Press Briefing

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

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Building, Malacañang

USEC. IGNACIO: Good morning, Malacañang Press Corps. Happy Monday. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Good morning, gentlemen and beautiful ladies.

USEC. IGNACIO: Secretary, do you have any statement or question—

SEC. PANELO: No, questions – shoot.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay, questions. MPC, questions, ready na si Secretary. Joseph?

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Secretary, any comment on Joma Sison’s claim that the China exploration deal or development deal is a form of treason?

SEC. PANELO: Maybe he has not read the agreement signed. It’s just an agreement to agree on certain things. There is nothing there that will be a basis for any allegation of treason. Even the critics say there is nothing there.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, sabi ninyo iyong MOU is not legally binding and the Philippines can still walk away from the agreement. Now, if the Philippines nag-decide to leave the agreement, can China sue the Philippines? Can we be held liable?

SEC. PANELO: First, the agreement is just an agreement to agree. It’s just a framework. As correctly stated by Secretary of Foreign Affairs, it will be the basis of negotiations, talking points, and then after that, there will be an agreement between the two countries. It will start from those assigned to initially make some talks, then it will reach another level, until it reaches Secretary Locsin. That’s the time to say anything whether for or against in any agreement.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi, sir. Good afternoon. Sir, iyong MO 32 ni Presidente Duterte, isa ba itong hakbang para palakasin iyong counter-insurgency program ng administrasyon considering, sir, na iyong mga areas na pinadagdagan niya ng tropa ay sinasabing malakas daw po ang impluwensiya roon ng NPA?

SEC. PANELO: Not malakas ang impluwensiya; maraming incidence of terrorism, of ambushes, of killings kaya kailangan talagang mag-deploy ng mga troops doon.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So hindi po ito pagpapalakas ng counter-insurgency program?

SEC. PANELO: Kasama na siguro iyon. Anything that will strengthen any counter-communist program will always be undertaken by the government, and for that matter, any acts against this government coming from whatever source.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, in relation na lang din doon sa tanong ni Ms. Rose. Si Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares expressed concern sa timing daw po ng Memo 32 given na malapit na iyong eleksyon. And he said in an interview, “We warn President Duterte not to use these repressive powers against the people and opposition candidates in the coming campaign period.” Ano po ang reaksiyon natin?

SEC. PANELO: I think he has not read the Memorandum. The Memorandum precisely and expressly says that we should respect the rights of the individual. That Memorandum 32 was done pursuant to the constitutional duty of the President to protect and preserve the people. There were series of acts committed against civilians, against soldiers and policemen in those areas and therefore there is a need to deploy troops, as well as PNP forces in that area to secure the people, for its own safety and peace of the area.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  So it has nothing to do with the upcoming elections?

SEC. PANELO: No. And even if there has anything to do with that, the more Mr. Colmenares should be happy about that because you will be securing the area during election time.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Senator Panfilo Lacson also has this statement, Secretary: “Bakit kailangan pa ng MO # 32 kung hindi naman kailangan iyon. Baka naman mayroon itong pupuntahan, na may mga lugar na may plano iyong Malacañang na kung hindi magdeklara ng martial law ay mag-suspend ng writ of habeas corpus. If there’s no need for it, I suppose Malacañang has a plan – if not to declare martial law, probably suspend the writ of habeas corpus.” May plano bang i-suspend iyong writ of habeas corpus, Secretary?

SEC. PANELO: Well, we repeatedly said, if there is any intention, then it should have been declared. But there is none. Now, with respect to why there is a need, eh as we have repeatedly said, there is a need for that because those areas need to be secured.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Matindi na ho ba iyong insurgency and gulo doon sa mga lugar kaya mismo ang Pangulo na ho ang nag-declare nito?

SEC. PANELO: No, not necessarily na malakas ‘no. Given na marami ngang acts of … in fact, we enumerated—have we given copies, Cris, sa kanila? We have the enumeration of incidents, of killings, of ambushes, of destruction of properties in those areas, that is why there is a need for that.

HENRY URI/DZRH: This is just a preemptive move of Malacañang?

SEC. PANELO: Not only a preemptive, it’s at the same time a reaction to what is happening there.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Just a quick one on that. I think the point of Senator Lacson is that, issuing an MO to order the deployment of the military is not necessary. Kumbaga, puwede pong i-order na lang ng Presidente iyong AFP to—

SEC. PANELO: Maybe if he were the President, it’s not necessary for him. The problem is he is not the President. And the President feels that there is a need for that.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Why the need for a formal MO, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Of course, you have to direct your forces. You cannot just do that orally and what areas they’re going to. You need to reduce that into writing so that there will be guidance to all of them where they will have to go, and what acts they should perform and acts that they should not do.

In other words, that’s transparency which they’re always complaining about, that sometimes the government does not do.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, what’s the order of the President sa bagong harassment incident sa Panatag Shoal?

SEC. PANELO: There is—you know, there is an investigation. I made a statement on that already when I was interviewed. First, we have to validate—teka muna. We have to validate what happened there. Are you referring to that incident where the media men—yes. Because I have seen the video; it was shown to me.

First, I said, we have to validate whether or not—because according to that Coast Guard, it was prohibited. I said, is it a policy of China to prohibit mediamen from going there or not? We don’t know that yet. So that’s why I told them, you have to give us a letter complaint, expressing your concern so that we can act appropriately. We will refer your complaint to the DFA, and the DFA will write the government of China whether or not there is such a policy.

Because I was asking them, “Why in the first place did you go there?” They said, “We had to interview the fishermen because the last time we interviewed them, they were saying that their fishes were being confiscated, or half of the caught fish.” And I was asking them, “Were you able to interview them?” Sabi niya, “yes.” Oh, “What did they say?” They said, “Hindi na, sir.” Oh, di okay pala, okay na pala ngayon. Kung dati kinu-confiscate, ngayon hindi na. So pabor pala sa atin.

Because I heard also the Coast Guard saying, it’s prohibited for you to interview but you are welcome for fishing activity; and interviewing is not a fishing activity.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, granted na iyon iyong policy ng China na they will not allow to conduct an interview, puwede ba iyon?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean puwede? Eh kung iyon ang policy nila—that’s precisely why we have this so-called mechanism for negotiation. Oh di sabihin, bakit naman kontra kayo? Pabor nga sa iyo iyong sinasabi ng mga fishermen eh. That’s in your favor because hindi na pala kayo nagku-confiscate, hindi ninyo na hina-harass, oh di ba. Eh di sabihin natin, bakit ninyo pinagbabawalan when it’s in your favor.

Eh problema kasi, they feel that they own that place eh so they’re showing that they own it by making prohibitions on certain acts.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  So, sir, why we need to ask China if there is such a policy considering na this is within our territory?

SEC. PANELO:  Iyon nga ang problema eh, there are claims from different countries. Kaya nga meron tayong tinatawag na Code of Conduct na ida-draft ng mga ASEAN countries, para malaman exactly ano ba ang gusto mo to avoid conflict. That is precisely why the President has been saying let’s exercise self-restraint, kasi tayong lahat tatamaan dito pag nagkagulo tayo.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Secretary, follow up lang doon kay Chona. So if iyong mga claimant ho ay mag-i-impose ng kanilang sariling polisiya although disputed pa iyong territory, puwede na nilang gawin iyon—

SEC. PANELO:  Di magkakagulo sila. Iyon na nga ang sinasabi ni Presidente, let’s have self-restraint. First, gumawa tayo ng Code of Conduct, kasi kailangan talagang may free navigation at iyong over flight, kaya kailangan maayos iyon, international waters iyon eh. Pabor naman sa lahat ng kailangan na daraan doon ng lahat ng bansa for purposes of trade.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  But don’t we feel that we own that land also, that island?

SEC. PANELO:  You know, iyong Arbitral ruling nga eh, sa atin na iyon eh and that is part of international law already, wala nang makakakuha sa atin noon. Kaya lang, meanwhile, eh ayaw ngang irespeto nung isa eh, eh dinadaanan nga natin sa teka, pag-usapan muna natin. Let’s talk.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Pero, Secretary, di ba medyo masyadong mapangahas, marahas iyong kanilang—tao natin iyon, Pilipino iyon, sa teritoryo natin iyong ginagawa. So, anong nararamdaman ng gobyerno rito?

SEC. PANELO:  That is why I said, first, imbestigahan muna natin kung totoong may policy; kung may policy at—iyong harassment, parang—kasi even the GMA7, we are saying na maganda iyong—nakita ko naman, hindi naman sila—smiling pa nga eh, parang sinabi sa kanila, we are telling you that is prohibited here, but it’s welcome if it is a fishing activity. So, parang hindi naman sila—but nevertheless, hindi tayo papayag siyempre na iha-harass ang ating mga kapwa Filipino. Kaya kung totoo man iyong policy niya, oh di bahala na si Secretary Locsin, that’s his turf.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Alright. So hindi papayag, iyon ang statement.

SEC. PANELO:   Hindi tayo papayag na hina-harass tayo kahit saang lugar,  ke  sa bansa natin o sa bansa nila.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Sir, on the draft peace agreement na hinihingi ni Pangulo kay NDFP Joma Sison. Sir, have you officially relayed this to the NDFP?

SEC. PANELO:  Which one?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  The draft agreement on peace?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh siguro nakarating na, may response na nga si Joma Sison, di ba. So, we don’t have to officially comment, may response na siya, di ibig sabihin alam na niya.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Over the weekend, sir, he said he will reject it.

SEC. PANELO:  That’s their call. As we said, this government is open to peace talks. It’s about time we end this internecine. Its conflict within Filipinos and the President doesn’t like bloodshed being shed, for the last 50 years we have been doing that. It’s about time. Kaya open siya eh, kaya kahit ilang beses na niyang sinabi na ayaw na niya nagkakaroon pa rin siya ng change of heart, oh sige, sige.

Pero ang problema, they have been violating the provisions of the conditions for peace talks, iyon ang ayaw niya. That is why, kaya nga hindi ba, sabi natin noon eh, we will have an informal talks muna. Ang problema natakot naman silang maaresto, sinasabi naman natin na misplaced ang apprehension, kasi wala namang aresto, how can you talk kapag inaresto ka.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  So, they are rejecting the demand of the President. So what’s next for the government?

SEC. PANELO:  It’s their call, kung ayaw nila, di wag. Sabi nga ni Presidente, gusto ninyo ng giyera, eh di giyera.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  So, giyera is next?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, ang sinasabi ni Presidente, nasa sa inyo iyan, kung gusto ninyo, eh let’s sit down but we have to observe conditions preparatory to having peace talks. Huwag na nating uulitin iyong nakikipag-usap kayo sa amin sa lamesa, tapos pinapatay ninyo iyong mga tao namin, hindi pupuwede iyon, hindi kami papayag doon. In other words, they have to be sincere. And we feel na hindi sila sincere at that time.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Are you currently communicating with them for another meeting?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala pa, since the last time. The last communication is we told them na your apprehension for an arrest is misplaced.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Hi sir. Sir, regarding kay Atty. Falconi Millar. Siya po ba iyong binabanggit ni Presidente doon sa Papua New Guinea na tatanggalin niya because he apparently lied to the President?

SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi ko alam kung iyong lying, hindi ko alam kung paano iyon.  Basta ang alam ko, kaya siya tinanggal, because of corruption. There was a complaint, there was a sworn statement  and  then pinaimbestigahan ni  Presidente and there was a credible basis, na-validate iyong complaint.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, iyong complaint galing po saan and does it have anything to  do with the rehabilitation of Marawi?

SEC. PANELO:  It came from someone representing a company na merong receivables from HUDCC so much millions, eh hindi yata nila nakokolekta and then according to that sworn statement, hinihingian siya para ma-release, twice inulit sa kanya. But, the affiant refused and so instead of giving, nag-execute siya ng affidavit, nag-reklamo siya.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir Atty. Millar, sir, hinihingan niya iyong representative ng company?

SEC. PANELO:  Come again? Hindi siya mismo ang humingi.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Si Millar.

SEC. PANELO:  Siya mismo ang humingi.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  The project has something to do with the rehabilitation of Marawi?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ata, parang receive … basta receivables, hindi ko naano masyado iyong—basta may receivables na sinisingil sa HUDCC.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:    So involving what project, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko natatandaan kung anong project iyon.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:   Was there an investigation, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Pinaimbestigahan ni Presidente kung totoo iyong complaint, eh na-validate kaya tinanggal siya.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Kasi, sir, doon sa parang statement na pinadala ni Atty. Millar sa media, sinabi na parang sinabotahe lang siya or siniraan.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi totoo—I saw the sworn complaint.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, on another topic. What does the President have to say regarding iyong CHED’s policy to remove Pilipino as a required subject in college?

SEC. PANELO:  Philippine what?

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Pilipino, sir.

SEC. PANELO:  Pilipino, tinatanggal ng CHED?

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Tinatanggal ng CHED as a required subject in college, sir, ang Pilipino.

SEC. PANELO:  I have not heard the President saying anything about it. We will be having a Cabinet meeting. I think the CHED Head will be raising that and perhaps that will be a basis for discussion of the Cabinet.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, going back kay Atty. Millar. Do you know anong company po ang involved?

SEC. PANELO:  I forgot, I’ll give it to you. I’ll look at the affidavit.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR:  So, will charges be filed against the former HUDCC official?

SEC. PANELO:  The affiant will be the one to file the charges.  Siyempre, siya ang hiningian eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR:  So, hindi involved iyong sa government? Kasi di ba corruption iyon, so will there be cases doon perhaps sa Ombudsman—

SEC. PANELO:  I’m sure, there will be a case filed, but you need witnesses, hindi ba. So, before DOJ can file even a case, you need these witnesses.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR:  But the government will support the filing of such cases?

SEC.  PANELO:  Definitely, we will. That’s the policy of the government.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Against corruption.

SEC. PANELO:  Yes.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  Sir, follow up lang doon kay Ace. Sa dami ng sinibak ni Presidente ilan na ba doon ang kinasuhan ng government?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala akong listahan, but we can ask the DOJ. It’s DOJ’s job.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS:  Sir, I am not sure if nakarating na sa inyo. But there’s a report with photos of a group of Chinese tourists here in Manila. They are going around, wearing identical shirts with a caption in Chinese saying that they want to have memory in the South China Sea. Some are interpreting this as their way of kumbaga not recognizing sovereignty instead of refer to the Philippines, they are saying South China Sea. We just like to get your reaction to that. What do you think of this?

SEC. PANELO: No, we have not—this is the first time I’ve heard of that. Then, we have to investigate exactly why they’re wearing that shirts, who are they, where are they coming from? Exactly why is their message either to us or to the government of China, whatever. We have to know.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Pero, sir, based on our laws, iyong mga ganiyan pong pagsusuot ng mga ganiyang statements. Is that allowed for tourist—

SEC. PANELO: Ano ba ang sinasabi? Anong nakalagay sa t-shirt?

PIA/ABS-CBN: They want to have a memory of the South China—in South China Sea.

SEC. PANELO: Parang wala namang sense iyong sinasabi nila. I don’t even understand—

PIA/ABS-CBN:  Baka, sir, sa translation kasi parang—

SEC. PANELO: We don’t even understand what they’re saying.

PIA/ABS-CBN: But people are interpreting it as a political message.

SEC. PANELO: Eh hindi natin alam ba kung political iyon eh. It would be different kung masyadong klaro na binabanatan tayo, ‘di ba?

PIA/ABS-CBN: But whether or not it is, sir. Are tourists—are foreigners in the Philippines allowed to wear shirts with a political message?

SEC. PANELO: Eh kung mga innocent statements lang naman, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

PIA/ABS-CBN: Sir, with what you understand, do you think it’s political—it’s an innocent message and not a political message—

SEC. PANELO: I don’t even understand what that statement is. We don’t even know whether it’s political or not, that’s why I said we have to investigate, ano ba iyan? Anong exactly meaning niyan. Ano ba ang gusto ninyong ipalabas? And then we will act accordingly.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, do you have a copy of the MOU with—

SEC. PANELO: We’ll give you. I—

JOSEPH/GMA7: You have it now na, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, iyong listahan lang.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Sir, how far can we go with the exploration with China, because right now we understand that it is just framework to agree ‘no. But when we come to the point after 12 months, how far should we go? Meaning, ano ba iyong inclusions nito, only territory in the Philippines or also maybe terrorist that maybe near in China?

SEC. PANELO: Iyan ang pag-uusapan.

JOSEPH/GMA7: But ang position natin, sir, would be—this is a negotiation ‘no between two countries. How far are we willing to give?

SEC. PANELO: Ang palaging posisyon natin eh: Is this beneficial to us; is this constitutionally allowable? Iyon ang palaging tanong. We cannot go beyond that.

JOSEPH/GMA7: You mentioned, sir, constitutionally allowed. Sir, some are saying that sharing our Exclusive Economic Zone is an unconstitutional act.

SEC. PANELO: No.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Yes, why, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Bakit uncon—bakit nga ba? Why are they saying it’s unconstitutional?

JOSEPH/GMA7: Because it’s exclusive and we shouldn’t be sharing with another country.

SEC. PANELO: Mayroong sinasabi sa Constitution na puwede tayong mag—mag-enter into contracts with respect to the exploration of natural resources.

JOSEPH/GMA7: So parang—

SEC. PANELO: Basta provided iyong constitutional limitation of ownership, 60/40, kailangan Filipino.

JOSEPH/GMA7: And that’s our limitation ‘no?

SEC. PANELO: Ha?

JOSEPH/GMA7: That’s our limitation po.

SEC. PANELO: Yeah.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Okay, sir. Sir, with regard to Panatag, you mentioned that there is an investigation into the incident. By which agency?

SEC. PANELO: Of course DFA.

JOSEPH/GMA7: That involves of what, sir, asking China about the policy?

SEC. PANELO: First, what happened there, exactly what happened there? Second, what is the policy of the China?

JOSEPH/GMA7: Sir, do we find it objectionable that they are exercising maybe some… what appears to be right over that area that belongs to our EEZ?

SEC. PANELO: Well anything that is violative of our rights as a nation, anything that violates the rights of our citizens, we will always find it objectionable.

JOSEPH/ABS-CBN: This is a violation, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Which one?

JOSEPH/GMA7: This action by China?

SEC. PANELO: We don’t know it yet nga eh, whether… baka naman iyong Coast Guard lang iyon, baka sarili niya lang na banat iyon, ‘di ba?

JOSEPH/GMA7: What do you mean, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Because I asked the Ambassador of China. Sabi ko, ‘Is that a policy of yours? Sabi niya, ‘I do not know, DFA should.’ Kumbaga we have to make formal communication also after we receive also a formal complaint. Eh wala pa tayong nare-receive eh. That was precisely my advice to GMA7 correspondents. Sulatan ninyo kami para may basis naman kami.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Okay. Sir, you mentioned you talk to Ambassador Zhao?

SEC. PANELO: No, nag-text lang ako. Sabi ko—pinorward ko iyong tanong noong media eh. Pinorward ko sa kaniya eh, any comment?

JOSEPH/GMA7: And what did he say?

SEC. PANELO: Eh ang sabi niya, I will refer you to the—iyon nga iyong process.

JOSEPH/GMA7: What process, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Process – you have a complaint, you have to receive… parang ganoon. General naman iyong kaniyang sagot.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Sir, we are not going—wala pa ‘no kasi we are still determining whether it’s policy and that will determine whether we will file a protest or not, as a government, as a people ‘no. Okay, sir, last na lang. Si Chinese President Xi wrote the President a letter?

SEC. PANELO: So I read. Yes, I read it.

JOSEPH/GMA7: I mean the letter from the website.

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, nabasa ko sa diyaryo.

JOSEPH/GMA7: What was the President’s—

SEC. PANELO: I haven’t talked to him. I haven’t seen him eh. But I’ll see him tomorrow. We will see him tomorrow so I’ll ask his reaction.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Somewhat related, sir, with regard to the Supreme Court CJship. The Palace has received the shortlist of maybe five AJs including—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa alam kung they have already submitted kasi parang Biyernes lang yata nangyari iyon eh.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Ah, sir, si—confirm na po that the President—that the OP has already—

SEC. PANELO: Ah received? So what’s the question now?

JOSEPH/GMA7: Before, sir, this is the premise of the question. Before si Presidente when he appointed the Justice De Castro, he said that he is going to follow seniority henceforth with the justice department and then the judiciary and then military. Now, that AJ Carpio is in the list of nominees and he appears to be the most senior in the Supreme Court, do you think that it’s a foregone conclusion that AJ Carpio will be appointed based on what the President said.

SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily. Siguro things being equally, eh paano kung hindi equal? It’s the President’s call and the prerogative lodged on him by the Constitution, it’s discretionary.

JOSEPH/GMA7: It is a factor, sir, Justice Carpio’s position on the West Philippine Sea will be a factor because they are kind of different ‘no on that issue?

SEC. PANELO: The President’s—if you will look at the history of the President, when he appointed Harry Roque as Spokesperson, I remember during the campaign he was against the President. He was supporting another candidate. And yet the President appointed him and he became a member of the Cabinet. Also, those members of the Cabinet coming from the left, they were attacking the President and yet they were appointed. So I don’t think you can derive a conclusion that just because someone is a critic of the administration, you cannot be appointed.

JOSEPH/GMA7: Okay, sir. Thank you.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, last two. Sir, youth groups are opposed to the President’s plan to revive ROTC as a mandatory subject sa senior high school and they said that—the students said that it will teach—the organization said that, this will teach students brutality, corruption and impunity and the administration does not have an ounce of moral ascendancy to teach to the youth about respect for human rights. Ano pong masasabi ninyo?

SEC. PANELO: Eh saan ba galing iyong—baka naman isang grupo lang iyan eh there are thousands of students all over the country. Second, the President wants ROTC revived because of the discipline, the ideals of being a nationalist; and moreover, we have to prepare ourselves. Tayo lang yata ang bansang hindi preparado given to many war. Kami nag-ROTC eh, and I learned a lot sa ROTC and I think the students will learn a lot from having a training.

JOYCE/DZMM: Sir, kailan namin ine-expect iyong EO to be out? The President said—

SEC. PANELO: No, the position of the President is, the House—the Congress should pass a law and I think there are already many House backers.

JOYCE/DZMM: So wala pong EO na ilalabas si President?

SEC. PANELO: Because it’s a law; so it has to be amended.

JOYCE/DZMM: Sir, last question na lang from me. Representative Miro Quimbo said in a radio interview that we should lift the excise on fuel, hindi lang po basta suspension ng dagdag na excise tax next year so that—because iyon nga daw po, diesel and kerosene excise fuels adversely affected the poor. Possible po ba sir na magdesisyon si President to entirely rescind fuel taxes?

SEC. PANELO: I think Congressman Miro should first refer his concern to the economic managers; and the economic managers will study and evaluate his recommendation and would accordingly make any recommendation to the President.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay, no more, MPC? Okay, thank you, Presidential Spokesperson—

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

USEC. IGNACIO:—Salvador Panelo. Thank you, Malacañang Press Corps. Back to our main studio sa Radyo Pilipinas and People’s Television Network.

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SOURCE: PCOO – NIB (News and Information Bureau)

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