Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra

Location Malacañang Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building

 

ROCKY IGNACIO/PTV:  Good morning, Malacañang Press Corps, Happy Easter. Today we have Senior Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra. Good morning sir.

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Good morning to all of you. Happy Easter Monday and I hope you had a very relaxing Holy Week. I’m substituting or pinch hitting for Spokes Harry for this week. He is on a well deserved RNR. But I understand that he’ll be back pretty soon. So I hope to be able to answer all of your questions based on the documents and official papers that passed through my desk.

So let’s start with the good news first. On the DOST scholars – we are pleased to announce that the Department of Science and Technology or DOST recorded a total 8,994 qualified students for their scholarship programs for this year.

This is 69.6 percent higher than the 5,303 qualifiers in 2015. Out of the 8,994 qualified scholars, 5,172 students will be under the Republic Act 7687 scholarship program while 3,822 students will be under the DOST Science Education Institute Merit Scholarship Program. According to the DOST a new stipend rate of 7,000 pesos per month will be given to the new and ongoing SMP scholars across all disciplines. Scholars are also entitled to tuition fee subsidy, book allowance, MSPE clothing allowance, one economy class round trip fare per year for those studying outside of their home province and group accident insurance. Pretty good. So I don’t know if—we don’t have much events or too many news that have happened during the past week but maybe you have some important questions to ask and which I’m willing to answer.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Sir, magandang umaga po. Sir, tungkol lang po doon sa development sa kaso ni Demafelis na mukhang mayroon ng sentence doon sa mag-asawang employer nila. Sir, nabalitaan na po ba ito ni Pangulong Duterte at saka any new directive in connection with this latest development?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Well by this time the President might have heard about that news that was picked up abroad and the directive that was given by the President was for the DFA through the mission in Kuwait to find out, to verify whether in fact such an event took place. I’m referring to the sentencing of this couple who I understand are at-large, still at-large. They are not in Kuwait.

ALVIN/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Sir, paano po kaya mangyayari doon para mai-serve talaga iyong sentence doon sa mag-asawa?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Well that really belongs to the realm of the Kuwaiti law ‘no. So if they have probably some extradition treaty with any country kung saan makikita iyong mga hinahanap then probably they’ll make—they’ll avail themselves of such mutual legal assistance agreement or extradition treaties if possible.

ALVIN/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Sir, one last na.

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Yes, sir.

ALVIN/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Sir, update doon sa total ban ng deployments sa Kuwait?

SDES. GUEVARRA:   Any update?

ALVIN/RADYO PILIPINAS:  Any update.

SDES. GUEVARRA:  The agreement—that still holds ‘no, the ban on total ban on sending OFWs to Kuwait is still on. But of course an agreement, a memorandum of understanding is being formulated and hopefully the parties will—the state parties will come to terms as to how our OFWs in Kuwait as well as in other Middle Eastern countries will be protected. So basically that will be a solution to this ban, this total ban about sending OFWs to Kuwait.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Secretary, but how is Malacañang taking the report about the death sentence?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Well of course the President and the—I suppose, the entire Filipino people will be happy to know that that is true ‘no. Siyempre that’s what we want – justice for Demafelis. So let’s hope that in fact that is true and that the couple will actually be apprehended and brought to the bars of justice.

ACE/PHIL. STAR:  In case the DFA verifies that the information about the death sentence is true, will it affect the decision of the labor department to continue the deployment ban?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  I don’t think so. I think it’s still the agreement between the two countries on the manner of treating our OFWs that will matter, not the matter of the couple being brought to justice.

ACE/PHIL. STAR:  Because previous reports quoted the President’s officials was saying that the ban will only be lifted if there’s justice for Demafelis?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  I think that is very specific to a particular case. We have to think about the others who are similarly situated.

ACE/PHIL. STAR:  Thank you, Secretary.

LEILA SALAVERRIA/INQUIRER:  Good morning.

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Good morning.

LEILA/INQUIRER:  Sir, has the President made the decision on whether to accept the recommendation of three departments to close down Boracay by April 26 and if there’s no decision yet what’s holding up?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Alright, we received the recommendation, a short letter with the very short content from the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), DILG as well and DOT recommending that closure of Boracay start on April 26 and of course 6 months thereafter. But we have requested—the Office of the President through the Executive Secretary’s office have requested the three agencies to submit a more detailed memo on the justification or there is any qualification at all to their recommendation and I think today we’ll be receiving those memorandum… memoranda rather—I mean, expanding, explaining and justifying their recommendation.

LEILA/INQUIRER:  Sir, in particular what are you looking for? What factors would inform the President’s decision whether or not to close down the island?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  First of all, it’s the economic impact on the island and the people residing and working there, that has to be considered by the President as well; not only the environment but also people, their livelihood, businesses, all of these will have to be taken into account.

LEILA/INQUIRER:  Sir, when can we expect the decision because April 26 is fast approaching?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Pretty soon I guess. Pretty soon. We are working on it, that’s our top priority.

LEILA/INQUIRER:  Thank you.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHILS.: Sir, you did mentioned that kulang nga ng details but do you have an idea if the agencies are proposing a total nga ba talaga or in phases?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  From the looks of it, based on that… I think two paragraph letter of recommendation it would appear to be a total ban as recommended that’s why we are asking for, you know, some qualifications if there are any. But the Department of Trade and Industry has actually submitted the separate memorandum to us, saying that maybe this closure can be done in phases, alright, because of the effect on businesses and livelihood in the area. So that is something that the Office of the President will most likely consider as well.

INA/CNN PHILS.:  So far, sir, is it only the DTI that has expressed concerns over a total closure?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  For now, yes it’s just the DTI.

INA/CNN PHILS.:  Okay. Sir, will the businesses in Boracay be given enough time to prepare for a closure if it does push through because let’s say it’s—the proposal is to close by April 26? I mean, that only gives them a few weeks basically, earlier sinabi bibigyan ng one month? How much time will they be given at least as a notice?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  We’ll actually consider that when we submit our recommendation to the President. Because the recommendations of the various departments will have to be processed by the Office of the Executive Secretary and we’ll do our own recommendation based on the explanation or justification to be submitted by these three agencies as well as the comments of the DTI and other agencies that maybe minded to submit their comments.

INA/CNN PHILS:  Sir, what kind of assistance could be given if any to workers who may be affected by the closure. I mean, will the national government be providing them with any, I don’t know some sort of subsidy or work?

SDES GUEVARRA:  We’ll probably tap the DSWD for some interim relief measures or the DOLE to help them find the employment elsewhere, in some other islands or resorts perhaps while the clean-up is going on.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, kapag po nagkaroon ng desisyon. Sir, pag nag-decide si Presidente to close or whatever decision that he has to make, what will be the legal basis? Cause national are coming in to the local government unit.

SDES GUEVARRA:  Kasi alam mo, iyong parang talagang general legal basis for something like that is the exercise of police power. That is basically it ‘no. Of course our environmental laws also play a role. Okay? So iyon ang actually legal basis, kung talagang merong violation of some environmental rules and regulations, that’s it.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Sir, no need to declare a state of calamity?

SDES GUEVARRA:  That is also being considered. Kasi para—pag meron kasing state of calamity, some… let say affected people may avail themselves of calamity loans and so forth and so on to tide themselves over.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Sir, what the President’s inclination, because of course when he said that sound byte before, medyo impassioned iyon. But now we have seen maybe a little more complex sa situation in Boracay. Meaning, some are following rules, some are not following rules, it’s not the whole island that’s been you know having the problem. What is the President’s maybe inclination at this point?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Well, I have not talked to him directly. But I know that he is a very reasonable man and for that reason, I guess, he will be able to consider other points of view as well.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Sir when you close it, ano po ang magiging mechanics niyan, as in totally shut down iyong island, no tourist will be allowed, no hotels will be allowed to operate?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Baka sa ports pa lang eh meron ng obstacle, kasi maybe, maybe doon pa lang sa point na iyon meron na kaagad problema about entering, except of course iyong mga residents, ‘no.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Sir, how do you distinguish the residents from tourist?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Siguro naman meron namang mga proper way to identify kung sino iyong visitor, kung sino iyong resident talaga. Madali naman siguro iyan.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Sir, I think there are roughly 30,000 from our reports before, doon sa isa naming reporter. 30.000 registered local and foreign workers. How much of a factor will this play in the President’s decision to do whatever in Boracay?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Yeah, definitely that’s a consideration you know. But it’s really the overwhelming consideration for the President really is to restore Boracay to its pristine condition. So, I guess, the President is also ready ‘no, all things being equal to make a decision, a firm decision to save Boracay. So, it’s just too bad that some maybe foreign workers will be affected but we have to think much longer than 6 months. We have to think of the years to come, of the next generation to enjoy the island.

So it’s too bad that there are certain short term effects, some sacrifice that has to be made. But we must not lose sight of the fact that this is for the long term.

DEXTER GANIBE/DZMM:  Hi, Sec good morning. Sir, iyong ine-expect natin na decision ng Pangulo kung magde-decide man siya pabor doon sa recommendation, is it in a form of a declaration or a proclamation stating the closure or a state of calamity and the reason kaya iko-close iyong Boracay? 

SDES GUEVARRA:  Well, it could take the form of a proclamation, it could take the form of a memorandum order. So under the ordinance power of the President, those are the possible legal vehicles to implement the decision.

DEXTER/DZMM:  Okay and ito ay lalabas bago iyong recommendation or puwedeng mabago iyong recommendation nila na April 26?

SDES GUEVARRA:  I didn’t quite get that.

DEXTER/DZMM:  Iyon pong magdedesisyon man ang Pangulo, puwede niya bang hindi sundin iyong ni-recommend na magsisimula na April 26 or maari niyang—

SDES GUEVARRA:  Of course, prerogative ng President iyon ‘no. Of course even us, when we make our recommendations, we are not 100% sure that our recommendations will be followed. I mean, opisina na namin iyon. Because the President, you know, has the prerogative, he has all the information at the tip of his fingers. So, he has better information than the rest of us.

DEXTER/DZMM:  Sir, this month, may mga naka-schedule na mga cruise ship na mag-i-stop over sa Boracay and the followings months ay may mga naka-schedule pa. Ang sinasabi dapat mag-decide para maabisuhan iyong mga pupunta doon. Gaano katagal ang hihintayin natin?

SDES GUEVARRA:  That is why we are putting this matter as our top priority this week.

INA/CNN PHILS:  Sir, is the President aware of the plan to put-up a casino in Boracay and if so, what has he said about it?

SDES GUEVARRA:  I’m sure that he is aware that there is casino supposed to be constructed in some island off the main area, all right. But you know, that’s construction, that will probably take about maybe two years, all right. We are just looking at several months to clean up the main island. So that is not really inconsistent, come to think of it.

INA/CNN PHILS:  Because there were some statements from some secretaries, I believe…  DILG and DENR Secretary saying that the plan to put-up a casino seems contradicting to efforts to rehabilitate the island. I was wondering if those statements were already relayed to the President?

SDES GUEVARRA:  First of all, it’s PAGCOR matter ‘no, whether to grant or to grant a license to operate. And what I can say is for as long as any establishment for that matter, including this casino complies with all the regulatory requirements like environmental rules and regulations, there should be no problem with that.

That also provides employment for residents there.

INA/CNN PHILS:  Even if the President previously announced a moratorium on new casinos?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Well, if there is such a moratorium, I am not factually certain if there is such a moratorium. But if there is such a moratorium, then the operation of that casino will have to be suspended in the mean time, right? But the construction is another matter. It’s just you know, konkreto, buhangin and so forth and so on. Wala pa namang ginagawa, no operations yet. It could actually be, maybe transformed into a hotel or some other business establishment. Not necessarily a casino.

JHOANNA BALLARAN/INQ. NET:  Follow up lang po sa proposed casino sa Boracay. You said po na they need to comply with regulatory requirements. Ngayon, how will the government insure na talagang magko-comply sa regulatory requirements, since iyon nga iyon po iyong dating problema sa Boracay, di ba na hindi po talaga—on paper yes, they complied, but in actual structures po, hindi talaga. So how would the government—

SDES GUEVARRA:  I think ang principal agent dito na dapat na nakaka-alam kung may compliance or not is the local government unit. More than the regulatory agencies themselves, who may or may not have representatives in various areas of the country, I think it’s the local government unit who should be in the forefront of monitoring compliance.

BENJIE LIWANAG/DZBB:  Sir good morning. Sir, how about the local government sa Boracay, mapapanagot ba natin sila? Kasi because of the closure, maraming nilabag iyong mismong mga establishment doon. So, is Malacañang aware of this, sir?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Well, I guess in a situation like that, it’s inevitable that there might be some inquiry kung merong pagkukulang or not and local government units. S0 probably, the DILG or even the OP itself might consider something like that.

BENJIE/DZZBB:  And also, are we only looking at Boracay, hindi ba natin tinitingnan  pa iyong ilang beaches?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Yes, we are also looking at other areas na potentially at risk of being abused.

BERNADETTE/BUSINESS MIRROR:  Sir, doon lang po sa update po sana doon sa EO on contractualization po. Kailan po mapipirmahan po ni President?

SDES GUEVARRA:  That draft EO has been under study in our office for quite some time. The main problem there is iyong mga gustong mangyari ay something that the executive department is not empowered to do, kailangan legislative action talaga. Because Labor Code iyan eh, nandoon iyong provisions against contractualization but allowing for some, in some areas ‘no.

So, if you want something like a total ban on contractualization, you need a law to repeal or amend that particular provision of the Labor Code. An executive order is meant only to supplement, all right, or to you know give the details, implementing details of what the law provides. But it cannot add or subtract or substantially alter what the law provides. That’s really more for Congress to do.

So, I hope you will understand the limitations of an executive order.

BERNADETTE/BUSINESS MIRROR:  Sir, kung meron pong kulang doon sa batas po natin ngayon about contractualization, ano pong pino-propose n’yo sanang provision sana na ma-include sa Constitution po—sa Labor Code pala, sir, sorry.

SDES GUEVARRA:  Well, kung talagang total ban on contractualization, eh di yung provision pertaining to that, iyong granting certain exemptions, all right, from the contractualization provision. May mga exemptions kasi diyan eh. But for now, what the executive department is doing, is really to make compliance with the existing regulations very strict. Iyong monitoring ng compliance, at the very least, iyon ang nagagawa ng executive department for now, specially the Department of Labor and Employment. So there are few rules on inspection and so forth and so on, labor standards.

BERNADETTE/BUSINESS MIRROR:  Sir, itanong ko lang po kung nag-push through po iyong meeting ni Duterte with the labor groups before the Holy Week po. Kasi iyon po ang sabi sa previous reports po?

SDES GUEVARRA:  I am not aware na in fact, na tuloy iyong meeting. I have not been advised about it, sorry.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Hi, sir good morning.  Sir, just a clarification, does it mean that there’s a slim chance—

SDES GUEVARRA:  Meron naman siguro. There’s a slim chance, but not really on the substantive side of it. Baka it’s really more on strictly enforcing the existing provisions of the law. Kasi nga hindi naman pupuwedeng i-alter ng executive order what the law provides. So what the law provides strictly i-implement under that EO. Kung merong more safeguards that need to put in place, iyon ang gagawin, under an EO.

MARICEL/TV5:  So more on strict implementation lang.

SDES GUEVARRA:  Yes. For now, that is what I can see. Pero substantial amendments, that’s legislative, that’s congressional.

MARICEL/TV5:  And may we know, sir what particular provisions iyong nakalagay doon sa recommendation or draft EO na hindi kayang i-pursue ng executive department and needs legislation?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Well, of course iyong total ban itself is something that we cannot do by EO.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, if I remember, iyong draft EO that you are talking about, is it the same draft EO that the labor group submitted to President Duterte last year in Davao?

SDES GUEVARRA:  That’s one draft, there’s also another draft coming from the Department of Labor and Employment and our own draft, draft ng Office of the President.

PIA/ABS-CBN:  So, three drafts po?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Yes, we are trying to you know, harmonized all of these, putting all useful proposals together in one EO.

PIA/ABS-CBN:  So how different would the EO be, doon sa existing, sir, na department orders ng DOLE which actually calls for stricter regulations ng contractual laborer.

SDES GUEVARRA:  Honestly, not much.

PIA/ABS-CBN:  Not much, meaning sir, wala naman tayong masyadong i-expect, sir, na bago?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Kasi nga iyong sa substantial provision, they can’t do much about it. They can only do something about implementation, strict implementation of what we already have.

PIA/ABS-CBN:  So, doon sa ina-advocate po ng mga labor groups na total ban on contractual labor, so hindi na po iyon, so parang it’s basically were putting a death sentence to that, sir?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Not a death sentence. The executive can make that, you know, an initiative—can have the initiative in making that proposal and pushing for it in Congress.

JHOANNA/INQ. NET:  Yes, follow up ko rin lang po, sir. You said po na kailangan po ng legislation to amend certain provision sa Labor Code. Has the executive department po spoken with Congress leaders in House and the Senate on how to deal with this issue. And I understand that this contractualization po is one of the main platforms, campaign promises ni President. Ano na po iyong progreso pagdating sa legislation part?

SDES GUEVARRA:  Hindi pa, as of this time, wala pa namang mga ganoon talagang actual na liaison or coordination with the legislative department. We are still trying to do our best to come up with an executive order that can be acceptable to the labor sector. So nandoon muna ang aming priority. Kung talagang unhappy pa rin ang labor sector with an EO that… the best EO that we can come up with. Then, that’s the time that we’ll probably do our consultations with Congress.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Sir, kay Napoles lang po. Cause there is a recent decision—no February decision yata ng Supreme Court denying iyong MR niya for provisional liberty. Now, si Napoles in that case, wanted to apply iyong ginawa ni former President Arroyo na during the trial stage nagde morte evidence ‘no and then parang medyo kinatigan si PGMA ng Court ‘no, now she wanted the same thing. Ang sabi ng Supreme Court is that staged iyong problem ‘no. Iyong trial ni former President Arroyo was during the actual trial on the merits.

SDES GUEVARRA:  Tama.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  And she cannot apply that, because right now is nasa bail hearing lang siya.

SDES GUEVARRA:  Exactly.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Alright? So question sir is right now denied iyong provisional liberty because of the stage that’s she’s in, yes? Assuming sir that the—any case in the Sandiganbayan proceeds to a trial proper, can she go up again to the Supreme Court, first in the Sandiganbayan she can challenge the prosecution, demurrer to evidence and then cite that sa Supreme Court to basically just apply the same context ‘no with PGMA. Can that decision be changed sir?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  The basis for filing a demurrer to evidence ‘no – that’s actually a motion to dismiss alright in layman’s term – is or comes after the presentation of evidence by the prosecution. Meaning, mayroon ng trial proper on the merits of the case and the prosecution has already presented all its evidence ‘no, as against the accused.

Now, if the defense thinks that the evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt, that’s when she files a demurrer to evidence. And if that is granted that is tantamount to an acquittal. If that is denied, alright so it’s up to her, she can challenge it upstairs if she wants on the ground of grave abuse of discretion if need be, alright but that is—well she can take that through the way former President did it. But of course, magkaiba naman ng kaso iyan, magkaiba naman ng ebidensiya na ipe-present diyan ‘no. But that could happen if a demurrer to evidence is presented and that’s granted, that’s acquittal.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  Meaning sir, right now dineny iyon ‘no kasi nga iba iyong stage.

SDES. GUEVARRA: Oo.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  But when they go to—clarification lang sir. When they go to trial proper—

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Yes.

JOSEPH/GMA7:  She can try again?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Yes of course, oo. ‘Pag after the presentation of the prosecution’s evidence. Right now wala pa naman doon si Napoles eh, nasa bail hearing pa lang naman siya. It’s not trial on the merits as yet.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO:  Hi sir, good morning.

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Good morning.

HANNAH/SONSHINE RADIO:  Sir, may panawagan po iyong mga—iyong isang sectoral movement sa Marawi po hindi po daw sila pinapakinggan ng pamahalaan regarding doon sa rehabilitation sa Marawi na hindi sila pinapakinggan at isinasantabi po iyong kanilang mga iminumungkahi. Ano po ang reaksiyon po ng Palasyo dito at kung ano po iyong magiging move po doon sa kanilang kahilingan po?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  I’m sure that residents themselves will be given an opportunity to make their own proposals on how to rehabilitate their own city. Baka naman mayroon lang kaunting… you know, sort of misunderstanding or hindi naman ganoon talaga ang ibig sabihin ‘no. But I doubt it very much whether you know the residents themselves of the city will not even be consulted on a manner by which their city will have to be rehabilitated. Okay, there are cultural, historical aspects that need to be respected and considered. So when you are restoring something, you are bringing it back to its condition before ‘no, of course with much improvement but essentially iyong pagiging essence of Marawi City as a Muslim City will have to be taken into account in the restoration process.

HANNAH/SONSHINE RADIO:  Sir, hiling din po nila, appeal din po nila kay Pangulong Duterte na huwag pong ituloy iyong proposed plan na magkaroon ng economic zone sa Marawi at huwag pong maglagay po ng military camp doon mismo sa siyudad po kung pagbibigyan po ba ng Pangulo iyong hiling nila?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  I think it’s too early ‘no to say whether the President will act on that request. We’ll leave it to the Task Force Bangon Marawi to consider that ‘no, to take that into account and to evaluate whether the existence or non-existence of a military camp inside Marawi City is advisable and whether or not converting it into an economic zone will be for the betterment of the city or not, that’s all for the Task Force to evaluate and decide on.

JHOANNA BALLARAN/INQUIRER.NET:  Sir, reaksiyon lang po ng Palasyo doon sa kasong—ay sa complaint na finile ng Akbayan youth against sa Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson administrative case po—administrative complaint for allegedly using her position to proliferate fake news and silence the critics of the government. May I get your—may I get Palace reactions po?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  I understand that was filed before the Ombudsman, an administrative case. Well I’m sure Asec. Mocha will be able to defend herself. Mayroon namang mga processes to follow and to observe and she’ll be given her fair chance ‘no to be able to explain.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  But do you agree that she is purveying fake news?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Of course not.

ACE/PHIL. STAR:  Why Secretary?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Well, I really don’t have—to tell you frankly hindi ko naman binabasa iyong lahat noong mga nasa blogs ‘no. I don’t really have much time to go over all of this things but she has consistently denied it ‘no. So I take her word for it, as a fellow worker I take her word for it.

ACE/PHIL. STAR:  So you disagree with the Akbayan youth who accused her of spreading—

SDES. GUEVARRA:  I really am not in a position to say whether they have any prima facie basis or not because to tell you frankly nga hindi ko naman nababasa rin iyong mga blogs na sinasabi.

ACE/PHIL. STAR:  Thank you, Secretary.

ROCKY IGNACIO/PTV4:  Sir, mayroon daw mensahe ba o reaksiyon daw iyong Palace doon sa start ng recounting sa Vice Presidential ano—

SDES. GUEVARRA:  Well the Palace welcomes the recount ‘no para ma-settle na iyang long festering dispute na iyan ‘no. Well other than that, this is a judicial matter; this is before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal already. So we leave it to the co-equal branch to handle that.

ROCKY/PTV4:  Okay, MPC no more questions? Ina?

SDES. GUEVARRA:  No more? Thank you very much. It’s a happy week. [laughs]

ROCKY/PTV4:  Okay thank you, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Guevarra. Thank you, Malacañang Press Corps. Back to our main studio sa Radyo Pilipinas and People’s Television network.

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SOURCE: PCOO – NIB (News and Information Bureau)

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