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:  Hello MPC, magandang umaga. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO:  Magandang tanghali po sa inyong lahat, MPC.

VANZ FERNANDEZ/POLICE FILES:  Hi sir, good afternoon. Did the President already look on to the 2019 National Budget?

SEC. PANELO:  Pinag-aaralan niya.

VANZ FERNANDEZ/POLICE FILES:  Until now, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Kinalendar na, pero mukhang pinag-aaralan pa. Eh baka after Holy Week.

VANZ FERNANDEZ/POLICE FILES:  After Holy Week, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi. Kasi naka-calendar, tapos tinanggal sa calendar ‘di… puwede ring ibalik hindi ba? Lahat naman ng schedule niya subject to change without prior notice.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Pero sir, iyong sinabi ninyo po na maybe after the Holy Week, is that like a hunch lang or may mataas na probability?

SEC. PANELO:  Baka mataas ang probability, kasi ini-schedule ng—this week ‘di ba.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And the reason for that is—

SEC. PANELO:  Eh baka may pinag-aaralan pa.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Would you know—

SEC. PANELO:  No, I haven’t talked to him. Nasa ano siya eh, ngayon yata ang dating niya eh. I’ll ask him.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Iyon muna, sir.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WOLD:  So this Holy Week sir, saan si Presidente?

SEC. PANELO:  Sa bahay.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WOLD:  Ah, okay. Monday, Monday where is he?

SEC. PANELO:  Dito siya, may schedule yata siya rito eh. Mayroon siyang campaign rally I think.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WOLD:  We are not sure kung kasali doon iyong ceremonial signing?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, kasi tinanggal nga nila sa schedule eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Pero Sec., ano iyong likelihood na mapipirmahan before the Holy Week?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi natin malaman eh—

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Ano iyong chances?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam. Actually, hindi ko alam.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Slim ba o—

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t want to speculate or guess. I will ask him when I see him.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Pero for now, ini-scrutinize pa niya iyong 2019 Budget?

SEC. PANELO:  Most likely.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Okay. Salamat po.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Hi, good afternoon sir. Sir, sabi ng US State Department, ang Pilipinas daw po ay isa sa mga bansang may high risk of incidence of kidnapping given—iyong kay Allan Fajardo sir ‘di ba, broad daylight, pinasok sa loob ng hotel sa Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Ano po iyong ginagawa ng gobyerno para mapigilan itong mga ganitong insidente? 

SEC. PANELO:  Well, iyong PNP naman natin at saka lahat ng military palagi silang on alert; mayroon silang mga intelligence surveillance. Pero somehow, may makakalusot at makakalusot. It happens to every country. 

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  So ano po iyong garantiya ng mga mamamayan na sa kanilang kaligtasan o seguridad kung iyong nangyari nga po kay Allan Fajardo ‘di ba?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh, but the—

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Iyong—parang masyadong ano eh—

SEC. PANELO:  But that’s an isolated incident given the hundred—how many Filipinos? 105? Ano lang iyon, isolated. There must be a determined kidnapper.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Ano po iyong—may report ba iyong PNP tungkol dito na nai-submit sa—kasi naging viral iyong video eh.

SEC. PANELO:  If there is any, I have not received that report. But I’m sure there will be a report forthcoming or has already been submitted.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Thank you, sir.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Sir, may lumabas na SWS survey na very good pa rin daw iyong net satisfaction na rating ni Presidente. Where can we attribute that, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Where what?

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Where can we attribute that?

SEC. PANELO:  O, eh ‘di sa kaniyang ginagawa. Ang problema kasi, ang naha-highlight sa media, sa mga reports whether television, radio at newspaper, ang naha-highlight iyong problema sa China, iyong negative ba. Pero iyong mga achievements niya hindi nakikita, eh ang dami-daming achievements ni Presidente – iyon ang reason. And if you noticed the more he is maligned, the more he gets a higher rating. Hindi naniniwala ang tao kasi sa mga bumabatikos sa kaniya. Nakikita nila iyong paglilingkod ng Presidente, matapat, masipag, walang sinisino, naka-focus lang siya sa kaniyang goal – and that is to serve and to protect the nation and the country. 

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  You think sir, mayroon din itong impluwensiya kung bakit doon din sa recent survey ng senatorial, more on admin iyong pasok doon sa mga nasa taas ng ranks? 

SEC. PANELO:  Most likely, since kung naniniwala sila kay Presidente, iyong ini-endorse niya eh iyon din ang pinaniniwalaan ng mga botante.

Q:  Sir, sabi ninyo po kahapon na Palace will give reasonable time sa China to respond doon sa diplomatic protests doon sa Pag-asa Island. How many days/months are we talking about iyong reasonable time?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh siguro days lang naman, kasi siyempre when you deliver a note verbale or a protest, siyempre they will have to study also what will be the response.

Q:  May initial response po ba si—like si Ambassador Zhao or any official from China?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala pa, wala pa. Mayroon siyang—may nakita akong missed call sa kaniya, pero hindi ko natanggap kasi ang dami—

Q:  Kailan ‘yan, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Kahapon, ang dami kong meeting eh hindi ko—nakita ko lang.

Q:  Hindi po kayo sir nag-return call?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi pa ako nagre-return call, kanina ko lang nakita.

Q:  Return call tayo, sir.

SEC. PANELO:   Wala ba kayong access kay Ambassador Zhao?

MPC:  Wala.

SEC. PANELO:  Bakit? You mean to tell me, he does not entertain questions? 

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, other matters.

SEC. PANELO: Oo nga pala. Let me commend GMA 7, as compared to ABS-CBN.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, by the way—

SEC. PANELO: Teka muna, I watched both news eh. Iyong ABS-CBN, ang kantiyaw nila eh, “Oh, bigla kayong tumapang.” Kumbaga, nangangatiyaw pa. May ginawa ka na nga, kantiyaw pa. Pero iyong GMA 7, sinabi niya kaya ganoon ang sinabi ko – na mas matindi nga kaysa noon – kasi… sinabi nila iyong sinabi ko, ‘kasi calibrated response.’ Kumbaga, studied-response, titingnan mo muna, iba-validate mo muna. In-announce nila iyon. Kaya sabi nung nanunood, “Buti pa iyong GMA 7 sinasabi iyong mga sinabi mo. Ini-expound nila, hindi iyong kantiyaw kaagad.” Iyon ang sinasabi natin.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, on the PSA survey. Sir, how much is your daily budget, monthly budget? Kayo, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Who?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: To live—kayo, sir, monthly budget ninyo?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam eh. Hindi ako ang …

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Misis ninyo ang nag…

SEC. PANELO: Wala akong idea. Eh ako konti lang kasi tatatlo lang kami sa bahay eh – si Doktora at saka si Doktor, iyong anak ko hindi pa rin kumakain. Eh ako rin, hindi rin ako kumakain ng umaga, kaya siguro konti lang.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, would that be somewhere around 10,481?

SEC. PANELO: I have no idea, actually.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. Anyway, so the PSA said that for a family of five, you need P10,481 to live, maybe, a comfortable—

SEC. PANELO: But I’m sure pinag-aralan nila iyon, ‘di ba. I’m sure tinanong nila iyong mga respondents sa survey, tapos nakuha nila iyong average. Iyon siguro iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You think that’s realistic?

SEC. PANELO: Eh ako naman, I will leave it to them kasi sila ang nag-conduct ng survey; sila ang nag-aral. Eh tayo, nandito naman, wala tayong alam doon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So you have no opinion whether it’s realistic or not—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko nga alam eh. I have to—mahirap mag-guess, mag-speculate.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Family of five, sir, ten thousand plus lang.

SEC. PANELO: Ang alin?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Family of five, ten thousand plus a month.

SEC. PANELO: A month?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So if you divide it by 30 days …

SEC. PANELO: Magiging magkano a day? Ano bang paliwanag nila doon? Did you ask them? Have you asked them, anong paliwanag nila?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Three hundred forty-nine pesos, sir, a day for a family of five. What do you think?

SEC. PANELO: Family of five?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Oo. Three hundred forty-one lang ang budget ha, araw-araw.

SEC. PANELO: Three hundred forty-one. Magkano ba ang bigas?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Forty-two pesos o… ipagpalagay nang 30.

SEC. PANELO: Eh hindi naman—gusto mong sabihin, isang kilong bigas ang lulutuin mo sa isang araw?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Lima kayo, sir, ha. Realistic kaya iyan? Mukhang ano…

SEC. PANELO: Magkano ba ang pandesal?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Hindi ako nagbi-breakfast, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Pandesal na binili ko noong isang araw, three fifty. Pati ako na-shock, three fifty?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So sir, iyong 349 a day, do you think a family of five can live on P349 a day?

SEC. PANELO: Depende siguro eh. Depende sa lifestyle nung kumakain. Kasi kapag tanungin mo iyon mahirap, sabihin niya, asin lang. Magdidildil kami ng asin, nakakakain na kami.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And that’s okay?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi nga, hindi okay siyempre iyon. What I’m saying is depende siguro. Kaya hindi natin alam kung ano iyong basis nung study nila. Sino ba ang tinanong nila? Ano bang level ng society? Eh kung kay Joseph Morong iyan, hindi uubra iyang 349 a day. Eh baka isang lunch niya lang iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Hindi naman, sir. Matipid naman ako.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, just back on China. The President will be attending the Belt and Road Forum next week. Do we expect the President to raise the issue on the presence of Chinese vessels near the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island?

SEC. PANELO: Baka lumabas iyon sa usapan. Baka naman sila na mismo ang sumagot doon. Kasi ‘di ba ni-raise na nga natin eh. Hindi ba.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NETPero will they be having a bilateral meeting?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, definitely. Always we have naman.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: So one of the issues to be raised will be the presence of Chinese vessels in—

SEC. PANELO:  I do not know if he will raise that. My educated guess is since we have already raised that, they may respond to that during the bilateral talk.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, what does the government expect from China after we filed our diplomatic protest since—

SEC. PANELO: They will have to respond to our protest.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Yes, sir. Because previously, the government, according to the DFA, has filed several diplomatic protest pero—

SEC. PANELO: A salvo of protests.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Yes, sir.

SEC. PANELO: To use the words of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NETDespite this, sir, marami pa rin kasing mga—despite this, iyong presence ng Chinese vessels suspected to be maritime militia is andoon pa rin sila sa Philippine-occupied … malapit sa Philippine-occupied island, sir. So what do we expect now from—

SEC. PANELO: Let’s see. Hindi pa—wala pa silang sagot eh. We have to wait for their response.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, do you think iyong—well, for a lack of a better term—accommodation, since the President assumed office in 2016 up to today, do you think our policy of being maybe friendly to China is effective?

SEC. PANELO: I think so.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Why, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Because, unang-una, in-open natin iyong sarili natin sa pakikipagkaibigan sa kanila. Masama ang relasyon natin sa kanila noon, ‘di ba? And then, you must remember na ang China ay isa sa mga tumulong sa atin sa Marawi. Noong nangangailangan tayo ng mga baril sa America, inurong nila iyong sale tapos may condition pa – huwag ninyong gamitin. Kaya noong pumunta siya sa China, nag-alok ang China tinanggap natin; ang Russia din. Kumbaga, may ibinigay na tulong.

Pangalawa, I don’t know kung alam ninyo na mayroong ginawang malaking rehabilitation center ang Chinese government sa Agusan del Sur. Kumbaga, may mga tulong na binibigay sa atin eh. Eh tayo naman, we’re returning the courtesy. That’s why I said, iyong sinasabi ninyong bakit ka matapang ngayon? Hindi. Sinasabi ko, kailangan kasi studied response. Hindi naman tayo reckless na may nagsumbong lang, “Oh, may mga vessels doon,” we will be making reckless statements. Kaya nga in-appreciate—sinabi nga ni Ambassador Zhao, I appreciate that you respond muna na we will validate, hindi iyong bumabanat kaagad kayo. Dapat ganoon. Ngayon, noong na-validate na, eh di sinasabi natin, “Hindi ninyo pupuwedeng gawin iyan.”

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Yes sir. You mentioned that we are reciprocating those acts of kindness of China ‘no, – giving us guns and that constructing, rehabilitation. How are we reciprocating China?

SEC. PANELO:  By being diplomatically kind to them with respect to whatever action they are doing at the same time asserting our sovereignty and our determination not for any foreign country to intrude into our sovereignty.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, do you think now with regard to their movement in our territories – I’m focusing the question on our territories talaga sir ha. Do you think that China should reciprocate our kindness by maybe, as you said yesterday, going away from those areas?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes, because you know, we’re supposed to be friends. And as to the President, he says ‘friends don’t do that’. If we are friends, we should be friendly in terms of our actions.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:   Sir, you mentioned Ambassador Zhao. Was he referring to your statement yesterday?

SEC. PANELO:  Did what?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Was he referring to your statement yesterday.

SEC. PANELO:  Ah, hindi ko alam. Baka iimbitahan niya ako, hindi ko lang alam, di ba one time inimbita niya akong mag-dinner?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:   Did you say he appreciated your response statement yesterday?

SEC. PANELO:  He appreciated the action of the government of not immediately reacting negatively to whatever reports it received vis-à-vis on China’s actions in the South China Sea – that we validate first, before we make our response.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  When did he say that?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ba, during the meeting? That is why I said palaging ‘studied response’ tayo, which means – or calibrated response, which means bina-validate muna natin. 

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  So, no latest communication between you..?

SEC. PANELO:  No, none.

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE:  Sir, good afternoon po. Sir, Secretary Bello yesterday per the advice of the DFA, ordered the deployment ban for Filipino workers sa Libya, habang iyong mga nasa Libya naman po ay voluntary repatriation daw po muna. Iyong Palasyo po ba, are there plans to issue a directive na sapilitan pong pauwiin iyong workers natin doon para hindi na po sila maipit sa gulo?

SEC PANELO:   Eh, si Secretary Bello, he is handling the situation rightly, correctly. So, kasi marami ang nagsasabi doon na hindi naman daw sila affected kasi malayo. So, baka masyado namang hasty kung papauwiin natin, wala naman. So, depende sa sitwasyon. Again, that will be a studied reaction, titingnan natin ang sitwasyon bago tayo kumilos

 

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, iyong sa Marcos po, just an elaboration and we asked you about this yesterday. Iyong sa kila Robert Swift. The OSG is saying that this is a personal liability of the Marcoses. What does it mean, sir?

SEC PANELO:  I don’t know, you have to ask him, hindi ko alam. I haven’t received any statement from him.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Apparently sir, the OSG subjecting to some terms of the negotiated settlement, meaning, number one, among other things, iyong grant of immunity to an aide of the former First Lady who was caught with the stolen painting, so, ayaw natin bigyan ng immunity, tama?

SEC PANELO:  Ah ‘di maganda iyon, maganda iyon kung ayaw nating bigyan ng immunity, eh kung may kasalanan siya bakit mo bibigyan ng immunity.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Pero sir, we are not – by blocking the settlement, we are not saying that there were no human rights victims. Because we don’t want them compensated, so therefore are we saying that there are no human rights victims?

SEC PANELO:  And I would say, I do not know exactly the grounds for the opposition of this Solicitor General.  I have to know that before I can make a proper intelligent response.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  But we do recognize that there are victims and they should be compensated.

SEC PANELO:  I’m sure there must have been victims during critical times. There will certainly abuses committed in whatever regime that the governor or the President would not know about it. And just the same, if there are victims of violation of human rights, certainly they should be compensated. 

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: They should be compensated, because what does it mean when you compensate them?

SEC PANELO:  Whatever compensation that is commensurate to their suffering.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Meaning, we acknowledge that they suffered during the period.

SEC PANELO:  Eh kung talaga naman nag-suffer eh, halimbawa, inosente. It would be different kung kalaban ng gobyerno, kung pinapatay mo ang ang gobyerno, eh natural lalabanan ka ng gobyerno. You cannot say na you are a victim. If you want to kill the soldiers of the government and then they retaliate. Pero iyong nasa gitna, caught in the crossfire, iyon ang magiging biktima mo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  I-rephrase ko lang iyong question: The belt and road forum. Do you think that is a proper forum for the President to raise China’s action?

SEC PANELO:  Well, any forum for that matter, when it involves two countries or multi countries meeting, anything of mutual concern in regard to security, trade relations is a proper venue.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Iyong ‘bilat’, that’s definite already ha.

SEC PANELO: Bilateral iyon, definitely palagi naman may bilateral iyon.

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

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

 

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