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 morning Malacañang Press Corps, kasama na natin si Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. Good morning, sir.

SEC. PANELO:  Good morning… Mr. Joseph Morong, welcome back. I’m ready.

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, you had a late dinner with the President you said?

 SEC. PANELO:  The other night…

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Yeah. Can you share some policy directions you might have talked about, first?

 SEC. PANELO:  Wala, puro lang ano ‘yun… chika. [laughs]

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay… [laughs]

 SEC. PANELO:  Galing kasi kami sa official courtesy call of MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari and ano ba ‘yun? ‘Yung MWSS saka iyong mga… Maynilad saka Manila Water, doon kami galing noon.

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Alright Sec., can I focus on Chairman Misuari? Yesterday he said that—Chairman Misuari said something like if federalism won’t prosper, he’s prepared to go to war. How are we taking that kind of statement from the Chairman?

 SEC. PANELO:  Maybe I can respond to that by sharing to you the response of the President. He said that he understood where the Chairman was coming from, and he reminded him that federalism issue would be up to Congress. And he suggested that his group creates a panel of five members, and the government’s side the same number and they will meet and discuss. Whatever the product of that discussion, they will have a one-on-one meeting. And then he said, “After which, we will celebrate for its success; and if it fails, we will die together…” that was the response of the President.

 In other words, what he’s saying is… because the Chairman said, “I will go to war,” – which means if he goes to war, then he will be fighting the government. So if he is fighting the government and the head of the government is the President, he would be—they would be fighting with each other – that is what he meant.

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Isn’t the President just being literary as he’s prone to do?

 SEC. PANELO:  No, he was very serious on that.

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  I mean, I’m referring to the “if it fails, we die together.”

 SEC. PANELO:  Yeah. Because he was saying that if federalism fails, we’ll go to war and assert our independence. That is tantamount to fighting the government.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay. This five-member panel sir from both the MNLF side and the government side… the end goal is to what? To come up with inputs to the federalism—

SEC. PANELO: Yes, because he wants… he wants to know from the MNLF side what kind of mechanism does it want – whether just like the BOL or whatever…

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay, because if I recall it correctly sir, right now the proposal is to have a Bangsamoro federal state correct – maybe 13 or 18 federal states, one of which will be the Bangsamoro – how will the MNLF fit into that? Because ang sinasabi natin sir is that the BOL is in preparation for the Bangsamoro government, right? So it’s a practice, a parliamentary form of government and all that. Is Chairman Misuari talking about a separate territory for the MNLF?

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t know… Well, maybe what we should do is just to wait for whatever proposal it has – the MNLF with the government.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And… just one last point. Chairman Misuari is saying that he’s prepared to go to war. We don’t have any—you don’t see any problem with that kind of, maybe declaration, it’s just a—

 SEC. PANELO:  Well, the Muslim rebellion has been there for so many decades and we have confronted it. We have fought with them; and the republic remains as it is now. We have won over them…


SEC. PANELO:  Meaning to say, we didn’t lose the war.

 JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sige sir, iyon muna for the meantime.

 INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Sir may binigay po bang deadline, let’s say si Chairman Misuari, on how long he is willing to wait for… iyong federalism?

 SEC. PANELO:  Wala naman, walang—he didn’t give a deadline. But he is confident that—because he reminded the President that he—federalism was one of the promises he made to the electorate. And he is confident that within the 3 years remaining term of the President, federalism would fit in.

 INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  So, the Chairman said that he wants it done under the watch of President Duterte?

 SEC. PANELO:  Yes, definitely. That was his… statement.

 INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Sir, how does Malacañang assess the capabilities of the MNLF if it does – let’s hope not – launch a war against the government? Because I understand the MNLF, it’s believed to have different factions. How would you assess the capabilities of the faction of the group of Chairman Misuari?

 SEC. PANELO:  Well, at its strongest during the 70’s and 80’s… we prevail over them.


 SEC. PANELO:  Oh with more reason. Eh kung noon nagkahati-hati na nga sila ‘di ba?

 INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Can you expound on that a bit sir again?

SEC. PANELO:  No… The original Muslim group was the MNLF, and then that splintered to MILF and then we have the BG-something… doon dumami ‘yan eh. So nagkahiwa-hiwalay na sila, eh ‘di humina kumbaga.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Mahina sila ngayon, that’s what you’re saying if they do—

 SEC. PANELO:  If you will compare it to the original united front.


SEC. PANELO:  But certainly, let me add to that – we would not want to reach that stage. Both sides would want peace, and that is precisely we had the BOL and we had to deal with other Muslim rebellious groups.

 DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Sir, good morning po. Hindi ninyo po iko-consider as a blackmail iyan kay Presidente, iyong threat ni Misuari?

 SEC. PANELO:  No… He’s just expressing his… and it’s—I think it is to our advantage, that he’s telegraphing his plans at this early.

 DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  So, hindi ninyo po ikino-consider as real threat itong MNLF sa government.

 SEC. PANELO:  No, I don’t think so… I think he just want to express his disappointment that until now federalism is not still in place.

 DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  So hindi po big deal iyong warning ni Misuari kay Presidente para sa inyo, na sakaling hindi po pumasa ang federalism eh they would wage war?

 SEC. PANELO:  Any threat publicly expressed by anyone is always viewed upon as a serious concern by the government.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  So kay Presidente po sinabi ni Misuari iyon, and it’s a serious thing. So mayroon po bang magiging action ang government to counter that statement by MNLF?

SEC. PANELO:  He responded—he said, “If it fails, we will be dying together.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Wala pong order sa military?

 SEC. PANELO:  No, there is none.

 ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Hi sir, good morning. Sir hindi ba ito—iyong statement po ni Chairman Misuari, hindi ba ito maituturing na insulto sa peace-loving citizens sa buong bansa kasi federalism iyong binanggit niya? Iyong ganoong statement, sir—

 SEC. PANELO:  No, I do not think so.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Considering sir na may kaso pa siyang rebelyon ‘di ba? Mayroon pa nga—mayroon siyang warrant ‘di ba, inano lang ni Presidente… Coming from a Muslim leader na close kay Presidente, pero ‘pag ordinaryong tao po iyong magsasalita ng ganoon I’m sure baka kinasuhan na iyan ng authorities. Pero iyong ganiyang personality na sa mismong Presidente pa sinabi, hindi ho ba ito nakakainsulto sa otoridad ng isang presidente?

SEC. PANELO:  In the first place eh… actually it’s not even a threat. He was just expressing what they will do in the event that what they want as far as they’re concerned, that’s the best solution to the problem in Mindanao. In other words, they are saying: “If you force us against the wall, this is what we will do,” and that has been what they’ve been doing at the inception of the rebellion.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Hindi po kaya ito makaka-encourage sa iba pang grupo o ibang emerging na rebel leader na mag-aklas laban sa gobyerno kapag hindi nila nagustuhan iyong sitwasyon?

SEC. PANELO:  No naman because sino pa ba ang mga remaining rebel groups, the MILF okay na, sino pa iyong isa Bangsa..?

Q:  BIFF, Islamic Freedom Fighters.

SEC. PANELO:  Mukha naman kasama rin nila iyon sa MILF, splinter group iyon ng MILF di ba?

Q:  off mic.

SEC. PANELO:  No but they’re a splinter group also, all of these are splinter groups coming from originally the MNLF.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, as far as the President is concern, gaano ba ka-relevant o ka-significant si Nur Misuari in advancing peace in Mindanao?

SEC. PANELO:  He is very relevant. He has a potent force there – malaki ang grupo niya.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Could you explain why, sir because you said na hindi na ganoon kalakas ang MNLF as compared to before.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, ang ibig kong sabihin, as compared, kung halimbawa 100% dati sila, eh naghati-hati. So, 50% na lang siya, eh malaki pa rin ang 50%. And you must remember that it was Misuari is viewed as the father of the Muslim rebellion – he started it. All these leaders now, came all from him, mga subordinates lang niya lahat iyon, puro aral sa kanya iyon eh.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  So, as far as the President is concerned, Nur Misuari is still capable of staging a rebellion against the government?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, any rebel group that has arms would be capable. Whether or not it will succeed, is another question. We are capable of thwarting any attempt.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, uulitin ko lang iyong question. Does the government still see the MNLF as a credible threat against the government?

SEC. PANELO:  Any rebellious group that is armed and has asserted itself to be wanting-independence is a serious concern with respect to us.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, the creation of a panel was the President’s suggestion right?


 ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  So, what was the response of Mr. Misuari?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes, in fact he was very happy with the response of the President.  He shook his hand and embraced him.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Did he have his own suggestion to how they can start again talking on federalism?

SEC. PANELO:  No, he had no suggestion. He agreed with the proposal that they create panel each, for each side.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  How long can he wait for federalism daw, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Well he said he hopes that it will be in placed within the three year remaining years.

 ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Otherwise there will be war.

SEC. PANELO:  He said ‘I will go to war’.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  And the President was okay with it, he is ready to die for.

SEC. PANELO: Oo, eh may response naman siya and then we celebrate if we will succeed and as a response to that – ‘I’m going to war’ – then we will die fighting each other.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  And in your language, that’s not a threat?

SEC. PANELO:  Which one?


SEC. PANELO:  The President response is also a threat.  Kung, you consider that as a threat.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  He represents the government.

SEC. PANELO:  That is a counter threat.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  He represents the government.

SEC. PANELO:  Ibig sabihin lalabanan kita. Ganiyan ang ibig sabihin ni Presidente, lalabanan mo ang gobyerno, di labanan din kita – iyan ang ibig sabihin noon.

But knowing the Chairman who was been fighting for a peaceful solution in Mindanao and knowing the deep friendly relationship between the two leaders, I’m confident that there will be an agreement – ‘modus vivendi’, between the two sides and we will have peace in Mindanao.

JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER:  Sir, after the government [inaudible] BOL. How will federalism in Mindanao if it pushes through, affect the autonomy of the BARM?

SEC. PANELO:  We do not know enough because it’s Congress who will be passing federalism. We do not know what kind of model.

JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER:  But looking forward sir, if it’s indeed passed by congress.

SEC. PANELO:  We will be speculating, hindi natin alam exactly kung anong klase iyan in relation to BOL. We will just be educating, giving educated guess.

JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER:  Can the Philippine government afford to give autonomy to another group?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh binibigyan na nga natin ng autonomy under the BOL, hindi ba?

JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER:  But to MNLF, can the Philippine government afford it?

SEC. PANELO: If we can afford to give it to one group.

JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER:  Yeah to another group, like the MNLF?

SEC. PANELO: Basta pareho lang, kung pareho lang ng BOL, palagay ko wala namang masama doon.

JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER:  Sir, going back to the threat issue. Isn’t Mr. Misuari’s statement of ‘they will go to war’ if federalism is not pushed. Isn’t like a few ‘hairs’ close to inciting to sedition? Why is the Philippine government going soft on this?

SEC. PANELO:  Come again?

JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER:  Iyong sinabi po ni Mr. Misuari that they will go to war if federalism is not pushed, isn’t a little bit too close to inciting to rebellion?

SEC. PANELO:  No. You know, alam mo si Misuari is a literally man, he was a professor in UP; magaling sumulat iyan, magaling magsalita. Kumbaga ano lang iyon… magaling siyang pumili ng mga salita. Eh magaling din pumili ng salita si Presidente, ang ganda rin ng sagot eh. In fact, I was telling him: ‘I like your response’. Kaya pati si Misuari, bilib din sa response, ang galing eh.

JULIE AURELIO/INQUIRER:  So, we should not take it literally, sir? Sir, hindi dapat gawing, i-take literally iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Between friends, I think okay lang iyong dalawa, eh magkaibigan naman talaga iyong dalawang iyon, ever since.

 HENRY URI/DZRH:  Secretary, BIFF you said, kasama nila – meaning ng MILF, is that what you are saying?

SEC. PANELO:  Ang alam  ko galing sila diyan sa MI, anak ng MI iyan eh.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  So anak ng MI, pero hanggang ngayon ba kasama pa ng MI ang BIFF?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam, iisa lang naman ang mga paniniwala ng mga iyan di ba. Parang they are… ang pagkaka-alam ko kaya lang nagkakaroon ng split, not because of ideology eh, but because of question of leadership. Pilipino, hindi ba mga Pilipino sa Amerika ang daming grupo puro naman Pilipino, ang daming organization.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Pero as far as the Palace is concerned, ano ang talagang pagtingin ninyo sa BIFF.

SEC. PANELO:  Pare-pareho iyan rebellious groups.  Kaya nga ginagawa ni Presidente kinakausap niya lahat.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So malinaw, you are not saying, hindi sila kasama sa ngayon.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, hindi sila kasama sa ngayon, dahil hindi pa naman sila nakikipag—wala silang statement or anything.

 HENRY URI:  Para maitulak iyong federalism, kailangan ng aksyon ng Kongreso, right Secretary?

SEC. PANELO:  Correct.

 HENRY URI:  Pero as far as the Senate is concerned, ang sinasabi nila, ‘consider it dead’.

SEC. PANELO:  Sa ngayon, eh may eleksyon, paano kung may mga bagong senador? Hindi natin alam eh! You know the political winds of this country change when leaders changed.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Okay. May gagawin bang pakiusap ang Pangulo sa miyembro ng Kongreso at Senado para ma-accommodate itong gusto ni Ginoong Misuari?

 SEC. PANELO: The President already made his statement on this ever since. Kampaniya pa lang, alam na nila. So alam na ng mga senador. We will leave it to them.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Okay, last question. Paano tatanggapin ng buong bayan iyong banta ni Misuari, seryoso o hindi? Buong bayan – not the President, not the Palace.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi natin alam kung anong … how the people will react to that: Some would be taking it as an empty threat; some as a rhetoric threat. Depende kung anong tingin. Malalaman natin iyan, kung anong feedback, after mailagay sa diyaryo – how people will react.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Okay. But you as a lawyer, as a Spokesperson, seryoso ba ito o hindi?

SEC. PANELO: Sa akin, ang tingin ko, he was just expressing his sentiment, his disappointment that a campaign promise has not been fulfilled as of this time. Parang iyon lang ang dating sa akin.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So seryoso?

SEC. PANELO: Seryoso iyong disappointment niya, whether the threat is real or not is another thing.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Sir, question: Paano ba dapat tratuhin si Misuari, considering na may mga pending cases pa nga siya?

SEC. PANELO: Well, even if the … the Constitutional presumption of innocence applies to everyone. So as far as the law is concerned, he’s presumed innocent. So you deal with him as an innocent man.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: And how special is Misuari to the President, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Everyone to the President is special because he respects every citizen of the land.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Another question, sir: Misuari, as far as I remember, sir, nag-enter siya into an agreement, peace agreement with the government during Ramos time but failed. At nagkaroon—

SEC. PANELO: Ramos time ba o panahon pa ni Marcos iyon?

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Ramos, sir. Tapos, sir, hindi naging matagumpay and, in fact, iyong mga kasamahan niya ay nagalit sa kaniya, nag-aklas, kaya nagkaroon ng MILF, so paano natin puwedeng pagkatiwalaan si Misuari ngayon?

SEC. PANELO: Bakit, bakit, si Misuari ang may kasalanan noon?

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Iyong credibility, sir, for a—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi. Teka muna, why? Kasi he entered into an agreement and some of the

leaders disagreed with him, that’s why they split; ano ba ang agreement in the first place?


SEC. PANELO: Oh, hindi ba natuloy naman iyong ARMM?

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Leadership, credibility and then, the Zamboanga siege, siya ang nanguna. So ngayon, may panibago siyang threat na he will go to war again – so papaano pa natin siya pagkakatiwalaan, sir?

SEC. PANELO: It’s not a question of pagtitiwala. A government should look at those declaring to be an enemy of the state as a serious concern. Hindi mo … what do you mean, titiwala ako sa’yo eh kung nilalabanan mo ako—ang isyu doon eh lalabanan mo ko, oh di lumaban ka, kaya kita.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB:  Hindi pa ba, sir, sapat na pruweba na tinake [take] over niya iyong Zamboanga, mayroong mga kasamahan siyang nag-aklas because of his management or mismanagement sa grupo nila?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi pa natin alam iyon kung anong reason, the ‘whys’ and the ‘wherefores’ of that. Kasi as you said, may kaso so hindi pa natin alam. Hindi pa natin alam kasi from his side, ang sinasabi niyang naririnig ko noon sa kanila ay sila raw iyong inatake; self defense lang daw sila. So madaling sabi, it’s the court that will decide kung ano talaga ang nangyari doon.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, in the first place, do you see any sense or any value to the reason of Mr. Misuari to stage a war? Is federalism, whether to fail or not, enough reason to stage a war?

SEC. PANELO: As far as he is concerned, if what he said was true or serious, eh di iyon ang kaniyang line.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So until now, he is still considered to be a friend of the President … threatening?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, yes. When they parted, they were not only handshaking, they were embracing each other.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Even directly threatening for a war?

SEC. PANELO: May sagot naman si Presidente. Sabi ko nga sa’yo, baka rhetoric lang iyon, expression of anxiety.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So freedom of expression?

SEC. PANELO: Oo, kasama iyon.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, pero do you still see his force a force to reckon?

SEC. PANELO: I have no personal knowledge of the strength of the MNLF. That is for the Department of National Defense to determine.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: And how old is Mr. Misuari, as far as you know?

SEC. PANELO: How old? Hindi ko alam.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, itong sinabi ni Presidente kagabi on Nur Misuari’s threat—

SEC. PANELO: The other night—ah iyong kagabi sa rally?

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Yes, sir. Sir, can this be seen also as a warning of President Duterte to lawmakers to expedite the passage of federalism at saka sa public to accept federalism, or else, there’s a possibility na magkaroon ng giyera sa Pilipinas?

SEC. PANELO: Not really. He’s just relating an incident that happened the night previous. Kinuwento niya lang.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So it’s not like a strategy for federalism to be more palatable or parang the public should see the necessity of having a federalism as soon as possible, kung hindi magkakaroon tayo ng giyera?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman. If you see it that way, if you are a member of Congress, wala tayong magagawa kung iyon ang kanilang tingin.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sa ngayon, sir, wala pa bang directive si President Duterte to lawmakers to expedite the passage of federalism?

SEC. PANELO: Wala. Wala akong …none that I know of.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: As far as you’re concerned, sir, the President will wait for the actions of—

SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala siyang sinasabing ganoon. He says he does not interfere with Congress eh.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: And he will not interfere, iyan iyong sinabi niya, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Eh kasi iyon ang kanilang work eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Secretary, the President talked about forming a panel to discuss the issues of Nur Misuari.


ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Mayroon na po bang mabubuong panel? May members na ba?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa, wala pa. Ano pa lang iyon, suggestion.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: How soon can we create a panel?

SEC. PANELO: Let’s see. As soon as it is created, we will share it with you.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So wala pa ngayon?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER. NET: Sir, on the budget. Senate Majority Leader Mig Zubiri is urging Malacañang to, “exert pressure on the House of Representatives to finally end the impasse on the 2019 National Budget.” While Ako Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin said, the President should issue, “strong pronouncement” to break the budget impasse. You mentioned before sir, that Malacañang will not make any move after Congress leaders failed to reach a consensus—

SEC. PANELO: It won’t.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER. NET:—following their meeting with President Duterte. But you also mentioned in your previous press briefing that the President could always persuade if national interest is at stake. So what’s your take now, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Well, the President is not making any move. His last statement was, ‘solve it on your own.’

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER. NET: But national interest is at stake, sir, since many of the government’s programs are stalled because of this re-enacted budget?

SEC. PANELO: Well, if national interest is concerned, then I suppose every member of Congress knows that, and they have to respond to the needs of the times.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER. NET: Sir, on another issue. The President has terminated the appointment paper of Labor Secretary Bello and four other members of the government peace panel, what does this mean? Is the President no longer interested in pursuing peace talks with the communist rebels?

SEC. PANELO: No, according to General Galvez, new panels will be created.


SEC. PANELO: Localized, with sectoral representatives, local government units and military.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyong kay Chairman Nur. So, this is another set of peace talks?

SEC. PANELO: Yes, in a way, yes. They will be discussing how to solve the lingering rebellion in that part of the archipelago.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyong one billion na shabu na nakita sa … na nahuli sa Muntinlupa and may mga Chinese na mga—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko yata alam iyon; kailan iyan, kahapon?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA 7: Kahapon Sir. 1 billion sir worth of shabu – isa sa isang mall and there is a follow up operation in a subdivision, where they got the remaining shabu. The total is 1 billion sir, Chinese iyong mga suspects. Why are they very comfortable to conduct their operations here, given that we have a very aggressive drug campaign?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know to that, because that’s a question of ‘why are they comfortable’? I don’t even know whether or not they are comfortable or not.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA 7: 1 billion sir, worth of shabu and they have a laboratory here in the subdivision.

SEC. PANELO: We will leave it to the PNP, the PDEA and the AFP.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA 7: Uhm would you..

SEC. PANELO: To confront the problem at hand.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA 7: Any help that we’re getting from China in terms of maybe apprehending their nationals operating here?

SEC. PANELO: Come again?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA 7: Would you consider sir cutting the trees instead of the branches? Meaning, how is China helping us with this problem because they are our friend?

SEC. PANELO: From what I know is, Chinese government and our government are exchanging intelligence information with respect to terrorism and war against drugs and piracy.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA 7: So they’re helping us naman?

SEC. PANELO: Oh yes.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA 7: Okay, sige po.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Okay Sec. Some groups who are against the construction of the Kaliwa Dam are asking ES Medialdea and DFA Secretary Locsin to release the details of the contracts and deals between the MWSS and Chinese companies and; they are convinced that they may have some unfair provisions and could damage the environment – are we ready to release the details of the deal?

SEC. PANELO: Did you request from Executive Secretary?

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: According to the reports here at the… came up with an FOI; it’s a group led by Diokno – Chel.

SEC. PANELO: Then they should formally request for that…. May response na ba, wala pa naman yata.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: But are we willing to disclose the details, para lang..?

SEC. PANELO: I will leave it to the Executive Secretary since the letter is addressed to him. I will not preempt his response.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: But para sa transparency, bukas ba kayo sa paglabas ng info na ‘yun? Because you previously said yung mga Chinese deals, we are open to releasing.

SEC. PANELO: Again, I will not preempt the Executive Secretary, since the letter is addressed to him.


SEC. PANELO: We’ll wait for him..


TINA MENDEZ /PHILIPPINE STAR: Sir, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry appealed to the government observe due process in dealing with the non-compliance issues that related to environmental concerns doon sa Manila Bay rehabilitation…

SEC. PANELO: What do they mean by due process?

TINA MENDEZ /PHILIPPINE STAR: Sir, naaapektuhan daw yung businesses doon sa ano sa ‘arbitrarily closure’ ng mga business establishments, any comment? Naaapektuhan ‘yung mga businesses pagka…

SEC. PANELO: Kasama ba sila dun sa mga non-compliant?

TINA MENDEZ /PHILIPPINE STAR: Sir, ang appeal lang nila while they support it, sana huwag agad-agad isara.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman pupwedeng mag-aantay tayo kung masyadong grabe ang problema ng Manila Bay. After all, if they are non compliant they are the ones who created the mess themselves.


TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: Good Afternoon Sir, hingi lang po nang reaction regarding dun sa comment ni Jose Maria Sison, regarding the cancellation of appointments of the peace panel. According to him: “This just proves that the President has no real interest in the peace process; and two, it’s a tyrannical move brought by his obsession to establish a fascist dictatorship.”

SEC. PANELO:  He read it wrongly. Kaya nga he will be…  There will be creation nga of many panels eh localized eh oh eh, di lalo na ngang pabor sa kanila.


ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: On the creation of peace panel Sir, localized peace panel right, who will be the members?

From sectoral representatives, there will be sectoral representatives, local government units and the military – ‘yung tatlong ‘yon.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  So what would be the procedure?

SEC. PANELO:  Ah hindi ko alam kung ano ‘yung procedure, basta ‘yun ang sinabi ni Secretary Galvez.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Sir, iba pa ito sa Task Force on the localized peace talks – this is different from that?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam yun, I’ll ask him. Kailangan magbigay siya nang..

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Kailan mag-i-start sir?SEC. PANELO:  I’ll have to ask him. Hindi ko alam yung…


HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary may mabigat na pahayag si Senator Panfilo Lacson, sa mga congressman regarding the national budget: “Sa mga kongresista na paulit-ulit sa pagsasabi na vendetta ang aking motibo sa aking pag-atake sa pork barrel nila sa 2019 pambansang budget. Tama po kayo, sukdulang galit na vendetta ko na nga yan, sa mga katulad ninyong ganid at walang kabusugan sa pera ng mamamayang Pilipino.

 SEC. PANELO:  Then they should respond to the statement of Mr. Lacson [laughs]… Why you should be asking us of how they feel or how they will react?

HENRY URI/DZRH: It is because, ang involve po dito ay 2019 national budget.

SEC. PANELO:  Yeah I know, but that’s… the conflict is among themselves, they have to resolve that.

HENRY URI/DZRH: You think may mga ganid at walang kabusugan sa perang mga congressman na nagpapa-delay ng approval ng budget.SEC. PANELO:  As far as Mr. Lacson is concerned. As far as we’re concerned, all of them are honorable men and women of Congress.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  [laughs] Honorable…

SEC. PANELO:  Unless they prove otherwise.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So hindi kayo naniniwala dito sa sinasabi ni Senator Ping?

SEC. PANELO:  We—you know, everyone is entitled to his opinion. If that is his impression, of members of Congress, then we should respect his opinion on them. I do not know what is the opinion of the members of Congress vis-à-vis to him. It’s between them, hindi kami makikialam diyan.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Alright. Thank You.


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