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 afternoon, Malacañang Press Corps. Let’s now have Presidential Spokesperson and Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Good afternoon, MPC. But before that, let me greet a Happy Birthday to Usec. Racquel ‘Rocky’ Ignacio. Happy Birthday! And my favorite—naku baka may magalit, one of my favorite granddaughters – Pia Isabel. Pia, Happy-happy Birthday! It’s her birthday today. Kasabay mo pala iyong aking paborito.

USEC. ROCKY IGNACIO: Sir, i-welcome natin iyong mga taga-Bureau of Fire Protection. Welcome sa briefing ni Secretary Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Oo, mayroon tayong mga guests. Alam mo ‘yung aking si Pia, napakataray noon. Wala, talo kayo sa taray noon. When she was three years old, I think last year… pagpasok ko sa kuwarto niya eh, naglalaro siya ng mga toys. And then napansin ko nag-iisa siya eh, wala iyong yaya, wala iyong mga… Sabi ko, “Pia, why are you alone? Where’s everybody?” Without even looking at me, talagang hindi… kahit tawagin mo. Sabi niya, “Grandpa, it’s nice to be alone.” Three years old ‘to ha [laughs]. Sabi ko sa tatay niya, si Paolo, “May problema ka diyan paglaki.” [laughs]

O, ano nang balita sa Hong Kong?

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Anyway sir, good morning. Sir, may we have your take about the video that went viral? This is about the Chinese tourist in Boracay who let her child defecate in the area and there’s another one na nagbaon ng diapers sa seashore. May we have your statement on that, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Well, there are rules and regulations in that place. So everyone is expected – whether foreigner or Filipinos alike… tourist, whatever – they have to follow rules and that obviously is a violation, so they will be subject to administrative or rather suits. So we would advice them to—if they are here in the Philippines, they have to follow the rules.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Did the President learn about the incident, sir?

SEC. PANELO: I have not talked about that with him, but I supposed he reads the news.

But you know, maybe we should ask also the Boracay… whomever are responsible for that place, to have available restrooms all over.

Q: [off mic] Hotels…

SEC. PANELO: No, no kasi nasa beach house iyon eh. Kasi I also noticed, parang… ‘pag gustong mag-relieve yourself, parang wala ka ring puntahan kung nandoon ka sa beach; Kailangan siguro mayroong mga portable restroom there, kailangan din tulungan din natin iyong mga turista natin.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Uhum. Pero sir, how do you feel about the incident? Were you—

SEC. PANELO: It’s a violation. We will not—siyempre we are not happy about that. Hindi naman maganda rin iyon, kasi we’re supposed to be cleaning it up pagkatapos some people are messing it up ‘di ba? Hindi maganda!

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Were you offended?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, kahit na Pilipino iyon; whether Pilipino iyon o tourist, it’s offensive to the sight. It’s not a good scene.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, para lang ma-elaborate. When you say administrative action against those Chinese tourists, what do you mean by that? What particular sanction iyong puwede nilang harapin?

SEC. PANELO: No. There is for instance, an ordinance prohibiting those kind of actions, then they will be sanctioned by local authorities. Eh kung may ordinance na ganoon, ‘di baka idemanda sila o baka may fine pa.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Hi, sir. In yesterday’s investigation on the alleged anomalies in PhilHealth, it was mentioned that you supposedly know of the so-called mafia in PhilHealth na napag-usapan ninyo daw po ito ni Pangulo at one point. Can you tell us about that?

SEC. PANELO: No… You know, I don’t even remember the context by which that was mentioned. Parang during the meeting with them, parang may nabanggit silang about certain people na kalaban noong Dr. Roy. And then parang nabanggit ni Presidenteng kilala ko, parang kilala mo yata iyon. I don’t even remember who they are, but alam ko may mga kalaban si Dr. Roy na mga dating taga-UP. Iyon lang ang alam ko kaya—I don’t even know their names. Hindi ko alam ang context, nakalimutan ko na iyon. But I understand, he named them ‘di ba? O ‘yun pala, he named them eh.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Okay. Wala akong list noong names na iyon, sir. But, hold on… Have you seen the list of the names, sir?

SEC. PANELO: No, I have not.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: Okay. So iyong sinasabing mafia in PhilHealth, what is your knowledge about that?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi mafia. Hindi mafia ang pagkaintindi ko doon eh. Parang may mga kalaban siya doon sa loob ng PhilHealth. Hindi mafia ang pagka-refer sa kanila.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: And when this was discussed with you and the President, were there any—

SEC. PANELO: No, parang in passing lang iyon. Hindi, actually during the meeting with the PhilHealth people – that was the time.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: And was it—may napag-agree-han po ba na dapat gawin to address man iyong whatever conflict there seemed to be inside PhilHealth?

SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi. Parang ang alam ko doon, he filed charges against them, so pending at that time iyong mga charges.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILIPPINES: So, there was no directive from the President about resolving internal issues in PhilHealth?

SEC. PANELO: Basta I remember… I remember, parang sinabi ni Presidente na… nakalimutan ko na nga iyong incident na iyon, para bang naging… That was the time he was—or most of them were placed under—‘di ba napalitan siya, si Dr. Roy napalitan at that time eh – parang iyon ‘yung context noon.


JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, tingnan lang natin if some of the names ring a bell: Paolo Johan Perez, Region IV-B; Khaliquzzaman Macabato, ARMM.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko rin kila—wala akong kilala.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Baka na-bring up doon sa conversation ninyo sir. Attorney Valerie—

SEC. PANELO: Ah definitely, walang pangalan na binanggit doon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Walang specific?

SEC. PANELO: Wala, definitely wala. Parang nabanggit lang doon may mga taong kalaban siya.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Uhum. So ibig sabihin sir, kasi I think by mentioning that there is a mafia and the President knows it, hindi ba sir mayroon siyang assumption na eh bakit gumagana pa rin iyong mafia? And what is the President going to do about that fact?

SEC. PANELO: No. If there is an ongoing investigation, ‘di siyempre the President will wait for the findings.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. Meaning, hindi naman sir indication iyon na inaction, na parang alam na pala iyong mga names tapos—

SEC. PANELO: Oh, definitely hindi.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay. So the President will wait for the results of the investigation?

SEC. PANELO: Yes. Kung may mga pending administrative charges eh… Ay, kung hindi ako nagkakamali parang narinig ko nasa Ombudsman na iyon eh.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, the President will not protect these people?

SEC. PANELO: Oh definitely—si Presidente pa naku… of all people. He will never allow or tolerate any irregularity or corruption in this government regardless of any relationship to him, or whether or not those people are allied with him politically.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Alright sir, iyon muna po.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Good morning, sir. Sir, PAGCOR Chairperson Andrea Domingo earlier this morning sir, she said na iyong influx daw po ng Chinese workers sa mga POGO dito sa Pilipinas is not a national threat, kasi daw ordinary workers lang daw po sila. So, this contradicts iyong statement po ni NSA Esperon na they should be considered as threats, iyong mga undocumented foreign workers. So, ano pong opinyon ng Palace on this? Comment ninyo, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Well, that’s the opinion of the PAGCOR Chief. But I would defer to the opinion of the National Security Chief because that is precisely his job.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: So sir, you think na iyong mga undocumented foreign workers and iyong mga illegal Chinese workers should still be considered as a national threat?

SEC. PANELO: Eh, kung ‘yan ang palagay ng ating National Security, we will defer to him. But what is important I think is if there is any violation of immigration laws, then they will be subjected to the same.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Okay, sir. And then sir, your comment lang sir doon sa proposal na iyong mga POGO hubs, iyong iko-confine iyong mga Chinese workers into one place where they can live—according to PAGCOR Chair na comfortably and safely. Do you support this proposal, sir?

SEC. PANELO: They are saying that their liberties will not be restricted. So if their liberties are not restricted and according to them, ginagawa nga nila iyon to protect them, uhh so, kung ganoon naman ang essence noong paglagay sa kanilang lugar, I don’t think that will be a violation. When I said that it may violate because, I said, if their liberties are restricted, movements are restricted, then there may be a violation. Pero kung sinasabi nila wala, eh ‘di pabor sa Chinese iyon.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: But, sir, do you support it if hindi naman po mare-restrict ang mga liberties nila?

SEC. PANELO: Basta walang violation. We will always support ‘pag walang violation. We have to protect all the nationals of any country dito sa ating bansa.

ARIANNE MEREZ/ABS-CBN NEWS.COM: Okay sir, thank you.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Sir, is the Palace aware of the recent incident that happened in a mall in Cubao wherein a transwoman was handcuffed and subjected to humiliation just because she wanted to use the female restroom?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know if he has heard of it. We’re talking last night pero parang hindi naman na—but if you will ask the position of the Palace, our position is we have to respect LGBT at saka another thing, there is an ordinance eh. There is an ordinance to respect them, so, violation ‘yung ginawa doon sa transgender.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Itong incident na ito sir, has reignited the debate for the passage of the SOGIE Bill, SO-G-I-E Bill. Will the President marks this as ano… ‘yung urgent because of this incident, sir?

SEC. PANELO: I remember the President expressed support for the LGBT one time, ‘di ba? So, I think he will support that kind. Eh, ang gusto n’un palaging fair treatment to all eh.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Pero ‘yung sa passage, sir, will President Duterte signify this as urgent considering na may mga ganito ng nangyayari na mga incident.

SEC. PANELO: I will ask him when we talk again.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Okay. Thank you, sir.

USEC. ROCKY: May follow-up d’un? Reymund – other issue.

SEC. PANELO: Si ‘Mr. Disagree’.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, good noon! Sir, have you heard about the recent incident na naman sa Sibutu Strait? May mga Chinese warships na naman na dumadaan at sinasadya na nagpapatay ng… ‘yung identification system nila?

SEC. PANELO: Ah, papuntang Hong Kong, ano?


SEC. PANELO: Well, gaya ng posisyon ng ating Secretary of National Defense, we don’t like that. And ‘pag na-verify mo na naman ‘yun ‘di another subject of diplomatic protest by the DFA.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Pero how do you feel sir, na parang that appears to be a blatant, pananadya talaga, parang pagbale-wala doon sa even the filing already of a diplomatic protest to the first incident?

SEC. PANELO: It should be a subject of concerns between the two countries.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, parang—dugyot na nga sa Boracay eh.

SEC. PANELO: Eh, kailangang siguro—baka…. Tingnan natin, basta may ‘pag violation may violation sa UNCLOS, we will file a diplomatic protest.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Hindi ba kayo parang nababastusan sa ganoong aktuwasyon ng China, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Sabihin mo na lang na we express concern with that kind of incident. Because if they keep on saying that we’re friends, I don’t think this is an act of friendship.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: So, do we expect that this will be included to the possible issues that the President will raise to Xi Jinping when they meet in Beijing this month?

SEC. PANELO: Well, that’s the call of the President. But any issue will always be open between the two heads of state. Depende sa kanila kung anong pag-uusapan nila.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Thank you sir, I agree.

SEC. PANELO: finally, you’re ‘Mr. Agree’, huh.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Sir, quick follow-up lang kay Bombo. Tinanong ko na ito dati and you said you will ask the President: Bully po ba ang China?


CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Ang China sa ginagawa nila sa atin ngayon?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba sinagot ko na rin ‘yan. With respect doon sa sinabi ni Secretary Lorenzana na when you drive away fisherman doon sa ating EEZ, that’s—I agree with him when he says bullying iyon.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Pero itong ginagawa ngayon sir, na dumadaan sa Sibutu Strait tapos pinapatay nila ‘yung AIS nila, is that a form of bullying sa Philippines?

SEC. PANELO: Bullying ba ang tawag doon?


SEC. PANELO: Baka it’s a violation of the UNCLOS. Violation ng UNCLOS ‘yan eh kung dumaraan sa ating EEZ. I’m sure the DFA Secretary will do something about that.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, may update ba tayo doon sa mga diplomatic protests na pina-file natin?

SEC. PANELO: Walang… wala—Inaantay namin si DFA Secretary.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: ‘Pag ba sir, sinabi ni Secretary Locsin that we have filed diplomatic protest, nakikita niyo ‘yung kopya nung diplomatic protest?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi. Hindi kami—I mean, me, I have not received any copy; baka si Presidente.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Is this being discussed also in the cabinet meeting?

SEC. PANELO: Wala. Hindi nasa agenda.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, we have just to rely on Secretary Locsin’s words na if he filed?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, yes! When he says he did that.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Ang no updates on the—kahit noong sobrang—kailan pa ba ‘yun ‘yung sa fishermen natin sa ramming incident, sir? Wala pa rin tayong update doon, ‘no?

SEC. PANELO: Wala pang binibigay sa aming report si Secretary Locsin.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Alright, sir. This is a statement from Secretary Lorenzana. He said that iyon pong mga four instances of the PLAN – Peoples Liberation Army Navy ng China, transited despite what Ambassador Zhao had told them that China will inform the Philippines in advance. So, ibig sabihin, kahit may ganoong commitments si Ambassador Zhao, hindi rin siya nangyayari, parang walang effect. Secretary Locsin is—Ay, Secretary Lorenzana is saying that?

SEC. PANELO: Then we will call their attention. We will call their attention. The Chinese Ambassador has invited me for dinner in one of these days. Maybe I will raise that to him.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Iyon sir, kasi parang… can we trust the Chinese?

SEC. PANELO: Eh, para ka na ring nagtanong, can we trust anybody? Depende sa kanilang dalawa iyon basta tayo, our position is very clear – we respect the UNCLOS; pati nga ‘yung Code of Conduct of the Seas that’s why the President—that’s what he told me pala last night. The reason among others na he wants to go to China is because he wants to hasten the enactment of the Code of Conduct because it triggers incidence eh. That is not or that is harmful, kaya gusto niyang makausap si President Xi on that. Coordinator kasi si Presidente sa Asia region.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyon pong kay—I’ll go back little bit to Ambassador Zhao. What did you tell him with regard to these incidents, if you so meet him?

SEC. PANELO: I haven’t—

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: If you meet him? Are you going to?

SEC. PANELO: I will ask him kung ano na nangyari doon sa—kasi I remember Secretary Delfin was quoting him, ‘di ba na “that’s wrong, we’re friends.” Oh, ‘di ba? ‘Di tanungin ko ano bang nangyari doon, alam ba ninyo ito?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Hindi ba siya, sir, parang disrespectful?

SEC. PANELO: I will ask him first.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Okay, sige sir.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So, why does he have to bring that up to Mr. Xi Jinping, sir? Is China delaying the enactment of the Code of Conduct?

SEC. PANELO: Wala naman siyang sinabing dine-delay pero hanggang ngayon hindi pa natatapos.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Pero sabi niya kailangan niyang pumunta doon to hasten the enactment of the Code of Conduct?

SEC. PANELO: Siguro iyon ang from the point of view of the President, kasi supposed to be ang China ang ano eh…China ang major player dito eh. But ang Chinese din ang nagsabi—ang Chinese government din ang nagsabi na kailangan mayroon tayong Code of Conduct. Ano bang gusto ninyo? Parang ‘yun ang I remember, sa kanila din nanggaling ‘yun eh.


ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, good afternoon. Mayroon na po kayong date sa visit ni President sa China?

SEC. PANELO: Ah, wala pa eh. The Protocol has not informed us.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: But is the President preparing for his visit?

SEC. PANELO: I suppose, eh sinasabi niyang pupunta siya roon. Ang alam ko, si Chief Protocol nasa Beijing, inaayos iyong mga dates.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: How is he preparing for his meeting with Chinese President Xi?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean… how is he preparing? [laughs]

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Meaning—kasi sir, these past few days walang public engagements si President. So it’s been a week—

SEC. PANELO: Eh marami siyang private meetings, maraming courtesy calls. Saka sabi niya sa aking kagabi, ang dami niyang tambak na—you know kasi, ang problema kasi sa aming mga lawyers, bago kami pumirma, binabasa namin. Matiyaga kaming nagbabasa ng dokumento bago mo ilagay iyong pirma mo eh, iyo ang sinabi niya sa akin eh. ‘Yan ang… “So it takes time reading before I sign it,” iyon ang nakakatagal sa kaniya.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So, do we expect this week walang public engagement dahil po busy sa paper works si President?

SEC. PANELO: Eh… si Presidente busy sa paper work, busy sa engagement – busy sa lahat si Presidente, hindi ba?, workaholic masyado itong mama.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Okay sir, thank you.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Secretary Sal… magandang tanghali po sa inyo. Secretary, I understand natanong na ho ito sa isang interview sa inyo with Chona Yu, sa programa daw niya noong Sunday. Pero for the record Secretary, ano ang reaksiyon dito ng Pangulo doon sa sinabi ni Ambassador Zhao na hindi kikilalanin ng China iyong gagawing pagtutulak ng Pangulo sa naging desisyon ng—arbitral ruling doon sa pagkapanalo natin sa issue ng West Philippine Sea. Ang eksaktong sinabi ni Ambassador: “We express that we will not accept it. We will not recognize that, that remains our position has not changed and we will not be changed.”

SEC. PANELO: And neither are we changing our position too. But it doesn’t mean that as friends, we cannot discuss that issue. It has to be discussed, that is precisely why there is a mechanism for negotiation. There are things we can agree upon, there are differences that we may not. But that does not preclude both countries to raise that issue and discuss amicably.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So in other words, makikipagmati—

SEC. PANELO: Another thing, there are certain quarters… baka kasama na rin iyong Chinese doon na hindi dapat daw ginagamit iyong invoke ha, parang may… yeah. The President said, “Nobody can control my words to our people. This is my duty as president.” So when he addresses the Filipino people, nobody can stop him kung anong sasabihin niya.

HENRY URI/DZRH: So, magmamatigas ang Pangulo rito, sa bagay na ito?

SEC. PANELO: Sabihin natin na hindi siya—he will not alter his position on the matter in the same way that the Chinese government as it says will not—

HENRY URI/DZRH: So, hindi siya yuyuko?

SEC. PANELO: Oo, definitely hindi. Siguro kung yuyuko man eh parang Hapon na, “Hi, Hello, Goodbye, Good morning.”

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero ano ang—kung talagang hindi ho papayag din ang China, anong win-win solution naman ang pupuwedeng pag—?

SEC. PANELO: Eh tingnan natin. Alam mo ang magkakaibigan, sabi ko nga ‘pag magkakaibigan iba na ang ano eh, iba ang dating ‘pag magkakaibigan kayo – nagbibigayan na kayo eh. But what is important is, as he promised the Filipino people, he will raise that issue at the proper time and he said, “This is the time.”

HENRY URI/DZRH: So, anong gusto ninyong isagot ngayon kay Ambassador Zhao, for the record, baka—

SEC. PANELO: O, eh sinabi ko na nga ‘yung sagot doon eh. In fact, I already told him that. In a text message I said, “We have not also changed our position, but it doesn’t mean we cannot raise that as an issue and to talk about it.”

HENRY URI/DZRH: Anong sagot ho? Anong sagot ni Ambassador Zhao? Sumagot ba?

SEC. PANELO: Wala na, mukhang wala namang sagot siya.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Kahit smiley face?

SEC. PANELO: Wala… [laughs]

HENRY URI/DZRH: Na-seen zone ka lang, Secretary? Na-seen lang iyong message mo, wala na?

SEC. PANELO: Wala naman siyang sinagot.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Pero nabasa niya, sa tingin ninyo, na-seen, na-seen niya?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, definitely. Ang sagot niya—ang sagot niya doon yata, iniimbita niya akong mag-dinner.


SEC. PANELO: Sabi niya, “I’m inviting you to a working dinner.”

HENRY URI/DZRH: Working dinner [laughs]. Thank you, Secretary. Thank you.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Sige, si Chona: Ano daw ho ‘yung win-win solution, ipinu-push ni Chona.

SEC. PANELO: Ano ‘yun?

HENRY URI/DZRH: Anong win-win solution na inyong—na nakatagong… kumbaga baraha pa ng Pangulo?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi pa natin alam kung anong mangyayari sa usapan nila, kung anong pag-uusapan nila. Let’s just wait. I’m sure immediately after the one-on-one eh may sasabihin sa atin iyon.

HENRY URI/DZRH: Thank you, sir.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Sir, PAO employees are asking the Office of the Ombudsman to suspend PAO Chief Acosta because of corruption.

SEC. PANELO: Well if there is a case in the Ombudsman, then we’ll let the Ombudsman do its work.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: But, will the Palace step in into…

SEC. PANELO: No. As a matter of policy, the President does not interfere in the work/function/activity of any constitutional body or any branch of the government. Let the law takes its course.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Hindi pa siya sir—the Palace will not ask her to mag-leave muna for the meantime to give way for the investigation?

SEC. PANELO: Eh nasa ano ‘yun eh, na kay Chief Acosta na iyon.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER: Does she still have the trust of the President?

SEC. PANELO: Eh palagi naman si Presidente, hanggang walang findings of probable cause, palaging nandoon iyong trust. Pero, kung ‘pag may probable cause na, iba nang usapan iyon – then there will be suspension galing sa Ombudsman. Eh hindi naman teritoryo ni Presidente iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, sir, ‘pag po ginagamit ni Presidente na he will bring it up, he is going to – invocation iyon. Invoke iyon sir, ‘di ba, of the Arbitral Ruling?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi. When you say you’re bringing it up, eh, ‘di sasabihin mo na, oh may Arbitral Ruling. Ano bang gagawin natin dito?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And the word he used sir is invocation, tama ‘di ba? Sabi niya you cannot—No one can control my words – he is invoking it, right?

SEC. PANELO: What he is saying is, he’s going to raise it—


SEC. PANELO: When they talk.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, a little bit lang sa SOGIE Bill. ‘Yun po bang action—

SEC. PANELO: Ano ‘yung SOGIE Bill?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: ‘Yung Anti-Discrimination Bill, sir. Kasi pinagbawalan po ‘yung isang trans—

SEC. PANELO: Transgender.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Transgender – transwoman na gumamit ng CR ng babae. Iyon pong aksyon na ‘yun ba mali or hind?

SEC. PANELO: Batay doon sa ordinansa ng Quezon City, that’s a violation. Pero I understand the guard has already apologized.

MPC: Janitress.

SEC. PANELO: Janitress, rather. The janitress has apologized and now she’s willing to be educated on the rights of the LGBT.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, do you think it’s now time to pass such a bill that will protect?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, eh dapat talaga ma-protect naman ‘yung third gender. Eh, ganoon talaga. Dapat we have to respect the rights of all people, kung iyon ang choice nila eh.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So, [unclear] to pass, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Eh ‘yung passage niyon will depend on the wisdom of the lawmakers. We cannot encroach on that, sa kanila ‘yun eh.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But do you think the time is right.

SEC. PANELO: As far as we’re concern, we have to protect the rights of all people.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, mayroon pong—

SEC. PANELO: Mayroon ka bang…mayroon ka bang ano… blowout? Gutom na ako eh. Mayroon ka bang pansit?

USEC. ROCKY? Hoy, nagugutom na si Secretary. Last two na si Vanz and si Ace.

VANZ FERNANDEZ/POLICE FILES: Happy birthday, Usec. Rocky. Sir, yesterday as mentioned by PACC Belgica during the press briefing, do you have any idea who is these two cabinet members he was mentioning about the corruption?

SEC. PANELO: I have no idea. In fact, I asked the President, “do you have any idea?” “No.”

VANZ FERNANDEZ/POLICE FILES: So, about the agency you don’t know even?

SEC. PANELO: Wala…wala kaming—you know, that agency, the PACC, it’s its duty to investigate. So, until such time tapos na mayroon silang findings, recommendation, hindi malalaman ni Presidente iyon.

VANZ FERNANDEZ/POLICE FILES: Sir, on another issue. Kasi mayroon tayong six hundred na Pinoy sa Israel na ipade-deport daw. Sir, regarding this… iyong—kasi mayroon tayong mga 25,000 na mga Filipinos doon. So, how can the government help regarding this matter?

SEC. PANELO: Si Secretary Bello is already on top of that.

USEC. ROCKY: Okay, thank you, Vanz. Okay na?


USEC. ROCKY: Joyce and then last tayo kay Ace? Joyce Balancio.

SEC. PANELO: Joyce pala, hindi Joy.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Good afternoon, sir. Sir, sabi din ni PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica, another Cabinet Secretary is being investigated over allegations of excessive foreign travels. Hindi naman din niya pinangalanan but we have advised to Cabinet Members regarding this because I believe naglabas na ng EO ang Malacañang reminding them of new regulations on against junket trips and travels.

SEC. PANELO: I have no idea on that kung sino man ‘yun. I have no idea on that.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: May reminder po ba kayo sa Cabinet Members regarding—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi… Kung mayroon ng Executive Order, eh ‘di—I mean if mayroon ng memorandum si ES, eh’ di it stands.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Do you expect Cabinet Members to follow?

SEC. PANELO: Certainly. That is a policy eh. Members of the Cabinet are expected to follow.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Is the President aware that some Cabinet Members are being investigated over corruption and excessive foreign travels?

SEC. PANELO: Sinagot ko na nga kanina ‘yan. ‘Di ba sinabi ko sabi niya, “Hindi, hindi ko alam.”

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Is he concerned about this na hindi niya alam na may mga ganitong Cabinet Members?

SEC. PANELO: Oo, kayo naman… The duty of an agency, like in this particular instance – PACC, iyon ang trabaho nila eh. So, until such time na mayroong findings, final findings and report, recommendation, hindi malalaman ng Presidente iyon. The President does not interfere.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM: Thank you, sir.

SEC. PANELO: Mag-aantay lang ng final report ‘yun.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: Secretary does Supreme Court asked Malacañang to comment doon sa petition ng Rappler, doon sa ban?

SEC. PANELO: We’ll leave it to the SolGen, that’s his duty/job to respond.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: How does Malacañang intend to defend ‘yung move to ban Rappler from—

SEC. PANELO: We will not preempt the SolGen. He’s the lawyer who will be representing these respondents and he will do what is required for him to do.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: But as Chief Legal Counsel, what are your thoughts on—

SEC. PANELO: I do not want to preempt because… kumbaga hindi ko teritoryo ‘yun eh. Nakakahiya naman na magsalita ako. Hayaan mo na si SolGen.

ACE ROMERO/PHILIPPINE STAR: So, siya na ang bahala mag—

SEC. PANELO: Yeah. Sobrang kaya ni SolGen iyon.


JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, because it’s Malacañang and the President that banned Rappler, can we know your position? Does it constitute as argued by the petitioners? Does it constitute prior restraint?

SEC. PANELO: No. We already discussed that extensively in this press briefing, it’s not! It cannot be a restraint. You must remember that until now they are still dishing/writing news, they’re covering events, activities. In fact, si—what’s her name ba? Pia! Pia… lahat ng statements ko, mayroon siya. So, wala akong nakikitang—even if she’s not here mayroon pa rin siyang ano—Alam niya pa rin ang nangyayari sa Palasyo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And again sir, the rationale for banning again is what, the basis?

SEC. PANELO: I think the basis is that… it’s a privilege. It’s a privilege, not a right. And there is no violation simply because: one, the Rappler is not being stopped from writing stories even against the government as it wants to do. It is not prohibited from publishing what it writes. So, how can there be prior restraint or violation of press freedom?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And you’re referring to when you said privilege—it is a privilege and not a right—

SEC. PANELO: Meaning to say… like for instance, you’re supposed to be MPC and there are certain rules that you have also to observe as guest of the Palace. Eh, ‘pag you violate that, maging rude kayo, disrespectful, oh ‘di siyempre, it’s the right of the Palace to either reprimand you or to exclude you, kasi you have to observe courtesies, decorum, respect.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: And the violation of Rappler is?

SEC. PANELO: Come again.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: What is the violation of Rappler that’s why they were banned?

SEC. PANELO: Oh, hindi ba parang—actually, hindi ko alam ang reason noong ma-ban siya at the time, hindi pa ako noon ang spokesperson. Hindi ako familiar sa reason. But we’ll let the SolGen handle it.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Alright, sir. Thank you.

USEC. ROCKY: Okay. Thank you, MPC. No more questions? Okay, thank you.

SEC. PANELO: Oh, party na, huh?

USEC. ROCKY: Thank you, Secretary Panelo.


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