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 noon Malacañang Press Corps; kasama na natin si Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Good morning or good afternoon na ba? Hindi morning pa…

First, I would to express our condolences to the family, the bereaved family of the OFW that has been—who has been executed. Our government extended help to this Filipino, we provided lawyers or a lawyer for her and we gave regular updates to the family… it’s just unfortunate that this particular case, the Sharia law does not apply where blood money can be a reason to stop the execution. So we condole with the family, but we tried… the DFA tried very hard to help.

And we also condole the killing of that NDF consultant as well as the killing of that village chief, the Barangay Captain running for Congress. We condemn this slaying, there can be no act of violence against anyone regardless of whether they agree with the government or they are not—we belong to the same ideology or religious belief. We will never tolerate any unlawful killing in this country.

I’m ready for your questions…

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir iyong kay—iyong sa NDF consultant Randy Manayao, sir. So there’s a statement already from Malacañang ‘no, pero who do you think is responsible for this?

SEC. PANELO: We don’t know, it’s being investigated… But regardless of the motivation of killing, we are condemning it – whether it’s a personal reason or connected with his ideology, we are against it. It’s against the democratic practice and process.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Good noon, sir. Sir, what do you make of the statement of the Senate President saying that he plans to ask Senator Loren Legarda na i-withdraw na lang daw iyong proposed GAA—Senate bill noong GAA and just go for a reenacted budget. Do you think this is something that—I mean, is this something that you take seriously or do you think this is maybe an expression of frustration on the Senate President’s part?

SEC. PANELO: First, as he said himself, Senate President Sotto, he said he was frustrated. Number two, but despite his suggestion for a reenacted budget Senator Legarda, who is Chairman of the Committee on Budget, declined and insisted that in fact last night or yesterday, they agreed to pass the budget next week; and we eagerly await the passage of that bill. In fact we issued a statement to that effect.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: And definitely, you will not agree to a reenacted budget?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, they have already decided not to have a reenacted budget because they said they will pass it.

CATHERINE VALENTE/MANILA TIMES: Yes sir, good noon po. Sir, hingi lang po ng reaction regarding the CBCP statement – they are warning the public against the no election daw po. They cited the Lower House version of federalism which they claim as vague and it will do away daw po the 2019 election. Any assurance po from the government?

SEC. PANELO: What is it against? Against what?

CATHERINE VALLENTE/MANILA TIMES: No-el daw sir, they are warning the public against no-el – no election po scenario in May 2019 election po.

SEC. PANELO: Where did they get the—

CATHERINE VALLENTE/MANILA TIMES: Sabi daw po nila sir, they were citing the Lower House version of federalism; masyado daw pong vague, baka daw po magkaroon ng no election – ‘ayun lang po iyong concern ng CBCP.

SEC. PANELO: There is no connection with that. I cannot see any connection. The President said there will be elections and it will be clean, honest and credible.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, according to the latest survey ng SWS, majority of Filipinos are agreeing to retaining the age of criminal responsibility to 15 years old. Will this change the perception of the President regarding the proposed bill na gumugulong ngayon sa Kongreso?

SEC. PANELO: Again we said earlier that we will leave it to the wisdom of Congress. The President has already made his position on the matter, but we always respect whatever Congress says of the matter. And according to Senator Sotto – I just read the briefer – maybe those who participated in the survey considered the 9 year old and not the 12 year old.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, you’re not concerned sir na—

SEC. PANELO: Because of the time the survey was conducted, the issue then was lowering it to 9 – iyon ang—hindi iyong 12.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Iyong sa survey sir kasi, parang median age across different crimes is a 15 years old, and hindi po ba ‘to parang… as if saying na majority of the Filipinos are not supportive of the measure na gusto ng Pangulo?

SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily, as correctly pointed out by Senator Sotto – it might have been conducted at the time when the issue was lowering at 9. And the President, if you recall, said he’s comfortable with 12. In other words, the age 12 was not considered in the survey. Perhaps if there is another survey—but even assuming that the majority of the Filipinos would not want it, again the President will always leave it to Congress.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Are you urging the public sir to be open-minded? Kasi doon sa survey it’s 15, they want 15 – the median age.

SEC. PANELO: Congress?

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: The public sir, the public… Do you want the public to be more open-minded with the issue given that the President is supporting lowering the age of criminal responsibility?

SEC. PANELO: Well, they should consider the studies outside of this country. I cannot even understand where they’re getting this study that there is a showing that 9 year olds or 12 years old do not commit crimes. Although they are saying that it’s only how much? 1.9% minors who are committing crime? But 1.9 is a [laughs]… huge chunk. If you put… how many? If there are about hundred thousand crimes being committed and you say 2% of that, eh malaki din iyon – o ibig sabihin mayroon pa rin.

But again let me repeat, para nga the opposition is always, “Bakit natin kinukulong ang mga bata?” Eh hindi naman nga kinukulong eh, hindi ko naman maintindihan ba’t hindi nila iniintindi. It’s not jailing them – it’s protecting them from criminal syndicates and punishing neglectful parents, because when you deprive custody of the parents, that’s a punishment.

Number two, the bill as I understand it are introducing measures para maging effective lalo iyong rehabilitation ng mga bata who are conflict with the law. And I just read, Senator Gordon is introducing a bill in Congress amending certain provisions of the Revised Penal Code, that instead of… halimbawa, naging incorrigible iyong bata, sabihin mong whether 12 or 15 year old, hindi rin siya ikukulong. Instead of jailing, community service na lang.

In other words, palaging the law is always protective of the welfare of the children. Parang mali iyong opposition eh, parang iba ang tinitingnan nila eh.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: China has opened the Maritime Rescue Center on the Philippine claimed Kagitingan Reef in the West Philippine Sea.

SEC. PANELO: Opening what?

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: Maritime Rescue Center in the Philippine claimed Kagitingan Reef in the West Philippine Sea. Is Malacañang concerned about this or what will the government do about this recent development in the disputed water.

SEC. PANELO: Maybe we should be thankful. I share the sentiment of Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that, ‘that could help seamen in distress in that area.’ It can help everybody.’ Kaya the position of the Department of National Defense is it will do nothing because, helpful pa nga eh. It’s a distress center, ibig sabihin makakatulong iyon sa mga nangangailangan ng tulong in that region.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: Will this not affect our claim sir, in the Kagitingan Reef since…

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman, I don’t think so, it will not. But siguro we will leave it to the DFA Secretary. Kasi we will not be preempting. Always the President’s style is, we’ll leave it to the departments. Kasi siya friends to all, enemies to none – that’s the policy.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: Is the government aware of this sir, of this establishment of the Maritime Rescue Center?

SEC. PANELO: Well, apparently, since it is reach the news, it has reached our ears.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: But how will this affect China’s commitment and sincerity in pursuing code of conduct in the South China Sea, since Nations or Southeast Asian Nations or claimants in the areas have agreed to practice self-restraint, but with this new development, China is I think ignoring?

SEC. PANELO: Personally, I don’t think establishing a distress center is bad.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: In our territory, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Even in who’s territory.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: Without our permission?

SEC. PANELO: Because it will be helping everybody in distress.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: Without the government’s permission?

SEC. PANELO: No, with the permission of everybody.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: But it happened without the government’s permission.

SEC. PANELO: Our government?

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: Yes, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi pa natin alam iyon, wala pa naman tayong ano, we are just really basing on the news.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: It was China who admitted, sir that they indeed established a Maritime Rescue Center.

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, they are establishing it, but they didn’t say that they asked permission from the government. I will wait for Secretary Locsin to say something on the matter.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: So, we will not protest, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Kaya nga we will let Secretary Locsin handle the issue.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET: On the part of Malacañang, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Wala muna, hindi ba style ni President iyan, hawakan mo muna iyan.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So, Sec sabi ninyo, we should be thankful. We are taking China’s word for it?

SEC. PANELO: Which one?

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Iyong Maritime Rescue Center, paniniwalaan natin iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Na?

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Na Maritime Rescue Center nga iyon?

SEC. PANELO: We will give them the benefit of the doubt. If we, for instance, if we see anything that will be inconsistent with what they are saying, then we will make our—

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Remember, this is the same country who said na magtatayo lang sila ng kubo para sa fishermen sa Mischief Reef years back and what happened to Mischief Reef?

SEC. PANELO: And this is also the country that promised us then that they will allow our fishermen and not stop them from fishing in their territory or what they claimed to be their territory – and they did, hindi sila iniistorbo doon. So, tingnan muna natin, let’s not jump into conclusion.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So, pakibuo lang, Sec., ‘if you see something..,’ iyong sinasabi ninyo kanina, ‘inconsistent.’

SEC. PANELO: Yes, of course the government will always protest on anything that intrudes into our sovereignty.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: And those inconsistencies would be like, ano po, examples?

SEC. PANELO: Eh kung nakita na, meron din naman tayong intelligence di ba, kung nakita nila na hindi naman totoo iyong sinasabi nila na ‘in distress’. Halimbawa merong in distress doon, hindi naman nila tinulungan, oh di ba, inconsistent na iyon.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Or garrison siguro.

SEC. PANELO: Or garrison o meron silang itinayo doon na baka magtatayo sila ng nuclear, you know, basta kontra doon sa sinasabi nila, we will certainly take action.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Anong action daw po?

SEC. PANELO: ‘Di siyempre initially, it’s always a diplomatic protest.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Hi, sir. What are you saying that we are not even sure, sabi mo, if they didn’t asked permission from the Philippines? Do you actually think, China would ask us permission to put up structures in an area which they are saying is theirs?

SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily asking permission, they can always tell us “oh we are going to…” Ordinarily kasi, countries inform other countries lalo na pag may conflict, to let you know.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: So, you are saying that when they put this up, they informed us and you let them…?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko nga alam. That is why I am saying that let’s wait for Secretary Locsin, because that’s his turf. We don’t know kung anong.., may communication ba ang China or whether the Chinese Ambassador made any information. Hindi ko pa alam iyon eh.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: And how can you say, sir that it will not affect our claims. Eh naglagay na nga sila ng sarili nilang structure doon sa kini-claim natin na sa atin.

SEC. PANELO: Are we really sure na nagtayo na sila, baka naman intension pa lang.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: And then why are you saying you are thankful. Almost as if you are basically confirming.

SEC. PANELO: No, when you say you are thankful, kung halimbawa naitayo na iyon at talagang tumutulong, eh dapat magpasalamat tayo sa mga kahit na ibang bansa na tumutulong sa ibang bansa din.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Sir, first of, the story came from—

SEC. PANELO: First, that is only an intension of China.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: State-run na Chinese media, sir ang nag-a-announce na nagtayo na po sila doon and then you are saying you are thankful. Isn’t that a bit being careless if you are saying you are even sure about yet and yet and you’re thanking them?

SEC. PANELO: No, what I am saying is, hindi pa nga natin alam, kasi news pa lang iyon eh. That is why I am saying that let’s wait for Secretary Locsin. He must know something that I do not know or anybody.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: And by saying that you’re thankful if, sinasabi n’yo nga, kung totoo na nag-build. Aren’t you worried that this might urges to China?

SEC. PANELO: I’ll be thankful for one, if they informed us initially.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: If..

SEC. PANELO: Iyon na nga. Kailangan condition mo doon. Kung alam natin na wala namang makakasira doon sa claim natin at tutulong sila sa lahat ng mga nangangailangan ng tulong. Eh dapat nagpapasalamat tayo.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: So, you would also be thankful and China does this.

SEC. PANELO: But, hindi ba may but ako, but, kung nambobola ka lang sa amin at iyon ay ginagawa mo lang avenue, ay magkakasira tayo.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: So, you would be also thankful if China puts up similar structures in other disputed areas including those that we claimed?

SEC. PANELO: Kung pumapayag ba iyong mga claimants. Ano naman ang masama doon.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Hindi, tayo sir, let’s not ano about the other claimants. Will we be thankful if China does the same in other areas we commonly claim?

SEC. PANELO: If it does not conflict with our sovereignty.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Sorry sir, they are putting up structures in areas that we claim. How can that not..?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi pa nga natin alam kung talagang may structure doon eh. Right now, we don’t know yet. Kahit nga state media eh, di ba may false news. Paano kung false news pala iyon.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Kung false news and then inuunahan mo that you be thankful if it were true.

SEC. PANELO: Teka muna, let’s make this straight. If that has been validated, then Secretary Locsin will make his position on the matter, we will leave it to him first. Eh sa ngayon hindi pa naman validated eh.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Inunahan mo na, sir eh. Pero kung totoo, ‘thank you’.

SEC. PANELO: Kung totoo na iyong condition na sinabi ko, nagpaalam o pinaalam na wala namang ginagawang masama, iyon ang mga kondisyon.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, the bicam last night said that budget will be obligation-based, instead of cash-based. The DBM wanted cash-based. So, will the Palace support this that we should be going back to obligation-based budgeting?

SEC. PANELO: Ang pagkakaalam ko, hindi naman total eh, ang alam ko half obligation, half cash. Okay kay Secretary Diokno.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: You are referring to high breed budgeting.

SEC. PANELO: Parang iyon ang intindi ko kay Secretary Diokno.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: You will support it. The Bicam said that they will be going back to obligation-based.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi pa naman sigurado iyon eh. ‘Pag nandiyan na we will make our comment, ‘pag napasa.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, regarding the bombings ‘no.

SEC. PANELO: Sa Zamboanga?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: First, doon sa—dalawa iyon, sir. Pero, first, let’s go to Jolo. What is it really? Is it a suicide bombing or remote detonated bombing?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pang final ‘di ba. Puwedeng may suicide bombing doon sa labas, iyon ang sinasabi ni Secretary Lorenzana eh kasi daw may mga kalat na body parts. Pero sinasabi niya rin na parang hindi pa culture ng Filipino iyong nagsu-suicide. So hindi pa sigurado; iniimbestigahan pa.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, what is the Palace’s take that after the Jolo bombing we have a bombing in Zamboanga of a mosque?

SEC. PANELO: As we said in our statement, we’re condemning it. And it shows that terrorism is rearing its barbaric and ugly head by having another bombing in that area. But we look at it as a taunting challenge to the capability of this government to provide safety to the inhabitants there. And so the Armed Forces will unleash its might and weaponry against these mass murderers.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, from probably a public’s point of view ‘no, you’ve had two successive bombings. Should I feel safe?

SEC. PANELO: Well, if there was no martial law there, I’m certain it will not only be one or two. As what happened during the Marawi incident, there was no martial law, and look what they did to Marawi – they destroyed an entire city. But after martial law was declared, these are isolated incidents.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, we have resources of government there ‘no, bakit parang ang impression, sir, is that we’re just, you know, probably just waiting for the attacks and not preempt them?

SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily. As we have repeatedly said, a determined killer or determined bomber cannot be just stopped by anyone. They will always find ways and means to pursue their goal.

But this doesn’t mean we are not doing our job – they are. In fact, the lockdown is helping. There is a very strict implementation even of curfews that will prevent the occurrence of bombings in that area.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Do you think there is a necessity to expand martial law to avoid a spillover?

SEC. PANELO: There is no spillover. It’s still there. The government will respond to whatever succeeding events that may happen. But we’re ready for any eventuality in that area.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: At the moment, no need to extend?

SEC. PANELO: We would like to assure the general public that they can go about their normal activity in life; our country is still a safe haven.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So at the moment, no need to expand it?

SEC. PANELO: There is no necessity for any expansion of martial law, as the President has repeatedly declared.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hi, sir. Good afternoon po, sir. Upon the declaration of all-out war against the ASG, does the government see the necessity to ask for assistance from other countries, for example US or China, since we don’t have guided bomb? Noon pong nagkaroon tayo ng Marawi siege, nagkaroon pa ng friendly enemies na mismong bomba ng pamahalaan ay tumama sa mga sundalo po natin. So sa tingin ninyo po, kakailanganin po ba natin ang assistance from the international community para totally eradicate this problem of terrorism?

SEC. PANELO: There’s no need for any asking for help because they are already offering them, those support.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Ano po ang particular support na ibinigay na po or—

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa. Nag-o-offer pa lang sila.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sino po, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Oh ‘di ba iyong mga ibang countries na binanggit ko the other day – United Kingdom is one of them; Canada is another; US also; China and Russia. They made expressions of condolences, at the same time, offering.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: What particular—

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa nga sila … ‘di ba sinasabi ko sa’yo, wala pa nga. Sinabi lang nila, we are offering our support whatever assistance we can do.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: How about, sir, sa part po natin, ano po iyong hihingiin natin sa kanila?

SEC. PANELO: Wala tayong hinihingi. Sila nga ang nag-o-offer. So we will wait kung ano iyong io-offer nila sa atin, tatanggapin natin.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: How about iyon pong nabanggit ko po, sir, iyon pong mga—

SEC. PANELO: Weapons for instance, intelligence. Oh di kung iyon ang ibibigay sa atin, we will welcome it. Anything that can stop terrorism in this country, we will welcome; in the same way that other countries will welcome such offer of assistance.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, Comelec admitted na iyon pong recent bombings sa Mindanao – sa Zamboanga and then sa Jolo – may affect iyon pong mga voters for the Feb. 6 plebiscite sa ibang parts ng North Cotabato, as well as sa Lanao?

SEC. PANELO: Comelec does not have that capability, it’s only the Armed Forces of the Philippines who can say whether it will affect or not because it’s them that secure the area. Eh Comelec, ano lang naman iyon eh, sa eleksyon.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hindi, sir, ibig sabihin iyong mga botante ay matatakot na silang bumoto dahil po sa security.

SEC. PANELO: Nag-i-speculate lang sila. Speculating lang kasi they’re saying na because nagkaroon ng bomba, takot na takot na ang tao. ‘Di ba sabi nila, they’re going their normal activity. They are just alert now and vigilant and cautious but they will vote.

You must remember that the plebiscite was overwhelming in participation – 85%.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Before the bombing, sir.

SEC. PANELO: But prior to that, may bombing nga mismo doon sa ano eh, malapit sa botohan. ‘Di ba, may bomba doon? Natakot ba sila? Hindi.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So confident ang Malacañang na iyon pong bombings will not affect the voters.

SEC. PANELO: Yes, definitely. We are confident, yes.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Why, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Filipinos cannot be cowed by terroristic acts. For a while medyo kakabahan lang sila, pero kapag nakita nila, tuloy na naman. Ganoon naman tayong mga Filipino eh, we always manage to stand up in times of distress just like Joseph Morong.

VIRGIL LOPEZ/GMA NEWS ONLINE: Sir, you said earlier na wala pang final result iyong sa investigation regarding the Jolo bombings. But the President said categorically last Tuesday that it was a case of suicide bombing. Did the President speak too soon?

SEC. PANELO: Kasi nga … pinapaliwanag nga eh, hindi kayo nakikinig naman kay Secretary Delfin. Sabi ni Secretary Delfin Lorenzana iyong information ni Presidente, nakuha niya rin iyon, the same information. Kasi may nagbigay kay Presidente na couple daw. Naniniwala sila roon but at the same time tinitingnan pa rin nila iyong angle whether or not totoo o hindi. Kasi nga, one, sabi ni Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, kung Pilipino iyon, parang ngayon lang mangyayari na Pilipino ang nagsu-suicide. Pangalawa, puwede rin naman ang totoo kasi sabi niya may mga body parts; and yet, ginagamit din nila iyong common sense nila, oh kahit naman… puwede rin naman na noong nagtatakbuhan, biglang dala niya iyong bomba, sumabog prematurely. O kaya naman talagang tinapon doon sa katabi, oh di … kaya hindi pa natin alam eh.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: Sir, you attended the reception of the … sa Chinese embassy, reception ng Chinese—

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, I was there.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: Si Ambassador Xiao, sinabi niya na … he extended the invitation to the President to attend the Belt and Road Forum. Will the President attend it in April?

SEC. PANELO: I haven’t talked to—

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL STAR: Iyong Belt and Road initiative forum this April.

SEC. PANELO: I haven’t talked to him—

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL.STAR: A-attend ba si Presidente?

SEC. PANELO: But most likely given the President’s inclination to be friendly with China, baka. Hindi ko pa alam, we will be discussion siguro iyan sa Cabinet meeting.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Sir, magkita ba kayo ng Presidente ngayon – today, saan po ba ang Presidente?

SEC. PANELO: Ngayon? Kahapon nasa Malabon siya; kahapon ba iyon, the other day? The other day.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Sir, today sir?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa alam kung nasaan siya.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Sir, there’s a… mayroon yatang schedule of—

SEC. PANELO: Tacloban ang sinasabi ‘di ba, bukas?

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Courtesy call – today, the Israeli… Officials of the Israel Embassy and Russian Federation, do you have any idea kung anong mga topics to be discussed?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, hindi ko pa alam.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Will you please brief us at once.

SEC. PANELO: We will, I will ask the protocol.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Or issue a statement.

SEC. PANELO: Sige.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Before deadlines po today? Thank you.

SEC. PANELO: We will ask protocol. Chris, tanungin ninyo kaagad ang protocol, anong agenda – ‘Protocol’ lang nakakaalam noon.

Go ahead.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, nakadaan na si President Duterte sa Manila bay? Nakita na ba niya?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi… As far as I know hindi – hindi pa.

JOYCE/DZMM: Pero at least sa news nakita niya na malinis na? So anong reaksiyon ni President Duterte given na maraming nagsasabing hindi ito nagawa ng mga nakaraang administrasyon, only in his administration nalinis ng ganito iyong Manila Bay?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong naririnig na commentary niya but siyempre he will be pleased to know that it has started because he has been saying that that should start immediately, that was his directive to Secretary Roy.

JOYCE/DZMM: So where do we attribute it sir, particularly where do we attribute? Sino iyong mga dapat na bigyan ng recognition for that?

SEC. PANELO: Well, everybody ‘di ba sabi ni Presidente everybody should be given credit, nobody can claim credit for anything that is an achievement of this administration – everybody.

JOYCE/DZMM: So he’s pleased naman sir ‘no?

SEC. PANELO: Ha?

JOYCE/DZMM: He’s pleased?

SEC. PANELO: I think so yes, when you see your objective being done, siyempre you will be pleased.

JOYCE/DZMM: Sir, ang Makabayan Bloc po, they are not really against the… iyong rehabilitation of the Manila Bay pero iyong… they’re questioning iyong transparency of what’s being done there na maapektuhan daw po iyong mga illegal settlers or iyong mga tao na nandoon sa paligid and also they are calling for transparency, sino iyong makikinabang sa reclamation ng Manila bay – any reaction po?

SEC. PANELO: Eh ganoon din naman sila noon sa Boracay ‘di ba? O eh natapos na iyong Boracay, okay naman sa kanila. Usual concern but the government will always look at the welfare of everybody affected there. But certainly those who are not compliant with regulations will have to toe the line.

JOYCE/DZMM: Sir, last for me na lang. Any reaction sir, napasa na po sa House on third and final reading iyong medical marijuana bill?

SEC. PANELO: Well, that’s good for those who are sick. We… the President has always said that it’s… he is in support of marijuana being used as a healing mechanism or medicine.

JOYCE/DZMM: Will he write sa Senate sir, for the immediate passage of the Bill?

SEC. PANELO: Will he what?

JOYCE/DZMM: Will he write sa Senate.

SEC. PANELO: You mean will he certify this as urgent?

JOYCE/DZMM: Yes, para mapabilis sa Senate.

SEC. PANELO: He doesn’t have to because they are meant also on passing that.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi sir, follow up ko lang doon sa Manila Bay Rehabilitation. Sabi ng Makabayan Bloc sir, prelude lang itong rehab na ito sa 43 reclamation projects na pinirmahan. Kasama raw po doon iyong Pasay City Harbor project na joint venture po ng isang kumpanya with Davao Businessman Dennis Uy. Ano po ba ito parang…

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean preclude?

ROSE/HATAW: Prelude po, prelude…

SEC. PANELO: Prelude what does it mean? What does—

ROSE/HATAW: Parang inihahanda daw po iyong Manila Bay para doon sa reclamation project na ang makikinabang ay mga dambuhalang kapitalista like Dennis Uy.

SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily. When you clean up Manila Bay certainly all of us will benefit. Now with respect to reclamation, even the government will benefit from that because we get… If I understand correctly, its 65-35 o 65 ang atin doon eh, ang laki. That will generate income to the government because of the sharing. And that will generate jobs because they will be establishing structures there. Establishing companies eh ‘di siyempre may mga workers.

ROSE/HATAW: Iyong 300,000 informal settlers po na maapektuhan noong rehabilitation, anong plano ng gobyerno doon?

SEC. PANELO: Then we will have to find a place for resettlement and also siyempre iyong mga involve sa reclamation, they have to contribute to the solution dahil hindi naman matutuloy iyon kung nandoon sila.

ROSE/HATAW: So oobligahin po ng gobyerno iyong mga negosyante o mga kumpanya na magbigay ng pabahay para doon sa mga madi-displace na informal settlers?

SEC. PANELO: And most… hindi lang obliga eh, most likely they will, kasi my experience is kapag may problema iyong mga may ari ng lupa, they do not rely on the government anymore, they offer to resettle them. Kasi mas profitable sa kanila kaysa hindi umalis doon magdedemanda pa ng matagalan meanwhile iyong mga projects nila nakatengga.

ROSE/HATAW: Okay sir, thank you.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, with regard to China ‘no. In principle sir, do we not see anything wrong with China erecting structures? Let’s do away with the name. Sa structure being put by China in our territory, do we see nothing wrong with it?

SEC. PANELO: You know, I remember during the last trip, they precisely agreed to create a group and I understand the Philippines, the President is the coordinator. So whatever concerns each one has, will have to pass through that. So I supposed that group will have to consider any construction of structure from China.

JOSEPH/GMA7: But sir, that’s not the question. Do we see nothing wrong with it?

SEC. PANELO: Anything that will go against the present claim certainly will be not good and China should know that too.

TINA MENDEZ/PHIL.STAR: Sir, were you referring to the bilateral consultation mechanism?

SEC. PANELO: Iyong sa budget? Yes.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Hindi I mean sir…

SEC. PANELO: Ah iyong creneate (Created) niya? Yeah.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: So, can we say that the Palace is asking the BCM to look into the matter? With your recent statement sa sagot ninyo kay Joseph?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know how that committee works, hindi ko alam pa kung papaano, how. Basta ang alam ko lang there is a group, so I cannot respond intelligently to that.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: So…

SEC. PANELO: Being ignorant on the process.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: So can it be na the Palace will ask the BCM? Or motu propio, can the BCM act on the latest developments?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko nga ma… I cannot respond nga kasi hindi ko alam kung anong process, how it will work out.

TINA/PHIL.STAR: Thank you sir.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay thank you. Okay, thank you MPC, thank you Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Back to our main studio sa Radyo Pilipinas and People’s Television Network.

###

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

Resource