Press Briefing

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

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

SEC. PANELO: Good noon, MPC. Ang daming absent ah…

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Hi, sir. Sir, tuloy ba iyong meeting ni Presidente mamayang hapon with the 50 plus—60 plus… 64 na kawani ng Bureau of Customs?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong confirmation, pero iyon ang schedule last week.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Eh, makakakuha ba kami sir ng info on that mamayang hapon galing sa’yo?

SEC. PANELO: ‘Pag mayroon nang confirmation, ilabas ko.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Kasama po doon sa pupunta, of course si BOC Chairman Rey Leonardo Guerrero?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko alam iyon.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: So, wala po?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa alam.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary, iyon hong batang one year old na ni-rape—

SEC. PANELO: Uy, hindi ko alam iyon ah. When was this?

HENRY URI/DZRH: —ng construction worker sa Makati, umabot na po ba ito sa Pangulo?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko nga—ako nga, ngayon ko lang narinig. Kailan ba ‘yan? Kahapon?


SEC. PANELO: Wala… parang hindi pa lumabas sa diyaryo ‘yan ha.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Lumabas na po, lumabas na ho.

SEC. PANELO: Banner ngayon?

HENRY URI/DZRH: Banner story po kanina ni—

SEC. PANELO: Eh nasa eroplano ako, kadarating ko lang.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Anyway, ito hong bagay na ito ay—

SEC. PANELO: Baka adik na naman ‘yan.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Oho. Bagamat hindi pa daw ho lumalabas iyong drug test noong suspek as per NCRPO Chief General Eleazar, ano ho kaya ang gagawin dito ng Pangulo, Secretary?

SEC. PANELO: Eh siyempre ipapaimbestiga natin at lalong papaigtingin natin siguro ‘pag nalaman natin na kagagawan na naman ‘yan ng mga nasa droga.

HENRY URI/DZRH: You think ito hong pangyayaring ito’y hindi… hindi naman ba ito sampal sa campaign against illegal drugs ng administration?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ‘yan sampal kung hindi ‘yan ang positibong demonstrasyon ng ginagawa ng mga nasa sindikato ng droga kung bakit ang Presidente ay naka-focus; kasi ‘yan ang mangyayari sa ating bansa na palaging mayroong ganiyan hangga’t hindi mo natatapos iyong mga nasa loob ng sindikato.

‘Yan ang matagal nang sinasabi ni Presidente: ‘this drug syndicate is destroying the fabric of our society. Families are being dysfunctional, dangers lurk all over this country for as long as the drug syndicate is not totally dismantled.’

HENRY URI/DZRH: May nakikita ba kayong pagkukulang sa panig ng gobyerno sa campaign laban sa iligal na droga? Bakit parang hindi natatakot at hindi nadadala itong mga ganitong klase po na kriminal?

SEC. PANELO: Simply because the money involved there is such a powerful attraction and a magnet to those who involve themselves. Napakalakas ng lure ng pera. Madali ang pera sa droga.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Okay, thank you po.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir any reaction, the President remains to be the most trusted government official based on the survey?

SEC. PANELO: Not surprising. It keeps on increasing, simply because the President is a very transparent leader, his political will shows in every measure or step he has undertaken; it shows how sincere he is, and the people are satisfied with his method of governance. And, people keep on expressing their support to awaken the critics and the detractors from their slumber and/or sleep, that all the criticisms against this President relative to drugs vis-à-vis the West Philippine Sea and other issues of national interest are all wrong – no basis.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, are we confident that he will maintain this approval or satisfaction rating until the end of his term?

SEC. PANELO: Yes. If you remember, I think two years ago, one of the senators who already left the Senate was predicting that the popularity of the President will go down. For every issue that is thrown at him with such negative force, the detractors and the opposition keep saying the rating will go down. But the more they say that, the more it goes up. If that is not a powerful language to them, I don’t know what is not.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, good noon. Sir, previously you said it’s just sarcasm. Pero this time sa interview with Pastor Quiboloy, again the President said he is now invoking the Mutual Defense Treaty of the Philippines and the US and form the—calling the 7th Fleet to organize their forces there in the West Philippine Sea against China. This time, how do you describe the statement of the President?

SEC. PANELO: Still the same. Because he knows that you cannot invoke that treaty without any armed assault or attack against any of the parties in that treaty. He kept on saying that by way of putting into absurdity the criticism by the critics and detractors – and challenging them that in the event of any armed attack and the treaty will be operational, then these critics and detractors which the President has named should go with him in defending the West Philippine Sea.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, it remains to be a sarcasm?

SEC. PANELO: It is… and a challenge to them.


SEC. PANELO: And again, as I said, to show the absurdity of their position that we should be aggressively enforcing the arbitral ruling when the very effective method of getting whatever benefits we can achieve from the arbitral ruling could be gotten in the diplomatic negotiations.


ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, can you respond to business chamber’s call for the President to veto the Security of Tenure Bill which will lapse into law if not signed by the end of next week?

SEC. PANELO: Well, the President is still—I don’t know… He hasn’t talked about it. But you know, the problem with these bills as he explained it, there are so many documents he has to sign. And at the same time, he has so many activities that he has to attend to – out of town trips, he visits one place and then another place. Meanwhile, documents pile up kaya kung minsan hindi niya nakikita iyong iba.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: But sir, if there is an opposition from at least 14 big business chambers, will the President consider that?

SEC. PANELO: Oh yes, of course. The President is always appreciative and considerate on whatever opposition or concerns raised by any sector in this country relative to any bill passed in Congress and subject to his signature or veto.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: And another sir, why did he just allow the franchise of TV5 to just lapse into law, not even signing it? And also the CB—

SEC. PANELO: The what?


SEC. PANELO: We don’t know yet whether that has lapsed into law.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: No, we have copies sir.


ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Of the RAs. We have copies of the RAs, those are not signed.

SEC. PANELO: Na walang pirma?


SEC. PANELO: O, eh ‘di ibig sabihin kung pina-lapse niya, ibig sabihin okay sa kaniya. That means, effectively parang pinirmahan niya rin iyon. Ganoon naman iyon eh. Kasi when a president, who is supposed to sign bills, will let a law pass, ibig sabihin okay lang sa kaniya iyon.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Would that be possible to happen with ABS-CBN’s franchise as well?

SEC. PANELO: But ABS-CBN and expiration next year pa eh, saka Congress naman. Nasa Kongreso ang bola niyan, hindi naman kay Presidente.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir just a little bit. Iyong kay Mayor Sara, she won’t be in the SONA on Monday, kasi daw may medical..?

SEC. PANELO: Condition.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Opo. Can we get any other update?

SEC. PANELO: Actually, hindi ko alam kahapon hindi kami nagkita, wala akong—ngayon ko lang nga narinig na may medical condition siya. Baka tungkol na naman doon sa kanyang—hindi ba usually kapag manganganak siya nagkakaroon siya ng medical condition. We can only pray for her safety and or recovery from whatever illness that she is presently suffering. Whatever, kung meron mang sakit ‘di, we will have to pray for her, kung meron mang medical condition. Oh puwede rin naman na baka regular check-up lang – hindi natin alam, wala pa siyang statement.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: 60 days yata, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Meron na siyang statement, 60 days?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Text message, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Baka doctor’s advice.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: I mean, considering the intramurals of the—

SEC. PANELO: I’ll ask her.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, you mentioned kanina in relation to the Pulse Asia survey ‘no na it doesn’t – the WPS issue – doesn’t seem to affect the popularity of the President. Can you elaborate on that statement first?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, it does not, kasi nga klaro naman iyong mga ginagawa ni Presidente. Nakikita naman nila iyong positibong resulta ng mga hakbang na isinasagawa niya mula pa noong naging Pangulo siya ng ating bansa at iyan ay nararamdaman ng taumbayan. Kaya hindi natitinag ang kanyang popularidad.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Can we interpret that as support of the China policy of the President?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, definitely, kasi ‘di ba every time na that issue is raised, binabanatan siya ng husto. Pero—eh iyong survey na iyan kinuha iyan at the height of the Reed Bank incident. So factored na iyon doon sa mga tinanungan.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyon pong statement ni Presidente yesterday kay Pastor Quiboloy: That he—the fact, the act of giving a permission to China is an assertion of our sovereign rights over the area.

SEC. PANELO: Eh tama naman siya doon, kasi if you claimed to be the owner and if you feel that you are the owner, it is the owner who gives the right to someone who seek your permission to fish.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Does it erased the fact that even if its granting permission, even if its asserting sovereign rights over at least our EEZ, can he do that given what the Constitution says about our EEZ and fisheries code?

SEC. PANELO: But we have already explained that, di ba. We said that, that provision of the Constitution is subordinate to the earlier provision of the Constitution directing him to serve and protect the Filipino people. Moreover, as he explained, there are r traditional fishing grounds and Scarborough Shoal is one of them. Meaning, fishermen of other countries traditionally fish there and that is why those who have been there prior to the arbitral ruling, as the arbitral ruling says, can fish.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But isn’t China preventing our fisherman from fishing in Scarborough.

SEC. PANELO: Yes, before. That is precisely we went to that, I mean, the previous administration filed… because they were driving away the Filipino fishermen; because according to them, that’s their fishing ground; because they own the South China Sea. That in fact triggered our filing of the arbitral ruling.

In fact, para pa ngang nakasira, as pointed to by one of the top lawyers: Iyong Scarborough Shoal is within the 200 mile limit. So, dapat sa atin iyon, di ba? Eh nung i-invoke natin iyon, nag-file tayo ng complaint, oh eh sabi ng ano eh, hindi traditional iyan, traditional fishing ground iyan, kaya puwede lahat diyan. Oh, eh di—

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, just a quick follow up, sir. Sir, you mentioned that the West Philippine Sea issue did not dent or affect the trust and approval rating of the President.


REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: But how can we reconcile within the same survey also, majority, I think 80-plus Filipinos supports to assert the arbitral ruling and consider this as a serious matter.

SEC. PANELO: Eh kais nga iyong question was based on the wrong premise, kasi ang tanong noon, “is it important to assert our rights over the West Philippine Sea?” Pag iyan ang tanong mo, dapat 100% nga iyon eh, kasi talagang it’s important. But it assumes that we have not asserted, so nililinlang mo nga iyong tinatanungan mo eh. Parang pinakita mo na, hindi tayo nag a-assert, mahalaga ba sa iyo na mag-assert? Oh eh pag iyon ang tanong mo, siyempre oo, mahalaga talaga.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, any update on the diplomatic protest filed by the Philippines sa China with regards sa Recto Bank incident?

SEC. PANELO: Ang pagkaalam ko, si Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana ang point man, siya ang may kausap sa Chinese counterpart.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: And did he give any update?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa siyang report sa amin.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: How about, sir Ambassador Zhao, did he talk to the President already?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, kasi ang mag-uusap diyan sila –iyong dalawang Ambassadors at saka kung sino man ang working team na created nila for that purpose.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Sir, any update on the SONA of the President, magkakaroon ba siya ng practice during the weekend maybe, may ganoon pa po ba?

SEC. PANELO: Wala akong alam na may practice siya. Pero alam mo malaking bagay iyong ginawa ng pre-SONA, kasi doon sa pre-SONA, halos lahat ng mga achievements ng administrasyon, dini-discuss na doon eh. Kaya siguro tama iyong sinasabi niya na short lang, short lang ang aking speech, mga 2 hours and more. Pero baka hindi na tungkol doon, kasi halos everybody knows it already eh. Tatlong pre-SONA na eh.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, cabinet revamp?

SEC. PANELO: Wala akong naririnig.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: How about Secretary Andanar sir, as Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs.

SEC. PANELO: Wala rin akong naririnig.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Sir, meron na bang lumalabas na pangalan na kino-consider ni Pangulo, former military daw to replace Secretary Piñol sa Agriculture department?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa akong na-receive na info kung sino exactly sa military. But iyon ang gusto niya military, mas bilib siya sa mga military masipag, wala ng mga etse buretse, trabaho kaagad.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Will he announce the name before the SONA, sir?

SEC. PANELO: I’ll leave it to him kung kailan, we’ll have to leave it to him.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: May directive po ba si President Duterte on the declaration of national dengue alert, kasi marami na pong cases of dengue all over the country, is he concern about this?

SEC. PANELO: The Secretary of Health is on top of that and in fact, he has already issued that.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: May specific directions po ba siya given to Secretary Duque on this?

SEC. PANELO: He doesn’t have to do that, because Secretary Duque knows what he is doing.

VANZ FERNANDEZ/POLICE FILES: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, do you have any message sa fight ni Manny Pacquiao this coming Sunday against Thurman?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, we wish him the best of luck in the world. He is fighting someone—I have seen some of the fights of Thurman, mukhang magaling din eh; bata pa, magaling… Pero iyong ating boxer eh magaling din eh.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyon lang pong elaboration doon sa sinabi ni Presidente yesterday that he will not answer to any white man as to—

SEC. PANELO: Ahh… he refers to—sayang wala rito si… naunahan ka nang tanungin ni Ina Andolong kahapon niyan. Kasi akala niya, in reference to the Iceland resolution. Sabi ko hindi, it refers to the ICC case. Kasi hindi ba ‘pag sa ICC, it can bring someone subject of any complaint or charge sa International Court. He will not allow that, he will only allow a Philippine Court to try him, under a Filipino judge and a Filipino prosecutor.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And iyon pong belief niya na the justice system is working in the Philippines—

SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely, justice system is working. You have doubts? [laughs] Do you have doubts to that, Joseph? Try filing a case ‘pag mayroong nag-abuso sa’yo. You will see the robustness…

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Can I get you as the lawyer, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Eh hindi eh, sana puwede. Eh, prohibited eh.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But sir, someone interpreting this as maybe some kind of fear on the President’s part.

SEC. PANELO: No. Sinasabihan niya lang na, “Ano kayo sinusuwerte?” Eh ‘di ba from the very start sinasabi natin, “You’re assaulting our sovereignty. You cannot do that.” Unang-una, we are not even a member of that… International Court na ‘yan.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, doon po kay Pastor Quiboloy na interview ‘no. He mentioned an incident in the Cabinet meeting where he twice resigned.

SEC. PANELO: O, hindi ba kinuwento niya na rin iyon? Ilang beses na niyang kinuwento iyon ah.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Iyon pong act of resigning, iyon po ba ay ano lang, parang dramatization of his exasperation?

SEC. PANELO: Ano iyon, exasperation lang iyon. He—hindi ba, ako pa nga kinuwento ko nga sa inyo ‘yun eh. He stood up, “Ayoko na! Kayo na lang.” Tapos pumunta siya doon sa kabilang kuwarto. I even followed him mga after five minutes. Talagang ano siya… nayamot siya doon sa—I remember, ano ba iyong incident na…

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Iyong una daw po sir, iyong sa AFP—

SEC. PANELO: O, iyong sa AFP iyon. Iyong pangalawa, iyong sa ano eh, natutulog iyong mga lisensiya, na twenty years hindi gumagalaw. Iyon, doon siya inis na inis.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Pero iyon po ay, hindi naman siya parang… he really intended to—it’s just a dramatization.

SEC. PANELO: Aba eh, kung siguro kung hindi namin pinipigilan siya baka… siyempre lahat kami, “O Mr. President, huwag naman. Kailangan ka ng bayan.” Lahat siyempre kami, we express our confidence on him na kaya niya, na talagang ganiyan lang. Kaya hindi ba, “Don’t force me to wall. ‘Pag hindi kayo tumigil I’ll be compelled to use powers granted to me by the Constitution.” Lalung-lalo pa kung iyong terorismo eh makarating dito sa Maynila, iyon ang kinakatakot niya nga eh… kasi may suicide bomber na eh. O hindi ba, ano siya doon ha… he’s very concerned about that. Kaya hindi iba, nagwa-warning siya sa mga enemies of the state, “Don’t force my hand into it. I will not allow the disintegration of this country.”

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Any particular—any specific available power that he is looking in to—

SEC. PANELO: O hindi ba, sinabi ko na nga—

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Are we talking about martial law?

SEC. PANELO: Ilang beses ko na bang sinabi – he can declare martial law, he can declare a revolutionary government, he can use other emergency powers under the Constitution to quell whatever violence or any attempt at destroying this Republic; puwede niyang gawin lahat iyon.

The military or all the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the Constitution are obligated to protect the people – and the President can use the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But, we have not reached that point where he has to make a decision?

SEC. PANELO: Eh sabi niya nga eh, he doesn’t want to be forced into it. He doesn’t want to do it.

VANZ FERNANDEZ/POLICE FILES: Sir, question from Bella Cariaso of Bandera: “Palace reaction please. After the Europe trip, PCOO officials are now in the US as per the travel order signed by Usec. Apacible from July 8 to July 20. As per the travel order, except for Usec. Egco, the officials who are now in the US include Usec…”—oh, they’re mentioning the name here… [laughs] Iyon na lang sir, reaction: “Hindi ba ito junket at clear violation ng EO ni Pangulong Duterte on foreign trips?”

SEC. PANELO: I will not preempt the response of the boss of the PCOO. I think the question should be directed to Secretary Martin. I’m sure he has a purpose or a program that he is undertaking in connection to the misinformation, to the false news that are being proliferated, being peddled by those who are against this administration in those countries. Especially… did you say US? US ba iyon? O iyon, kasama iyon sa kanilang task.

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

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

USEC. IGNACIO: Panoorin ninyo po mamaya ang 8888 Digong Hotline, alas dos ng hapon pagkatapos ng Sentro Balita. Siyempre kasama si Secretary Panelo and Asec. Kris Roman. Salamat po.


Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)