Press Briefing

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

Event Press Briefing
Location New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Good afternoon, MPC. Welcome sa ating regular press briefing with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Spokesperson Attorney Sal Panelo. Good afternoon, sir.

SEC. PANELO:  Good afternoon, MPC. I’m ready…

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Sec., regarding the President’s comments on charter change, sabi niya hindi daw iyong SONA iyong tamang venue to speak about iyong cha-cha and it should be done… iyong sila-sila lang in a conference that is not open to the public. Bakit kaya hindi kailangan open to the public iyong cha-cha discussions?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh kasi matagal nang dini-discuss iyon, kumbaga— ‘di ba matagal nang dini-discuss ‘yang cha-chang ‘yan. Hindi naman sila nagkakasundo sa manner ng pag-amend ng Constitution sa Kongreso eh. Siguro it’s better for them to discuss among themselves bago sila lumabas.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  But aren’t we supposed to be transparent considering that a change in the charter could affect the entire nation?

SEC. PANELO:  Transparent nga eh, di nga ba—matagal na ngang dini-discuss. What the President is saying, “Sa halip na mag-away-away kayo diyan sa method, pag-usapan ninyo muna bago kayo lumabas ng posisyon ninyo kasi nagmumukha kayong… hindi kayo nagkakaintindihan.” Eh kasi iyong House at saka Senate, hindi sila magkaintindihan kung anong method ‘di ba? But they have decided by way of a constituent assembly. “O, pag-usapan ninyo na lang muna kasi maki-criticize lang kayo,” ‘yan ang punto ni Presidente.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  So, he wants a new round of discussions about iyong cha-cha?

SEC. PANELO:  It is not a question of he wants. What he’s saying is, “Stop arguing about this, you cannot even agree among yourselves. Just talk within yourselves and then come out with a joint statement on how you will go about amending the charter. If you cannot do it, then let’s have people changing it.” Iyon ang punto ni Presidente.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  So, ano na ‘yung gagawin natin doon sa recommendations noong ConCom led by Justice Puno?

SEC. PANELO:  Alam mo ‘yung recommendation, hindi lang naman galing kay Justice Puno saka iyong mga miyembro. Maraming proposed changes sa Constitution. Iyon eh binibigay—depende nga eh, kung sino ang—kung sa Kongreso, o eh ‘di ibibigay mo sa kanila iyong draft mo at saka iyong iba pa. Dahil marami eh, like iyong Philconsa mayroon sila, kami nga mayroon din eh sa opisina namin eh… so depende. Eventually, ang Pilipino pa rin ang magde-decide.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  So you remain optimistic, kaya pa within the next three years?

SEC. PANELO:  Aba, actually nasa kanila naman iyon eh.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Pero sa inyo, ano iyong chances na nakikita ninyong maipapasa pa—

SEC. PANELO:  The chances will always depend on those who will decide whether to amend the Constitution or not and by what means.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR:  Okay. Salamat, Sec.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  Good morning, sir. Sir, how confident is the Palace that the death penalty bill will be reinstated?

SEC. PANELO:  O eh depende nga—again, depende iyon sa Congress. Sila naman nagde-decide eh. His is to suggest, sa tingin niya mas makakatulong iyon.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  What kind of death penalty is the President pushing? Lethal or—

SEC. PANELO:  ‘Di ba sabi niya dalawa, either sa drug related crimes as well as plunder.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  Why is it that it is limited only to illegal drugs and plunder? Why not other heinous crime?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh kasi as a general rule, ayaw nga natin ng death penalty hindi ba sabi ng Constitution, unless Congress by a passage of a law allows it. Kaya ang feeling ni Presidente ‘yan ang pinakamabigat na problema natin. One, is corruption; number two, is iyong sa droga kaya siguro mas gusto niya iyon – hoping that it will mitigate the upsurge of this drug menace as well as the plunderous activities of the plunderers.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  And what kind of death penalty does the President wants to—lethal injection, hanging, electric chair?

SEC. PANELO:  Aba’y kung tatanungin mo siya, walang gastos eh ano na… lubid. But I think, iyong dati natin siguro, lethal injection siguro iyong dati.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  Sir, Senator Bong Go has filed a bill – death penalty law. Will the President certify that bill as urgent?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh given na sinabi niya iyon sa SONA, most likely.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:  Thank you, sir.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  MPC, tanggap lang tayo ng Viber question from Aileen Taliping of Abante: “Secretary Panelo, bakit isinama ni Pangulong Duterte iyong plunder sa death penalty? Ano nag-trigger sa kaniya para isali iyong plunder bukod sa drugs sa parusang bitay?

SEC. PANELO:  Question has been answered.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Hi, sir. Sir just a clarification lang, I talked to you about this earlier today. What did the President mean when he talked about iyong proposing… 12 midnight sarado na daw po ‘yung mga establishments? Just to be clear about it, what is he referring to? All establishments or just the liquor ban?

SEC. PANELO:  Liquor ban.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Okay. Similar to what he has in Davao, that’s what he’s saying.

SEC. PANELO:  In Davao…

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  But the one he’s proposing is even a bit earlier because it’s 12. In Davao, it’s 1 A.M. eh…

SEC. PANELO:  Yes.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Okay. So, it’s not all.

SEC. PANELO:  No. Liquor ban.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES:  Okay, thank you sir.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7:  Secretary, mukhang si Presidente suko na doon sa federalism. Ganoon ba talaga ang sinasabi niya, na parang hindi na daw ‘to aabot sa termino niya kung sakali mang i-push?

SEC. PANELO:  Sinabi niya bang ano, suko na siya? Hindi… Sinabi niya suko na siya?

IAN CRUZ/GMA7:  Sinabi niya, out na daw siya doon—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi. Ang sinabi niya mukhang hindi na makukuha sa kaniyang term. Kasi iyong federalism, papasok iyon sa Constitution eh – change. Kaya kung malabo iyong Kongreso, eh malabo rin sa kaniya iyon; kasi sila naman ang magde-decide, hindi naman si Presidente – unless we have a different setup of government.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7:  Pero ‘di po ba, isa iyon sa mga gusto niyang maging legacy ng kaniyang presidency, iyong federalism?

SEC. PANELO:  Oo gusto niya, eh kung—hindi naman siya ang nagde-decide. Siguro kung siya ang magde-decide. If he has a joint legislative and executive power, walang problema iyon, isang salita niya lang iyon. But since he is bound by the constitutional restraints, he cannot do that.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7:   Pero Secretary, laging sinasabi ng administrasyon, super majority ng Congress ay kaalyado ninyo. Pero bakit hindi natin magawa na—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi porke’t kaalyado ay ididikta mo ang gusto mo – kayo naman. Siyempre, ang member ng Kongreso ay may kaniya-kaniyang konsensiya, independence of mind. They have to decide on their own.

Pareho rin iyan nung sa speakership. Ayaw niyang makialam, lumapit sa kaniya, pinilit siya, nagbigay siya ng formula, pero nasa kanila pa rin. And nakita natin ang nangyari, unanimous ang choice, ibig sabihin, sila pa rin ang nag-decide. Because they could have opposed it; but the two rivals, both of them, nominated Mr. Alan Cayetano as Speaker, including the Duterte coalition which was initially against Mr. Alan. So ibig sabihin, sila pa rin ang nagdi-decide. The President proposes; Congress disposes.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Sir, another clarification. Doon po sa briefing in the PIA, si Secretary Esperon was asked about the statement of the President on the West Philippine Sea. And he is insisting that the President said that China is in ‘position’—

SEC. PANELO: Position o possession?

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Exactly. So as the President’s spokesman, is it position or possession? I’m reading the transcript, it says “possession.”

SEC. PANELO: Baka naman iyong pronunciation lang.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Because but there’s a big difference especially in—so what is it?

SEC. PANELO: Possession.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Possession. Thank you, sir. He’s insisting, sir, I just had to ask.

SEC. PANELO: And his position is, as far as I’m concerned, they’re all that.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS: Possession, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Possession. Just like Tony Carpio, he is possessed with that issue passionately but with good intentions naman.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NETSecretary, in relation to Ina’s question. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Carpio refuted the President’s statement that China is in possession of the South China Sea, citing that Beijing occupies only seven artificial islands in the disputed sea, which covers less than ten percent of the entire South China Sea.

SEC. PANELO: But when you’re ba in possession, isang portion lang ang ipu-possess mo? Kapag mayroon kang mga military installation doon, in other words, pinapakita na kaya nilang bantayan iyong buong lugar nila, eh di in possession pa rin sila. Hindi naman kailangan physically. Like when you have 10,000 hectares, do you need to be all over the 10,000 hectares to call it your own? There’s such thing as legal possession – iyon. As far as they’re concerned sa kanila iyon. And they are in possession kasi they can enforce it eh, iyon ang punto.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NETSo as far as Malacañang is concerned, China is in control of the South China Sea?

SEC. PANELO: O hindi ba, kung hindi iyan in control di walang problema. Hindi na tayo nag-aaway, hindi na nagku-conflict iyong mga ibang countries claiming their own territorial rights.

JULIE: Sir, follow up. Yesterday, President Duterte said that he will invoke iyong pag-stop ng Chinese fishing in our EEZ when we begin our joint exploration deal with China. Given that the President maintains that China is in possession of the South China, how does he plan to go about …later on when we start the fishing deal, how does he plan to go about insisting to China na ‘Oh stop ninyo na iyong pagpapapasok ng Chinese fishermen’?

SEC. PANELO: Eh di iyon ang sasabihin niya, ‘Stop na kayo diyan. Kami naman.’

JULIE: Do you think it’s an enough bargaining chip for us to regain control?

SEC. PANELO: Alam ninyo, ang sinasabi ni Presidente, like iyong ‘di ba binigay ko na iyong example, iyong Scarborough Shoal. Iyong Scarborough Shoal, according to the arbitral ruling, is a traditional fishing ground. Dati, atin iyon kasi pumapasok iyon sa exclusive economic zone. Pero since it’s a traditional fishing ground, hindi pupuwede mong pagbawalan iyong iba. Iyon ang pinu-point ni Presidente.

Eh para kay Justice Carpio naman, ‘Ah hindi, kailangan … ano natin iyon, that’s exclusive for us kasi our Constitution says it.’ The problem with that argument is, pumasok kayo doon sa arbitral court. In other words, you recognized the jurisdiction. Pagkatapos nagbigay ng ruling na iyong Scarborough Shoal ay traditional fishing ground iyan. Tapos sasabihin ninyo, ‘Ah hindi puwede, may Constitution kami.’ Eh sasabihin nang hindi nag-a-agree, ‘mayroon nga kayong Constitution but your own Constitution says that international law is part of the law of the land also.’ Eh papaano ka ngayon? Puro ano, hair splitting lang eh.

TINA: Sir, good afternoon. Sinabi rin ni Presidente kahapon na mayroon ng guided missiles ang China in that island. Saan galing iyong information niya? Is it really confirmed kasi I think the Philippine government never really issued any statement regarding the presence of arm?

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo naman ang Presidente ‘di ba. As President he has unlimited resources and sources of information; at sinasabi rin ng China iyon eh. They’re saying that. And even the States has not disputed that, the US.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Good afternoon po, Secretary. Latest statement of Justice Antonio Carpio in an interview, he said, “If the Chinese are allowed to fish in the West Philippine Sea, they will take all the fish because they have a huge fishing fleet – the largest in the world.” So how does the Palace react to this?

SEC. PANELO: Paano niya malalaman na… kasi ang punto niya, mauubusan ng isda. Paano niya nalaman iyon na mauubusan tayo ng isda doon? Bakit iyon bang isda hindi na nagre-reproduce kapag kinuha mo?

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Kung araw-araw din nagre-reproduce, bakit naman … eh ang lawak ng dagat. Ewan ko ba kung saan basis niya iyon.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Iyon po bang mere allowing the Chinese fishing fleet na mag-fish doon sa ating exclusive economic zone—

SEC. PANELO: Alam mo, it’s not a question of allowing eh; hindi ninyo naiintindihan si Presidente. Madaling sabihan iyan na ‘I will not allow you,’ kapag in-enforce ko, magkakagulo nga tayo. Sinabihan na nga tayo, ‘May trouble tayo diyan, Dong.’ Parang kumbaga sa barkadahan, ‘May trouble tayo diyan, huwag mo nang pasukin muna iyan. Mag-usap muna tayo sa mga puwede nating pakinabangan sa bawat isa.’

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  So iyong diplomatic negotiations po natin with China, hindi po ibig sabihin noon ay maaagrabyado tayo pagdating sa pagkuha ng resources na dapat sa atin.

SEC. PANELO: Siyempre hindi, hindi.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Why, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Why, sinagot ko na eh. Kasi kapag nagne-negotiate ka, nag-uusap kayo, kung magkaibigan kayo, magbibigayan kayo. Pareho nang ginawa nilang usapan.

Nabanggit ni Justice Carpio iyong Reed Bank, gaya ng sinabi ko noon, wala pa tayong reports apart from iyong incident – na hindi nga natin alam kung talagang nangingisda – na ginagamit ng mga Chinese fishermen iyong Reed Bank. Wala pa eh, wala pa tayong nakukuhang report doon. Wala pang nagrereklamo na our fishermen were driven away from that place while fishing, or may reports na pumasok sila roon at nangunguha sila ng mga isda.

ROSE COZ/UNTV:  Sir, nagkita po ba kayo kahapon ni Chinese Ambassador?

SEC. PANELO:  Oo.

 ROSE COZ/UNTV:  Ano po ang update doon sa—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, nag say ‘hello’ lang kami.

ROSE COZ/UNTV:  Wala pong about sa Recto Bank?

SEC. PANELO:  Basta ang sabi niya, they are working with it, doon sa dalawang working committee. After the SONA na lang daw.

ROSE COZ/UNTV:  Sir, diplomatic protest daw po about doon sa Recto Bank maritime incident kung may latest, aside from sa—

SEC. PANELO:  Wala pang sinasabi si Secretary Teddy Boy. Let’s wait for his statement or tweet. Tweet, iyon ang kanyang means of communicating eh.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, sa latest survey ng SWS c0nducted from June 22 to 26 it reported an increase of number of Filipinos who experienced involuntary hunger. So ang data po nila is 10% for the last three months compared to 9.5% established in the first quarter of the year.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ba tinatanggap ni Presidente iyon. Doon sa SONA niya, ‘di ba sinasabi niya, ‘na ito ang problema natin, may 6 na milyong Pilipino ang nasa poverty line, kailangang gawan natin ito ng paraan.’ In other words, in-acknowledge niya, that is why our economic managers are doing something.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Ano po iyong mga major projects that we will be expecting from the Duterte administration?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh kasama lahat iyon. Alam ninyo, pag meron kang poverty, ibig sabihin, kulang ang income na pumapasok sa Pilipinas. Kaya nga tayo may mga build, build, build. Pag iyang mga projects na iyan kumalat sa buong bansa, ibig sabihin may trabaho ang mga Pilipino. Pag may pumasok naman na mga trade relations, ibig sabihin may pumasok ditong mag-i-invest, may pabrikang mga bago, may trabaho na naman ang Pilipino. Oh, di iyong poverty mo lumiliit ang bilang – iyon ang ibig sabihin noon.

 JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sabi po ni Senator Recto, it would be the greatest challenge to the administration, iyong nababanggit ni President Duterte na 6 million Filipinos needed to be pulled out of poverty. So how are we going to—

SEC. PANELO:  It’s not only a latest challenge. That has been the challenge of all administrations in this country. We have to improve the lives of our countrymen. Majority of our Filipinos are poor – that has been the challenge of all administrations.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Sec., kuha lang ako ng reaction, survey din. Sabi nung SWS poll, 60% of Filipinos think government should not stop international probe on drug war deaths?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi naman natin ini-stop eh. Ang reaction natin is: you cannot do that to us, because we are a sovereign state. Lumalakad lahat iyong aming sistema dito, gaya nga ng sinabi ni Chief Justice di ba. Ano ang sabi ni Chief Justice, ‘hindi na kailangang pumasok sila rito, we have a robust judicial system. Iniimbestigahan lahat iyan, dinidemanda naman, wag na kayong makialam dito sa aming bansa.’

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  So, tingin ninyo, bakit may ganitong results nung survey?

SEC. PANELO:  Kasi nga iyong premise eh based doon sa mga kumukontra sa administrasyon.

 ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Hindi, SWS poll—

SEC. PANELO:  Oo, nga correct, SWS. Sino ba ang tatanungin mo kung hindi iyong mga tao rin na nandito sa Pilipinas. Kung naniniwala ka doon sa mga banat ng kabila, oh di siyempre iyon na ang premise mo rin sa sarili mo.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Pero tingin ninyo, bakit may mga ganitong results? Majority kasi iyong nagsasabi, ‘should not stop international groups in investigating iyong drug war deaths.’ Considering na mataas iyong support sabi ninyo doon sa drug war.

SEC. PANELO:  Kasi nga iyon nga ang banat ng mga kritiko na hinahadlangan natin. Naniniwala sila doon sa kritiko na akala nila humahadlang tayo; and yet Filipinos are saying na tama naman iyong kanyang drug war.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  So, iyong survey, this will not change the administration’s stance na hindi puwedeng pumasok iyong UN?

SEC. PANELO:  It will not, kasi nga it’s an assault on our sovereignty.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  But do you think you have to convince further iyong public about yung views ninyo about doon sa UN?

SEC. PANELO: No, sabi nga ni Presidente, di ba haven’t you noticed yung SONA niya. Instead of saying ‘I have 85%.’ Ano ang sinabi niya? ‘I have disapproval rating of 3%.’ Oh ano ang ibig niyang sabihin – hindi siya interesado doon sa popularidad.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Habol lang po, sir. Sa SONA niya po kahapon marami siyang binanggit na mga kabilang sa legislative agenda niya sa remaining three years. Mga bagong departament0 na ipinapanukala—

SEC. PANELO:  Tatlo.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Department of OFW, Department of Resilience, Department of Water Resources. Pero gusto niya rin pong maipasa iyon pong rightsizing sa national government. Hindi po ba magkakontra?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, ba’t naman magkakakontra. Pag sinabi niyang rightsizing, he refers to iyong over bloated bureaucracy. Eh ito mga bagong departamento ito eh. Ang mangyayari niyan, pag nag-create ka ng bagong departamento, iyong mga supposed to be na gumagawa eh ipapasok mo doon sa departamentong iyon.  Ise-centralized mo na, sa halip na kalat.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Walang dagdag-bawas, kumbaga—

SEC. PANELO: Meron siyempre, may tatamaan diyan. Kung redundant na iyong trabaho mo, tatanggalin ka, ma-abolish ka, kasi may bago nang departamento. Kasi sa ngayon kalat, ang daming opisina, ang daming ahensiyang nagtatrabaho sa isang aspect lang eh.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET:  Secretary, National Security Adviser Esperon told reporters this morning that he will recommend to the President the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year citing the continuous rebellion in the region. May we get Malacañang’s reaction?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh, if that is their recommendation, di ba the President always says the man on the ground, he will listen to them, kasi sila ang nakaka-alam noon.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET:  In the same interview with reporters, Esperon said he will also recommend the lifting of martial law in some areas like Davao City, the hometown of the President?

SEC. PANELO:  Again: The President will listen to those who are knowledgeable on the facts existing on the ground.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7:  Secretary reaction lang po. Sabi po ni dating senador Antonio Trillanes, si President Duterte daw eh admitted to the crime of plunder when he said that he and his former assistant – now Senator Bong Go – intervened—

SEC. PANELO: Who is he?

IAN CRUZ/GMA7:  Si Senator Trillanes po.

SEC. PANELO:  Who is he? Wala na siya sa Senado ha.

IAN CRUZ/GMA7: Iyon lang po, sinabi daw po niya na nag-commit daw ng crime of plunder si Pangulo.

SEC. PANELO:  Because?

IAN CRUZ/GMA7:  Dahil daw po sinabi niya na… in-admit niya na he and his former assistant Senator Bong Go intervened in the frigate deal?

SEC. PANELO:  We don’t respond to non-sense.

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

 

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