Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Event Press Briefing
Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building, Malacañang

ROCKY IGNACIO/PTV4:  Good morning Malacañang Press Corps, Happy Sunny Monday. Welcome sa regular press briefing ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, good morning sir.

SEC. ROQUE:  Magandang umaga Pilipinas. Magandang umaga po sa inyo ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps.

Mabuting balita po sa Lunes: Nagkaroon na po ng kumpirmasyon na nakapasok na sa merkado ang mas murang NFA rice. Nasa merkado na po ang kinalap ng ating NFA na bigas, 250,000 metric tons galing po sa Vietnam at sa Thailand at ngayon po ay bumebenta na from 38 to 36 pesos sa merkado.

Mas marami pa pong mabuting balita: Iyong Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange is now 91.54 complete and it’s expected to be accessible to the public by July of this year. According to the DOTr, the terminal will help decongest traffic in EDSA, Baclaran and Taft by reducing the number of provincial buses traversing these areas. It can accommodate 200,000 passengers daily with the ease and hassle free experience as it is equipped with online bus ticketing system, Wifi and charging stations.

More good news: The Philippines will soon open its Green Gateway to the world. The new Bohol Panglao International Airport is already 87.2 percent completed as of 31 May 2018. It will be the first ever Eco Airport built in the country. According to the DOTr up to 2 million passengers can be served by the Airports’ terminal in its opening year. With a span of 13,337 square meters, the new Airport would initially have 2,500 meter runway which can facilitate even 7 aircrafts at a time. This includes long range commercial planes for additional international routes.

Originally po, itong Airport is supposedly completed by 2021, pinabilisan po ito ni Secretary Tugade under the leadership of Presidente Duterte. Sa ilalim po ng Airport ay waste water treatment so wala na pong mga resorts sa Panglao na magdi-discharge ng diretso sa karagatan ng kanilang waste water.

And finally, I’d like to assure the nation that the President has always given top priority to peace talks with both the Muslim insurgents and the populists’ insurgents and he has not given up on the process at all; however, any peace agreements, especially now with the CPP-NPA must be all inclusive and must pass the test of both legal and political scrutiny. The delay thus in the talks with the CPP-NPA is indispensable if we have—if we are to have an agreement that will pass these tests—it would help if Mr. Joma Sison would allow the government to be the one to brief the nation on any future developments.

Questions please?

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.:  Sir, just—hi sir. Just to be clear about it. Does the President want the peace talks to be held here in the Philippines and not be facilitated by Norway?

SEC. ROQUE:  Paulit ulit po niyang sinasabi iyan, that the peace talks must be held here in the Philippines. Kaya nga po ang last declaration niya, it should be held here this July instead of this month originally scheduled for the 24th although I do not know if it was originally scheduled really for the 24th because that information came from Joma Sison, I never announced that date. That is why the term that I used is the continuation of the talks will be in July as declared by the President ‘no. I do not feel bound by anything that Mr. Sison says.

But the President is dead serious about it. He has already asked the Department of Justice to file the necessary motions in Court to set free individuals who will be participating in the talks and I think that is the best evidence of good faith on the part of the government. Of course there’s information that this individuals cannot be located anymore even if they did not leave the country for Oslo, Norway. But nonetheless the President says he will give the process a chance which I declared as of the last Press Briefing that we had.

INA/CNN PHILS.:  Sir, in that case will there be any official communication sent to the Norwegian government since they are the ones facilitating the talks in Norway? Will it be officially be move here, because I understand there should be a formal process for that?

SEC. ROQUE: Well, whatever process needs to be undertaken will be undertaken. But the President has emphasized that this is a talk between Filipinos, should be held in the Philippines. Hindi naman po kinakailangan pa na mangibang bayan para makipag-usap ng kapayapaan lamang ‘no, dahil tayo naman pong lahat ay Pilipino at paulit-ulit pong ginagarantihan ng ating Pangulo iyong seguridad ni Joma Sison kung siya po ay uuwi at paulit-ulit niyang sinasabi, sagot pa niya ang lahat ng gastos nila habang sila ay naririto sa Pilipinas. At sinabi na rin niya na kung sakali na walang mangyari sa usaping ito eh siya mismo ang mag-e-escort kay Joma Sison papunta sa airport para siya ay makaalis muli ng bansa. Pero kung wala ngang mangyayari ang sabi niya huwag na siyang babalik.

INA/CNN PHILS.: Who will be facilitating the talks here then?

SEC. ROQUE: We have a panel and they have the authority to fix the logistics ‘no.

INA/CNN PHILS.: No third party—

SEC. ROQUE: Wala na po siguro, nandito na naman tayo sa Pilipinas. Pero you know any party who wants to help and who’s been involved in the process can help ‘no. Pero ang punto lang ni Presidente eh hindi niya na maintindihan kung bakit kinakailangan pa sa ibang bansa ‘no ang pag-uusap.

INA/CNN PHILS.:  Lastly sir, ano po ang posisyon natin doon sa stand down agreement signed between the two panels, a copy of which basically na-release po ng NDF over the weekend? Is this a standing agreement?

SEC. ROQUE: Ay naku, hindi po ako makakakomento diyan dahil iyan na naman NDF na naman ang nag-release ‘no. I cannot comment on any document not released officially by the Philippine government. Kaya nga po tahimik na tahimik ako noong last week despite all the pronouncements of Joma Sison. I cannot comment on anything that the CPP-NPA-NDF says or releases because I take my cue of course from the government.

INA/CNN PHILS.:  Even if the document that they released bear the signature of the government officials concerned with it, peace process—

SEC. ROQUE:  I do not know po, I have not seen the document and as far as I am concerned, we still have to subject to authentication and vetting, which is our practice in the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson.

INA/CNN PHILS.:  So as far as you are concerned, as of now sir, right now wala pong stand order agreement?

SEC. ROQUE:  Wala pong stand order agreement—

INA/CNN PHILS.: Stand down rather.

SEC. ROQUE: Stand down agreement and anyway wala pa naman pong resumption of peace talks. I’m sure kung magkakaroon po ng resumption of peace talks, that will be considered ‘no. Pero at the same time mayroon pong mga demands din ang ating Presidente: Tigil pangongolekta ng revolutionary taxes; tigil talaga ang putukan, honest to goodness tigil ang putukan ‘no. Kaya nga po nag-offer na siya na lahat ng gastos nila, pupuwede munang sagutin ng gobyerno habang nakikipag-usap tayo. Pati iyong mga gastos ng mga lumalaban po ‘no sa hanay ng CPP-NPA, nag-offer na siya, ‘o sige papuntahin natin sila sa isang lugar, lahat ng kinakailangan nila gobyerno na ang magbibigay para matigil na lang itong koleksiyon ng  revolutionary taxes habang tayo po ay nakikipag-usap ng kapayapaan.’

INA/CNN PHILS.:  Thank you sir.

DAHREL PLACIDO/ABS-CBN:  Sir, on the venue of the peace talks. Joma Sison said that if the administration will dictate the venue it will mean the end of the peace talks. Any reaction to this?

SEC. ROQUE:  That would be sad but I’m sure that statement will not be conclusive kung ano man ang magiging outcome ng usapin. I’m hopeful that with the sincerity shown by the government, venue should not matter.

DAHREL/ABS-CBN: Sir another question. Sir, the CPP is questioning the sincerity of the government because of the delay in the resumption. The CPP said that iyong delay daw po is to pave way for an all out military offensive?

SEC. ROQUE: Absolutely without basis po. Alam ninyo naman kung anong aktibidades ng Hukbong Sandatahan ngayon. Ngayon po busy ang Hukbong Sandatahan dahil nagkaroon na naman ng putukan diyan po sa Lanao Del Sur ‘no. So wala naman po tayong naririnig rin na putukan na directed again sa CPP-NPA. So sa akin po, hinay-hinay po ang public declarations sa parte ng CPP-NDF. Ang sabi nga po sa akin ni Secretary Dureza ‘no ang mga ginagawang usapin sa panig ng CPP-NDF dapat siguro sa partido muna ng mga nakikipag-usap at hindi isinasapubliko. So isa po iyan siguro sa hihihingin natin sa CPP-NDF. Puwede silang mag-address ng kanilang katropa siguro ‘no pero let’s keep matters being discussed in the peace talks for the ears of the negotiators for the time being.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, iyong kanina po sa opening ninyo. Sabi ninyo you appreciate if the NDF will wait for the government to brief the people about the development ‘no—

SEC. ROQUE:  Yes.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Do you find offense in the release of the documents by Chairman Sison?

SEC. ROQUE:  Not offense, but we find it somehow irregular that the NDF has taken upon itself the role of informing the public what has been or what has not been agreed upon ‘no. I think out of deference to the government ‘no, they should await government’s announcements and should not preempt government in making these announcements.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  As things stands, those documents, sir. Ano iyong status noon, are they still valid or you can disregard all those documents, sir?

SEC. ROQUE:  They are all being reviewed by the President, is all I can say. And of course, all the authorized negotiators representing the Philippine government do so as authorized representatives of the President. And it is always within the powers of the President to review what has or has not been agreed upon by his agents.

He also has to determine if some of the provisions entered into by them – although I am not conceding that they have in fact entered into any specific provisions as of now, ‘no – are pursuant to the authority granted to them by the President.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, in the last joint conference between the AFP and the PNP. Is it true that Secretary Dureza or the government was prevailed upon by the AFP to maybe hold it off?

SEC. ROQUE:  I can tell you unequivocally that that was not the case. It was the President alone who wanted to review certain matters in connection with the peacetalks. And as you know, the President has been consisting that the venue should be in the Philippines and he has – as I said earlier – given assurance that he will provide for the sustenance of the NPA including their fighters while peacetalks are ongoing.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, just one last question on the facilitator. Are we getting Norway out—Netherlands ‘no, out of the picture, sir, as a third party?

SEC. ROQUE:  Di ba Norway iyon, hindi Netherlands.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Norway, sir.

SEC. ROQUE:  It was Norway ‘no.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Norway or—yeah. I’m not going there. But are we easing them out of the picture?

SEC. ROQUE:  Well, let’s just say that as far as the President is concerned – venue matters.  He does not understand why we should continue talking in Norway. Pare-pareho naman tayong Filipino, puwedeng pag-usapan dito na iyan sa Pilipinas, bakit kinakailangan lumayo pa. Gastos pa yan ‘no, ang dami-daming ipapadala pa doon sa Norway. Gamitin na lang natin iyong perang iyon para sustentuhan iyong mga lumalabang NPA habang nagkakaroon tayo ng ongoing peacetalks.

DEXTER GANIBE/DZMM:  Sec, good morning. Sa isyu naman po ng panlamang tiyan. Binanggit n’yo po kanina na available na sa market iyong NFA na rice na inimport?

SEC. ROQUE:   Opo, kumpirmado na po iyan.

DEXTER GANIBE/DZMM:  Ano po ang expectations ng Palasyo sa pagdating ng NFA at ito ay available na sa mga merkado, dito sa Metro Manila?

SEC. ROQUE:   Well, inaasahan po natin na tuluyang bababa pa ang presyo ‘no. Ngayon po available na nga iyon from 38 pesos to 36 pesos at ito ay sang-ayon sa price monitoring na kino-conduct ng DTI at saka ng Department of Agriculture.

So baka patuloy pa po ang pagbaba niyan, dahil iyong pagtaas naman bahagi ng dahilan doon ay nag-panic doon sa persepyon na naubusan daw ng bigas na hindi naman naintindihan ng marami. Maraming commercial rice, ang naubos lang NFA rice ‘no. So ngayong mas marami na pong NFA rice inaasahan naming lalo pang bababa ang presyo ng bigas.

DEXTER GANIBE/DZMM:  Ibig po bang sabihin nito na nag-concede ang Palasyo doon sa binabanggit dati ng ilang opisyal ng NFA na kailangan talagang mag-import at bakit pina-delay pa ito kaya nagkaroon ng pagtaas ang presyo ng mga bigas?

SEC. ROQUE:  Lilinawin ko po ano: Ang importante po ay maiwasan iyong pangyayari ng nakalipas, na hindi po bumili ng bigas noong panahon ng pag-aani. Si Secretary Diokno po has been firm even in the last Cabinet meeting that it was gross incompetence for NFA not to have purchased rice during harvest time to insure na merong silang stock.

Ang punto po ng mga economic planners: maski po itaas natin ng kakaunti o taasin na natin ng mas mataas talaga ang pagbibili ng bigas dito sa Pilipinas, kapag bumili tayo ng mas mataas sa panahon ng ani ang magbebenipisyo po gamit ang pera ng taumbayan ay mga Pilipinong mga magsasaka.

Eh ngayong tayo pong kumakalap sa iba, binibigay lang po natin iyong pera sa mga dayuhang magsasaka. At alam n’yo po kada 250 metric tons, 6 billion po ang ginagastos natin diyan at hindi na po iyan makakabalik sa atin, talagang parang subsidy din po iyan na binigay natin sa  mga dayuhang mga magsasaka.

So ang sagot ko po, hindi po natin dina-justify ang policy of importation. Ang kinakailangan pa rin gawin ng NFA ang kanilang katungkulan, bumili kapag maraming ani at i-stockpile iyan para kapag wala na pong ani, eh magkakaroon nga po ng mas murang bigas para sa ating mga kababayan.

DEXTER GANIBE/DZMM:  Last on my part, Secretary. Ibig po bang sabihin niyan – sa pronouncement po ninyo – ay kailangan na maging-flexible ang presyo ng pagbili ng NFA ng bigas, dahil tali po sila doon sa presyo ng itinatakda ng kanilang charter na hindi sila puwedeng magtaas ng presyo kapag binibili nila iyong mga produkto ng ating mga magsasaka?

SEC. ROQUE:   Wala po naman pong presyo na nakasulat sa batas mismo. Kaya nga po ang sabi ni Presidente, bilhin kung magkano ang kinakailangang bilhin galing sa lokal, sa mga Pilipinong mga magsasaka, para sila na ang makinabang sa kaban ng taumbayan.

Bagama’t ang talagang overall strategy ng gobyerno is to resort to tariffication. Hayaan nang pumasok iyang mga bigas na iyan na kinakalap, i-subject na lang to tariff, para sa ganoon, talagang makita natin ang law of supply and demand pagdating sa determinasyon ng presyo.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Good morning, Secretary, tatlong isyu po. Una, iyong panayam ko kanina kay Ginoong Gahdzali Jaafar, binabanggit niya na ipinangako raw sa kanila ng Pangulo na bago mag-SONA ay pipirmahan na at ma-aaprubahan na iyong BBL. Ito ho ba ay kinukumpirma ng Palasyo?

SEC. ROQUE: Well, ang bibigyan ko ng kumpirmasyon ay iyong pangako ng liderato ng Senado at ng Kamara na bago mag-BBL eh pupuwede ng pirmahan ng Presidente iyong—bago mag-SONA ay puwede nang pirmahan ni Presidente iyong isinabatas na BBL, dahil sila po ay magkakaroon ng bicameral committee meetings bago po magkaroon ng SONA. So, iyon po ang bibigyan ko ng kumpirmasyon, whether or not it will happen, hindi ko po mabibigyan ng kumpirmasyon. But I can certainly confirm that both chamber agreed that they will work double time para po magkaroon ng isang final reconciled version ang BBL.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Ang sabi ni Ginoong Jaafar mismong ang Pangulo ang nakausap niya at nangako sa kanya na isasama ito sa SONA, bago mag-SONA pirmado na iyong BBL.

SEC. ROQUE: Well, iyan po talaga kasi iyong pangako ng mga liderato ng Kamara at ng Senado.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Pangalawa ho, gaano ka-seryoso ang Pangulo na bibigyan at pinapayagang mag-armas iyong mga Barangay Chairman? Considering the fact na marami umanong mga Barangay Chairman ang sabit sa illegal na droga. Hindi po ba ito mas magiging mapanganib?

SEC. ROQUE: Well, unang-una po, nilinaw na po ng DILG na may legal na basehan po iyan. Iyong isang Section, kung hindi ako nagkakamali, 387 ata ng Local Government Code gives Barangay officials the privilege to own a hand gun pero subject po iyan doon sa requirements na hinihingi pa rin ng AFP at saka ng PNP para… for anyone to have a  gun.

Now number two, iyan po ay pinag-aaralan pa rin ni Presidente. Hindi pa po nai-implement ni Presidente iyan at iko-konsidera po ni Presidente siyempre iyong kabilang aspeto naman, the other side of the equation and that is… naku pag na armasan iyong mga narco-list na mga Barangay officials, eh siyempre lalo silang magiging mas makapangyarihan. Pero tingin ko naman, meron din namang discretion ang ating PNP kung kanino magbibigay ng gun license at saka permit to carry, hindi naman siguro lahat kung merong mga bad record iyan, eh mabibigyan.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  So, doon sa mga Barangay Chairman na nanunuod, nakikinig, hindi pa ho ito pinal?

SEC. ROQUE:  Hindi pa po pinal, pinag-aaralan pa po iyan ng ating Presidente.

Teka muna, ika-clarify ko ha, iyong sabi ng staff ko na mention ko raw, baka lang ako ma-misquote. Ang sabi ko, iyong money to be spent in negotiations in Norway is better spent providing for the needs of the NPA while peacetalks are ongoing. That is what I meant. Baka ako ma-misquote. Okay.

HENRY URI/DZRH:  Hingian ko lang kayo ng reaction Secretary. Sabi ni Senator Trillanes – doon pagpiprisinta ninyo ng mga mangingisda from Masinloc, Zambales – pinapalala lang daw ninyo iyong sitwasyon at itong si Roque ay sinabi niya na sinanla na niya ang kaluluwa niya sa demonyo. Ano ang inyong reaction doon?

SEC. ROQUE:  Well, sinisiguro ko po sa buong taong bayan: Hinding hindi ko po isasanla ang aking kaluluwa kay Senator Antonio Trillanes.

HENRY/DZRH: Hindi ang sabi ho niya ay isinanla na raw ninyo ang kaluluwa niya—ang kaluluwa ninyo sa demonyo?

SEC. ROQUE:  Kaya nga po hindi ko isasanla ang kaluluwa ko kay Senator Trillanes.

HENRY/DZRH: Ah okay. [laughs] Thank you, salamat.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Hi sir, good morning po. Sir, mayroon po ba tayong update doon sa panibagong naiulat na tanim bala incident? Nakarating na po iyong report kay Pangulo?

SEC. ROQUE:  Ay nakarating na po, pati po iyong full report mayroon na akong kopya. Ang pagkakaiba po ngayon hindi talaga siya tanim bala, kasi ang tanim bala kapag nahanapan ng baril, dahilan na iyan para hindi makaalis at iyong mga corrupt kikikilan na para sila ay makaalis dahil siyempre gusto noong tao na makaalis lalung-lalo na kung OFW. So ito po nakuhanan ng bala pero pinaalis din.

At after investigation it appears na may kapamilya pala talaga itong biyaherang ito na militar at mayroon pa atang kapatid na pulis din ‘no at lumalabas na baka hindi sa kaniya iyong ginamit na maleta. Baka may naiwan lang doon na bala ‘no. So hindi po namin kinukunsidera ito na tanim bala incident dahil hindi naman po siya naantala sa pag-alis. So ang nangyari lang po kinumpiska iyong bala at pinaalis din siya.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, iyong sa tambay lang. Parang medyo… nahuli po ng PNP 302 noong Saturday and then Sunday was like 97. Guidance lang sir and also for the public ‘no, papaano ba dapat talaga ginagawa iyong—ini-implement iyong sinabi ni Pangulo na iyong mga tambay dapat medyo pauwiin?

SEC. ROQUE: Well, ang concern lang po talaga ng Presidente natin, may mga ordinansa na dapat ipatupad. Bagama’t wala na po ngayong batas laban sa tambay, eh may mga umiiral pa ring mga ordinansa at ang sinasabi lang niya, patuparin na natin ang mga ordinansa dahil importante rin na bantayan itong mga tambay para maiwasan din iyong paggagawa ng krimen. So in other words it’s really police visibility ‘no and trying to take steps ‘no to insure that the public knows that the police is present and that if they are engaged in any conspiracy to commit crimes, nandiyan po ang ating kapulisan. Ang aming construction lang po diyan, that’s really crime prevention through police visibility.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Pero sir, in an operational sense, kung halimbawa nasa labas ako ng bahay ko, wala kaming pasok, halimbawa gabi ‘no umuwi ka ng bahay, lumabas ka ng bahay mo. You may be talking to a kapitbahay, shall I be arrested?

SEC. ROQUE:  Hindi naman po siguro ‘no. Depende rin niyan kung ano iyong ordinansa na umiiral kasi may mga ordinansa na nagbabawal sa mga kabataan na nasa labas ‘no. At mayroon pong desisyon na na-uphold iyong mga ganiyang ordinansa ‘no. May mga iba na hindi na-uphold, may mga iba na-uphold so depende talaga kung nasaan kayo ‘no. Pero I think iyong—kung hindi ka naman talaga identified doon sa komunidad na talagang walang ginagawa kung hindi tumambay lamang, wala kayo dapat ipangamba.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  So sir, na klaro dapat may ordinance na sasabihin sa iyo iyong police kapag aarestuhin ka ‘di ba? Tama?

SEC. ROQUE:  Oo, oo. Dapat mayroon namang kahit papaanong legal na basehan either dahil alam ng pulis, mayroon silang personal knowledge na talagang itong taong ito ay talagang tambay at mayroon na sigurong mga negative record ‘no. It is a case to case basis po kaya mahirap talagang magkomento ‘no. Pero gaya ng aking sinasabi ‘no, marami na pong—at least alam ko may dalawang desisyon ang Korte Suprema sa isa in-uphold ang ordinansa, banning or imposing curfew in minors, iyong isa naman in-uphold ‘no dahil may pagkakaiba naman ‘no. So it really depends on where you are.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Okay, thank you.

JULIE AURELIO/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER:  Sir, follow up lang doon sa tambay. May mga concerns kasi that the anti-tambay directive maybe used as an excuse for illegal detention or warrantless arrest. Over the weekend there was a viral post of a netizen, a call center agent who claim that in Makati… in Kalayaan, Makati he was picked up while waiting for his friend na lalabas sana sila, dinampot sila, dinala sila ng presinto tapos ang sabi sa kanila, basta sinabi ng Presidente batas na iyan. So ano pong—paanong magiging guidance noon kasi this is a call center agent, hindi siya tambay, he is a productive member of society. What is preventing us from fearing na anyone of us can we picked up in a similar manner?

SEC. ROQUE:  Well, kasi po meron tayong established na mga mekanismo para protektahan ang karapatan ng kalayaan. Unang-una po, eh kapag kayo ay… kapag ang mamamayan at naaresto at hindi naman kinasuhan, pupuwedeng makasuhan ng kriminal for illegal detention iyong ating kapulisan.

Pangalawa, bilang remedy, meron naman tayong existing remedy na pupuwedeng gamitin na mabilisan, iyong habeas corpus po mabilisan iyan; at saka meron pa tayong writ of amparo ngayon. So, hindi po po tayo nauubusan din ng legal remedies to deal with those who will act in excess of authority.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  Pero, sir, it really has to reach the point na an ordinary citizen must file a writ of amparo or habeas corpus?

SEC. ROQUE: Hindi naman po, kasi I’m sure nangyari itong sinasabi mo, pero I ‘m sure, he was also released eventually and not charged. I’m surprised it happened in Makati, because Makati has been rated as one of the safest cities in the world together with if I am not mistaken, Cebu ‘no.

So, sa akin po, institutionalized na po iyan, nandiyan ang Bill of Rights; kung talagang walang basehan iyan, eh nandiyan naman po ang ating mga hukuman.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  You were right, he was released. Pero kasi, as Ace said, the trauma cannot be reversed?

SEC. ROQUE: Well, if the trauma cannot be reversed, he can also file civil damages against the policeman.

KRIS JOSE/REMATE:  Sir, nagkaroon po ng sagupaan ang AFP at ang Maute sa Lanao Del Sur. Ito po bang mga ganitong pagkilos na naman ng Maute, ikaka-alarma ng public, especially po ng mga residente ng Lanao na might be mangyari sa kanila iyong nangyari sa Marawi City, sir?

SEC. ROQUE: Well, ito po siguro nagpapatunay na talagang may kalaban pa tayo diyan sa Mindanao, kaya nga po dahilan na naririyan pa ang martial law. Pero hindi naman po dapat ikabahala ito, dahil ang puwersa nila ay kakaunti na lang. At tingin ko naman, dahil nga sa martial law na umiiral ‘no ay mahihirapan din talaga magkaroon ng tangible gains ang ating mga kalaban. Bagama’t nakaka-abala talaga na parang may successor na na tumatayong  leader itong Maute at nagkaroon na naman sila ng capability para makipagputukan sa ating mga sundalo.

KRIS JOSE/REMATE:  Assurance na lang po sa mga taga-Lanao na iyon po, safe nila at wala silang dapat na ipangamba?

SEC. ROQUE:  Well, hindi  po natin ma-assure  na wala na  tayong kalaban  diyan sa Lanao Del Sur. Pero ang ma-assure ko po: handa naman po ang ating Hukbong Sandatahan para protektahan ang ating mga sibilyan diyan sa Lanao Del Sur.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:      Sir, would you care to comment on the… blunder of the PCOO in the Secretary… Roilo Golez, sir?

SEC. ROQUE:  Well, let he who has not erred cast the first stone. This may not be the first, but come on let’s give them slack. Sa akin lang, taong gobyerno lang po iyan, sana po talaga mas pataasin pa ang kanilang spell check; dahil meron namang Word program na spell checker. Pero I’m sure po that they will learn again from this experience in the same way that they have learned from the experience of the past.

Pero talagang mahirap po talaga I guess kung ikaw ay propesyunal na manunulat, mas mataas talaga ang standards at naiintindihan naman natin ang frustration ng taumbayan. But I can assure you na siguro naman po, they will learn from this mistake again.

Okay, thank you very much. I will be in Cotabato tomorrow. So we will have an out of town press briefing also at 11:00 o’clock.

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SOURCE: PCOO – NIB (News and Information Bureau)

 

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