Press Briefing

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

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

USEC. ROCKY IGNACIO: Good noon, MPC. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Good morning, MPC.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi sir, good morning. Ano po ibig sabihin ninyo doon sa naka-freeze iyong BOC officials and some employees?

SEC. PANELO: O, ‘di ibig sabihin eh—

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Floating ba sila? Ano ba?

SEC. PANELO: Floating muna sila, floating. Kasi they have pending administrative and criminal charges.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, ilan po sa kanila iyon? Ano iyong mga posisyon na ano rito?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong natatanggap na kung ilan or sinu-sino sila. ‘Yun lang ang pinadala sa akin.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Ah freeze, ibig sabihin sibak iyon? Sibak…

SEC. PANELO: Eh… floating muna, floating.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Kaya nga, tinanggal sa puwesto.

SEC. PANELO: Yeah… hangga’t hindi pa natatapos iyong ano, imbestigasyon.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Saka kahapon sir, nag-presscon iyong dating Spokesperson ng Bureau of Customs, si Collector Austria. Ang sabi niya, iyong one billion worth ng shabu na kasama doon sa tapioca starch noong May—itong last May lang po, hindi daw po totoong controlled delivery ‘to ayon sa statement noong BOC noon at ng PDEA. Talaga raw pong nalusutan ng one billion worth ng shabu iyong Bureau of Customs.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam iyon. Iniimbestigahan pa iyon eh. Wala pang resulta.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Ongoing pa iyong investigation hanggang ngayon? Dalawang buwan na.

SEC. PANELO: I think so.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: So, kailan po malalaman ng tao iyong resulta?

SEC. PANELO: Eh ilalabas ni Presidente iyon.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Kay Presidente po manggagaling. Thank you.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC: Hi sir, follow up lang po. Sir iyong direktiba ng Pangulo, sir, effective po immediately ito?

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC: Habang naka-floating po ‘yung mga high-ranking officials ng BOC, ano pong mangyayari? Sino po ang gagawa ng mga trabaho nila pag ganoon?

SEC. PANELO: Eh, mayroon sigurong papalit sa kanila muna.

JINKY BATICADOS/IBC: Sir, na-inform na daw ba itong mga high-ranking officials sir that they are floating in status now?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, yes.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Ay sir, hindi po kasama doon si Customs Commissioner Guerrero?

SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely hindi.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Ah, iyong mas mababa sa kaniya…

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, would you confirm na pinatawag ni Pangulong Duterte iyong ilang matataas na opisyal ng BOC sa Malacañang after receiving reports about smuggling of sugar in Subic?

SEC. PANELO: Mayroon siyang mga ka-meeting na Customs, hindi ko alam kung sino sila.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Kailan sir iyon?

SEC. PANELO: It must be two days ago.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sinu-sino sir iyong mga pinatawag?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko nga alam eh.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, would you confirm also that after the talk with the President, Commissioner Guerrero fired his Chief of Staff Attorney—

SEC. PANELO: Ah, hindi ko alam iyong portion na iyon.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Mayroon po bang specific directive si President Duterte after meeting the Customs officials?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko na alam kung ano iyong… Basta ang—iyon lang ang pina-i-issue sa aking statement.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, bakit po sila pinatawag again?

SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi ko nga alam. Alam ko lang na mayroong kausap siya. Hindi ko nga alam kung pinatawag at kung sino ang kausap niya.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Thank you, sir.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, good morning. Sir, may we have the details of the meeting of the President with MNLF Chair Misuari the other day?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong ano eh… wala pa akong transcript noon. I was not there. I was not present.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But, is this part of the regular dialogue between the President—

SEC. PANELO: I think so, yes. ‘Di ba, gusto ni Presidente nakakausap niya itong mga ito.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyon lang pong sa SWS survey. 93% of Filipinos said that it’s important for the government to regain control of the islands that are being under control by China now. Your response first.

SEC. PANELO: O, eh siyempre… dapat nga 100%. Lahat ng Pilipino dapat… would want to have control over the areas that are supposed to be ours. But the reality is, may problema tayo doon because China claims to own it too.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So sir, how do you think can the government regain control of those islands?

SEC. PANELO: Eh sa ngayon, dahil nga may problema on the claim of ownership, dadaanin natin sa diplomatic negotiations. That’s the track that the President has decided.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Na eventually, we will want to have control of it?

SEC. PANELO: Eh, kung makukuha natin sa diplomatic negotiations, lalong magaling.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: What do you think are the chances that diplomatic strategy will—

SEC. PANELO: Eh, hindi natin alam kung anong chances but we’re doing it.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So ibig sabihin sir, tingin ninyo ba iyong survey says also that right now may shortcoming ang government na hindi tayo masyadong active?

SEC. PANELO: Not necessarily. Ang tanong naman eh, is it important – ‘yun ang tanong eh. Eh kung iyon ang tanong, ‘di siyempre 100% dapat ang sagutin ‘yes’.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But, is it doable?

SEC. PANELO: Bakit hindi? Sinasabi na nga may negotiations eh. Kung pumayag ang ka-negotiate mo, o eh ‘di done.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kung hindi, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Kung hindi naman pumayag, o ‘di mag-usap pa uli.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay, ‘yun muna.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Hi, sir. Kahapon po kinumpirma ng AFP at PNP na may unang insidente na suicide bombing sa Pilipinas na Pilipino ang suicide bomber. Enough ano na po ba ito, dahilan na para mag-worry tayo?

SEC. PANELO: It’s a cause for concern, given that this is the first time that there is a Filipino suicide bomber. It goes against the grain of the character of Filipinos, iyong magsu-suicide ka para sa terrorism.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: May bago po bang directive si Presidente regarding this?

SEC. PANELO: The directive is always to enhance the technology in surveillance and intelligence work.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Ito po ba ay puwede nang maging dahilan para muling i-extend iyong martial law sa Mindanao?

SEC. PANELO: Ah, that’s the call of the President.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Ano po ang puwede nating ipayo sa publiko, sir?

SEC. PANELO: O, eh ‘di ‘yung usual payo natin na mag-ingat, anumang mga nakikita nilang hindi normal ipaalam nila sa mga kaukulang awtoridad lalo na iyong mga nakikita nilang galaw na mapanganib para sa kanilang kalagayan.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Thank you, sir.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Hi sir, is there any update on meeting with the MILF Chair, Al Haj Murad?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: So hindi pa po natuloy, supposedly there was one reportedly July 10 yesterday, did not push through?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong info doon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyon pong sa Speakership ‘no. From the President’s end, that’s the final answer di ba, sa kanya?

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, that’s the suggestion of the President.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kasi, sir parang may mga hindi satisfied?

SEC. PANELO: Well, you cannot satisfy everybody. But from what I hear, iyon na yun.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Iyon na po iyon.

SEC. PANELO: I mean, iyon ang tatanggapin ng pangkalahatan, kasi unang-una sila naman ang humingi noon, hindi naman si Presidente.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kasi, sir there’s a report here that the son himself ‘no, si Pulong eh medyo naghi-hint na there might be some sort of a coup d’etat doon sa choice ni Presidente, meaning Alan may not be—may face some opposition?

SEC. PANELO: In the ultimate analysis, the vote on the speaker would lie on the members of Congress. The only reason why the President gave that suggestion is because those or vying for it went to him and sought his wise suggestion to settle the row between and among them.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And the President wouldn’t mind naman if kunwari, I mean iyong sa kumpas niya medyo may hindi sumunod?

SEC. PANELO: Aba, eh hindi naman siya actually, hindi naman siya nagku-kumpas, siya ang pinapa—hindi ba siya ang nilapitan eh. Eh kayo ang lumapit sa akin, sabi n’yo payag kayo, oh di sige pinagbigyan ko kayo. Nasa sa kanila iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, kung halimbawa nga na hindi si Alan iyong maupo, si PC (Peter Cayetano) iyong maupo doon, do you think it’s a reflection of the clout of the President in Congress or medyo kanilang problema iyon, if they don’t wanna follow.

SEC. PANELO: No, it’s not a reflection of the clout of the President. Because the President didn’t want to interfere in the first, didn’t wanna intrude. It’s them who somehow persuaded him to come in.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, sabi po ni Taguig Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, once he takes the sit as the House Speaker, he wants to extend the term of lawmakers, ano po ang reaction ng Palace?

SEC. PANELO: Well, the decision would always lie of the members of Congress, because they are the ones passing the bill.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Do you think it’s timely, sir for an extension, t0 call for an extension?

SEC. PANELO: Again, we will leave it to the judgment of the members of Congress.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: But, do you agree sir? Do you agree that it should be extended, masyadong maikli po ba iyong term?

SEC. PANELO: I will not pre-empt the wisdom of the members of Congress on this matter.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: I’ll try again sir. So, what about your wisdom, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Mine is irrelevant at this stage. I think more relevant would be what the people want. I think they should conduct a survey on the sentiments of the people, whether or not they agree on that proposal. And I’m sure since that has been floated, there will be opinions being expressed by many sectors.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, Senator Tolentino filed a bill – emergency power – para sa President, what’s your take on that?

SEC. PANELO: Well, hindi ba the President wanted that at the very inception of his presidency, but congress did not. Di ba sabi niya, kung ayaw ninyo, di ‘huwag.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Will the President certified that bill as an urgent?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know whether it will be certified, but we know for a fact that granting him emergency powers will solve many problems affecting the building of infrastructure for instance, the traffic problem in EDSA.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, is the Palace confident that, that bill will gain support considering na majority iyong allies ni President ngayon?

SEC. PANELO: Well, we hope that it would pass, but then again, that is left to the wisdom of the members of Congress.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, follow up lang doon. Hindi naman po kaya napakiusapan si Senator Tolentino na i-file again, because the President think he needs it really – the emergency powers for traffic?

SEC. PANELO: No, matagal ko nang naririnig sa kanya iyan eh, nung member of the cabinet pa siya. Sinasabi niya na, kailangan meron talagang ganoon.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Good afternoon, sir. Sir, regarding the accusation of lawyer Chel Diokno against the government of allegedly influencing the fishermen to withdraw their affidavit or their petition – the Writ of Kalikasan – regarding the West Philippine Sea, he accused that the government influenced these petitioners, can we get your—?

SEC. PANELO: I think it’s the other way around. He should ask himself in the mirror because that question applies to him. Because if we are to believe the affidavit of the fishermen, it’s them that influenced or manipulated them because I understand, the very reason why the fishermen went to them is because their houses were being demolished and they had a problem not in regard to that, and then they were asked to sign documents, iyon pala petition na, iyon ang istorya ng mga fishermen.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: So, sir, the petition filed in this … the filing of this Writ of Kalikasan is not the way to, like, to protect the marine ecosystem in the West Philippine Sea as the government sees it?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know about whether that is the only way. But the issue of the matter is, whether or not the petitioners indeed filed that petition in their behalf.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Hi, sir. Good noon. Sir, iyong may kaugnayan sa alleged one billion ‘tapioca shabu’ cover up tapos may binabanggit ang Pangulo na parang kautusan to freeze and fire several high-ranking officials and employees of Bureau of Customs over allegation of corruptions, iyon nga, sa drugs, smuggling and rice smuggling. Kasama ba iyong sangkot sa one billion ‘tapioca shabu’ cover up sa list na posibleng sisibakin ng Pangulo?

SEC. PANELO: Basta marami siyang sisibakin, iyon ang sabi niya. And may investigation nang ginagawa, and in fact, marami nang na-file na charges against those who are involved.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, mayroon pong reports na nai-implicate iyong isang deputy commissioner at assistant commissioner doon sa umano’y drug smuggling, so posibleng na kasama ito sa …?

SEC. PANELO: Basta mayroong ongoing investigation.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, given this, kumbaga, volume of allegation ng alleged cover up at saka iyong mga ini-implicate na mga opisyal, itong si Customs Commissioner Guerrero, wala bang parang command responsibility issue dito?

SEC. PANELO: Ang pagkakaalam ko nga, siya ang nagpapaano eh, siya nga ang naka-discover.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: Sorry, going back doon sa earlier question ko. You have mentioned that there are other ways to protect the marine environment in the West Philippine Sea. So what are these?

SEC. PANELO: Eh ‘di bantayin mo through the Coast Guards, dagdagan mo iyong mga bantay natin doon para mapangalagaan mo iyong mga Pilipino roon. And babalik na naman tayo sa diplomatic relations negotiations.

CELERINA MONTE/MANILA SHIMBUN: So would that include like apprehending these poachers, not only the Chinese, but other poachers?

SEC. PANELO: Kung mahuli ba nila. Eh ‘di ba, sabi nga natin, alam na nila ang kanilang tungkulin sa ilalim ng batas.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, sa survey po ulit. Clarification: We want … the Philippines wants China out of our islands? Is that what you’re saying?

SEC. PANELO: Sa survey?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: As a reaction to the survey that said 93% thinks that the government should reclaim those islands. Is our position now, we want China out of the islands?

SEC. PANELO: You can draw your conclusions kung ano iyong tanong. Kasi the question is: Is it important? Ang sagot naman nila ay yes. Eh ‘di you draw your conclusions kung ano ang mga implications noon?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero, sir, ang posisyon po natin is?

SEC. PANELO: Eh ang posisyon natin is sa atin iyon, that’s ours.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And therefore?

SEC. PANELO: We will do everything legal and feasible to assert our ownership over the same, for sovereign rights.

But the reality again as repeatedly said by the President, they are in possession. Kung kayo ang nasa lugar niya, ano ang gagawin ninyo? Isusuong ninyo sa panganib ang bansa natin at seguridad?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, doon po sa speech ni Presidente doon sa, I think, dinner ni Congressman Arroyo, and this is probably third, second time that he mentioned na there are dark times ahead. What could he be referring to?

SEC. PANELO: Aba, ‘di ba talaga namang maraming dark times ahead: ‘Di ba nandiyan iyong terorismo; nandiyan iyong war on drugs – marami eh; andiyan iyong corruption. Kita mo iyong sa customs, biglang ubod nang dami. From what I gathered, mga 72 yata ang tatanggalin niya or facing administrative charges – ganoon kadami! Either 72 or 62, hindi ko na malaman ang eksaktong number.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Seventy-two or sixty-two?

SEC. PANELO: Mga ganoon kadami – ganoon kadami.

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam, basta—hindi ko na nga maano kung ano iyong dinig ko, 72 ba; basta marami – mahigit singkuwenta, less than 100.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: BOC iyan, sir, ha?

SEC. PANELO: BOC.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: BOC alone lang iyan, sir, ha?

SEC. PANELO: Oo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Ganoon kalaki ang problema doon, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Ganoon karami ang involved sa corruption.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: More than 50 po. Pero, sir, any more details on the BOC?

SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala, basta ongoing eh. Ilalabas na lang lahat iyan ni Presidente.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: What prompted this? May nagsumbong ba?

SEC. PANELO: Ang pagkakaalam ko ay mayroong nagsumbong kay Commissioner Guerrero at inimbestigahan niya.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: May nagsumbong na?

SEC. PANELO: Maraming anomalya involving certain officials.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero sir, ibalik ko lang ulit doon sa dark times ahead. I’d like to probably connect it to iyong first Filipino suicide bomber. Is that an indication that we have a looming terrorism problem?

SEC. PANELO: ‘Di ba mayroon … dati naman tayong may terrorism problem kaya lang na-enhance because of that … ganoon na pala katapang ngayon ang Pilipino, papatayin ang sarili niya to advance the advocacy of terrorist.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Kasi sir, in that speech, medyo may … before he said that, may mga statements siya about buying arms and strengthening our security ‘no.

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, oo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So do we expect something … some statements in the SONA probably, and how are we going to deal with this?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam kung ano ang sasabihin niya. Surprise…

USEC. IGNACIO: Thank you, Secretary Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

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Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau)

 

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