Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador S. Panelo

Event Press Briefing
Location Press Briefing Room, New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

USEC. IGNACIO: Good morning Malacañang Press Corps; Happy Monday. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, good morning sir.

SEC. PANELO: Good morning, MPC.

USEC. IGNACIO: MPC are you ready?

SEC. PANELO: You might be interested. I don’t know if you know this already. I received a text message, I don’t know where it came from, but it seems… it appears that the Congressman from—I don’t know what district he is representing in Mindanao – Davao – Antonio Floirendo, is throwing his hat into the Speakership. So he is vying for the Speakership – that will be for now – as far as I know. I think he will a—because when I received that message, I called him up and he said yes and he said he will issue a statement on the matter.

I’m ready for any question.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary, on the Speakership. Bakit ho importanteng maiparating sa inyo iyong… kung sino man ang—

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Vying for Speakership. What is the implication as far as the Palace is concerned?

SEC. PANELO: I really don’t know, I just received it, I’m just sharing it to you.

HENRY URI/DZRH: The camp of Speaker—

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know where it came from.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Or Congressman Floirendo—

SEC. PANELO: The sender is not registered in my directory.

HENRY URI/DZRH: You think they are soliciting your advice or…?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t think so. You know my phone receives so many kinds of messages coming from I don’t know where. Others I know, others I don’t.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero ang Palasyo ba ay maipapangakong hindi sasawsaw sa—

SEC. PANELO: The Palace has never intrudes into the other branches, you know that for now.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So walang minamanok ang Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte dito sa Speakership?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, he never does that. He allows everybody to seek whatever position they want and let the constituency of that class decide.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Another question, Secretary. According to Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin of DFA, America is our only military ally. Iyon din po ba ang paniniwala ng Palasyo?

SEC. PANELO: Perhaps he said that on the basis of military agreements between the two countries.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero as far as the conflict at the West Philippine Sea is concerned—

SEC. PANELO: As far as what?

HENRY URI/DZRH: Iyong kumplikasyon ho sa West Philippine Sea.

SEC. PANELO: Conflict?

HENRY URI/DZRH: Conflict, yeah.

SEC. PANELO: What conflict?

HENRY URI/DZRH: Iyong dispute between the Philippine and the Chinese government when it comes to the West Philippine Sea issue?

SEC. PANELO: Well, as you recall State Secretary Pompeo when he visited here said the US has our back with respect to the conflict in South China Sea.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So, naniniwala po kayo roon?

SEC. PANELO: Yes, if he says so – Pompeo. Now, whether they will be true to their words, it’s another thing. But we rely on the commitment of our friends.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Sir, reports came out this morning saying that Maynilad has agreed to drop the arbitral case it filed against the government.

SEC. PANELO: I have not heard of that yet. I have not received any info on that.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: But, if it’s true, what’s the status of your earlier announcement saying that—I mean, what’s the status of efforts to prosecute as you mentioned before officials including likely Maynilad officials who were behind that contract?

SEC. PANELO: We will wait for the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice on that.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Tuloy pa rin po iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Regardless if the case has been dropped?

SEC. PANELO: With respect—no, you are referring to the present contract?

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: No, no, the deal which lead to the arbitration.

SEC. PANELO: I think that’s another agreement or contract. I mentioned the one entered during the Ramos administration.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: And you said that the officials involved in that deal will be prosecuted.

SEC. PANELO: They could be prosecuted, depending on their participation.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: So, it’s the same deal, actually, sir, involving the arbitration—

SEC. PANELO: But that’s a finished deal, there has already been—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: They are dropping the case filed against the government, sir, bale. So kung drinop iyon, what I’m asking is will you still follow through doon sa plans to prosecute whoever what behind that?

SEC. PANELO: I think so, yes. Because if a crime has been committed, then we should prosecute regardless of whether the parties involved have withdrawn. Just like when you commit a crime of theft, you return the money, but you can still be prosecuted.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: In relation to that, sir. Can you give us the context really of the President’s threat to declare a revolutionary government? Because he said it, it would appear doon sa frustration niya doon sa word of caution from Senator Drilon. Yet your earlier statement today you said na it’s a… iba iyong context.

SEC. PANELO: Yes. I would refer to your statement that is why I precisely issued a statement so that all questions relative to it would be appropriately responded to. It’s all there.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: So what is it really, ano iyong context. Why did he issue the threat?

SEC. PANELO: I told you already. In my statement, I said, it’s a frustration and at the same time notice to all transgressors of the law that the President will not be sitting idly and watch their transgressions. The Constitution is a dynamic instrument, I don’t think the framers of the Constitution has chained this President or any president for that matter to respond to any exigency that puts the interest of the general public in jeopardy or put the nation in peril.

INA NADOLONG/CNN PHILS.: When he said that sir, he was expressing of his frustration over iyong kay Senator Drilon nga—

SEC. PANELO: No. Maybe that was only a trigger among the series of problems that confronted him.

INA NADOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Kasama iyon, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Parang ganoon na nga.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, what could be the possible crimes committed by those individuals behind the Maynilad contract?

SEC. PANELO: What possible crime?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Yeah, you mentioned crimes.

SEC. PANELO: I will not preempt the Department of Justice on that, it’s their turf. I would respectfully request you to address the same to the Secretary of Justice.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, regarding po doon sa contract with Maynilad. Ibig sabihin hindi po applicable sa kanila iyong renegotiation if in case drinop nga nila—

SEC. PANELO: If they have withdrawn, so there is no renegotiation. If you say they have withdrawn from the… they’re dropping the case?

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Yes, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Then, if it’s dropped then there is no need to talk anything about the same, except for those who entered into a contract that could be a violation of the law.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: For example, sir, i–atras din po nila iyong pinababayarang losses sa gobyerno. So tuloy pa rin po iyong prosecution doon po sa mga involved and—

SEC. PANELO: If there is any wrongdoing, that is why I said I will leave it to the Department of Justice if there was an act that could be deemed to be a violation of any law in entering into that contract.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, iyong possibility ng pagpapanagot. Ano po iyong highest rank ng official, Cabinet rank or kahit po ba is former President Ramos puwedeng ma-implicate—

SEC. PANELO: Again, I will leave that to the Secretary of Justice.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Quick follow up. Sir, what would prompt the President to declare a revolutionary government?

SEC. PANELO: I gave you the series of—no, as I said, it was more of an exasperated expression. And again I will repeat, to put on notice the transgressors that he will not just idly and watch them do their illegal things.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: But he is not going to actually do it? Is that really on his mind?

SEC. PANELO: The Constitution provides many mechanisms by which he can use. It’s a dynamic Constitution, it’s a living instrument.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: As for having a revolutionary government, what would be his grounds if ever?

SEC. PANELO: He’s a lawyer, he should know.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, last Saturday, nagalit si President Duterte on the PCIJ report regarding their supposedly unexplained wealth. Pero sabi ng PCIJ, that instead of losing his cool, President Duterte should instead explain the source of their wealth. And also, Ma’am Malou Mangahas said that the PCIJ has requested many times for the side of President Duterte and that they should blame a staff, including you, for failing to attend to their request of letters over the last five months.

SEC. PANELO: Well, I responded to their letter. I referred the matter to the Office of the Executive Secretary, and the Office of the Special Assistant to the President.

Now, with respect to the wealth being referred to, they have been properly declared as admitted by the … that group. What is prohibited is when you do not declare your assets. But he has declared them, so what’s the hullabaloo.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Iyong law firm, sir, hindi diniclare sa SALN.

SEC. PANELO: What law firm?

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Not the law firm of Mans Carpio?

Q: [OFF MIC] …the PCIJ report said, President Duterte was a partner in another law firm—

SEC. PANELO: Eh baka noon pa iyon. Baka iyong partnership, it is no longer existing during the time of his presidency, how can he declare that?

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So, as far as the Palace is concerned, sir, there is no need for the Dutertes to respond to the request of the PCIJ? They don’t need to explain anything kasi everything is in the SALN, tama ba?

SEC. PANELO: Kung hindi niya diniclare, that’s the time you should be explaining, and you should be prosecuted for not putting that in the SALN.

He already explained it. He said, whatever money he has, it came from the mother who is very active when she was still alive.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, there is no need for the President or anyone from the Duterte family to declare their … iyong doon sa law firm in their SALN, tama ba?

SEC. PANELO: Which one, iyong law firm?

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Yes, sir.

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about the law firm. Because if that law firm was established during the time when he was a practicing lawyer, eh matagal na matagal na iyon. Baka non-existent na iyon.

INA ANDALONG/CNN PHIL: Sir, ang isa sa pinu-point out po kasi doon sa PCIJ is what seems to be iyong growth ng assets, hindi po yata angkop doon sa earnings of the Dutertes in the 10-year period considering that their earnings are only from their work as local officials.

SEC. PANELO: But it’s not only coming from their work, ‘di ba. They have businesses. Like Ms. Honeylet Avanceña, she has plenty of businesses.

INA ANDALONG/CNN PHIL: She’s not included there, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Not included.

INA ANDALONG/CNN PHIL: Iyong sa SALN, wala naman pong inano sa SALN niya.

SEC. PANELO: I think that should—the question should be directed to the Mayor of Davao with respect whatever wealth she has, or to the husband or to the brother. They may have some businesses. What is important, as I said, they have declared that. What is prohibited under the law is that when you have certain properties and you don’t declare them when you become public officials.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Hi, sir. Good morning. Sir, I understand, you already released a statement about this earlier, but just so we hear directly from you, may we know how you feel about the resolution filed by the five US senators condemning the Philippines kasi up until now daw ay naka-detain pa rin iyong the likes of Senator Leila De Lima who is “a human right defender”.

SEC. PANELO: Well, as I have said, I issued a statement on that, it’s an outrageous intrusion into our sovereignty. They have no business dictating on us on what we are going to do with suspected criminals in this country.

All the issues they have raised from Ressa and De Lima have been properly answered. The rule of law was followed relative to their cases. The judicial courts have found probable cause that’s why they’re facing trial now.

And with respect to the extrajudicial killings, we have already responded to that too. We said that this is the result of police enforcement people defending themselves against the lethal violence inflicted on them by the members of the illegal drug industry; or is a result of rivalry among the members of the syndicate – botched deals and even swindling among themselves; as well as preempted protective measures so that they will not be prosecuted when they are being pointed at by surrenderees. It’s not state-initiated nor state-sponsored.

Apparently, these senators have been fed with false narratives on these issues, and naively believed hook line and sinker.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Pero, sir, despite all the explanations given by Malacañang and other government officials, it seems that some of the foreign officials don’t hear you. What seems to be the problem? Is this parang anong sinasabi nito when it comes doon sa pagiging effective nung messaging, sir?

SEC. PANELO: It only means one thing: They don’t want this administration, if they are not listening to the explanation. Because their attitude should be – if they want to know what is happening in this country – is to send someone to have an independent probe, or write us formally so that the government can respond properly to whatever issues or questions they want to be answered.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: When you said they don’t like this administration, what do you mean by that, sir? Bakit ayaw nila?

SEC. PANELO: Because they believe in what the opposition or the critics say. And as we know, the Americans are known to be, known to be protector of violation of human rights, even if history shows that, as the President says, they’re violators of the same.

GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN: Sir, you’re saying, the government is open to a probe by the US Senate?

SEC. PANELO: Well, they can do it silently. I mean, Senate of the what?

GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN: US Senate.

SEC. PANELO: Of the senators themselves, if they really want to find out; because if I were a US senator, I would probably do some probing myself. I’m sure they have friends in the Philippines; friends in the media who are objective, not biased; people like you who are very objective, sometimes. [laughs]

In other words, there are many ways of finding out the truth or the falsity of whatever narrative they receive in the US.

GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN: So, sir, they are welcome to visit the country and look into these cases?

SEC. PANELO: Well, as I said, they can do it silently, by just communicating … by just writing us on a particular issue and we will respond, we can send them documents.

GENALYN KABILING/MANILA BULLETIN: So for now, sir, you are not considering a diplomatic protest against these senators?

SEC. PANELO: Well, I leave that to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. But by just making a statement about that it is already protesting on their intrusion. They have no business—they have enough problems for themselves, they have to focus on that.

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: Sir, good afternoon po. Sir, reaction lang po. Yesterday, Joma Sison posted a long narrative on his website. He claimed that the President has full control of the Comelec and the military. And unless he rigs the coming May elections, majority of his candidates daw po will not win because they are burdened by—majority of his candidates like Imee Marcos, Bong Go and Bato Dela Rosa are bound to lose.

SEC. PANELO: I used to admire the man when I was a student. But I think Joma Sison, as a failed revolutionary, has lost his influence among even his own people in the communist movement. And I said – I think twice already, about his rants – apart from saying they are psychology-challenged, they do not deserve a response from this government.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Secretary, sabi ni Presidente, gusto niyang ipa-suspend muna iyong Motorcycle Crime Prevention Law.

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Apparently, mayroon siyang mga reservations about some provisions nung batas. Pero bakit niya pinirmahan iyon sa kabila ng mga questionable na provisions o iyong mga magtutukoy doon sa safety nung mga drivers?

SEC. PANELO: Well, perhaps – as pointed out by Senator Gordon – he must had been misled into believing that the putting of … that plaka, iyong plate, will endanger the rider. When in fact, he said, it’s not even a plaka; it’s a decal, a sticker. So iyong fear na baka tumama sa mukha, baseless pala iyon; not grounded on correct assumption.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Therefore …

SEC. PANELO: Siguro, hindi ba supposed to be sabi ni Presidente kakausapin niya si Senator Gordon. Siguro kapag nag-usap sila baka masabi ni Senator Gordon kung ano ang nasasaloobin niya.

Kasi if it’s just a sticker, and the fear is, it might endanger … how can a sticker—if you look at the scooter, the motorcycle, ‘di ba mayroon doon puwede mong ilagay iyong sticker eh. So it will not endanger.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Alam na ng Presidente itong sinasabi ninyo, Sec? Iyong sinasabi ninyong baka na-mislead about iyong—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, iyan ang sinasabi ni… that’s what I read now. Hindi ko pa alam kung nabasa na ni Presidente.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So are you saying na kapag nalaman niya iyong sinabi ni Senator Gordon ay may possibility na i-withdraw na niya iyong sinasabi niyang suspension?

SEC. PANELO: It’s his call.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: It’s his call whether to—

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, it’s his call. Kung totoo nga iyong sinasabi ni Senator Gordon, eh di iyong the basis—kasi ang basis niya is, sinasabi ng mga kumukontra, makakadisgrasya. Eh kung sinasabi naman ni Gordon, “Paano makakadisgrasya kung sticker?” Hindi lilipad.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So kanino niya nalaman iyon, iyong statement na iyon, iyong apparently—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam. That’s why I said, hindi ko pa alam kung alam na niya iyong sinasabi ni Senator Gordon. So kung mag-uusap sila, oh di malalaman niya.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Ganito na lang, Sec.. As legal adviser of the President, will you advise him to… ituloy niya iyong kaniyang proposal to suspend, given iyong mga sinabi ni Senator Gordon?

SEC. PANELO: When my advice is sought, I will give it. There is no request for an advice. And I’d rather let the President decide on the basis of their conversation with Senator Gordon.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So last na lang. So hindi pa po final iyong call ni President na i-suspend iyong motorcycle …

SEC. PANELO: There’s an order to suspend. Whether or not it will continue will have to depend on the President.

JAM SISANTE/GMA7: Sir, clarification lang. The law clearly says na regular plate number po iyong ilalagay doon sa harapan. So when the President—

SEC. PANELO: Decal daw ang sabi ni Gordon, I haven’t seen the—

JAM SISANTE/GMA7: Yeah, sir, but the law does not state na decal. It says, plate number tapos iyong definition – the regular plate that’s being issued—

SEC. PANELO: Eh iyong sa IRR. Baka naman doon sa implementing rules and regulation nakalagay sticker, decal.

JAM SISANTE/GMA7: Wala pa rin kasi, sir, na IRR. So when the President signed it, iyon iyong impression na talagang regular plate number nga po talaga. So did he, at that time, agree na tama pong ganoon nga dapat iyong ilagay sa mga motorcycles?

SEC. PANELO: I think you should ask Senator Gordon what was the basis of his statement that it’s decal/sticker, not plate. Kasi naman, baka naman ang ibig niyang sabihin, kung plate, hindi naman ibig sabihin iyong tin plate. ‘Di ba? Puwede rin naman kasing decal or sticker iyong eh, ganoon pa rin, the same purpose.

The purpose is, mayroong ID roon na nakikita ng mga tao. Papunta ka pa lang, alam na kaagad, bago mo ma-commit ang crime.

JAM SISANTE/GMA7: Sir, may schedule na po ba for the meeting between the President and Senator Gordon?

SEC. PANELO: Wala naman. ‘Di ba sinabi niya sa speech niya, I’ll talk with the Senator. So wala pa.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, just one follow up. Clarification lang, sir. As the legal adviser of the President, is it really possible to suspend a law na nilagdaan na ni Presidente? Because that’s the point of Senator Richard Gordon na parang hindi na puwedeng i-suspend kasi batas na siya, unless i-amend mo talaga.

SEC. PANELO: Eh baka lang ibig sabihin ni Presidente, “Teka muna, tingnan muna, baka naman delikado iyan. Tingnan mo nga kung totoo iyong mga fears.” And then kung delikado nga, then he will ask Congress to amend it. Iyon lang ang ibig sabihin noon.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Meaning, hindi talaga suspension but, technically, to amend it nga?

SEC. PANELO: Siguro iyon ang ibig niyang sabihin. Kasi why should you be pursuing a law which you feel and to be something dangerous when it is implemented? Talagang hindi mo … you will ask Congress to amend it immediately.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: So ano, sir, iyong pinaka-status ngayon ng batas: Is it up for review or—

SEC. PANELO: Firstly, you cannot implement that without the implementing rules and regulations. So kaya siguro iyon ang ibig sabihin ng Presidente, “Tingnan ninyo muna nang mabuti.”

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Tingnan mabuti para sa paglalatag ng IRR, okay na?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, para malaman natin kung totoo o hindi iyong fears ninyo o hindi.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So, Sec., so ibig sabihin, iyong mga concerns ng mga motorcycle groups, puwede iyon i-cure or i-address through the IRR?

SEC. PANELO: Certainly.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So if that’s the case, hindi na kailangang i-amend?

SEC. PANELO: Kung okay na sa kanila iyon eh, there’s no more danger.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Although nasa batas iyong penalties plus nakalagay doon sa provision – regular plate—

SEC. PANELO: Kasi ang fear nila, ‘di ba, iyon ang nirereklamo nila. Kapag naglagay ka ng plaka doon, kapag lumipad pa iyon, tamaan pa mukha namin. Eh kung wala naman—if that is only the basis, and puwede naman pa lang gawan ng paraan na hindi by just putting a sticker there, oh di wala nang basis for—

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Kasi nakalagay sa batas, regular plate. Ang common understanding ng regular plate, iyong tin. Wala namang regular plate na sticker.

SEC. PANELO: That’s why, puwede naman sa IRR na regular plate here refers to.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Ah, okay. So they could put in the definition sa IRR na it could refer to a decal?

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Sir, pero I understand, naka-sulat na iyong fines. Isa sa pinu-point out ni President Duterte, he also thinks that the 50 to 100,000 peso fine for violating the law is too high. So nakasaad na doon iyong 50 to 100, and he wants it lower to 10 to 50.

SEC. PANELO: The Congress can always amend and reduce the penalty.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: So the end goal after the suspension is a possible amendment of the law?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, with respect to provisions that are being reacted against.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Okay. So it’s not as simple as dadaanin doon sa IRR iyong changes, if any nga—

SEC. PANELO: Oo, pero ang pinakamatinding opposition is there’s a danger that it brings to the rider. Not so much on the penalty kasi kung ang penalty mong iyan, sino pa ang hindi susunod sa batas?

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: He mentioned both, sir.

SEC. PANELO: What I’m saying is, kung naayos mo na iyong basis ng danger, I don’t think a rider would still violate it and risk paying a thousand [peso] fine, ‘di ba?

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, just to clarify again. Ibig sabihin, puwedeng parehas gawin: i-fix iyong danger sa IRR, at the same time, ma-amend regarding doon sa penalty issue.

SEC. PANELO: Oo.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: So both?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, puwede lahat iyon. Mayroong bang imprisonment doon sa batas? Mayroon ba? Chris may imprisonment?
ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Pero, Sec, ito ano iyong prepared mode ng Palasyo to address that – cure na lang through the IRR or amend the law?

SEC. PANELO: Depende sa rekomendasyon iyan ng LTO. Siyempre the LTO will have to make its recommendation; Senator Gordon will also … may be a suggestion.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Although mas madali siguro iyong IRR, Sec. Kasi kung amendment legislative process na naman iyon.

SEC. PANELO: Matagal pa.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: Opo. So wala kayong preference pa?

SEC. PANELO: Kung ano iyong mabilis.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR: IRR na lang, Sec?

SEC. PANELO: Oo, eh kung puwede mo nang i-cure iyong danger… na sinasabi nilang danger na wala naman.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary, iyong batas ay ginawa para labanan ang kriminalidad, tama ho ba?

SEC. PANELO: Obviously.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero, alin ho ba ang mas matimbang – iyong kapakanan nung mga riders na magaganda ang motor o doon sa sigaw ng mga biktima ng krimen na napatay at ang pumatay ay ang mga riding-in-tandem?

SEC. PANELO: Both. Hindi naman puwedeng sabihin na mo na… eh kung it will also bring—kasi iyong mga riding-in-tandem hindi naman… out of 100,000 riders, hindi naman 100,000 riders di ba? Baka a few percent lang doon. So depende, depende pa rin iyon. Both, ke interest ng riders, as well as iyong interest nung publiko.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So, anong win-win solution doon ng Palasyo.

SEC. PANELO: Di ba sinagot na nga natin kanina iyong win-win solution. Kung ang danger ay ito ay puwede namang gamutin doon sa IRR, di gamutin natin; at iyon naman sa 100,000 kung malaki ang penalty, I don’t think anybody will still violate, eh wala naman palang danger, iyon lang naman nag konokontra nila eh.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero ang Pangulo ho ba ay meron ding gagawing pakikipag-usap sa PNP regarding this matter?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba sabi ko na nga kanina, aantayin niya iyong rekomendasyon ng LTO. Kasi iyong PNP tapos na iyon eh, meron nang rekomendasyon. Kaya nga nagkaroon ng batas na ganyan, dahil I’m sure isa iyan sa mga factor na kinonsider nila Senator Gordon. So lahat iyon kasama na iyon. Pero what’s your point ba?

HENRY URI/DZRH: I think ang unang suggestion ng PNP is iyong harap at likod na malaki—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman mawawala iyong harap at likod, ang pinag-uusapan lang iyong harap baka tumapon iyong plate sa mukha, kasi tin plate iyon, bakal… may pagkabakal iyon eh. Kung sinasabi naman ni Senator Gordon na hindi, sticker iyon eh. Sabi naman ninyo, hindi wala namang sinasabi, puwede naman sa IRR din iyon. So, wala nang danger.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero, I think ang sabi ng Presidente sa speech niya doon sa likod na lang, lalakihan na lang.

SEC. PANELO: Kasi nga, ang kulit eh.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So wala na iyong sa PNP recommendations—

SEC. PANELO: Kasi nga iyong danger nung harap na baka lumipad, eh hindi… sinasabi nga ni Senator Gordon, hindi nga lilipad, dahil sticker puwede, oh di wala nang danger. Kasi iyon naman ang pinaggigiitan nung mga komukontra – ‘paano kung tumama sa mukha namin?’ Oh hindi ba.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, iyon nga po. The problem really is it was the President who signed the law. So does that mean hindi niya in-examine, he did not study the law well?

SEC. PANELO: Eh kung sinasabi ninyo na nga—hindi ba sabi ninyo kanina, doon sa provision, wala naman sinasabing sticker doon. Eh di kung sinabi mo regular plate, eh tama iyong fear, hindi ba?

Q: Sir, baka hindi niya nakita, sir?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean hindi niya nakita? He signed it, kasi iyong batas na iyon for protection ng general public, iyon ang underlying basis niya for signing that. Since may mga motoristang nagreklamo, on the basis of that provision, oh di ang feeling ni Presidente, baka nga naman. Eh i-suspinde muna natin, pag-aralan muna natin.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, pero bakit ngayon lang narinig iyong reklamo, hindi ba—parang walang consultations with them before this law was crafted?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t think so. Di ba every time a law is passed, merong tinatawag na hearing – those who want to hear or to express their opinion on the pending bill. Dumating sila.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Is it not because maybe its election season kaya pinagbibigyan, hindi ba ganoon?

SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely—si Presidente pa, si Presidente wala iyon—ang Presidente natin palaging iniisip iyong kaligtasan ng mga kababayan natin at pagsilbihan sila.

ARGYLL GEDUCOS/MANILA BULLETIN: Sir, you mentioned na the President signed it for the protection of the general welfare. Pero sabi rin po niya sa speech niya nung Saturday is he doesn’t think the law will make much difference, because he said criminals have already perfected the art of falsifying and fabrication. So, ano po ba talaga ang pananaw ng Presidente dito?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ang sinasabi lang ni Presidente, ang gagaling natin, pero mukhang gumagaling din itong mga criminal. So subukan muna natin, kung hindi mag-succeed, kung nandoon pa rin iyong riding-in-tandem, oh di panibago na naman tayong… let’s craft another law to respond to that situation.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Sir, reaction lang. Iyon Office of the Solicitor General they decided to reject the compensation for the Marcos victims through the sale of the Marcos paintings, they are saying that it will be disadvantageous to the government. How is it going to be disadvantageous to the government?

SEC. PANELO: I think you should address that to the Office of the Solicitor General. We do not know yet the whys and the wherefores of his decision. I intend to ask him in fact. I wanted to call him. I was anticipating you will be asking that question.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Can we ask for a feedback, sir, within the day?

SEC. PANELO: I will issue a statement.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Sir, over the weekend, the President also talked about a possible military takeover in NAIA. Ano po ba ang mga lapses ng NAIA na nakikita niya ngayon? Because he said he will order the military to take over, unless mag-improve iyong operations. What specifically does he want to see improved?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about that. I will have to ask the President regarding that.

JAM SISANTE/GMA7: Sir, hihingi lang po ng update doon sa sinabi last week na meron pong mga sisibakin na officials this week. Will that push through and can you confirm—

SEC. PANELO: Yes, he said so last night, I think last night. Was that last night’s speech? He said when he comes back in Manila he will fire some officials.

JAM SISANTE/GMA7: Can you tell us, sir, kung MWSS?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi natin alam, he didn’t say so. Let’s just wait for his announcement.

JAM SISANTE: Sorry sir. May pahabol lang last na, doon sa PCIJ lang na patanong. Meron pong sinabi si President din na parang what we earned outside is none of your business actually, kung ano iyong mga negosyo namin, law office namin. Sir, isn’t this against iyong point nga ng SALN na that you should declare what you earned, your business interest even outside what you earned as a public official—

SEC. PANELO: Dineclare niya nga eh, ‘di ba sabi ko. Ang violation is when you do not declare. Sinasabi nga ng Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism dineclare, gusto lang nilang malaman saan galing, di ba. Eh hindi naman violation iyong hindi mo sinabi kung saan galing; ang violation iyong hindi mo dineclare.

JAM SISANTE/GMA7: But iyong law firm, sir, hindi niya dineclare and then why would he make that statement?

SEC. PANELO: Iyong law firm sinagot ko na iyan eh. Iyong law firm tingnan natin kung existing pa ngayon iyan. Kasi he can only join a law firm if he was a practicing lawyer at that time. He could not be joining a law firm when he was a prosecutor, a vice mayor, a mayor and Congressman or a president. So, hindi natin alam exactly ano iyon.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, sorry pahabol din po. Kasi po may lumabas na naman pong isang narco-video iyong alias Bikoy and this time ini-implicate naman po si dating Special Assistant to the President Bong Go na meron din daw pong katulad na tattoo sa likod. So, reaction po ng Palace regarding this?

SEC. PANELO: Sabi nga natin eh, di ba sinabi ko na, that’s pure and simple black propaganda. It’s so easy to write a story and do a movie or video out of that, madaling gawin lahat iyon eh. Eh kung totoo iyon, di sana nag-file na sila ng mga charges. Wala naman silang pina-file. So ibig sabihin, hindi totoo.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Pero, sir, di ba madali lang pong magpakita ng likod kung meron ngang ganoong tattoo. Would you suggest them to show their backs if indeed they have tattoos?

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo ang—one who alleges must prove. Kung totoo iyong sinasabi nila, di ipakita sa taumbayan ang totoo.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: I mean, sir, kasi sabi sa video, kung ipapakita nila—

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo hindi papatulan iyon, sinabi na nga ni Mayor Sara. Mag-file kayo ng charges kung totoo iyong sinasabi ninyo. Ganundin ang sinasabi ni dating Vice Mayor, madaling gumawa ng istorya.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So, the government will just let these people do these things?

SEC. PANELO: Eh wala naman naniniwala sa kanila eh. You know, just look at the survey. Kung totoo lahat ng paninirang ginagawa nila sa pamilyang ito, bumagsak na iyang rating ni Presidente. Eh hindi bumabagsak, ibig sabihin hindi sila pinaniniwalaan. They keep on trying but ganundin, like other black propaganda it is deemed to fail, because no false narratives against this family will ever succeed. Truth will always prevail.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay, thank you. Thank you, MPC. Thank you, Secretary Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

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SOURCE: PCOO – NIB (News Information Bureau)

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