|Press Briefing by Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella w/ Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra; EDSA People Power Commission Vice Chairperson Joey Concepcion III; and Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez|
|Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building, Malacañang|
|21 February 2017|
|SEC. ANDANAR: Hello. Good morning. Rocky, it’s good to see you again. My long-lost sister. Look at the mole. Again, endless joke.
Magandang umaga po sa lahat ng nanonood sa atin sa PTV, nakikinig sa atin sa Radyo ng Bayan, at nanonood po sa atin sa Facebook live sa pamamagitan ng ating Presidential Communications page.
Our resource persons for today are Mr. Joey Concepcion, Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, and Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
Mr. Jose Ma. A. Concepcion III, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship is the Vice President of the EDSA People Power Commission and also Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship.
It is his second time to be in our briefing. He will talk about what the Commission has prepared for us to commemorate the EDSA People Power.
He is the son of former DTI Secretary Jose Concepcion Jr. who served as the chairman of the EPPC from 1998 to 2000. He’s also the founder of Go Negosyo; the current chair of ASEAN Business Advisory Council; and the President and CEO of the RFM Corporation.
Cecil Guidote-Alvarez is a PETA founder and President of Philippine International Theater Institute; is the youngest Filipina to be honored as Ramon Magsaysay Arts Laureate for Public Service in 1972; a director of Earth Savers, has been distinguished the UNESCO artist for peace recognition; and producing director of multi-awarded DZRH Radio Balintataw.
She served as NCAA Executive Director during the GMA presidency and heads the social change network of the International Theater Institute. She’s a member of the Spirit of EDSA Foundation.
Atty. Menardo I. Guevarra is a Senior Deputy Executive Secretary of the Office of the President. He was also the bar topnotcher in 1986… And in 1986, when he passed the bar, that was during the People Power Revolution, right after.
He was also a technical staff member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission.
Prior to his appointment, he was the Commissioner of the Philippine Competition Commission in 2016 and Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs at the Office of the President in 2015.
Moreover, he was the commissioner of the Philippine Truth Commission in 2010. A former law partner in Medialdea Ata Bello Guevarra & Suarez and law professor at the Ateneo de Manila University.
Without further ado, ladies and gentleman of the Malacañang Press Corps, let us give a warm welcome to our distinguished guests, Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Mr. Joey Concepcion, and Atty. Menardo Guevarra.
CONCEPCION: Good morning. I was just appointed as Vice Chairman, just recently. So, I guess one of the tasks that I have is to try to continue what started many years back in the People Power Revolution in EDSA.
It’s 31 years today as we celebrate EDSA and basically the intention really is, we would like to see it as a day of reflection.
The theme basically celebrating People Power for nation building.
People ask me why I accepted this role as vice chairman. I guess, being part of People Power in that year, in 1986, I was 27 years old. My father was the founder of NAMFREL. We experienced the entire change that we saw during that time, from a dictatorship to the move towards democracy.
We had our own heroes at that time. We respect until this very day, we continue to respect these heroes. Ninoy Aquino for one, his legacy should never be forgotten.
And likewise the different people who went through what I call the transformation of our country during that period of time. As I shared with the team that was involved in the planning and especially Chris Carrion who has been doing this event for the past so many years, he is basically was tasked to put a simple event this coming Friday in the AFP Grandstand and President — former President Ramos will be with us in that event and there will be a couple awards to be given during that day.
Of course, we start with a mass at 8 a.m. So it’s going to be a very simple affair. We decided to do it on Friday because we felt that Saturday, there will be a lot of people celebrating in various formats and different expressions.
And moving forward, my vision is to see how we can continue to live on the spirit of EDSA, maybe in different forms. We can’t keep living on the past ‘no.
We have transformed these lessons that we have learned during this struggle during that time, so that our own children will continue to remember it ‘no.
I myself remember it because I was in EDSA during that period. But my children don’t remember EDSA because they were never part of it.
So the challenge really is how do we make this generation continue to be inspired of what happened in 1986 ‘no. And in the coming months, we will prepare for next year’s celebration on how the youth, especially today, can live on.
Similar to what I have done and my father was a former co-chair of the same commission, by coincidence or divine enlightenment or guidance, somehow I’m performing the same role that he performed many years back ‘no.
So in a way, I was maybe mentored during those earlier days when he was very active with NAMFREL and somehow that spirit caught on to me and today I find myself in a unique role although it’s a crash course I’m trying to put this thing together.
And we hope to continue to live up and really pass on the true meaning of EDSA to our children.
ALVAREZ: I’m representing the “Spirit of EDSA”. It’s an NGO that was founded by many people involved in the liberation of our country in 1986. My direct involvement really is because I was a kind of alalay to my husband when he were in exile and he was a leader of the democratic opposition exposing the hidden billions and other violations of human rights.
So we are very happy to be always collaborating with the government for remembering and protecting the integrity of history.
I think what’s very important and we’re glad that
we have this 31st anniversary because the brilliant, gallant moment of the Filipino nation is inscribed in the “UNESCO Memory of the World”. All over the world, major historic events like Mandela’s and many of the programs that are so relevant to the growth and development of a nation is inscribed, it’s selected and the Philippines’ EDSA People Power is here [shows the book], it is on page 554, the radio broadcast of the Philippine People Power Revolution.
So it is recorded in world history and it is a glorious moment that really must be carried on the spirit. And as we feel that we were liberated from oppression and tyranny, now our concern is to seek freedom: freedom from drugs, freedom from corruption, freedom from pollution, freedom from terrorism, freedom from disease that more or less the Duterte government has been elucidating or focusing on. And particularly as one involved with the cultural programming, we feel that the arts is so important as a conscientisizing force and the need for education of the young to carry on memory.
We don’t want amnesia inflicted on our nation. It is important that we treasure what is in fact an inspiration globally for the world. We know its impact, how it broke down the walls, the Berlin Wall, and created more independent democratic governments and we are now enjoying this democracy with free media because of the 1986 People Power Prayer Revolution.
We hope that you will join us, what was said by Secretary Joey that it will be in Camp Aguinaldo. There will be… I don’t know when you want to say the awards, which can be given but this has been traditional.
Every year, there is a recognition of so many people particularly the victims of the abuses of the Martial Law regime. Thank you.
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Good morning. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am representing the Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in his capacity as chairperson of the EPPC or the EDSA People Power Commission.
Some people have been asking why the proposed program for the celebration of the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution for this year is rather sober, simple, no fanfare. All right, so that’s probably in relation to what we have done or what we did last year when the EDSA People Power Revolution celebrated its 30thanniversary and more so, during the time of the last year in office of President PNoy Aquino.
So I guess it does not indicate that the present administration or the EPPC is giving any less significance to the celebration of the 31stanniversary.
Just like any young lady who’s celebrating her 18th birthday, we normally celebrate it with pomp. But when she celebrates her 19th birthday, that doesn’t mean that if there’s no celebration similar to her debut that her birthday is given any less significance.
So we have lined up a program for the next four days that would be simple enough but indicative of what we intend to do. The theme for this year’s celebration is, “A Day of Reflection,” and that’s precisely the reason why there’s no pomp in this year’s anniversary celebration.
It’s a time to settle down, to quiet a bit, and think of what has happened over the past 30 years. Do we still have that spirit of EDSA within our hearts? Have we done things that are supposed to guide us after that momentous event in our history?
So that’s why we want to quiet down a bit and do some reflection on this matter. But again, just to assure you, this simplicity does not mean in any way that we are giving any less significance to the 31stanniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.
Thank you very much.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
BENJIE LIWANAG (DZBB): Good morning, sir. Sir, yeah, Benjie Liwanag from DZBB. Sir, number one, ‘yung mga EDSA People Power guys, kung tawagin nila, tatapatan daw kayo pero sa labas. It’s in the… Number one, ang tanong nila, bakit hindi raw gawin doon sa EDSA People Power Monument, which is ‘yon ‘yung significantly, it’s the place where it started all, it all, ‘yung EDSA People Power I. Number two, may hakbang kanina si Senadora Leila de Lima na parang nananawagan siya na panahon na ngayon dahil sa mga nangyayari, dahil sa mga lumalabas lalo na ‘yung pagpatay eh panahon na ngayon para sumama kayo sa amin at tapatan natin itong EDSA at ‘yun din ang plano naman nung ilang kriti — mga nagki-criticize sa administrasyon na tapatan kayo. So what would you do about this? It’s a simple gathering inside the camp tapos sa labas meron naman. So papano po ito?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Well, about your question as to why it’s being done inside Camp Aguinaldo, well the answer is really simple because that’s where actually it all began, in Camp Aguinaldo, all right, with General — President FVR starting the ball rolling, of course, together with other EDSA heroes like Cardinal Sin, so forth and so on.
Now, as to what the government intends to do with respect to some other groups who want to let’s say rally outside Camp Aguinaldo on the 25th precisely before the People Power Monument, the government will simply allow these things to happen. This is exactly the freedom that EDSA, the EDSA Revolution wanted us to have, all right: freedom to express yourselves, freedom to rally, okay, so freedom to gather together and express your sentiments.
So the government will definitely allow these activities to happen especially on the 25 all right, of course, subject to certain regulations like make sure that there’s no traffic and so forth and so on.
Mr. Liwanag: Okay, another one is, did you invite the former President Fidel Valdez Ramos in this occasion?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Definitely, he’s in the guest list for the activities slated on Friday, the one to be held inside Camp Aguinaldo. Yes, he is invited.
Mr. Liwanag: Sir, may sinasabi rin siya yesterday that huwag daw baliwalain ng administrasyong Duterte ‘yung EDSA People Power I. So what’s your take on this?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: That’s exactly what I said earlier, that the government, the administration is giving the same value and importance to this anniversary just like in the past, all right.
It’s just that we want to make this a day of reflection so let’s quiet down a bit, all right. Let’s remove the pomp and then think, reflect about what has happened over the past 30 years and then let’s move forward from there, from that assessment.
Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much.
Dexter Ganibe (DZMM): Kay Deputy ES. Sir, dalawang puntos lang. Nai-deklara bang holiday, special holiday ang December, I mean February 25?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: It falls on a Saturday. I think, yes, it has been declared. Saturday, yes. Saturday, I’m talking about Saturday has been included in the list of a special holidays for 2017. But it falls on a Saturday.
Mr. Ganibe: How about the 24th?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: But, of course, it has implications also for those who work on Saturday.
Mr. Ganibe: How about the 24th which is — ?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: 24th , no.
Mr. Ganibe: Regular
ATTY. GUEVARRA: No, it’s not a holiday.
Mr. Ganibe: Second point, sir, nakagawian na kasi ng mga nakalipas na pagdiriwang ng EDSA People Power Revolution eh ‘yung Salubungan. magkakaroon din po ba doon sa simpleng selebrasyon sa Friday?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: I don’t think that’s part of the activities slated.
Mr. Ganibe: Why, sir?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Well, I said… As I said earlier, we just want to make this as simple as possible.
Mr. Ganibe: But that has been the tradition yearly hindi ba mag-a… Iyong mga dating — ‘yung mga players doon sa EDSA People Power?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: There are other activities anyway that are slated so I am really sorry that’s not in the detailed program that has been prepared so far. But there are other activities anyway that would, you know, express the same significance.
Mr. Ganibe: Last na lang darating ba ang Pangulong Duterte sa Friday sa Camp Aguinaldo?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: No word on that yet.
Joseph Morong (GMA-7): Nasa subject tayo ng ano — ng iniimbitahan, Deputy ES, sir, good morning. Sir, ikaw ulit sorry ah. Sir, si Ramos pupunta po ano kasi he is going to be part of it. Sila, ah well, you know, sila former President Aquino? Were they invited first?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Yes, he was invited.
Mr. Morong: And may reply na if he’s going to attend?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Is there any rep[ly]…No wala pang reply, sorry. No reply as yet as to whether he will attend on the 24th or not.
Mr. Morong: Pero kelan po naimbitahan ulit?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: The invitation was sent last Friday.
Mr. Morong: Sir, ‘yung simple at walang pomp na commemoration, whose idea was it?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: I think it was the idea in the Office of the President.
Mr. Morong: Not the President’s?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Well, the President is assisted by advisers including the Executive Secretary. So, I guess, that’s the — that’s the whole — that’s the more or less the consensus of the entire Executive office.
Mr. Morong: What does he think of that simple celebration, sir?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Pardon?
Mr. Morong: What does the President think of that simple celebration?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Definitely he agrees with it.
Mr. Morong: Ok. I have questions to… Can I go to Sir Joey and Ms. Cecile. Your family is part of EDSA. Are you comfortable with the simple celebration?
CONCEPCION: Well, let’s put it this way, let’s try to define how we think it’s simple. I mean the 30thdefinitely is — being the 30, that’s the biggest event. I mean, it’s like our ASEAN 50th‘no. It’s…You celebrate it.
The 31st many things are happening this year. I mean, we have the ASEAN event and that is keeping everybody busy including so many other programs that this government is trying to do.
Was there enough preparation time? Maybe there was not enough preparation time because we are all preoccupied ‘no.
And I think it also timely that we try to really think ‘no, how do we really take EDSA — the spirit of EDSA celebration moving forward?
And to me, what’s really important is we allow people to express themselves and that’s why one of the reasons why we did it on Friday is because there are reports that a lot of people who want to express themselves on Saturday. So let them do it and I think it’s what democracy is all about ‘no.
Moving forward, we will have to try to see how do we inspire the next generation ‘coz our generation is soon to expire. We are not gonna…Many of them are in their older ages and many of these leaders in the next five, 10 years will disappear. So how do we really bring about the youth to really embrace what we have learned in the last so many years ‘no
especially in 1986?
Of course, those who were in EDSA that time, like myself, we experienced it more and we lived by it more and that’s why today I find myself in the same, well, in the same thing with Cecile Alvarez. The same thing with — she’s been there.
But our generation is going to be the past. We have to look at the future generation. How do we really bring that real spirit down to that level ‘no?
And you all know that even your own children really just look forward to the celebration because it’s gonna be a holiday ‘no.
So how do we really live it in our hearts? That is something that the group is really gonna work on this year, and really try to make next year as meaningful as we had but more directed towards our youth. Not just ourselves ‘no because we have experienced it and we lived by it. We believe in democracy and you can see it from many of the citizens today.
My worry is what is… What will our… What can we impart and share and transfer to our young kids ‘no.
ALVAREZ:Kami po sa Spirit of EDSA ay nakikiisa sa selebrasyon. Ang mahalaga po ay hindi kakalimutan ang kagitingan ng ating mga kababayan sa pagtamo sa tagumpay na nakamit para maibalik ang demokrasya at iyan po ang demokrasyang ating tinatamasa ngayon.
Alam na alam po namin na wala talagang media noon. Alam po namin lahat ng mga nagaganap na — well, to use the everyday language, kabulastugan at kasakiman.
Ngayon naman, nakikita po natin na ang mahalaga ‘yung tinatawag ho ninyong unity. Iyong tinatawag ho nating pagkakaisa at pagmamalasakit ay hindi mawawala dito sa selebrasyon.
Sapagkat ‘yung programa po sa pagbibigay ng Spirit of EDSA kasama ng pamahalaan ng pagkilala sa Armed Forces; pagkilala sa simbahan, sa sector ng simbahan; pagkilala — at iba-ibang sektor ho ‘yon, ibang religions din, Muslims to et cetera, are all recognized; pagkilala sa kay Juan na representing the nation. Nandoon po ang pagkakaisa at parang pagsalubong dahil lahat sila ay magkakasama.
Alam po ninyo naririnig namin as years passed, minumura nila ‘pag meron traffic. Kaya mabuti naman lang ito na not to add to the traffic crisis but not to deviate from the intention of really protecting the memory, the integrity of history na hindi binabalewala.
Iyong tanong po ninyo kung meron mga iba pa ring magra-rally, marami pong gaganapin pero hindi pinagbabawalan. Iyon ho ang mga mahalaga siguro.
Mr. Morong: Thank you very much po. Atty. si former President Ramos sabi niya ‘nung siguro last week ‘yon, humihingi siya ng EDSA Learning Center. Is that an idea that is okay with the administration? Nabanggit na ba ‘yon?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: You’re referring to a certain project?
Mr. Morong: Yeah, ang sabi po ni former President Ramos na okay ‘yung low key, okay lang ‘yan, pero sana mabigay ‘yung EDSA Learning Center, which will be located at the back of the monument?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: From based on what I know it’s not a Learning Center but I think it’s a certain museum that will have to be constructed within the premises of Camp Aguinaldo.
There was funding for that before but quite unfortunately hindi na-implement ‘no. So, I guess, the present EPPC in coordination with the Spirit of EDSA Foundation may consider that as a project for implementation.
Mr. Morong: Wala pang go signal, sir?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Within the next few years. Learning Center, I have not really heard about that but the EDSA People Power museum is something that I’ve heard couple of years ago.
Leila Salaverra (The Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning for Mr. Concepcion. Sir, you said earlier that you wanted to pass on the true meaning of EDSA to the children. Sir, how do you reconcile this with recent event the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani? Because he was the… The reason EDSA happened was to unseat him. So how do you reconcile…How do you pass on the true meaning of EDSA with what happened?
CONCEPCION:Well, let’s separate that event I would rather not comment on that.
Each one has their own views about that. When we talk about EDSA basically, us who are part of this organizing group, irregardless of different feelings of different sectors towards what true democracy is ‘no and that is the real issue sometimes and sometimes you tend to veer away from that and focus on the aspect of what you really want to impart to your children ‘no.
And I think the biggest aspect here is really democracy ‘no and democracy in various forms. And that is normally a challenge ‘no that we see with our young kids. Of course, we can say that many of them have forgotten what EDSA was because of the past.
In the recent election, you can see the reflection of how many people forgot democracy in a sense ‘no.
So, whether we will be able to formulate the right process to really pass on this legacy that EDSA has created, will really have to be well thought of. We cannot look at certain incidents that are happening in our country, whether Marcos burial is already a true reflection that people have forgotten ‘no of what has happened, or whether it’s an act that, you know, people don’t care.
So let’s us not look at so many activities that are transpiring. Let’s remain focused on what the real essence of this… And in my own way, as I shared with you is that, I was part of it, I was mentored, and now I am part of giving back to the country.
And we hope to see more Filipinos understand the real — true spirit of EDSA. And today, if we look at it, our country is still impoverished. The level of poverty in this country is very high. So how do we transform this change from democracy to the next change ‘no which is really creating greater prosperity for more Filipinos? That’s my view towards it.
In the end of day, democracy would have been useless in a sense if we have so many people in this country at the poverty level. So in the end, this change is really creating greater prosperity for more Filipinos.
So, my take is hopefully our leaders and before they pass on will be really able to formulate an idea on how the next generation will really embrace the true meaning of EDSA. And that’s why the idea was to make it a very simple affair. Last year, it was a very big affair and think on how we move forward with this celebration every year.
Aside from it being a holiday, we have to really bring the real meaning to our children. And to me, in my one way as I live today, giving back to the country is how I was changed with my father’s role.
And I am sure that my challenges how do I make my children really embrace what that true meaning was.
We experienced a dictatorship. We felt it. We saw it. And our kids are insulated from all of that. So now, if you look at the people at the bottom of the pyramid, many people are struggling. How do they move on? And how do we bring about a greater confidence? And how do they feel part of that change ‘no?
We have seen it progress from dictatorship to democracy to being an investment grade country. But yet, they still voted for President Duterte because they were not part of this change. They feel it.
So all of these celebrations may be useless if, you know, many of them have never benefitted from these changes. That’s how I see it.
Ms. Salaverria: Sir, may isa pa. Sir, can we actually really reflect on EDSA without thinking about Marcos? I mean, can we actually separate him? And isa pa, sir. Will any of the events address the fact of the burial and what it means, its implications because some are saying that it could distort or maybe whitewash history?
CONCEPCION: Look. I look at it, every country even America went to a civil war. If Marcos had a role to play in the Philippines, if there was no Marcos, there will be no Fidel Ramos, there will be no Enrile, there will be no… So we have to experience sometimes in life certain struggles ‘no.
I mean, we all have to learn. It’s never a perfect world eh. The Philippines, we have our own struggle. But started the People Power was the Filipinos realizing that it was time for them to fight for their freedom. And I look at it positively.
Marcos, in a way, instill that in a sense by, at that point in time, people wanted to change. From…So that experience… It’s rather than we didn’t have to have a civil war in this country. We went through a peaceful People Power Revolution, which was basically followed by many other countries. And to me that’s something we really be proud to see ‘no. I mean, Filipinos coming together.
So, in a way if you look at it without Marcos how do we build character? I look at that. I mean, how will I build my own character? How will we see the Filipinos build their character? That was the challenge at that point in time. That’s how I look at it. In adversity, how do you change? How do you progress?
And it will not be only Marcos as example. There may be other situations in the future that builds character and that is important to keep building character. Today, our children how do we build their character? I mean, now everything is, you know, nice. Everything seems to be running well. We have been re-rated and things are doing much better.
But the previous generations even those who went to the Japanese war and, you know, they built their character and you can see many successful people who go through these challenges, build character and that’s what make them stronger. So I look at it in a sense in a positive way.
Marlon Ramos (The Philippine Daily Inquirer): Kay Atty. Deputy Executive Secretary. Sir, kung hindi pa po nag-confrm si Presidente, but is he actually part of the program? I mean, was he invited to deliver a message on that day?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Well, yes, according to the program he is supposed to deliver the keynote speech either he or the Executive Secretary.
Mr. Ramos: Okay, sir, thank you. Is the decision to tone down the EDSA celebration had anything to do with the fact that the Marcoses are close allies of President Duterte?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: I don’t think so. It’s really more of a time to reflect that’s why we’re doing this as simple as possible.
Mr. Ramos: Okay, thank you, sir. Kay Ms. Cecile po at saka kay Secretary Concepcion. For both ‘no, in connection lang doon sa tanong kanina ni Leila…
ALVAREZ:Sa totoo lang po, katotohanan, hindi matatanggal ang sakit at dalamhati ng mga biktima ng Martial Law sa naging desisyon ng Supreme Court.
Pero ‘yun ang naging desisyon ng Supreme Court pero nagbaliktad rin naman sila. Biglang sinabi na nakaw na yaman talaga ‘yung mga ginto at lahat ng alahas pati na dapat ‘yung mga art collection. Iyon ho ang mahalaga alaala.
Ano ho ang katotohanan? Hindi mapagtatakpan ang katotohanan. At nagagalak tayo na kung akala ninyo dahil nandiyan ‘yung Libingan ng mga Bayani ay kakalimutan ang EDSA? Hindi eh. Hindi naman kinakalimutan. Bagkus, nagising ang mga kabataan na sinasabi ni Joey na hindi alam ang madilim na kasaysayan ‘nung batas militar. Pero binibigyan ito ng pagtaguyod ng Pangulo ngayon.
Dahil alam naman natin eh mabilis siyang humarap sa dalamhati ng mga sundalo na napapatay. ‘Pag nagising lalo kung ano ang dalamhati at pasakit na natamo ng bayan ay aabot at aabot, may gulong ang palad eh.
Magigising at magigising, merong edukasyon, sinabi na ng Pangulo na sa DepEd papasok ang kasaysayan, ang pag-aaral sa kasaysayan. Nagkamali tayo, nagkulang sa pag-aaral, sa dissemination.
Ngayon, napakahalaga nga ng media na kasama sa paggising, pagbigay, paglantad ng katotohanan. Na hindi ba meron silang sinasabi na baligtad na information.
Eh ngayon kung lahat ng katotohanan ay lalabas, ang tama at angkop na desisyon ay mangyayari. Nakita ninyo nagkamali tayo sa diktadurya, umamin at lahat. Nagising sa EDSA. Malay ninyo baka sakaling ang Kongreso maglagay ng batas para palitan ang pangalan ng Libingan ng mga Bayani. Hindi ba? Marami pong maaaring maganap dahil demokrasya tayo dahil sa EDSA.
Mr. Ramos: Are you comfortable…Kay Sir Joey, kay Ma’am Cecile, are you comfortable working with the President, who we know is the one who allowed the burial of tyrant Ferdinand Marcos in Libingan?
ALVAREZ:Well, the President said, you had free expression, we were allowed. We did the…I signed together with my husband the petition at the Supreme Court because that is how we feel and we know the truth. We were in exile and we know what happened. Pati ‘yung ngayon kay Primitivo Mirajes alam din namin ‘yon.
So kahit na nandoon hindi naman sinasarahan ng Pangulo ang pintuan para bigla na lang iwaldas ang kasaysayan. So what is important that we do remember EDSA and this government is remembering EDSA and promises when they composed the EDSA Commission to do further. There is conversations about finally executing a Learning Center museum cum museum that was sidetracked in a way.
So marami pong maaaring gampanan para patuloy ang paggunita.
We cannot inflict Alzheimer’s disease on our nation. And we welcome at least that President Duterte is recognizing this. We believe he is history sensitive. And his… One thing to do some changes but must be with full people participation can be evolved and developed. Kaya kailangan ho merong ‘yung—palaging sinasabi, pangalagaan ang pamana ng kalayaan.
Van Fernandez (Police Files): To, Sir Joey Concepcion, please. Sir, good afternoon my question is only one. How much will be the allocated budget for this small event that you are mentioning inside the camp?
CONCEPCION:One million for the entire thing. About million about for the entire — entire thing ‘no. It’s a very simple event ‘no. So about a million pesos.
Ina Andolong (CNN Philippines): Sir, Senator De Lima earlier talked in her press conference mentioned the EDSA and how people should continue to fight for what it fought for. Is there any concern on your part that the upcoming anniversary may be used by — those against the administration to push for their agenda, if so what are you doing about it?
CONCEPCION:You know, as all of them said, EDSA is about an expression of real democracy.
So we have to allow people to express that feelings of theirs ‘no. I mean, as I say, everybody has their own right to say something whether right or wrong.
And… And if there are groups and so be it. And the provided was said that they conform to the law ‘no and they don’t disturb traffic, which is one of the very reasons why we decided to put it in the AFP grandstand.
Ms. Andolong: Sir, President Duterte often criticizes the Church, he also criticizes the media when he doesn’t like what they write or publish. He’s favored the heroes burial for former President Marcos and he’s not yet even confirmed his attendance to the activity on Friday. What message is he trying send? What example is he setting to the youth na gusto niyo nga pong balikan ‘yung EDSA at matuto doon sa mga nangyari dati?
CONCEPCION:Well, the President has his own style of management, and I respect his style of management.
In the end of the day, the majority of the Filipinos voted for him. And we have to live with that decision and I’m sure the President in many of his moves, he’s well calculated.
The good part with this President is you can see his simplicity in his — in the way he lives his life. He’s been very informal. And the person that you see in the podium is different when you see him—together in a closed room. He is a very simple person, he is approachable. And I have a lot of respect for him.
I think this is the chance that we can say that maybe we will see people who will really make a change. And I’ve never seen a leadership like this that has put a lot of action. One can criticize his method but if one will never to do anything it’s just worst ‘no.
It’s the first time that we have seen the level of drug addiction in this country and…And it requires for certain styles of leadership to really bring about change.
And in a way it’s a balance that we have to realize. In our company, in the private sector, when we run and we try to achieve a certain goal, there are types of managers who would look and consult—consultants ‘no. And there are types of people like entrepreneurs who would rely on gut feel ‘no. I’m a person who relies more on gut feel and a bit of research but gut feel.
Many entrepreneurs out there rely on gut feel. And I think this President relies on his own gut feel, his experience as Davao mayor for many, many years that has brought Davao to where it is today. So we have to respect that.
I mean, each CEO of this country will have their own style ‘no. You may not agree with it, and some may agree with it. But he was duly elected and let’s allow him to, you know, exercise to the best of his own reason on how to run this country.
The next leader after six years will have his own style. Every leader has his own style. You can see the previous leaders who had their own style, every leader.
And somehow, in a way, media is never happy with each one’s style. There’s always a criticism bakit ganyan? Bakit ganito? And I look at it that… You have to sometimes look at the good side and let’s not keep looking at the bad side of every leader because I think what’s important is the real intention, real heart of a leader, of really trying transforming the nation.
Yes, sometimes we make mistakes and like everybody who runs a business.
The President is the CEO of the country. So you have to look at it in that manner.
Ms. Andolong: Sir, going back to my question po. For example, his non-atte — he’s… If he doesn’t attend the activity on Friday, isn’t that showing the youth or the people that the activity being commemorated is not — not very important for the President?
CONCEPCION:I don’t think so. I mean, if his schedule is busy, he has a reason that he can’t attend. Many people will be attending, the Executive Secretary will be there.
And it doesn’t mean that he will never attend any event. It just happens that, as I said, there are just so many things that are happening in country today. And as a host of the ASEAN and many other pressing concerns.
And this was all…I mean, I was just appointed [what’s that?] a couple of days ago. So, we didn’t have enough time to really pull our thoughts together and plan for the right celebration that would move us forward ‘no. So next year, I’m sure we will have the President there ‘no. So let’s be patient ‘no.
Mr. Morong: Sir, one last na lang po. Sir, I’m not sure if I heard it correctly but kanina sabi ninyo Marcos — I’m paraphrasing — was necessary in our history because of him we realized certain things. Are we not hearing —
CONCEPCION:I didn’t say…
Mr. Morong: — a start of historical revisionism and it’s dangerous because it’s coming from a vice chair of a Commission?
CONCEPCION:No, let me explain. There are certain things in life — I would have wished that incident never happened. That he…We had a dictator for 20 years.
But in life there are always many challenges and sometimes we may have the wrong leader.
But in all of these challenges, you have to look at the good points eh. It has built character in a lot of Filipino people. Love for country basically you have seen it. Very peaceful People Power Revolution, hardly seen but maybe a miracle, and was followed by other countries.
So there are and maybe more challenges down the road. But in the end, we have to move on eh. We can’t just be haunted by the past eh. I mean, we can’t get stuck.
I mean, I said Marcos, in a way, was a situation that created a lot of learning for a lot of Filipinos, even myself. If not for that, I would have never felt… I never felt during the war, the experience of the Japanese when they occupied the Philippines. My parents felt that. My own experience during this revolution is — was an experience that I will never forget and has built, in a way, my character and it’s built my character to giving back today. So that is what I’m trying to say.
I mean, you’ve seen also a lot of people shine during these moments ‘no. And the true Filipino unity and bonding and love for each other came about because, in the end, the soldier and the civilian did not shoot each other ‘no. And that’s how you build character and that’s what I’m trying to say.
Life is never a straight pathway ‘no. There will always be challenges and you have to learn from these challenges and build character. In the end of the day, maybe we were place on Earth to build character, okay. I might get too philosophical so I’ll end it there.
ALVAREZ: Kasi po ako naniniwala at nakita ko ang puso ‘nung sinabi ni President Duterte, he is for the helpless and the hopeless.
Nakita ko po ang katotohanan ‘non dahil I worked with persons with disabilities and the first arts exhibit in the museum was by handicapable artists dito po sa Presidential Museum.
Hindi ho ‘yung big time artists pero mga may kapansanan na may kakayanan ang kanyang binigyan ng puwang sa Malacañang. Sabi niya, it’s going to be open to the people.
Ito hong February 27, alam ninyo may flag ceremony palagi ang Malacañang. Ito na naman hong mga handicapable, out-of-school, indigenous youth sa Earth Savers ang magse-celebrate ng Arts Month, in a sense, a remembrance of EDSA as what we had said, freedom from drugs, freedom from pollution, freedom from crime and corruption.
So ito naman is to the Cabinet Secretary. So nakikita rin natin na nandoon o nakikita natin na si President Duterte meron mang nakita na merong extrajudicial, may maling naganap lalo na doon sa Korean, eh marunong naman siyang mag-apologize kung makikitang may error at hindi lang po ‘yun, pinagbawalan na ang pulis, may bagong sistemang inaayos.
Ang mahalaga ay meron talaga ‘yung dialogue na nagaganap, pakikinggan kung ano ang mga nagaganap at dahil nasa tuktok siya, makikita niya kung ano ang mga pangangailangan.
The fact that even with the Pope, namura nga ho niya, hindi ho ba? Pero meron siyang apology at dinalaw pa ni Foreign Secretary… Dureza. Meron pong ganoong action kesa sa walang masasabi nating, patigasan, na ako ang tama, ako tama. Hindi eh. Iyon ho ang magandang nakikita natin na he can really reflect. Kaya maganda ho itong day of reflection.
Paano ho ba natin talaga tunay na bubuhayin ang espirito ng EDSA? At ang Spirit of EDSA with Chris Carrion is willing to work with the government because our responsibility as a citizen is to protect the integrity of history.
Iyon lang po ang aming masasabi at sana po manood kayo ng flag ceremony sa Lunes. Iyon lang maaga pero alam kong…
Q: [off mic]
ALVAREZ: Well, we don’t do eh. But there are many events. Merong flag ceremony, merong iba… He had allowed this and you never know.
He comes up with surprises when he’s going to appear. Okay, thank you.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Good morning. We’d like to highlight a few — a few items.
On the Philippines’ 19th ranking in the list of most powerful economies in the world by 2050:
We welcome the report by one of the world’s largest professional service networks, PricewaterhouseCoopers entitled, “The Long View: How will the global economic order change by 2050?” In which the Philippines is number 19 in the list of 32 most powerful economies in the world by 2050.
The Duterte administration aims to give Filipinos a stable and comfortable lifestyle consistent with Executive Order No. 5 or the “Ambisyon Natin 2040”, which PRRD signed last year, spelling out his long-term economic vision.
Also, we would like to take note of the windfall of PRRD’s official foreign visits:
We’re glad to report the windfall of President Duterte’s official foreign visits last year. The President made a total of seven foreign trips, visiting a total of 12 countries since he took office. These visits incurred a total of about 277 million in expenses, which included airfare, charter lease and others.
The visit to China, however, resulted in more than 20 agreements with an estimated value, total value of US$4 billion and will generate over a 100,000 jobs.
Included in the agreements were a 50 million Renminbi grant for the provision of drug rehabilitation facilities and another 50 million Renminbi million grant for the supply of law enforcement-related equipment.
The visit to Japan likewise produced investment commitments estimated at US$1.85 billion and will generate about 250,000 jobs in the next few years.
There were also about five government-to-government agreements signed, including the exchange of note and agreements up to US$184 million.
However, 15… Moreover, 15 pipeline loans were acquired by several national agencies during the visit in Japan, which includes the construction of a subway from North Avenue to Taguig and a high-speed railway from Manila to Clark.
These official trips are part of the President’s obligation to maintain and strengthen diplomatic ties with neighboring countries and has clinched numerous economic investments and commitments amounting to billions of dollars — to billions of pesos and generate thousands of jobs in the following years.
One more. On the Philippines seen as an upper-middle income economy by 2022:
We welcome the statement of Philippine Exporters Confederation (PHILEXPORT) led by President Sergio Ortiz-Luis, saying that the Philippines is seen as an upper middle-income economy in fact by 2022.
The reforms initiated by the Duterte administration, backed by its strong political will, usher — will usher in the transformation of the Philippines.
We are pushing for a comprehensive tax reform program and we hope to increase foreign investments in infrastructure through Charter change. We are open…Wait…
On the Tanay tourist bus mishap:
The Palace expresses its condolences to the families of the victims who died in the fatal bus mishap in Tanay, Rizal.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has already been directed to ensure the road worthiness of the buses and to remind public utility drivers to guarantee the safety of all their passengers. The passengers must safely arrive at their respective destinations.
The Commission on Higher Education is likewise conducting the necessary investigation to determine if proper procedures were observed by school authorities.
We are open to a few questions.
Rosalize Coz (UNTV): Hi, sir. Good afternoon po. Yesterday po kasi binanggit po na kulang na lang po ng order from the Malacañang para mai-release ng SSS ‘yung pong ipinangakong 1k increase sa pension. Ano na po ang update ‘non, sir, dahil po matagal na pong hinihintay ng mga pensioners?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Yes, we have prepared the appropriate communication to be sent by the Office of the President to the SSS and it’s about to be signed by the President anytime soon.
Ms. Coz: How soon dahil po nangako po noong Feb. 15 pero ngayon po ay magma-March na rin? May definite time?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: I can’t really say that. But in any event, my understanding is that it will retroact anyway to January.
Ms. Fernandez: Sir, dahil po natatagalan ang pag-issue nitong, pag-release nitong SSS pension, totoo po bang hinaharang po ba ito ni Secretary Dominguez and DBM Diokno?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: I don’t think… There are concerns about the viability of the fund but those concerns are being addressed. Concerns about the shortening of the viability of the fund due to the 1,000-peso adjustment or increase in the pension of retirees.
But that concern is also being addressed by our economic managers. They have proposals on how to go about dealing with the increased burden on the SSS without having to necessarily increase contributions from the employees.
Ms. Salaverria: Sir, good afternoon. Sir, on the allegations of Lascanas. Can we expect the President to address the issue directly? Since Lascanas was someone he used to work with, not just some random person.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: You know based on… Based on how he has performed as a witness, he seems rather discredited as an… In 2016, he denied certain things and in 2017, he flip-flops.
So that certainly puts everything that he says in a doubtful light. So we’ll leave it at that.
Ms. Salaverria: So he won’t…Kasi he responded to Senator Trillanes with a video message. So can we expect him — ?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Well, if he does so, he will. But as far as I know, he is not in the — he is not leaning towards that direction.
Ms. Salaverria: Sir, can I just clarify, Malacañang is just brushing aside the allegations of Lascanas? But didn’t he used to be credible when he was absolving the President?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: When he was?
Ms. Salaverria: Absolving the President of involvement?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Let’s put it this way. The situation is such that the testimony of the man is in context or there seems to be a lot of other noise. So that puts the — that puts his testimony in a rather doubtful light at this stage. Thank you.
Mr. Morong: Sir, just going through some of these allegations ni Sir Lascanas ‘no. President Duterte allegedly ordered the killing of a family, that’s one. What does the Palace think or say about it?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Well, in the same way that I would say, you know. It would not… We would not be responding to those allegations if they are really something to be… If these things are really truly valid then it should be brought to the proper court, not here.
Mr. Morong: And then ‘yung kay Jun Pala, sir. I mean—
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Ganon din po ‘yon, ganon din po ‘yon.
Mr. Ramos: The allegations made by the former policeman Lascanas is — are actually in support of the previous allegations made by Matobato. Can the Palace just brush this aside as part of a plot to topple the administration?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It’s not a brushing aside but, you know, you certainly…You know, what we’re saying it seems to be that — it seems to be part of a larger noise that’s arising.
Mr. Ramos: Because previously, ang sinabi po ng Palasyo, there’s only Matobato who’s making these allegations and now there are two of them confessed to being part of the DDS and both of them told the Senate that they are actually — they actually received directly orders from the President, then the Mayor of Davao to — ?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: So you’re question?
Mr. Ramos: Sir, ganon lang ba ka-simple na just to ignore this as noise when Lascanas is actually coming out in support of the allegations of a previous witness?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Well, let’s put it this way, you know, if there’s anything — if there’s anything of true value to it, then let them put through the proper channels and through the proper courts.
Mr. Morong: Sir, just for the reaction of the Palace. Si Senator De Lima called the President “sociopathic serial killer”, “criminal minded.” Do you care to respond to that?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Those are colorful language. Thank you.
Mr. Morong: Sir, AMLC. Is the President, was the President serious when he said to Batch ’67 that he has ordered AMLC to reveal information about his net worth, at least as far as he’s concerned?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Well, if he said so, then that is the directive and I supposed it will follow that general direction.
Mr. Morong: In terms of procedure, what is he prepared to do, sir?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I don’t know. I don’t know about procedure but definitely he’s… At the right time, these things will need to be disclosed — will be disclosed.
Mr. Ramos: You said last Sunday that probably the President is open to accepting the challenge of Senator Trillanes to open his bank account. Is he willing to sign a waiver to release — to make public the bank transaction history?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I don’t know about the process that will need to be done but definitely he’s open to those things.
Ms. Fernandez: Sir, question lang po, ano po ang nangyari po sa meeting ng ating Pangulo sa NEDA and then ang meeting nila with Secretary Maza, si Paeng Mariano, and Judy Taguiwalo?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Ang dami naman ‘non.[laughs] I can’t tell you about the NEDA thing, okay. I can’t tell you about the NEDA thing.
All right, the draft minutes were approved. The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 is for adoption, it has been approved. All right.
The draft executive order to implement the 2017-2020 Comprehensive Tariff Program has been approved and also approved for adoption is the draft executive order to implement the WTO Information Technology Agreement 2.
So basically, it was a very fruitful meeting.
Q: [off mic]
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I don’t have word on that. Not yet, okay.
Ms. Andolong: Sir, ‘yung sinabi ninyo, “larger noise that is arising.” Is this something that you plan to act on or counter?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No… You know, like Ms. Cecile has pointed out, the President allows for all these demonstrations and expressions of opposition. So… He will allow for that.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, ‘yung nabanggit ninyo lang po kahapon na at least four, five compelling reasons for the government to return to the negotiating table with the communists. Are those make or break demands, take it or leave demands?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: No, those are not even preconditions in a way. But you know these are — some of the things that would be validly raise up as compelling reasons to return. If they would say — if they would expressly say that we’re willing to do this, do this, do this, do this.
I mean… And those arose from the messages of the President. I mean he has been… I mean he has found it offensive that the ambush, they lifted their unilateral ceasefire.
So basing it on that, these would be key areas and key points in — key points and can be considered as compelling reason in order to return.
Mr. Ramos: And if the NDFP refuses to agree to such conditions?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I don’t think… They’re not being asked to do so. I mean, these were simply key points that were being laid open to them as options that they could do.
Trisha Macas (GMA News Online): Sir, just one quick question. Sir, Senator De Lima urged the Cabinet members to declare President Duterte unfit for the presidency. What does the Palace think of this?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Seriously? [laughs]
Henri Uri (DZRH): Secretary, do you have statement first?
SEC. ANDANAR: No. I would like to thank CNN Philippines for the very wonderful interview yesterday morning.
Specifically the request of Ina to be on the phone and Pinky Webb who did a magnificent interview, the controversial interview. [laughs]
Mr. Uri: Secretary, you have mentioned na rin doon sa interview kaliwa’t kanan ‘yung batikos sa administrasyon. May kapasidad ba ang sinuman lalo na ang oposisyon na pabagsakin pa ang kasalukuyang administrasyon?
SEC. ANDANAR: Kung pagbabasehan po natin ‘yung survey ng SWS ‘yung kanilang pagtanggap ng ating mga kababayan kay Pangulo na nasa halos 80 porsiyento po ang acceptance rating ng mga Pilipino kay Pangulo, mukhang wala naman pong pagkakataon na — or tsansa.
Pero hindi po natin maiiwasan na sa social media at sa ating mga intelligence reports na nagbi-build up itong mga paninira sa ating Pangulo.
And this is as I mentioned yesterday, one of the strategies for that supposed protracted plan to have a massive protest this coming weekend against the President.
Mr. Uri: Isang tanong na lang ho. Ano ba ‘yung malaking pagbabago ng administrasyong ito na hindi nangyari doon sa mga previous administration para tanggapin na na may nagbago at kung anumang planong pagpapabagsak kay — makita ‘yung nagawa.
Ano ho ‘yung nagawa na maipagmamalaki po ng administrasyong ito?
SEC. ANDANAR: Maraming salamat sa tanong mo, Henry at sa DZRH, alam ninyo po kitang- kita po naman natin sa report ng Office of the President, Presidential Communications Operations Office noong nakaraang taon ilang milyon ‘yung mga sumurender at gusto ng magbagong buhay na drug dependents.
Almost 80,000 na mga drug pushers po ang sumurender din. Ang krimen against property and against person ay bumaba ng halos 35 percent kung ikukumpara noong Nobyembre noong 2015 at noong Nobyembre noong 2016.
Ang ating ekonomiya po ay isa na sa pinakamabilis o pinakamabilis na ekonomiya sa buong Asya ay ito po ay inanunsyo ng nakaraang buwan matapos lumabas sa ‘yung 3rd quarter o ‘yung 4th quarter GDP, 6.8. And we are the fastest growing economy in the world
At nandiyan din po ‘yung sinasabi nila na for the first time ay nakiusap ay pumayag po ang CPP-NPA-NDF after so many years to sit down with the Republic of the Philippines, the government para pag-usapan itong usapang pangkapayapaan.
Nandiyan din po ‘yung MILF at MNLF na gusto nang matapos itong giyera between the government and our Muslim brothers and sisters back in the south, members of the MILF, MNLF, para maging makatotohanan and we realized the Bangsamoro Agreement that failed the last administration.
Pero ayaw po nating ikumpara ang administrasyong ito doon sa mga nakaraang administrasyon because finger-pointing is not the character of a true gentleman.
Mr. Uri: Pero kung meron hong pagkukulang at pagkakamali na kailangan din hong ituwid, ano po naman ito?
SEC. ANDANAR: You know, mahirap po kasi na ako ‘yung sasagot sa mga tanong na ganyan pagdating sa mga pagkukulang.
Siguro hayaan na lang po natin ang mga kritiko, marami pong mga nagsusulat sa mga pahayagan, maraming mga kolumnista.
You know, this is a democracy. We respect the freedom of expression, opinion of other people. This administration takes criticisms constructively and we do that everyday.
Mr. Uri: Okay, salamat po.
Mr. Morong: Sir, ‘yung Senate Press Corp is asking you to apologize for your allegation yesterday?
SEC. ANDANAR: Ako po ay naglabas na ng aking statement kahapon at kung tayo po ay tumungo doon sa official transcript ng CNN Philippines, makikita po natin at mababasa natin na wala po akong ina-allude na reporter na tumanggap ng ganitong klaseng pera, ganyang pera, dolyar o piso.
I was just pointing to the fact that there is this concerted effort para magkaroon ng massive action, massive protest sa EDSA ngayong February 25.
It was not intended to say that the reporters at the Senate are corrupt. Hindi po sila corrupt. Kilala ko ‘yung mga reporter doon. I hold them in high esteem and the fact that I said, in the same interview with Pinky Webb, that wala naman doon sa intelligence report na nagsasabi na tinanggap ‘yung pera that proves that the reporter of the Senate are good reporters and they stock to their journalistic integrity.
Mr. Morong: But by floating such an idea, are you not putting them, whether they were — actually made whatever… You are putting them already under a cloud of doubt?
SEC. ANDANAR: No, no. I don’t think so. I mean, there are always two sides of a coin. You can take it that way or you can also take it the story that I was giving.
As I said, I already gave a statement yesterday and I can read it again.
Mr. Morong: So no apology, sir, forthcoming from your side?
SEC. ANDANAR: I already gave my statement yesterday and that’s my statement.
Ms. Andolong: Sir, itong sinasabi ninyo na $1,000 offer, is this something, I mean, such offer — does this offer parang kumbaga is it just for the Senate beat or as you mentioned is this something used by whoever it is you believe are behind these massive protests or actions? Are they using the same strategy, for example, baka sabihin eh nagbibigay ba — may offer din ba sila? May ibibigay ba sila baka sa mga magko- cover ng protest sa Saturday or mga activities, I mean, on Saturday?
SEC. ANDANAR: Iyong natanggap ko, Ina, na intelligence report that I mentioned to anchor Pinky Webb, that’s it, kung ano ‘yung nakasulat doon sa transcript, iyon na ‘yon.
That’s as good as you can get. And I don’t want to invent things or add more or less. Iyon na ‘yon eh.
But the point is, the reason why I said that, was because meron ngang intelligence report na may kumakalat na ganitong klaseng pera, $1,000; and this is part of that grand scheme na pagdating ng Sabado…
Alam ninyo po ang katotohanan kasi merong — ang gobyerno meron tayong reflection at EDSA for this 31 years of EDSA People Power. So we’re celebrating it, we’re reflecting on it this coming — starting on the 22nd , tomorrow. Tomorrow meron tayong wreath laying and then merong tour sa Malacanang and then there’s the mass in Camp Aguinaldo.
And there’s another wreath laying doon sa EDSA. And I must tell you that every step of the way, nakausap po natin dito si PA Joey Concepcion, kausap po natin dito sila ang grupo po nina Ma’am Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, kausap din po natin sina Chris Carreon. And every step of the way kausap din po natin si President Fidel V. Ramos.
And ‘pag sinabi po nating austere, austerity measures, ganon po talaga si President Digong, napakasimpleng tao. At gaya nga ng sinabi ni Joey kanya-kanyang istilo lang naman ‘yan.
And this is the 31st , this is not the 30th . I understand ‘yung celebration last year umabot ng milyon-milyon.
Ngayon isang milyon lang ang ating budget dito so I think we have to respect the President.
And also huwag natin lagyan ng kulay. The truth is meron tayo sa gobyerno, meron tayong plano to reflect on it at meron ding nababalitang mga mass action na mangyayari sa EDSA at meron din tayong nababalitang mga pro-Digong na magra-rally din dito sa Luneta, so marami.
This is a democracy and everybody can ano — can join.
Ms. Andolong: Sir, ‘yung sinasabi ninyong mass action from the information that you’re getting, is this something that is limited to Saturday or is it maybe — are you saying this as a start of a more actions against the administration?
SEC. ANDANAR: Ang balita ko kasi four days ‘yung celebration nila, ‘yung kanilang actions so we’ll see. It’s going to be an exciting weekend for everybody.
Ms. Andolong: Sir, can you tell us more about what you know of this — what appears to be an organized effort na inuulit-ulit mo?
SEC. ANDANAR: Well, you know, Ina, I’d like to tell you more about it but I am really limited. If you want more information, siguro tanungin natin si Secretary Jun Esperon. Thank you po.
Ms. Andolong: Last, sir. Sabi ninyo ang dami ninyong nakausap about the People Power anniversary. Did you ever talk to the President about it and did you try to convince him to attend the activity and anong explanation niya why it would seem na mukhang hindi po siya pa nagko-confirm?
SEC. ANDANAR: Thank you for asking that question, Ina. Ang kausap ko po dito ay diretso si Executive Secretary Bingbong Medialdea at si Deputy — Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Guevarra.
And our task here sa PCOO was to help organize this. And it was mainly ES and the President who talked about it. Thank you.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, just to quote from that official transcript sent to us yesterday. You said, “Meron din po tayong natanggap na mga report, Pinky, na as much as $1,000 ipinamigay dito sa press con. Hindi ko na lang po papangalanan ‘yung aking source pero meron daw pinagbibigyan ng ganitong kalaking halaga.” So pag… Kung may pinagbigyan, may tumanggap
SEC. ANDANAR: Okay. Let me tell you about this, Marlon. I’m a Bisaya. I grew up in Cagayan de Oro, my… I also grew up in Surigao and my Tagalog may not be as perfect as your Tagalog. So let’s put it at that.
Pero doon sa dulo, sinabi, I categorically say, ‘di ba, I said doon sa dulo ng tanong po ni Pinky Webb, nandito. I said, “I cannot categorically say na galing kay Senador Trillanes basta ang sabi lang po ng aking source diyan sa Senado na mayroong pera na ganoon na umiikot pero I would also like to categorically say na hindi naman sinabi kung tinanggap ‘yung pera na ‘yan.”
So para po doon sa mga binubusisi ‘yung aking Tagalog. Pasensya na po at ako’y Bisaya. Hindi po ako magaling sa… Mas magaling ako mag-Bisaya kaysa mag-Tagalog.
Mr. Ramos: Sir, pero before you mentioned that during the interview, did you make any validation on the information given to you or pinaniwalaan ninyo na?
SEC. ANDANAR: I was also a reporter like you, Marlon, and the same way that you validate your stories, I also validate mine. Thank you.
Mr. Ramos: Natanong ninyo po, sir, bakit — ?
SEC. ANDANAR: I’m sorry.
Q: [off mic]
SEC. ANDANAR: Ang sinasabi ko lang po ay ‘yung intelligence report na natanggap ko. Iyon lang po ang sinasabi ko and, of course, I have to —
Mr. Ramos: Sir, during your validation, Secretary, did you ask bakit dollars pa ‘yung denomination?
SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi ko po tinanong.
Mr. Ramos: As a reporter, ‘di ba parang ikaw rin unusual for —
SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi ko po itinanong ‘yon, hindi ko po itinanong. Well siguro… I don’t know kung bakit dolyar. Hindi ko alam.
Mr. Ramos: And for each reporter? Hindi para buo — ?
SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi ko sinabi na each reporter. Ang sinabi po sa intelligence report sa akin ay $1,000 ang umiikot.
So that’s 50,000 pesos. Bakit naliliitan ka ba, Joseph, sa $1,000? Hindi sabi mo kasi for everyone?
Q: [off mic]
SEC. ANDANAR: Well, you know $1,000 dollars is $1,000. Hindi po lahat—
Mr. Ramos: Ito na lang, Secretary. Sir, pardon me for asking this ha, pero you keep on harping on na there’s a plot to unseat the very popular President Duterte, when in fact Secretary Jun Esperon and SND, Secretary Lorenzana, already shut down those allegations. Ano po ‘yung basis when the two of the highest security officials of the government are saying na hindi totoo, walang ganyan?
SEC. ANDANAR: Alam mo kasi, Marlon, siguro merong mga reports na hindi po nakakarating sa lahat.
So merong mga intelligence reports na…Well you know, it’s classified. I mean they’re classified reports ‘di ba? Meron din mga hindi kina-classify na report. May mga ganon eh.
Q: [off mic]
SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi, huwag mo kami pagsabungin, Marlon. Huwag mo sabihin because, again, you will write something and you’ll say, ganito sabi ni Andanar. Walang ganon.
Basta kami meron kami sa Cabinet. Meron kaming information na natatanggap na sinasabi din namin because we’re open, we’re very transparent.
Mr. Ramos: Yeah, sir. Hindi ko kayo pinagsasabong, sir. I’m just asking for clarification because —
SEC. ANDANAR: Eh that’s, that’s… Iyon ang, iyon ang parang lumalabas, Marlon, eh.
Mr. Ramos: Sa perception ninyo, sir?
SEC. ANDANAR: Walang ganyanan.
Mr. Ramos: Wala. ‘Di naman po. Hindi ganun.
SEC. ANDANAR: Walang ganyan.
Mr. Ramos: Galing din kayo sa media, alam ninyo rin po ‘yon.
SEC. ANDANAR: Alam ko naman ‘yon. Let me ask you, are you fair to everything that you write?
Mr. Ramos: Yes.
SEC. ANDANAR: How about your posts on — on social media?
Mr. Ramos: Eh that’s my personal —
SEC. ANDANAR: Exactly. But as a… As a reporter, as a reporter, you were an ambassador of your newspaper.
Mr. Liwanag: Okay. On the classification of the intelligence report. Can you give us the classification? Is it an A1 information? Is it a military? Kasi ang pinag-uusapan natin dito is destabilization.
SEC. ANDANAR: Benjie, I would like to… I’ll ask the President if I can give you the classification of that — or if there’s more information to what I…
Mr. Liwanag: Kasi parang is there a need for concern na with this? Kasi sinasabi ninyo na, inilalathala…?
SEC. ANDANAR: Ah well hindi naman. Kasi ang sabi nga ng ating Pangulo na… In fact yesterday, we had a long meeting with the US-Philippine Society.
We also had a long meeting with NEDA and wala naman. Ang ating Pangulo ay tumatawa lang at ang sabi niya sa amin, bahala na si Secretary Sal Panelo.
Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much, sir.
Ms. Andolong: Sir, hindi ko kayo pinagsasabong ah but I do see —
SEC. ANDANAR: Okay. [laughs]
Ms. Andolong: — logic in Marlon’s question. Are you, did you say ‘yung response mo sa kanya that you’re getting into reports that the two highest security officials are not getting? Is that what you’re saying that’s why they’re —-
SEC. ANDANAR: No, no. I’m —
Ms. Andolong: — hindi nila alam ‘yung sinasabi mo?
SEC. ANDANAR: I’m not saying that, I’m not saying that.
Ms. Andolong: So ano po ‘yung sinabi ninyo?
SEC. ANDANAR: I would rather… The intelligence report that I have kung gusto ninyong malaman niyo, I will have to ask for their permission.
Mr. Morong: So ibig sabihin, sir, ‘yung information na alam mo hindi alam ni DND and SND — ni NSA?
SEC. ANDANAR: As I said, I will have to ask them if I can give you.
Mr. Morong: Hindi, sir. Kung alam ba rin ni NSA and SND ‘yung information ninyo ng destabilization?
SEC. ANDANAR: No. I will have to… Again, I will have to ask the proper members of the Cabinet na merong hawak na mga intelligence reports if I can release such details. Kasi alam naman natin na — intelligence ‘yan eh.
Mr. Morong: Of course, of course. Sir, so ibig sabihin, ‘yung destab information na ‘yan, is that the reason why you’re really keeping it low key tapos ipinasok ninyo pa sa Aguinaldo. Does it have anything to do with it?
SEC. ANDANAR: No, no, no, hindi naman, iyong traffic po. I think, Henry, has another question.
Mr. Uri: Senator De Lima, well, I think two hours ago has a press conference and she said and to that effect, parang nananawagan siyang mag-People Power against President Duterte. Was that a plan of your — of your ano, ‘yung disclosure mo ng intelligence report?
SEC. ANDANAR: Basta ‘yung sa akin lang dito, kung sino man ‘yung gustong manawagan, everybody has the right to express themselves in public and they can do whatever they want.
At the same time, ang ating bansa ay demokrasya. Pinapayagan po ni Pangulong Digong na mag-rally ang ating mga — mag-protesta kahit saang kalye basta huwag lang maabala ang ating mga kasamahan.
Mr. Uri: And she keeps on asking — she keeps on saying, walang moral ascendancy ang Duterte administration, especially the President. Do you think she has the moral ascendancy?
SEC. ANDANAR: I don’t want to comment on that. Sorry.
Mr. Uri: Okay. Atty. Guevarra, can we have your one-minute answer please? One minute lang. Iyon hong sinabi ni Senator De Lima, hindi ba inciting to sedition ‘yon?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: Pardon me but what did she actually say?
Mr. Uri: Iyong siya ho eh nag — nananawagan for, ‘yung mga naniniwala sa kanila, ‘yung galit sa administrasyon — ?
ATTY. GUEVARRA: No, there’s nothing criminal about that. If it’s inciting to rise up in arms against the government, then I guess that’s the one that she would be of concern.
But, otherwise, if it’s just a call to everyone to gather together, to express their sentiment and so forth and so on, that’s actually freedom of expression and assembly.
From Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella On Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phelim Kine’s remarks that PRRD has “finally acknowledged” that the war on drugs is “a war on the poor” and exposes the chief executive’s “contempt for lives”March 27, 2017
The war on drugs is not targeted at any particular segment of society. However, the most prevalent drug in the Philippines is shabu, dubbed as poor man’s cocaine.Read More
With all the responsibilities President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has right now, I wish him more time for himself and the small things in life that make him happy.Read More
I wish that his dreams for a great Filipino nation all come true.Read More