ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS: Good afternoon, Malacañang Press Corps. Good afternoon Presidential Spokesperson Attorney Harry Roque.
SEC. ROQUE: Magandang hapon Pilipinas, and good afternoon to the ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps.
Our Monday good news: The Philippines continues to sustain its economic momentum. The Japan Credit Economic—Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) affirmed the country’s BBB+ credit rating and its stable outlook. According to JCR, this economic growth is attributed to a solid domestic demand; the government’s comparatively sound fiscal position; as well as our resilience to external shock supported by declining external debt and accumulation of foreign exchange reserves. Similarly, Standard and Poor’s… S&P Global Ratings upgraded the country’s current rating from stable to positive, citing the government’s improved policies including the implementation of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law and the build, build, build program.
Good news! We welcome the latest report that the Philippines has remained out of the US government watch list of countries with poor intellectual property rights protection and enforcement for the fourth consecutive year. The latest edition of the Special 301 Report released by the Office of the US Trade Representative showed that the Philippines continues to maintain a conducive environment for intellectual property through our vigorous campaign to fight counterfeiting and piracy.
Now on Kuwait: What the President announced is the maintenance of the status quo. Until we have reached or signed a memorandum of agreement providing for the minimum terms and conditions of employment of our nationals – the deployment, the ban stays. Now, is this permanent as reported as reported by some media outfit? Well let’s just say it stays right now because the precondition set by the President is really the signing of that memorandum of agreement.
As you know, Secretary Bello and other Cabinet members will be leaving for Kuwait on 7th which means that the process of diplomatic negotiations and conversation continues as we speak.
Now on the reported 60 million contract to—awarded by Secretary Teo to her siblings. She already had a press conference. She belied such reports; however I would like to confirm that the Palace is looking into the matter. We will—that’s it. Questions?
LEILA SALAVERRIA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Good morning sir.
SEC. ROQUE: Yes, good morning.
LEILA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, in the meantime. Sir, do we have any mechanism to protect the OFWs who will choose to stay in Kuwait?
SEC. ROQUE: Of course! We don’t have an ambassador but there is a chargé d’affaires, there is diplomatic mission. Diplomatic ties remain which means that we have a mission there to protect our nationals. And Kuwait also is duty bound to protect aliens under the standards dictated by international law under terms and conditions which are not inferior to the way that they treat their own nationals.
LEILA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: So sir to be clear, we’re still trying to salvage the MOA that was drafted?
SEC. ROQUE: Let’s just say that we are trying to normalize as much as we could ties with Kuwait.
LEILA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Is the President—
SEC. ROQUE: That’s the President statement. He is not picking a fight with Kuwait. The statement was very—the President was very somber. He was very calm. He says that if Kuwait does not want our workers then he would ask them to come home. But he has expressed profound gratitude for the fact that Kuwait has employed many of our nationals. So the whole tenor was none confrontational. It is not as if we are escalating it as reported by some media outlets.
LEILA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, is the President going to be involved in this normalization of ties? Baka kasi it might need further—higher level talks?
SEC. ROQUE: Well, I think there is some actions already being taken. In due course it will be announced.
LEILA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, last na lang from me. Is the President holding anybody responsible for the actions that had angered Kuwait?
SEC. ROQUE: Well people—I trust that Secretary Cayetano will take care of these matters. But it’s unnecessary to discuss these things because there are more important matters to attend to at this stage.
LEILA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Thank you.
CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, ibalik ko lang doon kay Secretary Teo. You said that the Palace is looking into the matter. Could you expound on that? What do you mean by that? Does the—
SEC. ROQUE: Nothing, that’s exactly it.
CHONA/RADYO INQUIRER: —na will conduct its own investigation iyong Palace?
SEC. ROQUE: Well, alam ninyo na naman ang procedure natin dito sa Palace, there are news reports, the President will look into it. There will be some kind of an investigation conducted and the Palace will decide its course of action ‘no. But—
How many times have we done this? I think I’d been here almost six months, there has been quite a number of news reports that were investigated by the Palace and there were actions taken by the President ‘no. So let’s put it at that. Let’s leave it at that.
CHONA/RADYO INQUIRER: Kasi sir the President said time and again na even a small whiff of corruption. So paano ninyo mag-strike ng balance?
SEC. ROQUE: Chona, I assure you: the Palace will investigate the matter. We cannot of course—we have to accept the findings of the COA. I understand this is the final finding. But the Palace will investigate on its own. Okay.
HENRY URI/DZRH: Hi sir. Pero umabot na ho ba sa kaalaman mismo ng Pangulo iyong nangyari po sa Department of Tourism at ano ho ang sabi niya?
SEC. ROQUE: Well, ang alam ko po umabot na iyong balita. I can confirm na umabot na po ang balita and I can confirm na mayroon na pong… let’s look into this.
HENRY/DZRH: May utos po siya na imbestigahan?
SEC. ROQUE: Well, let’s look into this. Gusto po niyang malaman ang puno’t dulo ng pinag-uusapan dito.
HENRY/DZRH: Iyong word na ‘let’s look into this,’ galing po mismo sa Pangulo?
SEC. ROQUE: Well, mayroon namang executive privilege kahit papaano ‘no. But I can assure you, it will be looked into. The Palace is looking into the matter.
HENRY/DZRH: Okay, thank you sir.
TRICIA ZAFRA/GMA 7: Sir, just to clarify—
SEC. ROQUE: Wala kang mic, hindi nabuo ang question mo.
TRICIA ZAFRA/GMA 7: Sir, will Secretary Teo be staying in her position as Tourism Secretary while being investigated on the matter?
SEC. ROQUE: No reason for her to leave.
TRICIA/GMA7: May I ask a question on another matter. Sir, President Duterte mentioned something about using funds from China to repatriate our OFWs from Kuwait. Sir, what will be the status of that pronouncement by the President considering that as earlier you said status quo muna tayo about the ban on deployment.
SEC. ROQUE: No, status quo ang arrangement as far as the deployment ban is concerned; but the President has said, those who want to come home, the government will assist. And so—
Of course the fund that the President was referring to was the fund promised by China, which was equivalent to roughly 4.8 billion pesos. I can’t remember the exact figure in RMB, I dare not guess a figure. But I’m sure it was equivalent to 4.8 billion pesos.
So that’s the travel—that’s the fund that the President will use as travel fund if necessary. But again, this is voluntary. He is not compelling any one to come home. Ang konteksto lang is kung talagang ayaw ng Kuwait ng mga Pilipino, puwede namang umuwi na iyong mga Pilipino at tutulungan natin sila.
TRICIA/GMA7: Sir, the said fund, iyong 4.8 billion that was originally promised for that purpose repatriation or employment?
SEC. ROQUE: Hindi, it was promised actually for various infrastructure projects.
TRICIA/GMA7: But how can that be used for such—
SEC. ROQUE: Wala kasing specified ang China. Basta we are giving you 4.8 billion worth, you tell us… o, you spend it however you want it. So, iyan po ang naisip ng ating Presidente.
Q: Sir, why it take the blame for Cayetano po? Why did the President take the blame Cayetano?
SEC. ROQUE: He is not taking the blame for anyone, he is President. Alam mo ugali talaga ng Presidente iyan, ‘the buck stops with me.’ So blame me for whatever is necessary, but the bottom line is we cannot afford another Demafelis, it is the duty of the State to protect our nationals and kung anuman ang hindi nagustuhan ng Kuwait, akuin na ng Presidente iyan.
Tapos na eh, nag-apologize na si Secretary Cayatano for whatever it is that may have offended them and the President is just saying, ‘hindi namin kayo aawayin, we will respect however you will react.’ Pero sa mga Pilipino, ‘kung gusto ninyong umuwi, umuwi na kayo.’ At ang pakiusap lang is tratuhin lang ng maigi ang aming mga kababayan habang hindi pa namin sila napapauwi.
Q: Sir, any comment po doon sa call ni Justice Secretary Guevarra na pinagre-resign niya po iyong—
SEC. ROQUE: Call po niya iyon, ang Secretary of Department of Justice, that’s his call.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, kasi nilinaw n’yo po na status quo iyong sa deployment ban. Nagkakaroon kasi rin po ng confusion sa mga OFW dahil ang unang pronouncement ng DOLE is deployment ban ng domestic workers. Pero may mga natatakot na umuwi na mga professional na OFW, kasi nga baka kasama sila sa ban. So, paki-clarify lang po?
SEC. ROQUE: Status quo po tayo.
ROSALIE/UNTV: So domestic workers lang po ang bina-ban?
SEC. ROQUE: Hindi po, status quo po tayo. Kasi wala namang distinction pa eh, hindi ba iyong ating deployment ban, sa lahat pa po. Pero that’s for new OECs to be issued, hindi naman po diyan kasama iyong mga luma at nandoroon na. Sabi nga ni Presidente, iyong mga professional, kung nais ninyong mag-stay diyan, mag-stay kayo diyan, iyong mga skilled workers, kung nais ninyong mag-stay diyan, mag-stay kayo diyan. Pero ang pakiusap ko nga, sense of patriotism, kasi nga sa build, build, build kailangan din natin ng mga skilled ‘no, lalo na dito sa construction industry.
ROSALIE/UNTV: Sir, may binanggit din po si Presidente na merong 100,000 slots na i-o-offer ang China for English teachers. Ang karamihan ng mawawalan ng trabaho, mga domestic helpers. So meron po bang move ang pamahalaan na para maging well-equipped iyong ating mga domestic workers na maging English teachers?
SEC. ROQUE: I’m sure TESDA will have a program. Kasi karamihan naman iyong mga domestic helpers magugulat kayo, mga teachers, karamihan diyan titulado ‘no. So, I’m sure, meron pong ganyang mga hakbang na gagawin ang mga ahensiya ng gobyerno.
TED TUVERA/DAILY TRIBUNE: Good afternoon, Secretary. Related sa Kuwait. Kasi the President previously was saying na… he threatened other countries that are abusing OFWs. Now, there’s a report in Jeddah, which is confirmed by DFA na may namatay na naman daw na OFW doon sa Saudi, sir. Can we get your comment on this, sir?
SEC. ROQUE: Basta po, prayoridad ng Presidente ang bigyan ng proteksyon ang ating mga mamamayan na nagtatrabaho sa iba’t-ibang parte ng daigdig. So… non-negotiable po iyan. Puwede tayong humingi ng abiso para sa mga ibang bagay na nagawa natin, pero hindi po tayo hihingi ng abiso doon sa pagprotekta sa ating mga mamamayan. Hinding-hindi na po natin papayagan ang another Demafelis.
TED TUVERA/DAILY TRIBUNE: But sir, would you think na may epekto ito sa relations natin sa Saudi, sir, itong bagong insidente na ito?
SEC. ROQUE: Alam ninyo, remember, the standard that international is ano ang ginawa ng bayan? Hindi naman natin mapipigilan na halos milyun-milyon talaga ang ating mga kababayan na nagtatrabaho lalo na sa Middle East, hindi natin masasabi na walang mamamatay diyan.
Ang nais lang natin, kapag may namatay ay bigyan ng same importansya iyong kaso ng ating kababayan na ibibigay nila kung ang napatay ay kababayan nila. ‘Di ba po? So iyon po ang ating hinihingi – huwag naman balewalain; tratuhin ng parang nasyunal nila iyong ating mga kababayan; bigyan ng katarungan.
CECILLE LARDIZABAL/CNN PHIL: Sir, clarification. You mentioned that there is a ban, deployment to Kuwait until such time an MOU is formalized or executed.
SEC. ROQUE: That’s not news po. That’s been our status quo. That’s been the position of the government.
CECILLE LARDIZABAL/CNN PHIL: Yeah. So ibig sabihin talaga, there will be an MOU? Hindi ba siya parang bilateral agreement or relations? Hindi ba non-binding ang MOU?
SEC. ROQUE: No.
CECILLE LARDIZABAL/CNN PHIL: So what happens if—
SEC. ROQUE: No. Let me correct you there. A treaty is a treaty regardless of how you call it. If it’s executed by and on behalf of states in writing, governed by international law. So kahit ano po ang tawag doon, it is binding.
CECILLE LARDIZABAL/CNN PHIL: So talagang may possibility that there will be an MOU to be formalized?
SEC. ROQUE: Iyan po ang gusto nating makita. In addition pa po ito sa employment contract ng ating mga manggagawa.
CECILLE LARDIZABAL/CNN PHIL: Sir, I just want to ask: What happens if there will be no MOU, just in case, halimbawa lang?
SEC. ROQUE: Nagsalita na po ang Presidente, hindi na po tayo magpapadala ng mga bagong mga manggagawa sa Kuwait.
TRICIA ZAFRA/GMA NEWS ONLINE: Sir, may I just go back to the funding from China. Clarification lang, sir: Hindi ba we already have previous repatriations from Kuwait. Has this funding been already touched or …
SEC. ROQUE: Hindi ko po alam. Pero ang iniisip ni Presidente nga, kung kinakailangan na malakihan na repatriation, iyong ang gagamitin niya – 5 billion. At ang sabi naman ni Secretary of Finance, kayang-kaya naman iyan kasi kapag nag-charter ka naman ng isang eroplano, parang ang halaga ng isang upuan ay $400 lang ata. So kung ilang flights iyon, kakayanin. Ang usapan pa nga, eh di mag-arkila ng mga cruise ships para libu-libo ang mailagay ‘no. Pero ito po, again, ay voluntary – iyong mga gustong umuwi.
TRICIA ZAFRA/GMA NEWS ONLINE: Sir, last na lang po. Clarification again. So, sir, if in case walang maging MOU, tama po bang sabihin na baka doon maging permanente iyong ban on employment?
SEC. ROQUE: Walang permanente po. Basta walang MOU, walang lifting of the deployment ban. Misleading naman kasi kapag sinabi nating ‘permanent.’ Common meaning of permanent is nakaukit na iyan sa tadhana, goodbye. Pero hindi naman po ganoon. It is conditional to the signing of an MOU.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Hi, sir. Good noon. Sir, bukas gugunitain iyong Labor Day. I understand, the President will be leading the celebration sa Cebu. Sir, do we expect something like good news para sa mga nasa sektor ng paggawa from the President, considering na hindi na nga matutuloy iyong executive order—
SEC. ROQUE: Napakadami namang good news na ibibigay ang Presidente. First time, libreng tuition sa state universities and colleges; libreng patubig; libreng—ang dami niyan na ngayon lang binibigay ni Presidente. Pero mamayang hapon po ay magpupulong si Secretary Bello at saka si Presidente for whatever may be released tomorrow in Cebu.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Good afternoon po ulit. Sir, reaksiyon po ng Malacañang sa ni-release na narco list ng PDEA?
SEC. ROQUE: Well, that was upon orders of the President. I have a partial list, if you want to see. But I don’t have the full list. As you can see, it’s a very long list.
So the information is being released to help guide our voters to choose wisely their barangay captains ‘no. So I have here quite a number of names. Mostly barangay captains who are in fact in the list of those allegedly involved in illegal drug activities.
ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Okay, sir, ni-release po iyan para ma-guide iyong voters. Pero paano po kapag iyong kamag-anak ang tumakbo sa halip na sila?
SEC. ROQUE: Bahala na po iyong botante, nasa botante na po iyan.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, doon lang sa—follow up. Bakit ginawa ng PDEA eh samantala ang last word from the President ay huwag muna, not yet time to release the list of barangay officials involved, allegedly, in drugs?
SEC. ROQUE: I guess nagkaroon ng confusion iyong context ng sinabi ni Presidente. Remember, it’s already late in the morning, early morning na ‘no. So kung titingnan ninyo ang transcript, parang he was referring to iyong pagbabalik ng mga OFWs. Parang iyon iyong context nang sinabi niyang huwag muna, may inaantay pa ‘no.
Pero PDEA, upon his instruction, released as schedule today at 9:30 noong wala naman silang nakuhang kahit anong mensahe from the President or from SAP.
REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, are we sure or confident na wala namang batas na nalabag dito, especially sa batas na may kinalaman sa eleksyon?
SEC. ROQUE: I’m not aware of any law that was violated.
BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Sir, sa Labor Day lang po. Totoo po ba may hope pa rin po ba na masa-sign iyong EO on contractualization daw po? Kasi sabi daw po ni Bello sa labor groups, may hope pa daw po na ma-sign iyong EO.
SEC. ROQUE: I can confirm that there might be an EO that may or may not be signed depending on their meeting tonight.
BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Okay, sir. Other matters po, sa NFA naman, sir. Kasi nasabi po ni Duterte na okay lang daw po na malugi tayo kapag …regarding po doon sa buy high, sell low policy po ng NFA. Sabi po ni President okay lang daw po na malugi tayo kahit na—ibig sabihin kasi, sir, ng pagsunod ng NFA sa policy na ito ay mag-i-incur po sila ng billions of debts ‘di ba po. Iyon po ang problem sa—
SEC. ROQUE: Ang sabi kasi ni Presidente, kaysa naman kumita pa ang dayuhan at dayuhan ang kikita kapag bumili tayo sa labas, eh di gastusin na natin sa Pilipinas – ang kumita ang mga magsasakang Pilipino. Ganoon ang rationale doon. Kapag tayo ay nag-import, 250,000 metric tons, that’s six billion payable to foreign farmers. Eh iyong six billion na iyan, eh di ibigay natin sa mga Pilipino, ganoon din iyon. Taasan natin iyong presyo, walang pagkakaiba, wala pang korapsyon, walang kahit ano. ‘Di ba?
BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Eh, sir, paano po iyong utang po? Ano po ang plano ng gobyerno po doon? Utang po ng NFA kasi—
SEC. ROQUE: Hindi ko alam. Kasi kaya nga maraming isyu sa importation kasi talagang hindi nababayaran every time we import on a G to G basis ‘no, that’s really government subsidy.
Kaya nga, kung mamimigay rin naman tayo ng pera, ibigay na natin sa mga Pilipinong mga magsasaka.
BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Okay, sir. Tapos, sir, clarification lang po. Doon sa pag-scrap ni President ng quotas po sa rice imports, was he referring po sa QR po?
SEC. ROQUE: Tinanggal na po iyan. Kasi dati po, based on quota iyong importation. Ngayon po, magiging based on—ano ba iyong sinabi ni Usec. Puyat? Ngayon po it will be by tender. They will have a tender system; wala na po iyong quota-quota. Kasi quota, may discretion pa na sino ang makakatanggap ng quota. Ngayon, tender system na po.
BERNADETTE NICOLAS/BUSINESS MIRROR: Okay. Sir, last na po. Can the President really scrap import quotas immediately? Isn’t that the law should be amended first?
SEC. ROQUE: Ay, ang quotas, quotas po. Kapag tayo ay nag-scrap, that’s in fact doing better than our international obligation. Kasi nga po, mas gusto ng iba na may mga quota-quota ‘no dahil ang trend nga ngayon dapat tariffication.
Iyong tariffication naman po, tapos na ang Kamara, nasa Senado na iyan ‘no, na talagang completely wala na talagang quantitative restrictions; puro tariff na lang ang i-impose on imported rice ‘no. So that’s the one covered by law. Pero iyong pag-alis po ng quota na mag-i-import on a government to government basis, that’s within the power of the President.
SHIELA FRIAS/IBC13: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, for Palace reaction lang. Iyong sa recent SWS, there are fewer Filipino who are hungry in the first quarter of 2018. Why do you think there is a drop? And what are the programs of the government that may have attributed to this?
SEC. ROQUE: Obviously, there are fewer people perceiving themselves as being hungry because there are fewer Filipinos who are hungry. Change has come.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER: Good morning, sir. Sir, the President said that he has offered a 60-40 sharing deal on the joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea. Sir, iyong offer iyan was made during the bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping?
SEC. ROQUE: I don’t think it was. I did not hear that. I did not hear that. No, it was not if that’s the question.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: He made the offer—he made it public during a speech in Davao City before he left for Singapore.
SEC. ROQUE: But he did not mention it when we had bilaterals and I was in the bilaterals ‘no.
NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, so any update on this. May instruction na ba siya sa Congress, since I believe Congress is the one in charge to set the framework for the said agreement.
SEC. ROQUE: No. Under La Bugal the President is allowed. Yun nga ang pagkakamali ng mga self-professed and proclaimed experts, basahin ninyo La Bugal vs. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Allowed na po yan. Hindi lang po—yung majority opinion po dati nabaliktad. Yung majority opinion noong una eh si Ombudsman ang sumulat sabi di pupuwede, hanggang financial and technical assistance lang ang maibibigay nila. Nabaliktad po yan nang sumulat ng ponencia si Chief Justice Panganiban. Allowed na po yan, hindi na po pinag-uusapan yan. Ang requirement ng Saligang Batas lang bigyan ninyo kami ng kopya ang… ang Kongreso ‘pag meron na kayong kasunduan na nakasulat.
Yung mga nagsasabi na illegal yan basahin ang kaso ng La Bugal at kung ayaw niyong basahin wala na akong magagawa. Wala pong gamot sa ayaw magbasa ng batas.
NESTOR/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, so when do we expect the joint exploration to start?
SEC. ROQUE: Ayaw ko nga. What? To benefit companies with listed shares. Ewan ko nga. Tikom. [Laughs] Baka mamaya habulin tayo ng PSE. Oh ‘di ba?
MODERATOR: Last na, Leila. Last question.
SEC. ROQUE: Oo pinagbigyan mo si Nestor eh, hindi mo pagbibigyan si Leila? Leila ikaw ha, iiwan mo kami balita ko ha. Hindi lalagyan ka namin tanikala. Ay naku sasabihin na naman repression. Ayaw ka lang namin umalis dahil love ka namin. ‘Kaw talaga ha.
LEILA SALAVERRIA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Nandoon lang naman sa Senate, sir. Unahan na kita sir doon.
Sir, on the comfort women issue. The President said upon arrival that Japan has apologized to the Filipinos and they have certainly made much more in terms of reparation. Sir, what does this mean? Does this mean the government will no longer support any calls from the comfort women for an apology and compensation from Japan? Kasi the President said in 2016 that he’s willing to bring up the matter with Prime Minister Abe.
SEC. ROQUE: Well, ang pagkakaalam ko ang posisyon niya ay hindi niya desisyon ang pagkakaalis ng istatwa at natanggal naman daw yan dahil merong problema sa flood control ‘no at siyempre po iyan din ang proyekto ng city government ng Manila. So ang alam ko ang sinabi lang niya sa Davao ay ni hindi niya nga nalaman na may istatwa niya so nagulat siya na natanggal na iyung istatwa.
LEILA SALAVERRIA/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER: Sir, my question isn’t about the statue but our position on the call of the comfort women on whether the government will support them in their plea to get an apology and compensation from Japan.
SEC. ROQUE: The Supreme Court has a decision unfortunately on this matter. And in fact I was counsel to the comfort women, I lost the case. And the Supreme Court has said ‘pacta sunt servanda,’ the 1948 Peace Pact has barred any and all further cause for reparation, that is the jurisprudence.
MODERATOR: Sir, tingnan niyo si Ted, baka sabihin ako lang. Ok pa ba kay Ted?
SEC. ROQUE: Ted ok na? Ok naman yung buhok mo eh ha.
Q: Sir, last day ko rin.
SEC. ROQUE: Ikaw rin aalis ka rin? What is it about me? Nilayasan niyo ko lahat ha. Magpapari ka na? Totoo? Oh my gosh. Chona kasalanan mo yan, ano ginawa mo at gusto niyang magpari ha? Totoo ba iyan, magpapari ka na? Okay.
Q: Relatedly, Secretary. Is the President still willing to entertain talks on reconsidering the case of Sister Fox. Kasi I believe CBCP has tapped San Beda lawyers to talk to the President about the case of Sister Fox.
SEC. HARRY ROQUE: I do not know. [Laughs] I honestly do not know. But you know, it was Sec. De Lima who made the law, who made the rule and the President is just implementing the rule approved by Sec. De Lima.
Q: …Sec, na mabago?
SEC. HARRY ROQUE: I cannot tell. I cannot tell. We’ll see because the San Beda people will be here in Malacañan. If I’m not mistaken, day after tomorrow.
MODERATOR: Sir, pahabol lang isa na lang daw. Sir, linawin lang natin na hindi natin ipinuputol ang diplomatic ties with Kuwait, sino pong ipapalit kay Amb. Villa para may mamagitan sa ating mga OFWs.
SEC. HARRY ROQUE: Wala pong vacuum doon, meron po tayong chargé d’affaires doon. Okay? So tuloy tuloy po ang ating diplomatic ties with Kuwait. Hindi ko po alam kung sino pa ang papalit, siguro naman eh meron namang proseso naman sa DFA para sa pagpili ng kapalit niya sa Kuwait.
MODERATOR: Thank you Presidential Spokesperson. Good afternoon to all of you. Back to Radyo Pilipinas and PTV 4.
SOURCE: PCOO – NIB (News and Information Bureau)