USEC. ROCKY IGNACIO: Good noon Malacañang Press Corps; let’s now have Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
SEC. PANELO: 11:59, so morning pa. Good morning!
Before I start, I’d like to make a clarification. Apparently the discussion we had in the wiretapping created a firestorm. Mukhang mali yata intindi ha.
First, it’s the policy of the government to comply with the law. Wiretapping is illegal in this country, so that’s it.
Now what I was saying was that, if in the course of cooperation between countries like combat terrorism and illegal drug industry information will suddenly thrown into our lap without us asking it – nandoon na – and the information points to a terrorist or a drug lord, then if it is a matter of national security, I don’t think na masama na gamitin natin iyong information as a lead. Lead!
Remember I said, wiretapping is illegal and therefore any information coming from that cannot be admissible in evidence. So kung ‘lead’ lang like for instance, si Mr. X sinabi ng isang… kung sinuman, kahit whatever source coming from, kahit na dito sa atin; binigyan tayo ng information: si Mr. X ay drug lord. O hindi ba that will be a lead for law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance on this person. I don’t think that will be illegal.
But definitely ‘pag wiretapping, it is illegal in this country and we will not allow it whether it’s foreign or taga-rito.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, but what PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino is saying that, “Wala po kaming natatanggap na mga information or intelligence regarding sa narcolist na nanggagaling po sa ibang bansa.”
SEC. PANELO: Mabuti you mentioned that. I was not also making a statement na iyong narcolist is based on that. My elucidation was more on a general term, hindi—iyong narcolist hindi—kasi there are—hindi ba sabi ko there are many sources – one of them is surveillance; information coming from mga nag-surrender at mga naaresto; pati na iyong high technology, doon na pasok iyong supposed to be na wiretapping. O and therefore iyon na nga—that’s the only circumstance that we can use an information thrown to us without asking for it – eh nandoon na, binigyan ka ng impormasyon, ‘o that’s a drug lord,’ o hindi ba, the law enforcement agencies will have to conduct surveillance on that particular person.
‘Lead’ lang iyon, lead, lead… because you cannot use it. Unang-una, iyong information na ‘yan sasabihin nila sa’yo ‘he’s a drug lord,’ oh when you—you cannot just prosecute on the basis that ito drug lord sabi ni ganito. O siyempre, you will have to conduct surveillance and then get evidence to nail him. Lead lang iyon, ‘lead.’
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, alright. Question: Is any foreign government wiretapping our citizens?
SEC. PANELO: I do not know that. Kaya nga with respect to the narcolist, wala akong alam na nag-provide sila.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Where then did that come from na sinasabi ninyo na there will be or there may be instances, may—saying it’s may be a possibility ‘no. There may be an instance where a foreign government can provide us—
SEC. PANELO: Or any source for that matter.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: No, let’s focus on foreign government’s spy. Where did that come from, that the possibility that a foreign government may be spying on drug personalities and can be providing the country such—
SEC. PANELO: Well for one, terrorism and illegal drug industry are the twin evils of the world. And so, countries cooperate with each other in combating it. That’s why I said in the course of cooperation, baka biglang sabi “O ‘yan drug lord ‘yan. Papunta sa inyo ‘yan.” O anong gagawin mo? O ‘di siyempre you will have to conduct surveillance on the particular person.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And, were there instances in the past that this was provided—
SEC. PANELO: None that I know of. It’s in the realm of probabilities.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Is there nothing illegal sir, when a foreign government is spying on Filipinos?
SEC. PANELO: [Laughs] I think every government is spying, hindi ba? Parang—hindi ba ang labanan yata—kasi—you know for that matter, every country siyempre is always concerned with its national security. So they will always undertake measures to prevent intrusion.
Your question now is: Is it illegal? Of course it is illegal.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: It is illegal.
SEC. PANELO: Illegal.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But when you use, and you said this is going to be possible ‘no kasi it’s being served on your lap na, na parang, oh anyway nandiyan na naman iyong information. Is that not consent to the act of spying?
SEC. PANELO: Kung alam mo na galing sa—kasi hindi naman lahat ng information galing sa wiretapping eh.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: No, let’s focus on the wiretapped information being given to us as a possibility—
SEC. PANELO: Eh kung—if you will know consciously na galing sa wiretapping, ‘di siyempre aatras ka kasi illegal nga sa ating bansa. But according to Secretary Guevarra, I just read his position, na if it’s not illegal doon sa ibang bansa, you can use it kasi legal sa kanila.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kahit illegal sa atin, sir, without a court order?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Yan ang posisyon ni Secretary Guevarra.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And the Palace is adopting that position, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Ah… ano iyon, sa akin parang grey area iyon. Ang tingin ko, ang pinakamagandang argument is if it concerns survival of the country – national interest; pareho rin ‘yan noong presumption of innocence saka right of the people to know and right of the state to preserve itself. The country’s interest will always prevail. Kung it’s a matter of survival, eh bakit naman hindi mo gagamitin.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Alright sir. So it’s actually, number one, we don’t know if any foreign government—do we know if any foreign government is spying on us? The answer is, ‘no’?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t know of that. The Department of National Defense will know that. I don’t know.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. And if there is such a thing, this is objectionable or not?
SEC. PANELO: Which one? Iyong…
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: The spying of a foreign government on Filipinos.
SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely objectionable. Supposed to be any foreign country can—we’ll never allow. ‘Di ba they prosecute nga, eh mayroon nga tayong espionage law hindi ba? Mayroon pa tayo sa Revised Penal Code – espionage law.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay, sir. May minention lang kayo sir na point doon sa narcolist and narco-politicians, I’ve called you before regarding fine tuning of the data ‘no. Ang sinasabi po natin is that, if you are a narco-politician, you are waiving your right, correct?
SEC. PANELO: If you are a what?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: If you’re a narco-politician. Meaning to say, you’re a government official involved in drugs.
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, because you open yourself to exposure.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Correct. But the narcolist is not just 82 individuals; it’s probably a lot more than that, yes?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung sino ang mga naroroon, so I cannot answer that accurately.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Now, can that defense, sir, apply to civilians na wini-waive din nila iyong constitutional right to a presumption of innocence if they are civilians?
SEC. PANELO: Kung hindi sila kandidato?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Yes, sir.
SEC. PANELO: Kandidato lang siguro ang puwede doon.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. So therefore sir, iyong ire-release po natin na listahan would be just narco-politicians?
SEC. PANELO: You have to ask Secretary Año, because I don’t know the names as well as the personalities involved.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But you guys, parang ‘di ba nag-huddle po kayo—
SEC. PANELO: No, but you have to look at the list eh. General iyong usapan namin na puwedeng i-release.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay sir, thank you.
TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Hi, sir. Clarification lang, sir. So ang position ninyo po ngayon, ay nililinaw ninyo na hindi ninyo sinasabi na iyong resulta ng narcolist ay galing sa wiretapping activities ng ibang bansa—
SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely yes—I’m not saying that. I’m not saying that.
TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: So, saan po galing kanyo iyong pinagbasehan ng mga authorities?
SEC. PANELO: Marami eh… As I said in the last news briefing, it could come from information coming the surrenderees, from those arrested and from surveillance.
TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: So saan po galing iyong statement ninyo the other day na nandiyan na ang Israel, ang Russia, America.
SEC. PANELO: No. Ang sinasabi ko, ang magagaling sa technology is Israel, kasi magaling talaga sa military technology ang Israel; or America. Iyong mga modern powerful countries, sila ang may capability noon. Hindi ko sinasabing galing sa kanila.
TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: May capability sila pero hindi pa nila ginagawa sa atin iyon, sir?
SEC. PANELO: As far as I know, wala akong alam na meron silang ginagawang ganoon sa atin.
TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Okay. I remember, sir may isang statement si Presidente Duterte, if I am not mistaken September of 2017, meron siyang sinabi sa kanyang speech na meron siyang narinig, hindi niya alam kung saang galing device na ang conversation nina Mabilog at Parojinog tungkol sa transactions nila sa illegal drugs. So ano ang tinutukoy niya doon, sir. Wiretapped conversation o saan galing ba iyon?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam, I have to ask him kung papaano niya narinig iyon.
TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: At kanino galing iyong..?
SEC. PANELO: At kung kanino galing, hindi ko alam iyon.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, okay just for the record, sir. This is the transcript of the press conference that we had on March 7. There was a direct question to you. “Sir, you are not denying na that our law enforcement agencies are wiretapping drug suspects”.
SEC. PANELO: Iyon ba ang tanong, baka—
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And your answer was “Di ba inaamin nila iyon, kahit nga si Presidente sinabi niya: oo alam ko kaya ko nalaman iyan, dahil may nag-provide. Maybe you’re referring to the President, not necessarily sila, not necessary law enforcement agencies natin, kasi I don’t think we have the capability, wala tayo noon sir” – just for the record that this is the statement.
And further on as pointed out by Miss Andolong. “Ang mga nagpo-provide sa atin, mga sa ibang bansa, ang magagaling diyan Israel, magaling diyan America, Russia, China. In other words, they provide us with the information. Kung tayo lang eh, wala, kopong-kopong pa yata iyong mga instrumento natin.” Sir, you are walking back the statement, sir?
SEC. PANELO: No, I’m clarifying my statement, my statement was based on should we say logic.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Conjecture.
SEC. PANELO: Logic on – yeah educated guess – on what is happening in the world today. Countries whose survival depends on measures that they will undertake to preserve their territory or sovereignty will have to use that. But, again, I will say that as far as I know, walang nagpo-provide sa atin ng impormasyon.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary. Ang ginamit n’yo kasing word is nagpo-provide, what do you mean by that?
SEC. PANELO: Eh, siguro I used the wrong word.
HENRY URI/DZRH: What?
SEC. PANELO: I used the wrong word, what I really mean is, if any information is thrown to our lap, without us asking it in the course of anything, whether it’s coming from whomsoever, we can use that information as a lead – lead lang.
HENRY URI/DZRH: They provide us the lead?
SEC. PANELO: No, ang information will be the lead. Like, hindi ba nag-cite ako ng example. If for instance, sinabi sa akin si Joseph Morong is involved in drugs, or is a terrorist, ‘di siyempre para – if I were the law enforcement agency, I will conduct kung siya si Joseph Ibañez, oh halimbawa.
HENRY URI/DZRH: So, you mean to say, merong isang nasa narco-list na na-wiretapped noong mga bansang binabanggit mo.
SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala, definitely I am not referring to list na ilalabas – wala doon.
HENRY URI/DZRH: So, hindi kasama sa na-wiretapped iyong mga nasa narco-list ng mga bansang sinasabi mo.
SEC. PANELO: Unang-una wala pang na-wiretap, as I said earlier. Iyong akin more on educated guess kung ano ang gagawin at ano ang dapat gawin. At kung ano ang maaring gawin.
HENRY URI/DZRH: So, you are retracting your previous statement?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, kina-clarify ko kung anong talagang ibig kong sabihin.
HENRY URI/DZRH: So, ano ngayon ang basis ng narco-list?
SEC. PANELO: Oh di yung gaya ng sinabi ko: iyong mga impormasyon galing sa surrenderees, iyong mga impormasyong galing sa mga arrested people, iyong pag-conduct nila ng mga buy-bust operation, drug buy-bust – iyon, iyon ang mga ano doon. They will be coming from testimonial, galing sa community, eh kung may nagsumbong. Ako lang may mga natatanggap ako: sabihin nila, sir can you investigate this particular person? So, I refer it to PDEA, I refer it to PNP. Di bahala sila, iyon ang ibig kong sabihing mga impormasyon.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero basehan na po iyon para maglabas na kayo ng narco-list?
SEC. PANELO: No. Basehan para mag-imbestiga ka kung maba-validate mo iyong impormasyon na binigay sa iyo. Lead lang lahat iyon, lead.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Okay. National security, binabanggit po ninyo, so tayo ba ay nasa ilalim na, itong problema natin sa droga may deklarasyon na ba kayo formally, ang Pangulo na…
SEC. PANELO: Oh, hindi ba sinabi niya na, it was even former Gloria Arroyo who raised it to the level of a national security – the problem of drugs. Sinusundan lang ni Presidente ang sinabi niyang iyon eh.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Wala siyang kanyang deklarasyon?
SEC. PANELO: Eh, dati na nga, hindi ko na kailangang ideklara, kasi nadeklara na nga ng dating Pangulo eh.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQ. NET: Secretary, yesterday the Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte who happens to be the campaign manager of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago said that honesty should not be an election issue saying “everybody lies”. Does the Palace agree with this or what is Malacañang’s take on her statement?
SEC. PANELO: I guess, you will have to ask Inday exactly what she means by that. Baka naman gusto niyang sabihin, everybody gives white lies. Hindi iyong lie na as in lying.
Q: [off mic]
SEC. PANELO: Hindi iyon ang aking understanding.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQ. NET: Secretary, but do you agree that honesty should be an election issue – na should not be an election issue?
SEC. PANELO: First I am not a candidate, second it’s prohibited for me to make a statement that could be construed or misconstrued as favoring or campaigning against, bakit naman hindi. So, I’d rather not respond to that question.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir do you like honest people?
SEC. PANELO: Are you?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Do you like honest people?
SEC. PANELO: Do, I like honest people?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Yeah.
SEC. PANELO: It depends if it concerns me.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: What the..? No. Do you like honest people?
SEC. PANELO: All of us like honest people – that’s my answer.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: All of us.
SEC. PANELO: All of us, unless you are disagreeing with that statement.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, I don’t have an opinion, my purpose is to ask you questions. Do you like honest people?
SEC. PANELO: As a general ‘no… all of us I said, like—all human being like honest people.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Will you vote for an honest candidate?
SEC. PANELO: As a voter?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Yeah.
SEC. PANELO: I’d rather not say anything about election.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Oh come on.
SEC. PANELO: I’d rather not say anything about election. I’m strictly observing the prohibition under the law.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Wala ‘yan sa campaign; as citizen..?
SEC. PANELO: And I will invoke my right to…
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: What? To?
SEC. PANELO: Against self-incrimination.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, you are scared. No, sir!
SEC. PANELO: No, I’m scared to be prosecuted under the law. I don’t want to be a bad example. I don’t want to be. What is your point, bakit hindi mo pa idiretso, ano ba ang point mo.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Because you are not answering it.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, I’m already answering it.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: All right, sir. Is honesty an election issue?
SEC. PANELO: According to Inday, it’s not, as far as they are concerned.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And according to you?
SEC. PANELO: If I were a candidate, the issue would be performance, character.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Character that doesn’t go and that doesn’t include honesty?
SEC. PANELO: Kasama lahat doon, pati iyong behavior mo. Anong point mo ngayon?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: The point is, sir—
SEC. PANELO: In other words, you want me to either to agree or disagree with Mayor Sara.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Well, yeah, if you can.
SEC. PANELO: My answer there is she’s entitled to her opinion.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And you?
SEC. PANELO: It’s a free country.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: The Palace considers the statement that honesty is not an election issue—
SEC. PANELO: I have no opinion on that simply because I’m not a candidate. As a voter, I will have to exercise my own judgment whether honesty will be a part of my choice.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: O ayaw.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Secretary, is honesty—hindi na ikaw. Hindi na ikaw, Sec, ha. Is honesty important to the President?
SEC. PANELO: I will have to ask him that. Siyempre, that’s a personal … parang kumbaga, kasi baka—gaya ni Mayor Sara, kay Mayor Sara hindi importante iyong honesty for this particular election.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: His description of some of his candidates, and I quote, “fundamentally honest.” If he comes up with such description, what does this say about his opinion about honesty?
SEC. PANELO: Sino, si Presidente?
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Yeah, oo.
SEC. PANELO: I will ask him exactly what does he mean by ‘fundamentally honest.’
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR:ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Kasi if it’s no—I know what you mean. [If] it’s not big deal, why would he even describe his candidates as fundamentally honest?
SEC. PANELO: Siguro its dealing is with him shows that he was—or the candidate was honest during his stint.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So hindi natin alam iyong stand pa ni Presidente about voting honest candidates?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko—basta ang stand ni Presidente, let’s have a credible, honest election. Iyon ang sinasabi niya – credible and honest election. Honest election, ibig sabihin walang daya ang eleksyon, iyon ang posisyon ng Presidente. Iyon ang alam kong ever since.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, why is it difficult for Malacañang to answer whether honesty is an election issue or not?
SEC. PANELO: I will have to ask the President kasi I don’t know exactly kung ano ang magiging posisyon niya vis-à-vis the issue raised by Mayor Sara.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Meaning, you were not sure whether honesty is important for the President in choosing a candidate?
SEC. PANELO: Not that I’m not sure. I have to ask him nga para mas lalong accurate. Tanungin ko siya mamaya, “Mr. President, what is your take on the statement of your daughter?” Kung anong sabihin niya, I’ll quote him.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But how crucial is honesty in choosing a candidate?
SEC. PANELO: I will ask him nga. As far as—kasi that’s for every voter eh. For every voter iyon eh. Hindi mo kasi—bakit may mga nahahalal na hindi honest? Oh ibig sabihin, marami ring hindi kinu-consider ang honesty. So depende sa botante siguro iyon.
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But you personally, sir?
SEC. PANELO: Na ano?
MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Is it important for a candidate to be honest?
SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, iyong mga kandidato, you cannot say whether one is honest or not kasi I have no dealings with them. Strictly speaking, you cannot consider a candidate honest or not unless you have personally dealt with him or her.
Oh sige nga, sabihin mo nga sa akin, how would you know if I’m honest? How would you know that I’m not honest, kasi wala ka namang experience sa akin eh. Kailangan may personal experience ka eh. Kaya pupuwedeng sabihin ni Mayor Sara na iyang honesty huwag na nating pag-usapan iyan kasi how will you know nga naman? Oh hindi ba? Sige, I’ll ask you: How will you know that a man or a candidate is honest or not?
Q: Sir, may example si Ace.
SEC. PANELO: Paano iyong example mo, Ace?
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Halimbawa, you make a particular claim and then iyong institution na iyon na sinasabi mo may claim ka about that institution denied it.
SEC. PANELO: How will you know that the one who gave the denial is honestly saying the truth?
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Kasi may records, for example, sila.
SEC. PANELO: How do you know that the records are bogus or not? Hindi ba ang dami nang pini-present na mga records, iyon pala bogus. In other words, palagay ko talagang dapat ano—
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: But do you think they will put at stake their—
SEC. PANELO: Dapat alam mo personally iyong kandidato, may dealings ka sa kaniya. Parang… kung ano ka lang, mag-i-speculate ka lang.
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Sir, let’s try a different tact, since you won’t answer to the issue of elections. Aside from integrity and expertise and competence, do you think that government officials, elected or not, should be honest?
SEC. PANELO: Honest in what?
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Honest in all senses, sir. Like if they’re asked a question, they say the truth and they do not—
SEC. PANELO: Are you asking me as a voter?
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: No. I’m not even pertaining to the election, sir. I’m asking you in general if a government official, elected or not, should be honest as well?
SEC. PANELO: Oh, elected or not. With respect to the election, sabi ko na nga, personal choice iyon.
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Okay, not elected, appointed.
SEC. PANELO: Iyong appointed, depende iyon sa appointing power. Depende sa appointing power iyon eh, whether he will consider that or not.
JULIE AURELIO/PDI: So in general, sir—
SEC. PANELO: Like for instance, I will give you an example: A particular appointee showed dishonesty sometime earlier on. Pagkatapos subsequently nagpakita ng honest na honest na siya. Are you telling me na iyong appointing power kung magaling, matino tapos nakita mo nagbago na hindi mo ia-appoint? Di ba? Depende eh. Depende sa appointing power kung anong tingin na niya sa taong iyon.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi, sir. Pero tingin ninyo, sir, barometro sa public service iyong pagiging honest ng isang empleyado at opisyal?
SEC. PANELO: What do you mean barometro?
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Magiging ano iyon, sir, sukatan. Halimbawa, sa evaluation o kung sa promotion, di ba dapat bang maging batayan iyong honesty ng isang empleyado o opisyal?
SEC. PANELO: Kasi kapag dishonest ang isang tao o opisyal, tanggal agad sa trabaho iyon.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So kailangan po talagang maging honest siya?
SEC. PANELO: Eh matatanggal talaga siya, that’s what I’m saying—
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Kaya nga ho kailangan maging honest?
SEC. PANELO: But when you say na magiging barometro, you will never know that. Kasi by the time na lumabas iyong dishonesty, tanggal na siya.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Kaya nga ho, kaya kailangan maging honest talaga sa trabaho, sa lahat kasi public servant ‘di ba ang unang requirement ay maging honest ka.
SEC. PANELO: Ang sinasabi ng Konstitusyon, it’s a public trust, and therefore, you will be accountable to it.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So paano ho natin makukuha iyong public trust?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ang sinasabi ng Konstitusyon, kapag ikaw ay public official, accountable ka sa lahat ng ginagawa mo. So kung dishonest ka o kaya may ginawa kang masama in violation of the law, you will be accountable for that.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So kailangan po talagang maging honest in all the dealings po kasi nasa government eh?
SEC. PANELO: If you are dishonest with respect to your work and it has damaged people, talagang you will be accountable for that.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So hindi ho kailangan ng administrasyon iyong dishonest people?
SEC. PANELO: Na ano?
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hindi ho kailangan ng gobyerno iyong dishonest employees and officials?
SEC. PANELO: That goes without saying, if you are dishonest, you will be removed definitely.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So kailangan nga ho ng honesty?
SEC. PANELO: In relation to your work. But if you’re dishonest with respect to your personal relations…
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So iyon nga ho, it boils down to kailangan natin ng honesty talaga sa gobyerno?
SEC. PANELO: Depende sa botante pa rin iyan. Depende sa botante, depende sa appointing power.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Eh hindi naman po lahat sa gobyerno ay binoboto. Halimbawa po iyong—
SEC. PANELO: Exactly. Eh sino ba ang mag-a-appoint noon kung hindi iyong appointing power. So depende sa kaniya kung ano ang tingin niya doon sa tao.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So honesty ho talaga ang kailangan sa gobyerno?
SEC. PANELO: Kailangan sa gobyerno, matino.
SEC. PANELO: Eh kung nagsisinungaling ka tungkol sa girlfriend mo o tungkol sa mga kaaway mo, basta iyong sa trabaho mo matino ka, iyong wala kang gagawing masama in violation of the law and regulations.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary, you believe that honesty is still the best policy?
SEC. PANELO: Iyon, that’s the word na everybody believes like you.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Hindi, actually, ang tanong ho namin siguro: as a Presidential Spokesperson, ano ang inyong advice sa mga botante?
SEC. PANELO: Ang advice ko sa mga botante ay pag-aralan nila iyong kanilang mga kandidatong gustong piliin.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Matagal na po kayo sa gobyerno, paano ninyo masasabi—
SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi, hindi pa ako matagal.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Well, kung hindi man sa administrasyong ito, I’m sure marami na kayong exposure sa governance: Papaano ninyo mabibigyan ng ideya ang isang botante para sukatin ang pagiging tapat o pagiging honest ng isang kandidato?
SEC. PANELO: Eh ‘di iyong reputasyon niya sa community, iyong mga nakaraan niyang mga performance, kung anong nabasa niya tungkol dito, kung ito ay naidemanda ng ganito o kaya may ginawang masama – iyon ang magiging batayan mo.
HENRY/DZRH: So kung mayroon siyang previous record, iyong track record niya is…
SEC. PANELO: Eh, kung masama ang track record niya bakit mo naman bobotohan?
HENRY/DZRH: So in other words, kapag may track record siyang masama, hindi siya honest?
SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily, hindi naman lahat ng issue is honesty ‘di ba? Kung mayroon kang ginawa it doesn’t mean na hindi ka honest, like for instance kung mayroon kang binaril.
HENRY/DZRH: Kung involve ka sa—
SEC. PANELO: Kung halimbawa—
HENRY/DZRH: Kung involve siya sa corruption, involve siya sa… may kaso siyang plunder—
SEC. PANELO: Oh eh ‘di, you will be accountable diyan. You will be accountable because that’s fraud.
HENRY/DZRH: Nagsisinungaling siya sa kaniyang educational attainment.
SEC. PANELO: That’s fraud also.
HENRY/DZRH: Okay, so that’s fraud?
SEC. PANELO: Oh eh ‘di matatanggal siya sa trabaho, o hindi siya ma-a-appoint, o hindi siya mahahalal.
HENRY/DZRH: So for not declaring the real score on his educational background, she’s not honest?
SEC. PANELO: In other words, I’m saying that honesty as an issue depends on the voter himself or herself, if he or she will consider that. As far as Mayor Sara is concerned hindi, hindi isyu sa kaniya iyon.
Q: Sir, pero hindi po tayo nahihirapan doon sa isyu ng tanong ng honesty sir; kayo po ba personally, nahihirapan din po kayo maging honest po?
SEC. PANELO: What do you mean? What do you mean?
Q: Kasi we were asking you for a Palace side, ano nga sir—
SEC. PANELO: You know, I’m Spokesman for the President. I have to ask my principal exactly his position. I cannot preempt what he has in mind. I have to ask him exactly ano ba ang position ninyo, Mr. President sabi ni ganito, ganiyan..? And then I will relay to you.
INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: I asked you this a few days ago but since today na po iyong meeting with the Malaysian Prime Minister. Do we already have talking points on—for the meeting this afternoon?
SEC. PANELO: Pinadala na ba? Wala pa eh, wala pang ipinapadala sa amin.
INA/CNN PHILS.: Sir, will agreements be signed, if so how many are we looking at and what topics will be covered?
SEC. PANELO: Ang alam ko lang may bilateral meeting, iyon ang alam ko.
INA/CNN PHILS.: No signing of agreements?
SEC. PANELO: Wala akong… hindi ko nakita sa aking info, wala pa.
INA/CNN PHILS.: Thank you.
SEC. PANELO: Mamaya malalaman natin iyan.
Q: [off mic]
SEC. PANELO: I’m always honest.
TINA MENDEZ/PHIL. STAR: Sir, may statement si Secretary De Lima that Duterte’s taunting and mocking of the ad of the Otso Diretso candidates is a very good sign that it makes it the opposition slates’ numbers are improving, etcetera. Duterte and his inferior slate are—now feels threaten. Ano ang reaksiyon ng Palace po doon?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba sabi ko noon we will ignore her? So she’s ignored.
TINA/PHIL. STAR: Okay, sir. Sir, sa isyu ng budget, it remains before the Senate and the House dahil sa mga away nila. I think iyong Universal Health Bill at least 200 plus billion ang kailangan at naka-allocate under the 2019 budget. Anong magiging epekto noon kung we will always be working on a reenacted budget?
SEC. PANELO: Alin? Which one?
TINA/PHIL. STAR: On the delivery of services ng hindi maba-budget-an iyong Universal Health Care services?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi maba-budget-an? Hindi ba approved na iyong budget, ang hihintay na lang iyong enrolled bill.
TINA/PHIL. STAR: Sir, hindi pa nga ma-print, hindi pa ma—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi. Printing na nga daw eh, ‘di ba?
TINA/PHIL. STAR: Sir, as of yesterday hindi pa napi-print—
SEC. PANELO: As of yesterday, alam ko pini-print—
TINA/PHIL. STAR: Sir, hindi pa napi-print because of review doon sa mga alleged insertions?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, sabi nila printed na, under printing eh. Siguro let’s just wait for one or two days, tingnan natin kasi sila naman ang nag-uusap diyan eh, kami naghihintay lang. But I’m confident na it will be submitted to us anytime this week or the followings.
TINA/PHIL. STAR: This week or this month?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ano na ba ngayon? Today is Wednesday pa lang? Thursday? Friday na eh, baka next week. Baka isang araw, anong sabi ni Andaya?
Q: [off mic]
SEC. PANELO: O iyon pala eh, malapit na rin iyon.
VIRGIL LOPEZ/GMA NEWS ONLINE: Hi sir, pahingi lang ng reaction. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a speech in Geneva this week that the drug policies in place in the Philippines and its lack of respect for rule of law, an international standard should not be considered a model by any country in the world.
SEC. PANELO: No the problem with that statement coming from that UN official is that he relies—
VIRGIL/GMA NEWS ONLINE: She, sir.
SEC. PANELO: She relies on what she receives information coming from the critics and the detractors of the administration. And we have been saying that this information is wrong. Like for instance, when she claims that there were 27,000 deaths, eh ang official count is only 5,000.
VIRGIL/GMA NEWS ONLINE: Does the Palace see this statement sir, from the UN High Commissioner as a foreign meddling or some intervention—
SEC. PANELO: Well, ever since naman sinasabi natin na mas marunong pa sila dito sa bansa how to deal with our problem. Iyon ang naging position natin ever since.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, reaction also. In 2016, sir, President Duterte vowed to pursue the Philippine claim to Sabah, he said, I’ll stick to our claim but the Prime Minister today said, ‘There is no claim.’
SEC. PANELO: Eh that’s the position of Malaysia.
ARJAY/BUSINESS WORLD: And what’s the position of the Palace, we don’t have claims on Sabah?
SEC. PANELO: The position of the President as you said, mayroon tayong claim. Eh totoo namang may claim tayo ‘di ba? That has been a bone of contention ever since, time pa yata ni Presidente Marcos iyan eh, iyong Sabah issue.
ARJAY/BUSINESS WORLD: Has the President been pursuing this? A promise that he will pursue our claims on Sabah.
SEC. PANELO: It’s not in the agenda as I know.
ARJAY/BUSINESS WORLD: Thank you.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, follow up lang: Yesterday, bumisita rin kay President Duterte iyong Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister ng Vietnam and he invited the President to go to Vietnam either this year or next year, pumayag po ba si President?
ARJAY/BUSINESS WORLD: Wala ako doon sa ano eh, I was not there. Ang nandoon lang ako, sa Bahrain. So hindi ko alam.
JOYCE/DZMM: Sir, may isa pang slot sa Supreme Court for associate justice for the vacant post ni Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin. May napili na po ba si President Duterte?
SEC. PANELO: Wala pang sinasabi si Presidente.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hi sir, good afternoon po. Ano po ang Palace statement regarding doon sa pagkakansela ng privileged ng mga prisoners po since the other day?
SEC. PANELO: Mayroon ba? Anong—
ROSALIE/UNTV: Ipinagbawal iyong pagdalaw po muna sa mga… dahil po sa patuloy daw po na pagpupuslit ng mga illegal na kontrabando.
SEC. PANELO: Yeah, I read about nga pala that mayroon na namang… parang may remote control iyong pag-o-operate ng mga drugs. Eh kung temporary lang naman eh siguro that’s a measure undertaken by the authorities to prevent the proliferation of the illegal drugs.
ROSALIE/UNTV: You don’t think po sir na hindi po nalalabag iyong karapatan ng mga bilanggo?
SEC. PANELO: If it’s a privilege, you can lift privilege – it’s not a right.
ROSALIE/UNTV: Pero ang sabi po ng CHR imbes na magsagawa daw po ng ganoong mga polisiya eh improve na lang po iyong jail management?
SEC. PANELO: Iyan na naman si sir oh, lahat na lang ng ginawa ng administrasyon mali.
ROSALI/UNTV: Okay, sir, thank you.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyong sa kalayaan, sa PAGASA ‘no.
SEC. PANELO: Oh sabi ng ano wala daw ano ha, sang-ayon sa WestCom ba iyon?
JOSEPH/GMA7: West Command.
SEC. PANELO: Sinasabi ng WestCom, wala naman daw nagreklamo sa kanilang ina-arrest ang mga fishermen.
JOSEPH/GMA7: Pero sir, may statement lang po kasi, may interview kay Mayor. Can I just read it?
SEC. PANELO: Mayor?
JOSEPH/GMA7: Mayor Del Mundo sir, sa kalayaan. So… Well, basically ang sinasabi niya is that there are 5 vessels, Chinese vessels with 50 to maybe a hundred at some point na mga fishermen that are stationed in… there are three sand bars daw sir doon eh. Station 3, sand bar number three, that’s what they call the secret island, that’s where our fishermen, our Filipino fishermen use to fish. Now, there are 5 Chinese vessels with 50 to a hundred fisher… persons on board, that are circling around our fishermen, so therefore hindi sila maka-penetrate doon sa area. And this is for a statement… I understand that the SND already said that it does not exist, the report. But who do we believe then? That people—
SEC. PANELO: We will believe in the DND kasi they are the ones on the ground, sila ang nag-iimbestiga eh.
JOSEPH/GMA7: So again honesty question. Who is lying, sir?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t know but as far as I am concerned, whatever the AFP, because they are the ones on the ground, they investigate, we will believe them.
JOSEPH/GMA7: Okay, sir.
USEC. IGNACIO: Okay, no more? Okay, thank you, MPC, thank you, Secretary Panelo. Back to our main studio sa Radyo Pilipinas and Peoples Television Network.
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)