders gaya ng sinasabi ni Mr. Andal?

SEC. PANELO: Mr. Andal was not authorized. He was not authorized to do back channeling, the President himself have said so.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sabi po Mr. Andal na nag-usap daw po sila sa isang lamay in Manila, parang last week yata.

SEC. PANELO: Siguro puyat na siya, baka inaantok na siya, baka he misunderstood the conversation. Can’t blame him.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: But sir, do you confirm na there was an event na magkasama silang dalawa ni Presidente Duterte and possibly nagkaroon na ng—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam, hindi ko alam iyan. I was not there during the lamay that he referred to so I cannot… I have no personal knowledge.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyon pong on the budget, iyong petition ni Congressman Andaya iyong deliberation sa Supreme Court has been—

SEC. PANELO: Yung mandamus, yeah.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: 22nd. So mukhang matatagalan pa iyong isyu ng delay ng mga teachers pay and the civilian workers. So your comment: so does it depend on the Supreme Court process or—of course the budget is independently going on outside of the—

SEC. PANELO: If the budget is approved, then the petition becomes moot and academic.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And we are confident that…

SEC. PANELO: I think so. I was with the Speaker Arroyo, she mentioned that most likely it will pass.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Would you have a date, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Wala siyang sinabi, but sabi niya almost passed na iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Almost passed. What’s keeping them, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Let’s ask them.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Are you not going to up the ante for pressure, cause you know…

SEC. PANELO: Hindi na kailangan. I am sure they will be passing that naman. They are all concerned with the services, the infrastructures that will be affected.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And more so, the regular… you know government workers, because these are teachers, soldiers and police, they are waiting for their—

SEC. PANELO: I’m sure they will be very concerned with that aspect.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Perhaps before January ends?

SEC. PANELO: Parang ang dinig ko February eh, most like first or second week of Feb.

JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, regarding po sa Hanjin. Sinabi po kasi ni Secretary Bello na iyong mga employee po ng Hanjin is tumatanggap daw po ng 800 to 1,000 salary per day. If ever po na ma-takeover ng government iyong Hanjin, iyong mga magiging empleyado po ba ay ganundin po iyong magiging—

SEC. PANELO: Wala. We will be speculating, wala pa iyon, it’s just a proposal even. Ni wala pa ngang—wala pa, let’s just wait kung ano talaga ang mangyayari doon. Ang alam ko, ang statement ni Secretary Bello, they will receive a month salary, di ba? Iyon ang nabasa ko kanina eh. Kasi kapag nagsarado, di siyempre wala nang trabaho iyong mga iyon.

JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Ano po ang mangyayari sa kanila sir, if ever na ma-takeover ng government?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa nga. Eh nag-i-speculate nga tayo na ite-takeover, wala pa nga eh. There is a petition for bankruptcy that’s pending in the court; there is a petition for rehabilitation still pending with the court. So, wala eh. So, all speculation ang mangyayari sa atin. I’d rather not.

DHAREL PLACIDO/ABS CBN NEWS.COM: Hi sir, good morning po. Sir, another Bishop has spoken against the President.

SEC. PANELO: Who?

DHAREL PLACIDO/ABS CBN NEWS.COM: Socrates Villegas.

SEC. PANELO: Is that the newest, after Bishop Bacani?

DHAREL PLACIDO/ABS CBN NEWS.COM: Yes and Santos.

SEC. PANELO: Ano ang sabi niya?

DHAREL PLACIDO/ABS CBN NEWS.COM: He said that I am more worried for the President than the Church, because the Church has been there for 2000 years guided by God, guided by our faith. He is basically saying that, the Church has been through more hardships than what it is suffering now under… or that it is going through under the administration.

SEC. PANELO: So, what is his point? Anong point niya. He is worried about?

DHAREL PLACIDO/ABS CBN NEWS.COM: He is more worried for the President rather than the Church.

SEC. PANELO: Then, good. Then if he is worried, then he should pray for the President. Then he should help the President. Then he should do something positive rather than attack the administration.

DHAREL PLACIDO/ABS CBN NEWS.COM: He is basically belittling the tirades of the President.

SEC. PANELO: Belittling?

DHAREL PLACIDO/ABS CBN NEWS.COM: He is saying that, “ang worry ko sa ating Pangulo, kasi hindi maganda para sa kanya, para sa kanyang kalusugan, para sa kanyang stature iyong kanyang ginagawang pag-uugali patungkol sa Simbahan,” sir?

SEC. PANELO: Kaya nga, if he is worried about his character, he feels na hindi maganda, eh di ipagdasal niya. Now, with respect doon sa he is not worried about the Church, oh with more reason. Then they should not be concerned, alarmed or angry at any tirade against the Church; because as he correctly says, it’s been there for a thousand years. So, it’s entrenched, so hindi maapektuhan, ba’t sila nagre-react?

DHAREL PLACIDO/ABS CBN NEWS.COM: Sir, what can you say about the—do you think that this is something that’s coordinated na in the past days, you already have 3 Bishops speaking against the President. So, do you think this is not the Church like firing back at the President?

SEC. PANELO: Not really. Freedom of expression iyan, they are entitled to that. Ang sinasabi lang namin if you are men of the cloth, ang talagang trabaho mo ay spiritual awakening sa faithful. Huwag mo nang pakialaman ang estado with respect doon sa mga methods na ginagawa ng estado na sa kabutihan naman ng bayan.

Now, if they are affected by the criticism on the hypocrisy of certain members, if they are not alluded to, if they are not embraced in that group, then why should they be reacting?

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Hi, sir. Good morning. Sir, how this word war between the President and the church will end? Or what will make this end, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Eh unang-una, I don’t think … according to Bishop Socrates, it does not affect the church. So anong problema doon? If it does not affect the church, eh di wala. Kahit na anong word war na gamitin mo diyan, parang they’re just engaged in polemics.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But does the President want to hear an apology coming from the church para tumigil na siya sa … I mean, to stop the President from speaking against the church?

SEC. PANELO: You know, the President cannot be stopped from speaking his mind on any particular manner that to his mind is important. In the same way na you can’t also stop these bishops from speaking themselves. Kahit anong sabihin mo, magsasalita rin sila. So hayaan na lang muna natin.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, on other issue. Kanina po sa press briefing, sinabi ni Senator Trillanes that he is asking for an exception from the Comelec doon sa gun ban dahil he is receiving threats daw, active threats coming from camp of President Duterte.

SEC. PANELO: Guni-guni niya lang iyon. He is being ignored nga eh; hindi nga siya pinapansin ‘di ba. He is an illusionist, I’m no longer surprised.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, doon sa interview ni President Duterte kahapon, he mentioned a certain Bacolod councilor na drug lord umano, ang nickname niya ay ‘Kano.’ What do we know about that person, sir, and is he included in the narcolist?

SEC. PANELO: Basta ang alam ko lang, he dressed down the officers whom he relieved because he said na bakit nila pinabayaan na mag-proliferate iyong drug industry in Bacolod, at mayroon pa lang mga drug personalities involved. I think he mentioned something about a drug lord or suspect na binisita pa. Sabi niya, kung ang bumisita doon ay imbestigador, okay lang iyon. Pero kung bibisita doon number one and number two, something is wrong kaya siya naiinis.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Iyon yata, sir, iyong tinutukoy ni President Duterte, iyong Kano. So ano, sir, what do we know about him, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Wala. Me, I don’t know anything about him yet.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Well, have we filed charges against him, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Wala akong alam. Hindi ko pa alam kung sinong—the investigator will be doing that, not us.

JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Sir, kanina po, I think this morning lang po ito, statement po ni Senator Trillanes na kahit daw gumawa ng move si Senator Sotto na magkausap silang dalawa ni Trillanes … magkausap sila ni Pangulong Duterte and Senator Trillanes—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi siya kakausapin. Wala siyang panahong makipag-usap doon.

JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Yes, sir. And then, tinawag po ni Senator Trillanes na satanismo si Pangulo.

SEC. PANELO: Baka he was referring to himself.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS: Sir, good morning. Sir, follow up ko lang doon kay Bacolod Chief of Police. Sir, is it true that the President has ordered a lifestyle check on Senior Superintendent Ebreo?

SEC. PANELO: I heard that too. And I think that should be SOP eh. When you’re involved or when your name has been linked to illegal drug industry and you are a public officer, dapat talagang may lifestyle check.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: So did he order a lifestyle check, yes or no?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know whether he orders. But as I said, that should be SOP. When anybody is involved in any irregularity involving money, talagang dapat mag-lifestyle check.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, yesterday ‘no, sa DOF, si Asec. Lambino is saying that they are counting on the rice tariffication law or bill to kind of soften the effect of the oil price increases and the excise tax on it. Any update, sir, whether—

SEC. PANELO: That has been signed?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Yeah.

SEC. PANELO: I just texted the Office of the ES; he has not responded.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But do you think that that kind of … that is important, the rice tariffication bill?

SEC. PANELO: I think so.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Because, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Because according to them, it will reduce the price in the market kasi tinangal mo iyong mga restrictions eh. In other words, magiging liberal na.

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

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

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

 

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