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 noon MPC, Happy Monday; kasama na natin si Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO:  Good noon, MPC. By the way, I’d like to thank Ms Camille Lhuillier for inviting us to [the] inauguration of a new events place. It’s a beautiful place, you should see that. I think Ina when you get married, you better do it there. Yeah, Ina is in Toronto. I talked to her yesterday.

It’s a beautiful place. There were two huge airplanes there, in that… the name is Casa De Memoria. I think it was built in the 40’s, 1940’s or even earlier. Ang ganda, even the design, the floors, basta ubod ng ganda.

Anyway, I’m ready for any question. Welcome back Mr. Joseph with your new flowered long sleeve. You looked gorgeous. I have plenty of… ang dami kong flowers na shirts for summer.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  You tell me when you’re going to wear so I won’t wear mine. Okay. Sir, what happened to the President—

SEC. PANELO:  Nothing happened.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  No, no, sir Saturday night to Sunday?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala. Di nandoon lang siya sa Bahay Pagbabago, signing papers. I talked to him yesterday, his voice was very strong. Wala, natawa lang.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, didn’t he have a private meeting Saturday night?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam kung may private meeting siya.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, is it possible that the doctor visited him Saturday night?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam iyon, wala, hindi na namin napag-usapan iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Okay. What did he tell you, again—

SEC. PANELO:  Wala. Sabi niya, I neither confirm nor deny. You draw your own conclusions.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  What did you asked him pala muna?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, wala, wala.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  No, when he said neither confirm nor deny, what did you ask him?

SEC. PANELO:   Wala, hindi na ako nag-ano kasi… palagi naman iyon ang sinasabi niya kapag merong lumalabas na ganoon eh. In other words, para sa kanya, it’s not a serious matter. Kasi kung serious iyon, he always tell the public about it, di ba he tells you, kapag meron siyang—kung nagpunta siya, nagpatingin siya ng ganito.

Eh, it started doon sa tsismis, di pinabayaan na lang. Kaya lang, since maraming nagtatanong sa inyo, I had to issue a formal statement as per request of most of you.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, when you said that the President thinks it is not a serious matter, which one, which matter?

SEC. PANELO:   With respect doon sa tsismis sa kanya. In other words, pag serious ang matter sa kanyang iyan, sinasabi niya sa public.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, did he fall ill ba? I mean—

SEC. PANELO:   No!

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Medyo sumama ba iyong pakiramdam niya Saturday night?

SEC. PANELO:   Hindi, wala siyang sinabing—ang lakas-lakas eh.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So sir, hindi siya nagkaroon ng masamang pakiramdan even nung Saturday night?

SEC. PANELO:   Wala. He never mentioned anything. But from the sound of his voice, parang upbeat na upbeat eh. Saka doon sa mga pictures na pinalabas di ba. But thank you for the concern. I’m sure many people were concerned, kahit na tsismis lang.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, can the Palace confirm if President Duterte underwent routine medical checkup?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam, kasi he never mentioned to me that eh. I am just quoting his exact words.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Did he say why he is neither confirming nor denying the rumors?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala rin, wala rin siyang sinabi.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Good morning, sir. Sir, if it’s not true that the President went to Cardinal Santos Hospital why not just directly deny it just to settle the issue, end the issue?

SEC. PANELO:  Para sa kanya settled na iyon. Nakita n’yo naman iyong ayos niya, nakita n’yo nang walang nangyari sa kanya. In other words, hindi siguro importante iyong bagay na pinagtsitsimisan siya. Para lang tumigil, nag-isyu ako ng statement na nagpakita ng picture si Senator-elect Bong Go.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Pero, sir, ang dine-deny po is iyong allegedly confinement ni—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi na, definitely hindi totoo iyon.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  But is it possible that he visited the hospital just for—

SEC. PANELO:  Sabi niya na nga you can draw your own conclusions doon sa sinabi niya, I neither confirm or deny.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Because I understand, sir, around same time last year, parang nagkaroon din siya ng check-up. So, I am just wondering if this is an annual thing, iyong regular check-up niya?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  May we know, sir, where the President [is] right now?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, nasa Bahay Pagbabago.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  And ano po iyong activities niya for today?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko pa alam. I haven’t checked with Usec. Mia kung ano ang schedule niya ngayon.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Sir, kailan po bumalik si Presidente dito sa Manila from Davao, because the last time that we saw was during the election day?

SEC. PANELO:  Ang alam ko, teka ha. Alam mo Friday nandito na siya eh.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Friday. And ano po iyong mga naging activities ni President since Friday?

SEC. PANELO:  Ang alam ko kasama niya si Ma’am Honeylet saka si Kitty.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  So, private time with family, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  I think so, yes.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC 13:  Hi sir. Sir, sa pag-uusap ninyo ng Presidente, wala siyang nasabi sa iyo personal na feeling niya about dito sa mga naririnig ng lahat—

SEC. PANELO:  Wala.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC 13:  About parang may nagwi-wish sa kanyang mamatay na or you know?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala, eh sanay na si Presidente roon, hindi naman niya pinapansin iyon.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC:  Doon, sa sinasabing nag-leak daw, sir, ng information. Do you have an idea or do you have some plans of investigating it?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala. Sabi na nga, hindi nga pinapansin eh.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, what fueled the rumors last weekend was the absence of President Duterte in the public eye during the last five days—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, siguro iyong tsismis nag-start iyan sa ano eh—di ba kayo ang nag-start niyan, ‘sir, ba’t wala sa public eye two days na, three days na?’ Parang iyon yun eh.

Alam ninyo ang Presidente kapag hindi ninyo nakikita nagtatrabaho iyon, ayaw na naiistorbo iyon. Kasi kapag nasa labas siya ang daming gustong makausap sa kanya, di ba, eh napakabait niya namang tao, hindi naman tumatanggi. So, iyong focus niya sa kanyang signing papers, reading documents, memo hindi niya magawa, kaya siguro he decides to stay put.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, one point lang, the media did not start the rumor—

SEC. PANELO:  No, hindi naman sabing rumor, nagtatanong sila. Hindi, hindi media ang nag-start.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, could you tell us, ano po iyong ginawa ni President last week?

SEC. PANELO:  Ah hindi ko alam kung ano ang ginawa niya last week. He never told me anything about it.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Pero can you tell us that it’s not connected to his health condition his absence in public eye—

SEC. PANELO:  Ang alam ko lang Friday nandito na siya. Tapos iyong—di ba parang sinabi yata the day after the election nagpapahinga siya.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  So, the Palace is confirming na iyong hindi niya paglabas po sa publiko is not connected in any way with his health condition—

SEC. PANELO:  Definitely hindi.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC13:  Sir, in line lang sa President. Dahil pinag-uusapan natin siya ngayon, where is the President as of this time, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh, sinagot ko na iyan kanina ah: nasa Bahay Pagbabago.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC13:  Okay. So wala siyang plan, sir, to go out anytime?

SEC. PANELO:  Sinagot ko na rin iyan kanina: hindi ko alam kung ano ang schedule niya ngayon.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC13:  And one thing na lang, sir, tuloy ba ang Japan ng Presidente this month?

SEC. PANELO:  Tuloy. Bakit kasama ka ba Pia? Ah kaya pala bigla kang—

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, ano lang… I’m curious lang. Ano po iyong context ng sinabi ni Presidente sa inyo na ‘neither confirm nor deny.’ Can you tell us the conversation please?

SEC. PANELO:  Iyon lang.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Context, what did you ask him, iyong ganoon?

SEC. PANELO:  Ano bang sabi ko sa kanya, ano ka daw, cold flu, Mr. President, ah natawa. Sabi niya, I’m busy signing papers here. I have to issue statement, sabihin mo lang, neither confirming nor denying. It’s not true na nasa ospital ako, iyon lang.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Not true na?

SEC. PANELO:  Na nasa hospital siya. Tapos na. Hindi na, that ended our conversation.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And how do you describe him again?

SEC. PANELO:  Strong, the voice is strong. Tumatawa pa nga eh. Makikita n’yo siguro siya mamaya kung meron siyang activities diyan mamaya.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, in-house yata.

SEC. PANELO:  Ah, in-house.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So the Palace is willing to say that the President, hindi naman sumama iyong pakiramdam niya over the weekend?

SEC. PANELO:  No, I don’t think so.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:   I don’t think so, for a fact?

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t think so, hindi naman—-otherwise sinabi na niya na, hindi nagpahinga lang ako o masama ang pakiramdam ko.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, are you not worried about the vagueness of the statement that you said neither denies nor confirms?

SEC. PANELO:  No. Dati na niyang sinasabi iyon eh. I remember, iyon din ang sinabi niya noon eh. Nung may tsismis sa kanya.

Basta let me assure the nation na if there is anything wrong with the President’s health serious enough to be of our concern he will tell us. And he said so himself many times over and matagal na niyang sinasabi iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Did he repeat that in your conversation last Saturday?

SEC. PANELO:  No, iyong ganoon lang kaiksi iyong usapan namin.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi, sir. Good afternoon. Sir, si NYC Chairman Ronald Cardema, nagpaalam po ba siya na magpa-file siya ng for substitution doon sa Duterte Youth Partylist?

SEC. PANELO: As far as we know, no.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Papaano ninyo po nalaman?

SEC. PANELO: Oh eh di sa diyaryo.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Kaya iyon po ang nag-trigger ng issuance ninyo ng statement kahapon?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, kasi obviously that is already … the intention is very clear: He wants to leave the government.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Abandonment po bang matatawag iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Kasi there is a Comelec … or there is a law, when you file a certificate of candidacy, you’re ipso facto resigned.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Pero hindi ninyo po kinol iyong attention niya na bakit ganoon ang ginawa niya, na hindi siya nagpaalam?

SEC. PANELO: Eh kung hindi naman siya … not even a by leave, that’s why we issued a statement. He’s deemed resigned.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Puwede ho bang kasuhan iyong isang opisyal na bigla na lang niyang aabandunahin iyong posisyon niya para sa isang elective position?

SEC. PANELO: If the law says by filing a certificate of candidacy or substitution you’re automatically resigned, then you did not abandon in a way. That means nag-resign ka na talaga.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Pero hindi po nagpaalam sa—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung nagpaalam siya, kung sinuman ang boss niya.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Under ng Office of the President po iyong NYC.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, mayroon pa namang … mayroon namang mas mataas sa kaniya.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Sir, hindi. Mas—

SEC. PANELO: Eh di that means hindi siya nagpaalam kasi, otherwise, eh di sinabi na ng Presidente.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So walang legal move na gagawin against Cardema?

SEC. PANELO: Tingnan natin. Let’s see.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, just one quick follow up. How does the Palace feel, sir, na bigla na lang siya nawala without even asking permission or talking to someone from Malacañang?

SEC. PANELO: Our reaction is he is deemed resigned.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But how do you feel about it?

SEC. PANELO: Nothing.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: I mean, does the Palace feel insulted or do you think that it is disrespectful on his part?

SEC. PANELO: Well, as far as we are concerned, he showed his disinterest in further serving the Executive branch, then who are we to stop him.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Sec., mayroon bang information kung tinuloy niya iyong pag-i-exercise ng functions niya as NYC Chair even after he filed the substitution?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa alam iyan.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Kasi you asked him to step down, so apparently—

SEC. PANELO: No, I didn’t ask him to step down. What my statement was, he is deemed resigned and is being required to return official documents, papers and properties in his possession. That was my statement.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So that means he is still exercising his functions even after—

SEC. PANELO: Deemed resigned na nga eh. Resigned na nga siya eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Hindi, as of ano iyon, after the filing?

SEC. PANELO: Siyempre kung iyon ang … kung nag-file siya. Because the Comelec said, nag-file siya ng May 12, oh di considered resigned na siya as of that day.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Pero do you have any information kung nagri-report ba siya sa duty—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam. Wala akong balita.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Walang balita about that—okay. Thank you, Sec.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Hi, Sec. Good morning. Sir, regarding doon sa issue ng OFW na namatay, physically and sexually abused. Alam na po ba ito ng Pangulong Duterte? At kung may plano po ba ang pamahalaan na mag-issue ng deployment ban?

SEC. PANELO: The Secretary of Labor has already issued an official statement. He is putting the government in Kuwait to task for the murder of our countryman. So he is investigating it and the DFA is waiting for an autopsy report.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Alam na po ng Pangulo iyong isyu sa Kuwait po, iyong sa OFW?

SEC. PANELO: Siguro by this time naman. He reads news; he should, by this time, know about it.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Pero wala pa po siyang any fresh directives po kay Secretary Bello, like deployment ban?

SEC. PANELO: Secretary Bello is handling it well so…

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: May plano po ba iyong Palasyo, sir, nai-recall po iyong Ambassador ng Kuwait? Mas mahalaga iyong issue ng OFW kaysa doon sa issue—

SEC. PANELO: Wala namang rekomendasyon si Secretary Bello about that.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sir, one more question po. Today, we are celebrating the 13th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act. And the United Nations [Children’s] Fund is urging the government to fully and effectively implement the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act po. Any comment po doon, sir, sa panawagan ng UNICEF po?

SEC. PANELO:  Ano bang panawagan? To?

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: To fully implement the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act po.

SEC. PANELO: Well, are we not implementing it?

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sa tingin po ng UNICEF, sir, hindi po.

SEC. PANELO: They have to tell us kung bakit iyon ang kaniyang thinking.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay. Question from Aileen Taliping, Secretary, kung may plano raw si President Duterte na buwagin iyong K to 12?

SEC. PANELO: Wala akong … I haven’t heard about that.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, how confident is the Palace that the PDP Laban, being the ruling party, [is] poised to secure the House Speakership?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam. Hindi naman siya nakikialam pagdating sa mga eleksyon diyan sa Congress eh.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Will it be a crying shame, sir, if the Speaker is not from PDP-Laban?

SEC. PANELO: If it’s what?

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Crying shame if …

SEC. PANELO: If it’s what?

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Crying shame if not from PDP-Laban iyong—

SEC. PANELO: Ano, crime and shame?

MPC: Crying shame.

SEC. PANELO: Crying shame if?

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: If the Speaker is not from the PDP-Laban.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman siguro. Kasi Presidente nga, since he’s not interfering with the functions of both Houses. Kasi as far as the President is concerned: Hinalal kayo diyan, alam ninyo naman iyong mga tungkulin ninyo. Tayong lahat ay mga workers of the government, dapat palagi ang lahat ng gagawin natin, pabor sa mga kababayan natin at sa ating bansa.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER:  Sir, how about Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez, does he still have support of the President should he seek the Speakership?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi natin alam kasi ibang usapan na iyong Speakership fight, it’s among themselves.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, iyong kay FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno. May information ba, sir, bakit tinerminate iyong kaniyang appointment?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam. Basta I was just instructed to read the termination letter. I think the Secretary of Health should be the one to respond to any question relative to that since he is the direct boss.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, before President Duterte’s trip to China, may sinabi siya na iti-terminate na appointment. Kasama po ba siya doon?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam. Hindi ko alam kung he was referring to that.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Are we expecting more terminations, dismissals from the President?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa siyang binabanggit.

 JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Sir, may nabanggit lang po in passing si Secretary Duque about FDA Director General Puno. May nabanggit po siya na parang there were COA reports, COA audit reports pertaining to Puno. Would you be aware of this?

SEC. PANELO: No, hindi ko alam.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Can we find, puwede po ba kaya, sir, malaman natin.

SEC. PANELO: Eh di tanungin natin si Secretary Duque kung ano iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, sir, right now, do we have any information if may mga complaints filed against Ms. Puno?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa alam.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And if there’s going to be anything to be filed against her, who would do this?

SEC. PANELO: Kagaya ng sinabi, dapat si Secretary Duque ang nakakaalam niyan kasi tao niya iyan eh.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And would you be able to tell us the basis of the President for firing her?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko nga alam eh. Basta ang—binasa ko lang iyong what I read. And it should be Secretary Duque who should be responding to all questions in connection with the termination.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, the Foundation for Economic Freedom is urging the administration to take advantage of the US-China trade war by luring China-based factories to the Philippines. Do we intend to take this opportunity?

SEC. PANELO: That will depend on Secretary Dominguez since he is the economic manager.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: But based on our economic agenda—

SEC. PANELO: Whatever the recommendation of the Secretary Finance and the other economic managers, the President will be evaluating that.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Sir, sabi po ng Comelec, naghahanda po sila for President Duterte’s possible attendance to the proclamation of the winning senatorial candidates tomorrow. Do we have any confirmation from the Palace that he is indeed attending the proclamation tomorrow?

SEC. PANELO: I know nothing about it, if there is any plan.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Do you think it’s likely that President Duterte might show up in support of his endorsed candidates?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam eh. Mahirap mag-guess.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Sec., iyong aberya sa LRT, LRT 2. I think nakaabot na po sa inyo iyon. Nakaabot na rin ba sa Pangulo iyong isang tren na bumangga doon sa isang kapwa niya tren?

SEC. PANELO: Well, I suppose. He reads the news. And the management of that outfit has already apologized to the public and has conducted or is conducting an investigation on the matter. So we will be waiting for a report. The President will be waiting for a report of the incident.

HENRY URI/DZRH: As of yet, wala pang instruction ang Presidente, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong nalalaman.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, the new Department of Human Settlements will soon be operational as the IRR is now being finalized. Does the President have any names being considered to be the secretary of this new department?

SEC. PANELO: If there is any, I have no personal knowledge.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Hi, Spox. Some migrant’s rights advocates are calling for the review of MOU with Kuwait following the recent death of an OFW. Does the Palace support this call po? Why or why not po?

SEC. PANELO: I think we should, because according to Secretary Bello there has been a breach in the agreement signed by the two countries.

BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: So with this incident, sir, what does the Palace think of MOU? Does it agree with MIGRANTE that it is useless in protecting OFWs?

SEC. PANELO: We will wait for the report of Secretary Bello regarding this incident.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Balikan ko lang iyong LRT, Sec. But how does Malacañang view iyong incident, iyong nangyaring—

SEC. PANELO: Of course, he is … the President is concerned that’s why is waiting for the result of the investigation – the whys and wherefores of the accident.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So including iyong possible accountabilities?

SEC. PANELO: Yes, of course.

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

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

 

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SOURCE: PCOO – NIB (News and Information Bureau)

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