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. Welcome, happy Monday. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO:  Good morning MPC and guest. Do you want me to read the memorandum of agreements or you want me to just give you a copy? Copy na lang ha, kasi there are about 19 of them.

Shoot that ball.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB:  Sir, the President before he went to China said that he is going to send some dismissal letters to officials of MWSS. Ano ang update doon, sir? Sinu-sino iyong mga officials na iyon at nai-send na po ba iyong dismissal letters na iyon?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala pa akong feed doon. Wala pa. Wait for the announcement na lang.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB:  Sabi n’yo, sir, this week mangyayari kaya iyon?

SEC. PANELO:  Siguro. This week pala, eh di antayin natin. Sinabi niya ba dismissal order?

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB:  Yes, sir.

SEC. PANELO:  Oh eh di antayin na lang natin; anytime between now and Friday siguro.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB:  Any update, sir, doon sa report ng MWSS na sinabmit nila kay Presidente?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh eh di ibig sabihin, kung sinabi niyang dismissal order, di yun na yun, iyon ang feedback. That will be the result of the report.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Sec, kasi ang sinabi ni Presidente, I will be issuing several dismissal order—

SEC. PANELO:  Wala siyang sinabing MWSS. Wala naman pala, kayo talaga.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Pero ano iyong update, pinag-aaralan pa ba iyong study, kasi April 22, sabi dati ni Cabinet Sec.

SEC. PANELO:  Noong huling kausap ko siya, sinabi niya pinag-aaralan niya iyong report.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Kailan iyon, Sec?

SEC. PANELO:  Just before we left.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Ah, so under study pa rin. Okay Sec, salamat po.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Secretary, sinabi raw ni President Xi Jinping na hindi niya kinikilala ang desisyon ng Tribunal pabor sa Pilipinas. Papaano eksakto niya sinabi ito?

SEC. PANELO:  Matagal na niyang sinasabi iyan eh, di ba; ever since naman iyon naman ang linya nila eh.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Pero during the meeting with the President, papaano niya ito binanggit?

SEC. PANELO:  I forgot the exact words, pero parang… basta pareho lang sinasabi nung dalawa, they repeated their previous stand. But what is more important is that, kasi sabi ni Presidente, there have been irritants because of that ruling. And both of them agree that the mechanism of bilateral relations will be used to resolve the conflict.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Is it the next step… ito iyong susunod na gagawin ng Palasyo, iyong pakikipag-bilateral?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, definitely, yes.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Wala nang iba ho na tayong aasahang gagawin ng Palasyo?

SEC. PANELO:  For now iyon ang napag-usapan.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Okay. Meron bang binanggit si President Xi Jinping na paaalisin niya iyong mga puwersa sa Scarborough Shoal, ganundin po sa Pag-asa Island?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala siyang binanggit na ganoon. Basta ang—kasi ang binanggit ni Presidente ‘the irritants.’ So it refers to everything there – from the presence of the ships, from the alleged harassment, lahat iyon, irritants eh.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Wala pong timeline kung kalian lilisanin?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala silang binanggit na timeline.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET:  Sir, you were there during bilateral meeting. What were the exact words of the President when he raised the South China Sea issue?

SEC. PANELO:  Iyon nga, sinabi niya, there have been irritants arising from the ruling and there will be challenges, ganun. Kung ano iyong statement ko iyon yun, I was actually quoting them.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQ.NET:  Did he tell Chinese President Xi Jinping his previous statement for Chinese Maritime Militia to lay off Pag-asa Island?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, basta iyon ang pagkasabi niya. Kasi pag sinabi mo kasing irritants and challenges, iyon na iyon, it refers to everything na conflict.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Secretary, Chinese President Xi Jinping said – iyong sinabi po ni Henry – na hindi nila kikilalanin iyong arbitration and the Philippine government is saying that we won that arbitration. Hindi po ba natin iko-consider as a deadlock doon sa issue na ito or a future problem doon sa isyu?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi naman, the fact na sinabi niya na we will resolve that in the bilateral negotiations. So, di ibig sabihin open sila.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Kasi sir, iyong dalawang bansa ay nagmamatigas doon sa kanilang statement. So, who do you see would give in?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi mo rin masabing nagmamatigas, kasi nga sinabing open eh. So when you open yourself to negotiation relative to whatever irritants or challenges that are raised in relation to the ruling, then ibig sabihin, malambot sila pareho; so pag-uusapan nila.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  So you say, Chinese government will be malleable doon sa issue—

SEC. PANELO :  The fact alone na sinasabing let’s discuss sa ating negotiation, sa bilateral.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Sec, how did the President respond to President Xi when the Chinese leaders said they do not recognize the arbitral ruling?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, hindi ko na maano… basta both sides repeated their previous position on the matter and they both agree na whatever irritants or challenges, pag-usapan natin sa negotiations.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  So, noong sinabi ni Xi ‘we don’t recognize,’ what was the immediate response of the President? Noong pagkasabing-sabi ni Xi na—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko na maalala kung sino ang nauna, basta parehong iyon ang na-raise pareho.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Pero iyong manner of speaking ni President Duterte, he has been delivering parang tough statements—

SEC. PANELO:  The same style. Si Presidente naman—the President is always respectful. Ever since iyon ang napansin ko sa kanya, pagka-kausap niya ang mga Heads of State, pare-pareho sila, they are all respectful.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  But did the Chinese President give a guarantee na aalis na sa Pag-asa?

SEC. PANELO:  As I said earlier, hindi nila pinag-usapan iyong detalye, basta si Presidente ang nagsabing maraming irritants. So he refers obviously to the… what you are referring to now.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Walang specifics like Panatag, parang in general lahat ng naging discussion?

SEC. PANELO:  Basta irritants and challenges, iyon yun. It refers to everything that has been talked about.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  Sir, iyong context po ng pagsabi ni President Xi that he does not recognize the arbitral ruling, was it said because the President talked about the arbitral ruling, raised it or perhaps called for its enforcement?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko na matandaan iyong ano, basta ang importante sa akin kasi both of them raised that issue and both of them agree on how to resolve the irritants and challenges that are being confronted on both sides.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  Did President Duterte—just a categorical answer, sir. Did the President call for the enforcement of arbitral ruling?

SEC. PANELO:  Ang pagkasabi niya there have been many irritants.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:   So he did not?

SEC. PANELO:  Arising from the arbitral ruling, iyun.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  By saying that—

SEC. PANELO:  By saying that, di sinasabi niya na, ‘oh marami tayong problema dito ano ang gagawin natin dito? Ang posisyon namin, ganito.’ Iyong kabila naman, ‘ang posisyon naman dito ever since ganito rin. Oh di pag-usapan natin.’

MPC:  When?

SEC. PANELO:  Iyon na nga, bilateral na nga kaagad. Kasi meron tayong regular bilateral, doon  nila ipapasok  iyon.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  Doon sa isyu, sir, specifically of enforcing the ruling—

SEC. PANELO:  That will be discussed there. Siyempre doon muna iyon. Eh specific na roon eh. Kasi sa bilateral ano iyon eh general ang usapan palagi, binabasa lang nila, both of them are reading their messages

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  Okay, sir, iyong bilateral negotiations, this have been going on for a while now. Ano po ang bago dito?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam, kasi si ano iyan, that’s the turf of DFA Secretary. You have to ask that question to him, mas alam niya iyon.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  But how would the Palace assess the bilateral negotiations that have been happening basically since the start of the Duterte administration considering that despite the negotiations incidents, iyong irritants have happened.

SEC. PANELO: Well, eh di tingnan natin. We’ll wait for the next bilateral negotiations kung ano ang pag-uusapan.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Or are you still referring to the BCM?

SEC. PANELO: What’s BCM?

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: BCM, sir, iyong Bilateral Consultative Mechanism. Again, I’m asking because, sir, what’s new with the so-called agreement to speak or to deal with the territorial dispute through bilateral negotiations when it’s always in the policy.

SEC. PANELO: Siguro pag-uusapan nila ngayon. Ang pag-uusapan nila ngayon ay iyong specific areas of irritance, kung ano iyong mga ni-raise.

ARGYLL GEDUCOS/MANILA BULLETIN: Sir, good afternoon po. Sir, what were the results of President Duterte’s meeting with other ASEAN leaders during the Belt and Road Forum?

SEC. PANELO: I have not seen the transcript kasi wala ako doon eh. I did not attend those meetings with the other heads of state.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, is the President keen on declaring some parts of the West Philippine Sea as marine protected areas?

SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba he already said that.

 ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: But do we need consent from China?

SEC. PANELO: No.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Why?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean consent eh as far as we are concerned, that’s ours. You don’t have to ask any consent from anyone.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: But they also claim that some territories are theirs. So do we need their consent?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi nga eh. Iyan ang claim nila. Ang claim din naman natin, atin.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So how do we deal with that, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Oh di magni-negotiate tayo. Babalik tayo sa negotiation.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: We will negotiate with them for declaring these areas as marine protected?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi kasi that is, again, another… that will be another irritant. Ang mangyayari niyan, if you declare a particular stand and they will declare another stand, oh di may deadlock, oh di mag-uusap na naman tayo.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Sir, follow up lang doon kay Ina’s question. So how would you convince the Filipino people that something good would happen with these bilateral talks between the two?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, hindi iyon convince. What we should do is wait for the negotiations and the result of the negotiations saka tayo magri-report sa taumbayan. Hindi natin kukumbinsihin na … ano bang ikukumbinsi mo, hindi pa nga nag-uusap eh.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Sir, nag-uusap na.

SEC. PANELO: Tungkol sa mga bago—no, no, no, tungkol sa mga bagong issues na na-raise.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: But, sir, iyon na nga, mayroon ng bilateral and yet may mga actions na ginagawa ang China which is apparently in violation of the—

SEC. PANELO: Oh di iyon ang sasabihin natin sa kanila, “Oh mayroon na tayong pinag-uusapan, bakit nangyayari pa iyan?” ‘Di ba? “Anong gagawin natin dito? Ganito na lang ba tayo?”

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: So kailangan pa ba nating pagkatiwalaan ang China?

SEC. PANELO: Sabi nga ni President Xi, and the President of ours agreed, we are allies. Allies strengthen each other. Allies do not destroy each other. So maganda iyong kaniyang statement na ibig sabihin, eh kung allies tayo, pag-usapan natin. Kailangan—

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Oo nga, pero more on words but not on deeds.

SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi. Siyempre, saan ba nag-uumpisa ang action kung hindi sa words muna. ‘Di ba? Ganoon talaga iyan, nag-uumpisa—

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Pero the opposite iyong ginagawa ng China.

SEC. PANELO: Basta what is important, the President is very assertive on our principled stand that that territory is ours.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Secretary, we have had several bilateral negotiations between the Philippines and China. And President Duterte and President Xi have previously agreed – aside from the agreement they made during the bilateral – to practice self-restraint and caution in the South China Sea. But despite this agreement, China has been aggressive in the South China Sea in terms of swarming the Pag-asa Island, in terms of sending maritime militia. So why does the Philippine government—

SEC. PANELO:  Teka muna, alam mo, we don’t even know yet their stand there, iyong swarming, iyong kung vessel nga nila iyon.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: The DFA and the military have confirmed that it was a Chinese… from our part, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi DFA. Ang sinasabi ko sa inyo, nag-protest tayo ‘di ba? So hindi ko pa alam kung anong sagot nila doon, kung they affirmed it o hindi. Iyong sa clam, ganoon din – hindi ko pa alam kung in-affirm nila iyon.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: But on their part, sir, the military and the DFA have confirmed that it was—

SEC. PANELO: No, I don’t think so.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Yes, sir. Yes, sir, sa WesCom. Kaya po tayo ng-file ng protest kasi na-confirm po natin, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Exactly. Hindi, ang ibig kong sabihin—ang sinasabi ko, hindi pa kinu-confirm ng DFA kung anong response nila doon. Are they going to deny it? Are they going to dispute it or not? Did you get my point? Kasi—teka muna, masyado kayong …iyon ang reklamo natin, ‘di ba? Sabi natin, “Uy, may mga barko kayo doon. Uy, may mga militia kayo doon.” Hindi ko pa alam kung ano ang sinagot niya doon. Kasi puwedeng sabihin nila, “Oh amin iyon, oh eh ano ngayon?” Puwede rin naman nilang sabihin, “Uy, teka muna, hindi amin iyon ha.” Hindi ko pa alam iyon eh.

So let’s wait for their official response with respect to our protest. Iyan ang sinasabi ko sa inyo. Iyong sinasabi ninyo namang ibang bilateral, bakit anong pinag-uusapan noon? Tandaan ninyo, iyong bilateral negotiations, hindi lang naman iyong arbitral ruling ang pinag-uusapan; ang dami pa tayong pinag-uusapan, mga negosyo. Baka iyon ang mga pinag-uusapan nila noon.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, previously you mentioned na you’re expecting the Chinese government to respond to our protest within days—

SEC. PANELO: Yes, eh hindi ko pa alam because I’m not the DFA Secretary, so I do not have any access to him with respect to that. I have to get an official stand of any response coming from the Chinese government; that has not been transmitted to us as of this day.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So, Sec., ganito na lang: Kasi marami ang nagtatanong, apparently, the two Presidents—

SEC. PANELO: Kasama ka na roon?

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Yeah. The two Presidents made similar statements. Sabi ninyo, parang inulit iyong position and then may mga bagong developments nauulat like iyong sa Pag-asa, iyong sa Panatag. So ano iyong measures, new measures na gagawin ng Pilipinas to ensure na kung hindi man mahinto altogether ay mabawasan iyong new developments or irritants, as you call it, doon sa South China Sea?

SEC. PANELO: Uulitin ko iyong sinagot ko kanina: We raised certain protests. Hindi pa natin alam kung they’re affirming or they’re disputing it. Kasi kung i-dispute nila, mag-uusap tayo; ibig sabihin, hindi totoo. Show us proof na hindi nga kayo iyon. Ano ba iyon, sino ba iyon? Bakit nandoon iyon? Ano bang ginawa ninyo doon? ‘Di ba, hindi pa natin nga alam eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Eh kung hindi na sumagot?

SEC. PANELO: Pupuwede bang hindi sumagot eh may protesta tayo. They will.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: But definitely, coming from the Armed Forces, coming from the DFA, we are convinced of what we saw there ‘di ba?

SEC. PANELO: Basta iyan ang … iyan ang stand natin. Kaya nga tayo nagprotesta, otherwise hindi tayo magpu-protesta.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, ang bottom line dito, mayroon bang movement after the bilateral meetings between President Xi—

SEC. PANELO: Di ang magiging movement ay iyong negotiation. Pag-uusapan na nila iyong mga irritants. Pero sa akin, kung ako ang tatanungin ninyo, we have to wait for their official response doon sa nireklamo natin. Ano ba ang sagot ninyo roon? Hindi ko pa alam kung may sagot na from the DFA. I haven’t talked to Teddy Boy Locsin.

‘Di ba sabi niya, “I have filed salvo of protests.” I don’t know whether those salvo of protests have been responded to, whether affirmatively or negatively.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, follow up. Why is the President seem so soft—

SEC. PANELO: Soft?

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Oo, when it comes to—

SEC. PANELO: Soft ba iyong ina-assert mo iyon ano mo. How can that be soft?

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: No, I mean, kasi as you have said earlier, the President was so respectful when he had the meeting with Chinese President Xi. Whereas dito sa Canada, he even threatened to go to war considering na basura lang over territorial dispute.

SEC. PANELO: Ikaw naman. Unang-una, iyong go to war, figurative speech iyon. Pangalawa, basura naman … basura lang iyon, hindi naman teritoryo ang pinag-uusapan doon eh.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Kaya nga, sir. But why is the President, sabi mo nga kanina, respectful pa during the meeting. Tapos—

SEC. PANELO: Lahat naman sila respectful. All heads of state are respectful. Wala akong nakita roon na hindi respectful. Kasi they just delivered their messages by reading them. May mga prepared speeches na sila eh. Pero hindi siya soft; assertive nga siya eh.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Sir, doon sa paghihintay po ng official response ng China regarding the protest. Are you saying that if China says that ‘no, those are not Chinese vessels,’ we’re going to accept that as truth?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, eh di bahala na iyong nasa negotiating table natin kung sabihin, “Excuse me, kami as far as we are concerned, ito iyan. Hindi kami papayag.” Eh hindi naman ako nandoon so hindi ko alam kung anong sasabihin nila. But we will not, siyempre. Kung as far as we are concerned totoo iyon eh bakit mo idi-dispute. Do something about it.

Kasi even assuming that they are not, eh as far as we are concerned, sa inyo iyan oh gawan ninyo ng paraan. Kung hindi pala inyo iyan, with more reason you can do something about it. Kasi kung you claim to be that is your territory, that means you have authority over that area, and if you have authority, you can do something about it; remove them from there.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  So when the President talked about the irritants as you mentioned and you said that that includes the issue of Chinese presence in Pag-Asa. How did the Chinese President react to that or the Chinese side react to that?

SEC. PANELO:  Iyon na nga, hindi ba sinagot ko na nga iyon. They repeated their previous stand – ever since naman iyon ang stand nila – at the same time, they are open to resolving whatever irritants we have by way of negotiations.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Okay. Iyong negotiations, sir—I’m not sure if you are aware. Iyong sinasabi ko pong BCM kanina, the Bilateral Consultative Mechanism. You are saying kasi baka other things iyong napag-uusapan doon sa negotiations na iyon. But I’d like to point out that, that mechanism was actually established to specifically talk about the territorial dispute.

SEC. PANELO:  Oh, but you cannot limit it to that.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  No, sir that specific forum was  launched in 2017—

SEC. PANELO:  Correct, I agree. If that was created for that purpose it doesn’t mean you will confine yourselves to that. Because since you are talking to the other side, you can raise anything there. Parang iyan nagbukas ka ng Constitution na ia-amend mo eh. Pupuwede bang  i-limit mo  iyan, eh nandiyan na tayo naguusap na tayo eh.

You must remember, eh arbitral ruling nga iyon, ang pag-uusapan ninyo, di papasok lahat ng mga whatever irritants, kasama lahat iyon. Kasama na rin pati negosyo doon, everything.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  No, actually, I’d like to point out, sir. That mechanism was established—

SEC. PANELO:   I know what you mean, but I’m telling you, kung ako ang nandoon at ni-limit mo lang, eh ilalabas ko pa rin iyon, ‘Oh pag-usapan naman natin iyong iba. Dahil nandito na tayong dalawa, alangan namang mag-create pa tayong ng ibang mekanismo, eh nandito na tayo eh.’

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  Okay. So, since—but initially the purpose is to discuss the territorial dispute, anong nangyari, because again how would you—

SEC. PANELO: You have to ask Secretary Locsin. I don’t want to preempt him, baka iba ang kanyang sagot doon, kasi siya ang nandoon eh.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  Okay. Because, again, they agreed to resolve it through bilateral negotiations which we have been doing, so there’s really nothing new with that. Tama po ba?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  Bakit hindi po?

SEC. PANELO:  You have to ask nga Secretary Locsin, kasi that’s his territory. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang diskarte niya roon eh. We have to wait for his report, official report.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Secretary, sa negosasyon ano ang mga ilalatag na kondisyones ng Pilipinas naman ng sa pakikipag-negotiate dito sa isyu na ito?

SEC. PANELO:  Doon sa negotiation, kung ano iyong irritants, di iyon ang pag-uusapan nila.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Like what?

SEC. PANELO:  Ano ba ang irritants na nandoon di ba… pinoint out na nga, kung ano iyong diplomatic protest iyon ang pag-uusapan nila.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  So, walang mababago, kung ano iyong isinampang protesta, iyon pa rin ang ine-negotiate natin?

SEC. PANELO:  What do you mean walang pagbabago? Hindi ba mga bago lang itong mga incidents na ito. Di iyon ang pag-uusapan.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  No amendments on the protest?

SEC. PANELO: With what?

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Amendments, kung ano na iyong protestang—

SEC. PANELO:  Kung merong bago na naman, di magrereklamo na naman tayo.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Ano ang expectation ng Palace?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh eh di siyempre we are positive na magkakaroon ng resulta iyong negotiation.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN:  Sir, I just want to get your statement regarding the abdication tomorrow of Emperor Akihito and the succession of—

SEC. PANELO:  The what, coronation?

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN:  Abdication.

SEC. PANELO:  Abdication, di coronation naman noong isa.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN:  Oho, on the following day naman. So, I just want to get your statement on that, the Palace statement.

SEC. PANELO:  Wala pa, we will issue a statement – official statement.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN:  Off hand, wala?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi na, wala. Mas maganda iyong official para hindi ano… hindi unclear.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN:  Sir, within the day.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  The international Chamber of Commerce, sir, sa Singapore has decided in favor of Malampaya consortium regarding the 1.1 billion dollar tax case and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who is the chairman of Senate committee on energy said that the decision is beneficial to the country as it will not encourage foreign players in conducting petroleum exploration in the Philippines. He said that the government should aggressively pursue drill-drill program for the country to tap its oil and gas resources and use them to achieve energy independent Philippines and eventually give way to the country to become an energy exporting country. Does Malacañang concur with the statement of Senator Gatchalian that the decision of ICC is beneficial to the country and what will be the thrust  of the government with regards to the oil and gas exploration relative to what the President said that oil is everything?

SEC. PANELO:  With regard to your question, I had not read the decision. So I cannot make any response to that. I need to read that first. Hindi ko pa alam.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Sir, wala bang papantay man lang doon sa—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko pa nababasa iyong desisyon eh.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Sir, I believe you had a statement two years ago that—

SEC. PANELO:  About?

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Doon po sa tax case ng Malampaya consortium?

SEC. PANELO:  Tax case?

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Yes, sir. And I think that was struck down by OSG?

SEC. PANELO:  What tax cases was that?

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Malampaya.

SEC. PANELO:  Ano ba ang problema sa tax noon?

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Sir, kasi po iyong COA po sinisingil po nila iyong mga contractors, iyong mga nag-e-explore ng tax and then that was disputed by the Malampaya consortium and umabot po sila sa Singapore ICC and then ICC decided in favor of Malampaya consortium.

SEC. PANELO:  Na puwedeng mangolekta ng tax?

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Na hindi po sila dapat daw kinokolektahan ng tax, na dapat po sa government part iyon napupunta and Senator Win Gatchalian—

SEC. PANELO:  So nanalo iyong ano.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Malamapaya, sir.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi nanalo ang gobyerno?

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:  Yes, sir. And then ang sabi po kasi ni Senator Gatchalian, iyon po ay beneficial sa country dahil with what the President said na dapat tayo ay mag-explore.

SEC. PANELO:   Bakit beneficial kung nanalo iyong kalaban.

DEO DE GUZMAN/RMN:   Kasi po, sir, ang sinasabi nila, ang sinasabi po ni Senator Gatchalian, iyon pong project, iyon pong pagsisingil ng tax na iyon ay deterrent sa mga international oil players para po makapag-explore  ng  oil and gas dito sa atin.

SEC. PANELO:  Pag-aralan ko muna iyong desisyon and then I’ll issue a statement – official.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, on ouster plot matrix. Days after it was published by the Manila Times, iyong managing editor nila na si Felipe Salvosa resigned and I’ll just quote what he said in an article: “A diagram is by no means and evidence of destabilization or an ouster plot. It is a very huge stretch for anyone to accuse PCIJ, Vera Files and Rappler of actively plotting to unseat the President. I know the people there and they are not coup plotters.” What do you say, sir? The managing editor is denying that the matrix that was published by the Manila Times—

SEC. PANELO:  Does he have a personal knowledge on the ouster plot?

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  He just said, sir—

SEC. PANELO:  I know, my question to you: Does he have a personal knowledge because if he doesn’t have a personal knowledge, then he would not know anything about it.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sabi rin niya, sir, that he knows the people in those organizations.

SEC. PANELO:  Kahit pa ba he knows the people, how would you know kung involved nga o hindi, di ba.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  So, what do you think of his resignation as the managing editor of The Manila Times?

SEC. PANELO:  He was asked to resign. I talked to Dante Ang. I was asking him ‘oh bakit nag-resign?’ ‘He did not resign, I asked him to resign.’ Sabi ko, “why?’ Eh sabi niya he was accusing me of, first, he was accusing me of making a story out of that. Eh, I was only naman quoting, kumbaga hindi naman galing sa akin. I am just writing a story. Next, sabi niya, ‘he was accusing me of unethical act, eh ano ba ang ginawa niya, iyon ang unethical, without even talking to me. He was already accusing me of something. So, I asked him, I want your resignation. And he resigned.’ Sabi naman noong Salvosa, ‘anyway, I intended to resign naman eh.’. Iyon naman ang sabi niya.

So I think, it’s an internal dispute between the publisher and the editor and we will not delve into that. Let them resolve their conflict.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, regarding doon sa matrix. You said in our previous press briefing here na iyong isa sa mga source of information natin is probably another country—

SEC. PANELO:  Wala akong sinabi, kayo ang nagsabi niyan. Sabi ninyo sabi ni Presidente.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Doing surveillance, sir?

SEC. PANELO:   Hindi, ang sabi ninyo, sabi ng Presidente. Kaya ang sabi ko naman, eh they usually exchange intelligence information, baka doon galing.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, sa previous speeches na lang ni Presidente. He himself admitted na meron siyang nakukuhang surveillance information from other countries. Vice President Leni Robredo in an interview—

SEC. PANELO: Wala naman siyang sinabing may nakuha siyang information, surveillance. Sinabi niya, iyong source niya puwedeng—

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Intelligence?

SEC. PANELO: Wala nga eh. Tiningnan ko iyong speech niya. Puwedeng foreign. Tingnan ninyo ulit iyong speech niya.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: He said it before, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Sinabi niya lang foreign pero wala siyang sinasabing surveillance.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: We are being listened to?

SEC. PANELO: Then just ask the President himself. Aba eh sa kaniya galing, hindi naman sa akin galing. I’m only his agent, remember. So we’ll ask him. In fact, he told me, “If they have questions, tell them to ask me.”

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sinabi po ni Vice President Leni Robredo na it is treason, considered treason for the President to allow a foreign country to spy on the Filipino people.

SEC. PANELO: The Vice President is entitled to her opinion. This is a democratic country, she is free to express her opinion and her ideas.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: But you’re not convinced, sir, or you’re… of course, defending the President, it’s not treason?

SEC. PANELO: It’s not. It’s an exchange of intelligence information, and all countries do that.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: So it’s not a violation of the Constitution or any applicable laws?

SEC. PANELO: The sharing of intelligence information?

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Yes.

SEC. PANELO: I don’t think so. Sharing nga of intelligence information.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Good afternoon, sir. Sir, after almost two weeks noong inilabas iyong matrix—

SEC. PANELO: Kasi—teka muna. Alam mo iyong sharing of intelligence information, hindi rin naman ibig sabihin nagsu-surveillance iyong mga iyon. Puwede rin naman na galing sa atin, sinabi doon sa … hindi ba, may mga agents naman iyong mga iyan, kaniya-kaniyang agent sa iba’t ibang bansa. Puwedeng galing dito, kung sinuman ang nagbigay sa kanila, shinare sa atin ‘di ba? So it doesn’t follow na surveillance.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Good afternoon, sir. Sir, almost two weeks na po mula noong lumabas iyong matrix. Alam na po ba ng Palasyo kung sino iyong nasa likod ni Bikoy? Kasi po iyong matrix, parang lumalabas ay iyong nag-share lang ng mga video ni Bikoy. Eh sino po iyong nagmaniobra kay Bikoy o sino iyong nasa likod niya?

SEC. PANELO: I’ll ask him.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Kasi po ‘di ba, iyon iyong ano, mas iyon iyong may pakana ng ouster plot kaysa iyong mga nag-share lang ng video?

SEC. PANELO: That’s why I’ll ask him kung mayroon ng latest doon. Kasi iniimbestigahan ‘di ba? Sabi ng PNP, it will investigate.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Sec., medyo interesting lang iyong mga intelligence report ano kasi na-identify iyong mga nag-share ng mga videos ni Bikoy, pero si Bikoy parang hindi pa nila alam kung sino siya.

SEC. PANELO: Eh di hintayin nating ma-discover kung sino siya.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Kasi ‘di ba usually kapag intelligence, ang tinitingnan ay iyong root cause ng lahat-lahat noon ‘di ba, if I’m not mistaken.

SEC. PANELO: Sige, irikumenda kita na one of the intelligence—

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Hindi, Sec., so mayroon na bang information—

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa, kasi hindi ba iniimbestigahan daw ng PNP. ‘Di ba sabi ni General Albayalde, we will investigate.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So inuna muna iyong mga nag-share?

SEC. PANELO: Basta, let’s wait for the full blown investigation.

TINA: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, so far, 32 OFWs from Libya have been repatriated. And then, our Philippine embassy in Tripoli is appealing to the remaining Filipinos there na umuwi na dahil nag-i-intensify po iyong tension doon. Does Malacañang share the same sentiment?

SEC. PANELO: The Secretary of Labor is on top of it. May directive na si Presidente sa kaniya. So kung anuman ang directive sa kaniya, inaaplay niya lang, ini-enforce.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, may I ask first if you have read the report released by Ateneo, iyong drug archive na supposedly 7,000 deaths daw, drug-related deaths, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi pa.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: So may I … I suppose—

SEC. PANELO:  I only read about it, but I didn’t read the entire report. If that report is true, it only means something. It only means na hindi totoo iyong mga sinasabi ng mga oposisyon, ng other agency sa America o kahit ano pa na 20,00o, iyon pala 7,000 lang.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Iyong discrepancy na iyon, sir—

SEC. PANELO: Eh di ibig sabihin ang laking discrepancy. Pangalawa, iyon na nga ang sinasabi natin ever since eh, iyong mga sindikato, sila-sila ang nagpapatayan din kaya nadadagdagan. Hindi ako naniniwala na … mayroon sigurong one or two kagaya ng prinosecute na natin, na-convict pa nga. Pero iyong sinasabing basta mo papatayin, hindi pupuwede, otherwise bakit ang daming patay na pulis? Bakit ang daming seriously injured, 700 plus. Ibig sabihin talagang lumalaban iyon.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Sir, how about iyong timing ng release? Any comment on it, sir, the timing of the release?

SEC. PANELO: Release ng?

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Nung report, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Wala naman eh. They can always release anytime they want, ganiyan naman dito sa atin eh.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, Mr. Dante Ang is the Special Envoy for International Public Relations for the President. What does he specifically do?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam. I don’t know. Hindi naman ako ang nag-appoint sa kaniya.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Are they friends?

SEC. PANELO: I have no personal knowledge about the appointment.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Mr. Ang is also the Chairman Emeritus of The Manila Times. You don’t see any conflict of interest there, that he works for the President and at the same time—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam, hindi ko alam kasi … actually iyong mga special envoy, ang pagkakaintindi ko, kung ano lang ang iutos sa ‘yo ng Presidente. Kung mayroon kang particular na magtu-troubleshoot ka sa isang bansa, pupunta ka doon.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Of course he has access to the President, to the Office of the President.

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about his accessibility to the President …

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: And you don’t agree …

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t see him in Malacañang.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: You don’t think there’s conflict of interest between his function as a special envoy and at the same time a chairman of The Manila Times?

SEC. PANELO:  Mukhang wala naman akong makita. Publisher lang naman siya eh. Hindi naman siya nag-aano ng editorial. Ang publisher, hindi nakikialam sa editorial at saka sa mga reporters eh.  More on ano lang sila, profit, kumita.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: The source of that news item that he wrote came from the President himself—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam. ‘Di ba I told you, I don’t think na binigyan siya. Kayo nga iyong pinupuri ko, creative. In fact I told you, “Ang galing ninyo ah, naunahan ninyo pa ako, mayroon kayong ano…” tumawa lang siya.

RALPH VILLANUEVA/THE MANILA TIMES: Sir, any statement po sa passing ni former US Senator Richard Lugar po? He played a part po sa ouster ni late President Marcos.

SEC. PANELO: Ngayon ko lang nalaman iyon. Hindi ko pa alam iyan. Sino iyan? Anong pangalan?

RALPH VILLANUEVA/THE MANILA TIMES: Richard Lugar po.

SEC. PANELO: Lugar? Sige, I will look at his history and then make a statement.

VIRGIL LOPEZ/GMA NEWS ONLINE: Sir, you said earlier—regarding doon sa Canada trash, you said earlier na figure of speech lang iyong threat ni Pangulo to declare war against Canada.

SEC. PANELO: I’m just repeating the words of Delfin Lorenzana yata, yes. Tama, I agree. Figure of kumbaga. Naasar lang iyon.

But my statement ‘di ba, we will send them back to your shores if you don’t get that. And the President last night, I think—was it last night? He said throw them to your beach. Kung ako nga shores lang, siya nag-beach na siya. Aba eh, totoo iyon, galit siya.

Q: Gagawin niya, sir, na?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, papabalik mo iyon, siyempre kapag pinabalik mo eh di …

VIRGIL LOPEZ/GMA NEWS ONLINE: What prompted the President, sir? Kasi biglang out of the blue eh—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, kasi ang tagal na iyon, four years na iyon ano. Four years na hindi nila ginagalaw. Buti pa iyong mga Koreano yata, nawala na, naibalik na. Parang pinabayaan na lang nila dito eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Sec., iyong itatapon sa beach, hindi naman literal iyon o—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, figure of speech iyon. Kailangan ibalik na iyon, kunin na nila.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So kailangan within this week, Sec, sabi ni Presidente?

SEC. PANELO: Oh di gawin natin. Sino ba ang in charge doon? Kasi nasa container iyon ‘di ba?

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Iyong sinasabi ninyo, Sec., last time na ano, mapu-put at risk iyong diplomatic ties.

SEC. PANELO: Disruptive ang sabi ko. Hindi ko sinabing mapuputol, I said disruptive. Ibig sabihin magiging irritant iyon.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Pero hindi naman posible iyong cutting of ties?

SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi naman, disruptive lang.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So what are your expectations—

SEC. PANELO: I suppose they will respond. Nag-respond naman sila na ‘di ba. Ang sabi nila, pag-usapan natin. Ang sabi naman, “Hindi na, ano bang pag-usapan. Ang tagal na eh, kunin ninyo na iyan. Kung hindi ibalik na namin iyan sa’yo.” So hintayin natin ang response.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So iyong deadline na week, talagang iyon na po iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Oo, iyon ang sinabi ni Presidente eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Ultimatum na iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Oo.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:  Sir, iyong sinabi po ni Pangulo na kaya natin iyong Canada as far as going to war is concerned, figurative din po ba iyon, sir, figure of speech din po ba iyon?

SEC. PANELO:  Figure of speech nga. Hindi ba, eh paulit-ulit.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:  Iyong kaya natin sila, sir. Oo literally, the President means na kaya natin silang i-head on. Iyong assets natin, capabilities natin, puwedeng tumapat sa Canada, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Sinabi na ngang figure of speech eh.

Q: Wala tayong kakayanan.

SEC. PANELO: Wala tayong kakayanan ano?

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:  So, hindi natin kaya iyong Canada, sir? Hindi natin kayang giyerahan iyong Canada, sir?

Q:  Saka Congress ang nagdedeklara ng giyera.

SEC. PANELO:   Correct. Iyon, iyon ang sagot. Iyon ang sagot.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:  Pero that’s declaration, sir. Pero iyong assets po, iyong capabilities sir, to go to war against a big country.

SEC. PANELO:  Siguro kung mga hostilities lang, kaya rin natin kumbaga ipaglaban, hindi iyong all out war. Alam ninyo, I don’t think any country would want to trigger another world war, because all of us will be annihilated, nuclear eh, magiging nuclear war. So, ang nakikita ko diyan, puro maggigirian lang iyon and then palaging diplomatic pa rin, negotiations ang makaka-resolve whatever conflict.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:    Sir, would you consider it irresponsible of a President to be blurting out such statements?

SEC. PANELO:  No.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:    Why not, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Bakit naman irresponsible, eh apat na taon mong tinapon iyong basura sa bansa natin hindi ka magsasalita ng ganoon. That was an expression of outrage couched in a very strong term.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, dahil nabanggit ninyo na figure of speech lang iyon, pero iyong ultimatum ni President Duterte, iyon totoo iyon. So what happens if hindi nagawa iyong utos ni President Duterte na tanggapin nila—

SEC. PANELO:  Bakit naman hindi magagawa. Eh di… kung may instruction siya eh. Ang instruction is kunin nila; kung hindi ninyo kukunin, kami ang magbabalik sa inyo.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  So walang war, walang declaration of war.

SEC. PANELO:  Wala. Ibabalik lang.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Ibabalik lang natin.

SEC. PANELO:  Itapon natin sa kanila.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER:  Sir, how serious is the President when he said na the government will not spend a single centavo to rehabilitate Marawi and he will just let the—

SEC. PANELO:  No, hindi ninyo naiintindihan ang President roon. Ang sinasabi niya iyong—di ba iyong nasira iyong mga negosyanteng… mga buildings nila doon, dapat ang sabi niya kayo ang gumastos kayo diyan, hindi naman puwedeng kami lang ang gagastos niyan. Uunahin namin siyempre iyong mga taumbayan, hindi yung inyo, you have to spend also for that. You cannot rely on us on that. You have to help us. Kasi ang priority would be the people there, hindi iyong negosyong nasira ng mga businessman, kasi may mga pera naman sila eh.

Q:  Good afternoon, sir. Crisalyn from Sonshine Media po. Sir, regarding po sa OFW po sa Libya, ano po ang assurance na benepisyo po ng mga OFW na naipit sa gulo sa Libya po, kasi marami pong nagdadalawang-isip na bumalik ng bansa po baka wala po sila mapala dito.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, di ba sinabi ko kanina, may directive na roon si Presidente kay Secretary Bello and he is already following the instructions of the President.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN:  Sir, follow up lang doon sa Marawi. So meaning, the President’s statement is the government would still spend for Marawi, tama po ba, meron pa ring funds for Marawi?

SEC.PANELO:  Oh di ba, meron naman talagang funds ang Marawi. Pero hindi iyong para sa mga negosyo nila. Kasi ang naapektuhan siyempre mga negosyante doon sa sentro, di ba.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN:  Pero like anong klaseng assistance naman iyong ibibigay, like saan na lang naka-focus if ever iyong rehabilitation?

SEC.PANELO: Hindi ang priority siyempre iyong mga tao, sa tao tayo, iyong mga nawalan ng mga bahay doon, iyong mga may sakit doon, iyon ang uunahin natin, hindi iyong ire-rebuild natin iyong mga building nilang nasira, hindi iyon siyempre ang priority.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Sir, linawin lang natin nang mas malinaw pa. Iyong nasirang building, structures ng mga negosyante, hindi iyon ipatatayo/ibabangon ulit ng gobyerno?

SEC. PANELO: Sabi ni Presidente, dapat kayo ang gumawa ng diskarte ninyo diyan kasi ang priority namin ay iyong mga tao sa Marawi muna – iyong mga bahay nila, iyong mga nasaktan sa kanila, iyong mga survivors nila. Pero kayo, dahil kayo naman ay mga negosyante, may mga pera naman kayo, eh tulungan ninyo ang sarili ninyo muna.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So meaning, may aasahan ba sila o wala sa government, iyong mga sectors, mga milyonaryo doon sa Marawi?

SEC. PANELO: Sa ngayon, sila muna. Iyon ang sinasabi ni Presidente. Later on siguro kung hindi mo kaya, oh di mag-loan ka sa gobyerno.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So may aasahan pero hindi pa ngayon?

SEC. PANELO: Mabait si Presidente. Pero kasi si Presidente, ang style nun eh kung ano iyong pinaka-urgent need, doon muna tayo.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So for the record. Sec., just for a statement na klaro: Tuloy iyong Marawi  rehabilitation effort?

SEC. PANELO: Yes, tuloy ang Marawi rehabilitation. But the priority would be on the people of Marawi.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So when you say that, you are referring to people who lost their homes?

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Who lost their livelihood? Who else?

SEC. PANELO: Who lost their lives, if they are now surviving, iyong mga injured. Siguro uunahin mo rin iyong mga ospital ‘di ba, iyon ang mga kailangan eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Health facilities.

SEC. PANELO: Oo, iyong mga health facilities.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Iyong mga mosque?

SEC. PANELO: Mosque, Muslim naman iyon, di siyempre mayroon din iyon.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR:  Iyong MSMEs, Sec?

SEC. PANELO: Ano iyon? What’s MSMEs?

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR:  Micro, small and medium enterprise. They are not millionaires pero negosyante sila pero maliliit lang, mabibigyan ba sila ng assistance?

SEC. PANELO: I’m sure the President will have …

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Bakit nabanggit bigla ni Presidente iyong—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam. Siguro sinasabi niya lang priority para hindi umasa. Kasi baka naman umaasa sila kaagad na pati gobyerno ay itatayo iyong building nilang nasira.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Hindi naman dahil kulang iyong funds or resources for the rehab kaya we are setting priorities?

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo, when you speak of funds na kulang, marami naman ‘di ba na nagdu-donate. Mayroon din tayong budget para doon. Pero kailangan may priority ka.

Q: Prioritize.

SEC. PANELO: Oo, dahil may pera naman sila eh.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Sir, iyon pong dating pina-bid out na parang blanket rehabilitation program, tuloy pa rin po iyon, sir? Ano pong status po noon, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Anong pina-bid out?

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Iyong pina-bid out, sir, I think mga Chinese—

SEC. PANELO: May task force doon, ‘di ba, may task force. Tuloy naman iyong task force, hindi naman nababago iyon.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Anon ang status, sir, ng bidding noon? ‘Di ba parang dati—

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean bidding? Hindi ko maintindihan iyong bidding.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Kung sino ang magre-rehabilitate, sir. Parang mga Chinese yata rin iyong nanalo doon sa bidding na iyon, sir. Pero parang eventually, nag-collapse din yata eh.

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about the bidding. What I know is that there is a rehabilitation task force. Hindi ko alam iyon.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, on another issue. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said she is no longer supportive or she is now against federalism because it would only empower warlords in Mindanao. This is contrary to the position of the President and the government. May we have your reaction on this?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, you know, every one of us has her/his own ideas on how to solve certain problems. Mayor Sara has her own concept. We respect that.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Given her influence, sir, hindi kaya ito makakapekto dito sa pag-push ng government sa federalism?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman. Kasi sino ba ang magde-decide niyan kung hindi ang framers of the Constitution. Hindi naman si Mayor Sara or si Mayor Duterte o Presidente Duterte. It’s still the framers of the Constitution that will decide, and ultimately, the people of the Philippines.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: So you don’t see Sara Duterte’s statement swaying the allies or public opinion regarding their support to federalism?

SEC. PANELO: Whether or not it will sway will depend on each individual conscience of the members of those who will frame the Constitution, and ultimately, the people. Pilipino pa rin ang magde-decide niyan. Kahit nandoon iyan sa provision ng Constitution, kung ni-reject iyong buong draft eh di wala rin. Pilipino pa rin.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET:  So do you believe, sir, that despite Sara Duterte’s statement ay makakakuha pa rin ng support ang federalism?

SEC. PANELO: Depende nga sa taumbayan iyon eh. Kasi there will be a clash on particular concepts. One espoused by one, espoused by another. Eh di pagpilian natin kung anong maganda.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET:  So the position of Malacañang and the government stay, sir, na—

SEC. PANELO: Oh yes, yes. And we welcome all other contra-positions, and let the people decide.

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

###

SOURCE: PCOO – PND (News and Information Bureau)

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