USEC. ROCKY IGNACIO: Good noon, Malacañang Press Corps; kasama na po natin si Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
SEC. PANELO: Good morning, gentlemen and ladies of the MPC. I’m ready…
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi sir, good morning. Sir, ano po ‘yung naging dahilan kung ba’t binigyan ng pagkakataon ng PNP si Bikoy na mag-presscon katulad din ng ginawa noong IBP noong una siyang lumutang?
SEC. PANELO: I think you should address that question to the PNP, not to me.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Pabor po ba kayo sa ginawa ng PNP na pinagsalita na lang basta si Bikoy without even investigating his claims?
SEC. PANELO: It’s not a matter of whether we are pabor or not [laughs]. You ask them why they did that.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Ano ho ‘yung tingin ninyo sa ginawa ng PNP?
SEC. PANELO: No, I will not comment on what the, PNP did. What I will comment is, I think the latest on Bikoy, his confession and revelations if I may describe that. I think is the onset of unmasking the truth behind the ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist’ video, which we said before as a black propaganda intended to discredit the President and his family and to besmirch their reputation; with the intention of course of making the people lose trust on this President.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So tingin ninyo, dahil ‘yan na rin iyong linya ng sinasabi ngayon ni Bikoy ay tama na iyong sinasabi niya ngayon?
SEC. PANELO: We would rather wait for the investigation that will be conducted by the PNP relative to his revelations. As a lawyer, I just don’t believe in what a person says. He has to substantiate, he has to submit proof. He mentioned several personalities, he mentioned several conversations, he can submit those conversations by way of telephone/text messages or whatever means of communication. He mentioned certain places where they met, he mentioned Ateneo and De La Salle. These can easily be validated. He mentioned many names. For one, he has to submit a sworn statement. So we’d rather have the PNP do its job.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Tingin ninyo sir, makakagulo ba ito sa ongoing investigation ng NBI doon sa ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist’ video?
SEC. PANELO: I think they can always jointly investigate the same.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, parallel investigation?
SEC. PANELO: They are after all, both law enforcement agencies.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Thank you.
JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Sir, magko-corroborate ba ito doon sa matrix?
SEC. PANELO: What do you mean?
JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Kumbaga, parang magkakaroon ng proof na may destab?
SEC. PANELO: No. From what I remember in the matrix, is Bikoy was the source and it was—those lines I think that point to certain individuals or groups, I think only means that Bikoy was the source, it doesn’t also necessarily mean that he gave them. Puwede rin namang kinuha lang nila at ginamit. Eh iyon ang pagkaintindi ko doon sa mga line-line na iyon.
JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Thank you, sir.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, do you welcome Advincula’s statements? Nag-apologize na po siya sa Pamilya Duterte regarding all the allegations mentioned in the videos.
SEC. PANELO: Well, I think that should be addressed to the family whom he has besmirched.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: You welcome sir, statement of apology?
SEC. PANELO: Again, I said that should be addressed to them, because that’s personal to them.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sabi po ni Advincula din kanina, if there is a chance na personal siyang makahingi ng tawag especially din kay Kitty, by also mentioning her in the videos. Do you think sir, the President would allow seeing him in person?
SEC. PANELO: I think, a public confession is more than a personal confession because your audience will be the entire country.
JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Will the President sir—given na kilala ninyo si President, will he accept the apology?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about that.
CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Sir, is the government still interested in filing charges against Bikoy?
SEC. PANELO: That’s for the PNP. If the investigation shows that he has violated the laws, then he will be prosecuted as mandated by our laws, any wrongdoing committed by any individual.
CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Sir if I remember it right, mayroon din iyong DOJ dati na—they are looking into the statements of Bikoy?
SEC. PANELO: We’ll leave it to them. They’re conducting investigation, then we’ll just wait for whatever findings they have.
CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Sir, alam na po ba ni Presidente? Have you talked to the President about this?
SEC. PANELO: No. Not yet, no. I haven’t.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir I’d like to talk about, first the drug, sa involvement of the Duterte family ‘no. Now that he has disowned those statements, what does it make of the allegation – for soundbyte purposes lang – that the family is involved in drug operations?
SEC. PANELO: Well, we have been saying that they are not involved, never involved and they will never be involved, because precisely the President is the most powerful advocate against the use of illegal drugs.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. And, remember that in the matrix, you said before that these videos are being used to destabilize the government ‘no to paint bad the administration—
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: What effect does this latest statement from Bikoy do on the matrix sir—or as to your matrix.
SEC. PANELO: Again, we will have to wait for the investigation. If his confessions and revelations are validated, then it will also validate what we’ve been saying that this video was a black propaganda crafted by those who want to destroy this administration.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Uhum. To you sir and to the Palace, does he have any credibility?
SEC. PANELO: It depends, again as I said, we’ll have to wait for the findings of the investigation. First, he has to submit a sworn statement. Second, he has to submit proof on his allegations naming certain personalities involved in a conspiracy to produce that video.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Last na lang, sir. The LP has denied any involvement as alleged by Bikoy.
SEC. PANELO: Again, we will have to wait for whatever findings.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But do you believe that denial, sir?
SEC. PANELO: It’s not for me to believe or not; it’s for this person who has made allegations to prove what he has stated before the public.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Thank you, sir.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary, your reaction lang dito sa sinabi ni Senator Trillanes: “I deny the allegation made by this Bikoy character. This could be another ploy of the administration to harass the opposition.” Your reaction, please.
SEC. PANELO: In the first place, the opposition has been harassing this government, this administration [laughs]. They are the ones sowing intrigues, as we have repeatedly said. People will always deny, but as again as I said, we’ll have to wait for Bikoy or Advincula to substantiate his charges. Then after that, let’s see. If there are charges to be filed in court, then the truth will come out. As I said repeatedly, no matter how you close, you cover, truth will always come out.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Anong gustong sabihin ninyo ngayon sa kampo ni Senator Trillanes and for the rest of the opposition?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t know what they will do with themselves. It’s their hide, they’re being accused by this person of conspiracy against the administration. It’s their own look out. It’s between them and Bikoy; we will just watch and look for whatever development.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Sir, do you still believe that Bikoy is a creation of the opposition?
SEC. PANELO: Come again?
HENRY URI/DZRH: Do you still believe that Bikoy is just a creation of the opposition?
SEC. PANELO: Well, our position is very clear at the start. We said, this is a black propaganda created by those who want to discredit the administration. Whether or not the opposition is one of them, it will depend on this person.
JOPEL PELENIO/DWIZ: Sir, pagdating po sa credibility, ano po ang rate ni Bikoy ngayon?
SEC. PANELO: I will repeat again, I keep on going back: It will have to depend on whether this person can substantiate his claims, he has to submit proof; He mentioned many conversations, prove to us that there were such conversations; He mentioned certain places, then prove to us that indeed there were meetings on those places.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, LP seems to be saying that he is a creation—
SEC. PANELO: LP?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: LP, yeah, is saying that Bikoy is a creation of the administration?
SEC. PANELO: My response to that is, “Ha, ha, ha.” That’s my response.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Can you elaborate on the “ha, ha.”
SEC. PANELO: We will be back again to, let Bikoy substantiate his proof.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Sir, last na lang po. Sa palagay ninyo ba si Bikoy ay ginagawa ito para makatakas doon sa responsibilidad niyang panagutan iyong large scale estafa—
SEC. PANELO: You’ll have to ask him.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Kapag ganiyan pong paiba-iba iyong statement, tingin ninyo ba dapat siyang maging state witness?
SEC. PANELO: I cannot speculate. Hindi naman paiba-iba eh. There are only two. He made a statement that this is true and then he comes forward and says, it was false. So dalawa lang ang statement niya.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, tingin ninyo magka-qualify siya as state witness kung papatulan ng gobyerno iyan?
SEC. PANELO: That’s not for me to determine. That’s for the court to judge. Hindi natin alam.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Pero sa ngayon po, panagutan muna niya iyong mga kasong criminal niya?
SEC. PANELO: Whatever … hindi ko alam kung whatever kaso he is facing now.
ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Large scale estafa sir, at saka illegal recruitment.
SEC. PANELO: Since he surrendered, then he will be brought to the courts.
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sir, good morning. Regarding po kay Cardema, sir. Nagsabi po kasi ang DOJ, bumuo sila ng something task force para doon sa sinabi ninyo sa kanila. Tanong ko lang po sir, si Pangulong Duterte po ba ang nag-utos na imbestigahan ng DOJ si Cardema doon sa text na natanggap ninyo o was it their initiative po?
SEC. PANELO: No, the President doesn’t have to make any directive on any wrong doing. The DOJ is tasked to investigate and to file cases against any person committing any violation of the law. Those are duties imposed by law.
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sir, how do you find po, kasi nag-resign iyong mga kasama ni Cardema?
SEC. PANELO: Oh? Hindi ko alam. What do you mean?
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Five nominees, nag-resign—sorry. Iyong substitute pala, nag-withdraw pala sila para siya ang mag—
SEC. PANELO: Ah iyong party-list.
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Oo, para siya na lang iyong matira para mag—sorry ha, mali pala iyong sinabi ko, sir. Balik po. Iyong mga nominees po, umatras po sila sa pagiging nominee para siya po iyong natira para maging—since tinanggap na po ng Comelec na maging substitution, siya na lang po iyong mag-isa, sir. How do you find po, sir, iyong movement po ni Cardema after po imbestigahan ng DOJ?
SEC. PANELO: After or before? Kasi before pa yata nag-withdraw, ‘di ba? Ewan ko, ano bang gusto mong malaman.
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Pero, sir, parang ang dating kasi, sir, na parang malakas ang kumpiyansa ni Cardema—
SEC. PANELO: Malakas ang alin?
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Malakas ang kumpiyansa ni Cardema since ally siya ng Pangulo. At kahit sinasabi ng Comelec na over age siya, kasi may age limit, sir, para sa youth sector, pero pinu-push niya talaga na siya talaga ang maging first nominee ng Duterte Youth party-list po.
SEC. PANELO: Eh iyon ang kaniyang opinion. But ang magiging tamang ruling would be coming from the Comelec or by the courts.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hi, sir. Good afternoon po. Yesterday po, iniulat ninyo po na nagbigay na ng direktiba si Pangulong Duterte na maghanap ng shipping company para po ibalik iyong basura ng Canada sa jurisdiction nila.
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Pero gumawa na po ng statement ang Minister of Environment and Climate Change ng Canada na nag-award na po sila ng contract sa isang private company para po ibalik iyong basura po sa kanila. So amenable po ba ang pamahalaan—
SEC. PANELO: No.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Tuloy pa rin?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba ang sabi nila it will take about end of June pa. Hindi papayag si Presidente doon. And I understand from Secretary Dominguez that malapit nang ipadala. The trash will be send back the soonest per the Usec of—parang may nag-report sa kaniya na ginagawa na nila.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: When po iyon pong soonest?
SEC. PANELO: Soonest. Eh hindi natin alam kung ano iyong soonest – could be this week or a week after. Definitely hindi the end of June.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Not in the end of June po?
SEC. PANELO: Oh ayaw natin iyon. Ang tagal-tagal na masyado.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, doon po sa report na mayroon na naman pong panibagong napadpad na basura from Australia po.
SEC. PANELO: Australia?
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Yes po. Seven containers po. Itong mga basurang ito ay ginagamit daw po as construction materials. So ano po ang reaction ng Palace regarding these reports?
SEC. PANELO: Eh ganoon pa rin. We will not allow ourselves to be dumping ground of trash.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So tuloy, Secretary, iyong initiative ng government, we are rejecting iyong sa Canada na—?
SEC. PANELO: Definitely, yes.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR:—they hired a private firm.
SEC. PANELO: Yes.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So, tuloy iyong pag-hire din natin ng company?
SEC. PANELO: Yes, tuloy.
ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Natatagalan kayo doon sa kanilang timeline, kumbaga? Okay. Thank you, Sec.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, just on Bikoy. Senator Hontiveros is saying that the administration or Malacañang was quick to shoot down his credibility before, even going so far as to threaten him with arrest. And now, when he sings a different song and accuses the opposition of outlandish things, all of a sudden his credibility is now restored. She is saying—
SEC. PANELO: Says who?
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Senator Hontiveros.
SEC. PANELO: No, I mean she is saying that we have restored … we didn’t say then ‘di ba. Very clear nga ang aking statement: We’ll wait for him to substantiate.
Siguro what is amusing is that, if you recall, the opposition then were actually praising this black propaganda, ‘di ba? Parang tuwang-tuwa sila na, “Oh, you see.” Tapos ngayon, tinuturo sila, bigla silang magre-react. Para sa akin, let’s just wait for this man to substantiate his allegations.
HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO: Sir, on Bikoy po. Sabi po ni Senator Francis Pangilinan na gawa-gawa lang po ng … Maliban daw po sa gawa-gawa lang po ng administration iyong regarding po doon sa allegation kay Bikoy, bakit daw laging dinadamay iyong LP sa ouster plot? Gawa-gawa daw ito ng administrasyon para pagtakpan ang mga palpak na kurakot sa administrasyon. “Hanggang ngayon ay wala pa ring mga drug lords at sindikato na nahuhuli o nakukulong sa pagpuslit ng toneladang shabu sa BOC. Iyan ba ang pinagtatakpan nila? Pekeng drug war. Mga sindikato ng droga na dapat nilang habulin, hindi mga kritiko at mga oposisyon.”
SEC. PANELO: Let’s just wait for Bikoy to substantiate his proof. Doon natin malalaman kung totoo iyong sinasabi niya. Kasi kung masa-substantiate niya, eh di ibig sabihin totoo pala lahat.
ANJO ALIMARIO/CNN PHILIPPINES: Hi Sec., good afternoon. Sir, VP Robredo is holding a presscon right now and she said something similar—
SEC. PANELO: Oo, kasi nabanggit yata ang pangalan niya. But in fairness, parang ang sabi naman dumaan lang daw.
ANJO ALIMARIO/CNN PHILIPPINES: And now, she’s denying that she—that there was a political meeting inside Ateneo. Parang the last time she was there, Christmas party daw sir.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi nga natin alam—they can issue statements, I can understand their statements. But ganoon pa rin, let’s just wait for this man to prove his allegations.
ANJO ALIMARIO/CNN PHILIPPINES: ‘Cause sir, she’s saying na nakakapagduda na kayo, referring to the admin, iyong nagsasabing sinungaling ang taong si Bikoy. Pero ngayon opposition na iyong tinuturo, all of a sudden sinasabing credible na siya.
SEC. PANELO: Wala. Sino bang nagsabing credible? Wala namang nagsasabi [laughs]—ako nga ang palagi, paulit-ulit na ‘let him prove his allegations.’
Mayroon akong mga ia-announce kung wala na—habang nag-iisip kayo. There are new appointments nga pala.
The appointment of Mr. Grepor Belgica as Presidential Adviser for Religious Affairs, Office of the President. Also, Mr. Jose Solidum – appointed as Assistant Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Cabinet Secretaries, Office of the President; and Mr. Fernando “Ding” Borja, who was Special Envoy to China, has been appointed now as Special Envoy of the President to Japan for Business and Investment Promotion for a term of six months; and then also Mr. Almarim Tila, appointed also as Special Envoy of the President to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sec., the President has signed into law iyong measure transferring PNPA and NPTI—
SEC. PANELO: Ano iyong PNPA?
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Philippine National Police Academy.
SEC. PANELO: Oo. To?
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: And the NPTI, from the Philippine Public Safety College to the PNP. So, ano po iyong nakikita ninyong implication nito?
SEC. PANELO: I haven’t seen the law. I have to—there must be a rationale there for the transfer. I haven’t read it.
ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Salamat po.
SEC. PANELO: Also, appointed member of the Bangsa Transition Authority Member – Vice Ghazali Jaafar who passed away – is Mr. Mujiv Abu; also Mr. Datu Mama Sinsuat Jr., appointed Director of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos. Wala na.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Hello, sir. Iyong sa Australia na trash ‘no. Are we not as offended as we were with Australia and Canada… ?
SEC. PANELO: That will be our stance. It will be offensive to this government to be a recipient of trash or ‘basura.’ We are offended by that. We will not allow it. We’ll send them back.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Send them back also?
SEC. PANELO: Yeah.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: There is a—parang dinala yata siya ng isang private company, sila iyong nagpapasok. So—
SEC. PANELO: O, eh ‘di ipapabalik natin sa kanila [laughs]. In the first place nagtataka naman ako, ba’t nakakapasok ‘yan.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: ‘Ayun na nga [laughs].
SEC. PANELO: Kasi dapat alam natin kung basura ‘yan o hindi eh.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Exactly.
SEC. PANELO: Dapat ano na kaagad, stop. Or unless na tinago nila, kasi hindi ba maraming declaration. O, kaya nakakapasok. Nalalaman na lang ‘pag binuksan.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Baka may misdeclaration sir doon sa Australia shipment. So given that, I mean—
SEC. PANELO: Oh, then they should be prosecuted.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: If misdeclaration.
SEC. PANELO: Oh yeah.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. Pero sir, how do we avoid? Baka naman mamaya hindi lang Australia/Canada, may iba pang bansa na… hello, mukha tayong trash bin—
SEC. PANELO: Aba eh di as soon as we discover that, then we will have the same procedure. We’ll have the same stand.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Policy is, all trash go back to the origin.
SEC. PANELO: Yes, yes.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Hi, sir. Sir, we want Bikoy to prove his allegations and—but recently you released matrixes having Bikoy as the central personality there.
SEC. PANELO: Uhum…
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Should the government not also prove its own allegations against individuals placed in those matrixes you released? You named Bikoy also.
SEC. PANELO: We will wait for Bikoy if his confession/revelations will be substantiated, then isa na iyon sa mga proof na totoo palang itong mga nandiyan na mga minention niya ay kasama.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So, are you saying that the government is now trying to prove the validity of that—
SEC. PANELO: No. We’re not trying to prove. We’re waiting for Bikoy to validate his claim. Even if it is consistent with our stand, kasi puwede naman namin sabihin na, “Oh you see, we’ve been saying that all along.” But we’ll not. Let him prove his allegations.
ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Alright, thank you.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, you mentioned in your May 9 Press Briefing that any probe into Bikoy associations is just a waste of government time and public funds. Now you are saying that you are giving—
SEC. PANELO: Because, sinasabi nga namin hindi totoo iyong sinasabi niya. Kasi hindi ba sabi nila, “O imbestigahan natin.” Eh sabi nila ‘hindi totoo ‘yan, useless ‘yan; iimbestigahan ninyo lang, hindi naman pala totoo.’ Now that he comes clean, ah ibang usapan na ‘yan kasi marami na siyang tinuturo, hindi lang siya. It’s a—parang napakalaki na ng grand design. And in fairness to those people he pointed at, eh you better substantiate; otherwise, ikaw idedemanda ng mga ‘yan.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Anong pinagkaiba noon, sir? Kasi noong una parang marami rin siyang ti-nag which is parang immediate family ng President—
SEC. PANELO: Eh ang kaibahan, alam namin na hindi totoo na iyong first family is involved. Against common sense eh, paano mai-involve iyong pamilya, sila nga ang pursigido. Pero this time, ang sinasabi niya—mayroon siyang mga ano eh, may binabasa siya sa text eh – that’s evidence. ‘Pag napatunayan ‘yan ‘yung source galing doon sa mga binanggit niya, may problema sila, kung the same number. Kung halimbawa telepono ni A, pareho ng sender, o ‘di may problema ka ngayon. Kaya pabayaan mo siya. Let him prove his statements first.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sir, other matter. Today sir, we commemorate the Marawi Siege and declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Would the Palace—do the Palace see the lifting of martial law by end of this year or any time?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Pag may rekomendasyon na iyong military saka AFP, PNP.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sir, ano iyong mga factors that Palace would recommend the lifting of martial law?
SEC. PANELO: O eh ‘di kung wala nang threat ang mga terrorist saka iyong mga enemies of the state.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Sa ngayon sir, tuloy pa rin hanggang December 19?
SEC. PANELO: Oo, hanggang walang sinasabi ang Presidente ‘di tuloy iyon.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: So, the possibility of a fourth extension by—
SEC. PANELO: Hindi natin alam eh. We will be only speculating. It depends.
TINA MENDEZ/PHILIPPINE STAR: Thank you, sir.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sorry sir, about sa issue po kay former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. Senator Risa Hontiveros yesterday dared Malacañang na i-protest po iyong ginawa po kay former Ombudsman sa Hong Kong.
SEC. PANELO: Let me say this: We said that we will be providing government assistance to all those in need abroad. And the first thing that I did when I heard about it, coming from some of you, I called up the former Ombudsman and we talked on the phone. And she told me na tinawagan na nga agad siya ng consul. In other words, talagang tinutulungan natin.
Now, parang ang gusto yata ng iba bumanat tayo. But you know, tinanong ko si ano, “Kumusta naman ang trato sa iyo?” Kasi kung binastos siya, kung ministreat siya, ah hindi pupuwede sa atin ‘yan. We will definitely protest, pero hindi naman. Tinanong lang siya kung anong—whatever. Pero wala namang… wala naman siyang reklamo na binastos siya ‘di ba? Naiinis lang siya, nayayamot lang siya kasi nasira iyong plano niya for the grandchildren, you know…
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Pero sir, it seems daw po na parang bullying po iyong nangyari kay Madam?
SEC. PANELO: Iyan ang perception ni—bullying in the sense nga na sa halip na nakapasok kaagad siya, parang na-delay. And the fact is, pinayagan naman siya eh, ayaw niya na lang. Nainis na siya eh – I can understand.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra made a statement na iyong nangyari kay former Ombudsman maybe related doon po sa pinayl na complaint sa ICC.
SEC. PANELO: Hindi natin alam iyon kasi wala rin namang sinabi iyong Chinese.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Do you share the same belief po?
SEC. PANELO: I don’t want to speculate eh. I’m not one that is good at speculation.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Pero sir, if Hong Kong or China considers the former Ombudsman a security threat, paano po ninyo tinatrato si former Ombudsman?
SEC. PANELO: Assuming na iyan, eh kasi wala naman silang statement ‘di ba. There is no official statement. Tinanong daw ni former Ombudsman kung bakit, wala namang sinasabi sa kaniya.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Ano po ang label ninyo po sa kanya, sir? Dissenter? Destabilizer?
SEC. PANELO: Wala. She is a Filipino citizen and a member of the bar, and a good friend of mine – years back in the college of law. She was 4th year and I was freshman. Hindi nga, ang mga kaklase niyan iyong—4th year, 1st year lang ako noon.
Q: [OFF MIC]
SEC. PANELO: Ah, wala. Magaling iyan magsayaw, magaling mag-ballroom. Naisayaw ko na iyan sa ballroom.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, bukod sa personal na relasyon po sa kaniya, sir—
SEC. PANELO: Wala akong personal na relasyon. Kaibigan—ikaw naman, ginagawan mo na ng kuwento.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: How about the Duterte administration sir, how do you regard the former Ombudsman? Is she just practicing her democratic rights?
SEC. PANELO: Oh, yes. She is entitled to her opinion. She exercises her right to freedom of expression, and we respect that – all of us.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, when you talked to her, did she feel that she was disrespected by the Hong Kong authorities?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman. Naiinis lang siya, naiinis. Kahit ako siguro maiinis din ako na nade-delay ako.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero we’re fine with Hong Kong holding her and asking her—
SEC. PANELO: Alam mo, wala tayong magagawa doon kasi ano nila iyan, it’s their right. Pareho rin, tayo ‘di ba? Kapag mayroon din tayong hinihintong mga foreigners, ilalagay natin sa isang kuwarto, tinatanong natin. So, in the same way that we don’t want to be subjected to interference with respect to how we treat people coming in, hindi rin tayo makikialam sa kanila.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, sound bite lang. Iyong 4Ps—
SEC. PANELO: 4Ps? Anong 4Ps?
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pantawid Pamilya.
SEC. PANELO: Ah, yes.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: It’s been signed into law. Meaning, it’s not going to be subject to whims of politicians.
SEC. PANELO: Correct, kasi it’s a law.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: It’s going to be programmed by the government.
SEC. PANELO: Maganda iyon para continuing, walang …
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, medyo malinis lang na sound bite. What does signing into law make of the project?
SEC. PANELO: Well, it means na the President believes na this program is a very good program for those who are poor, kaya ginawa na niyang batas rather than depende sa administrasyon.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, sponsored yata ito ni Senator De Lima?
SEC. PANELO: Hindi lang siya. Marami sila eh. She is only one of them. I don’t think na she is the principal author.
JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So ang message sir there, is that, well, he signed naman iyong kay Risa na bill.
SEC. PANELO: Ah, hindi. Tayo naman kahit na sino, ke oposisyon ka, basta maganda ang ginagawa mo ay we will commend you for that. ‘Di ba I commended Senator Pangilinan for resigning, oh ‘di ba. I commended also the Otso Diretso for fighting a good battle. Eh ganiyan eh, dapat ganiyan tayo.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary, may mga anggulo iyong mga sympathizers ni Ombudsman Morales—
SEC. PANELO: Kagaya mo?
HENRY URI/DZRH: Especially iyong mga galing sa oposisyon na ito raw ay dahil sa ginawa nilang pagsasampa ng kaso laban po kay President Xi Jinping. Dalawa sila ni Secretary, dating DFA Secretary Del Rosario ano ho. Pinapayuhan ninyo ba si Secretary Del Rosario na huwag na ring tumuntong muna ng Hong Kong baka magaya siya kay Morales?
SEC. PANELO: Nasa kanila na iyon. We cannot be intruding into their domain. It’s part of their privacy. Huwag na natin silang pakialaman.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero kung kayo si Secretary Del Rosario, would you do the same?
SEC. PANELO: It cannot never be I’ll be Del Rosario, because I cannot ever be like him.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero kung kayo ang isa sa nagsampa ng kaso, tutuntong ba kayo sa Hong Kong?
SEC. PANELO: Oo, bakit naman hindi. Okay sa Hong Kong. Okay ang pagkain doon. At saka hindi naman … ‘di ba, pinapapasok naman si Ombudsman Morales eh.
Q: [OFF MIC]
SEC. PANELO: Eh nayamot. Natural lang iyon. Nainis.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Nayamot siya. May binanggit ba siya kung may legal action siyang gagawin?
SEC. PANELO: Sabi niya, the more she will pursue the complaint. Iyon ang sabi niya.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Complaint against?
SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba against China ang sabi niya, iyong sa ICC. Lalo siyang mag-a-advocate.
USEC. IGNACIO: Okay, MPC, no more questions? Okay. Thank you, MPC. Thank you, Secretary Panelo.
SEC. PANELO: Thank you.
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)