Sept. 20, 2016 – Press Briefing of Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar
|Press Briefing of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar|
|Press Briefing Room, New Executive Bldg, Malacañang|
|20 September 2016|
SEC. ANDANAR: Good morning, Rocky. Thank you. Good morning everyone.
On the two Filipino captives freed by the Abu Sayyaf last Sunday night. Apart from the Norwegian and the three Indonesian hostages, the military is getting an upper hand in its continuing intense then focused operations in collaboration with police counterparts to destroy the ASG.
Also last night, the President extended financial assistance to Davao blast victims. The President personally received each of the victims and relatives of the deceased and handed over a check representing a cash assistance extended by government amounting to P250,000 for victims who were permanently disabled by the blast.
The President likewise handed out P250,000 each to the families of the 15 victims who died in the bombing while a P100,000 each cash assistance was given to each of the victims who sustained minor injuries plus other medical assistance including allowances for antibiotics.
There were at least 70 people who were injured last September 2.
On Batanes, the DSWD is now conducting stress debriefing. Five social workers trained on critical incidence, stress debriefing will be deployed to help relieve the stress and trauma experienced by the victims of typhoon Ferdie.
Maricel Halili (TV-5): Hi Sec, good morning. Sir, may we have your reaction tungkol lang doon sa pagkakatanggal kay Senator de Lima sa chairmanship yesterday?
SEC. ANDANAR: Nirerespeto po natin ang independence ng Senado. Ang Senado po ay co-equal branch of government at kung po ang desisyon ng kanilang liderato ay nirerespeto po natin. Ganun din po sa kung anuman ang mga activities na nangyayari sa Lower House. We respect it.
Ms. Halili: But I understand, Secretary that Senator de Lima believes that the people of President Duterte is behind the ousting. May we get your reaction?
SEC. ANDANAR: Ang Palasyo po ay nananatiling independent din. Hindi po namin pinapakailaman kung ano ang nangyayari sa Senado. The senator also is entitled to her own opinion.
Ms. Halili: Another statement coming from Senator de Lima is that hindi daw siya yung reason kung bakit nasisira yung image ng Pilipinas kung hindi yung sunod-sunod na cases on extrajudicial killings.
SEC. ANDANAR: Well, sino ba ang nagsisi kay De Lima, Maricel? Ha? You know meron kasing ano e — meron silang sagutan sa Senado at ayaw nating makialam doon.
Reymund Tinaza (Bombo Radyo): Hi, sir. Are you happy with the result? With the ouster of Senator de Lima as chairman?
SEC. ANDANAR: You know, what like I said, Reymund, meron pong sariling political dynamics sa loob ng Senado at lahat naman ng bumoto na maalis po ang senadora ay mga senador. Wala namang miyembro doon ng Executive at ganun din sa mga nag-abstain at sa mga pumabor para kay Senador de Lima. And we congratulate also Senador Dick Gordon.
Mr. Tinaza: Sir, seriously. Senator de Lima is also insisting that no other than but the President himself wants her out of the committee or behind the move in the Senate. Your reaction?
SEC. ANDANAR: Kasi entitled naman po si Senadora Leila de Lima sa kanyang opinyon at alam po natin na ang ating Pangulo at ang Ehekutibo ay hindi nakikialam sa kung anuman ang nangyayari sa Senado. Halimbawa na lamang doon sa nangyaring imbestigasyon noong nakaraang lingo under the chairmanship of Senator Leila de Lima at maliwanag po na hindi naman nakialam ang Palasyo at ito’y tuloy-tuloy.
In fact, yung mga imbestigasyon po ng Senadora noong mga nakaraang linggo ay pinahintulutan po ng ating Pangulo ang ating Philippine National Police Chief na dumalo sa imbestigasyon.
So wala po. Talagang as far as I am concerned and as far as the Palace is concerned, independent po ang Senado, independent po ang Lower House.
Mr. Tinaza: But, sir, Senator de Lima is saying that the President himself openly said publicly that he will destroy her. So she believes that this is already part of the — well, declaration of the President that she or he will destroy her.
SEC. ANDANAR: Itatanong ko po sa Pangulo kung ano po ang ibig sabihin niya doon sa sinabi niyang statement na ‘yon.
Henry Uri (DZRH): Secretary, good morning. There was this report of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, PCIJ, that next year the government is going to spend P206.57 billion for public order and safety and then P2.5 billion ang intel fund ng Duterte administration next year for illegal drugs. So the government is spending — has been spent — malaki na yung mga pondo hong ginagamit ng gobyerno. Ano ang…What’s in it for the people kasi malaking pondo po itong pinag-uusapan natin dito?
SEC. ANDANAR: Siguro, Henry, titingnan ko muna yung buod ng budget at tatanungin ko rin si Executive Secretary Bingbong Medialdea kung ano po yung…Kasi hindi ko pa nakikita yung allocation e. Iyong pera so for me to be able to give you a clear answer ay kailangan kong makita yung budget.
Mr. Uri: Follow up, pero yung napapansin naming puro patayan, puro kumbaga puro parang accomplishment-wise meron ba sa ganitong klaseng pondo, Secretary?
SEC. ANDANAR: Sa ngayon po, alam naman siguro ng lahat na nasa 712,000 na yung mga sumurrender sa pulis at out of the 712,000 na surrenderees dahil dito sa anti-illegal drugs campaign ay nasa close to 660,000 po yung mga drug users at yung nasa 7 percent po or 52,800 yung mga sumurender na drug peddlers or drug pushers.
Now with that number, masasabi po natin na very successful yung first phase nung giyera kontra illegal na droga. If we connect the budget to that, kailangan ko munang makita yung buong plano kung papaano gagastusin yung budget and I haven’t seen the budget honestly.
Joseph Morong (GMA-7): Sir, you have talked to the President na? Are you aware if he has seen the proceedings last — I think Thursday ba yon? Thursday or Wednesday?
SEC. ANDANAR: Mula po noong nagkaroon ng Senate investigation ng Senadora de Lima ay hindi pa ho kami nagkikita ni Pangulong Duterte dahil noong nangyari po ‘yon ay sabay naman na ginanap yung pagbisita ng Pangulo sa Bulacan. Tapos after that I understand merong mga private activities yung Pangulo over the weekend. I think may kasal pa na nangyari. May wedding ano. And then dumiretso na po sa Davao si Presidente. Kaya hindi pa po kami nagkikita, hindi pa kami nag-uusap, hindi pa namin napag-usapan iyan.
Mr. Morong: What does the Palace think of yung ouster niya because ang sinasabi is that Matobato is a perjured witness, parang walang value, off topic siya, but why do we have this kind of move in the Senate?
SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi ko masagot iyan, Joseph, kasi again Senado sila, ito Ehekutibo. I understand 16 senators voted for well — yeah, the ouster ano. I mean that’s 16 wise men who have their own reasons why they ousted and why they brought in Senator Dick Gordon. You know let’s just accept the decision of the Senate.
Genalyn Kabiling (Manila Bulletin): Sir, do you believe Senator de Lima abused her authority in handling the Senate probe on the extrajudicial killings?
SEC. ANDANAR: It is not for me to ano — to say if inabuso ba or hindi. You know, it’s really up to the senators themselves and the public.
Ms. Kabiling: Sir, on Senator Gordon. Do you expect him to be fair and do a better job as Senate chair?
SEC. ANDANAR: Senator Dick Gordon is an illustrious fellow. He has been in the Senate for 12 years and he also served as mayor of Olongapo, chairman of SBMA. This guy is ano — is one of the brightest leaders we have. So I am pretty certain that Senator Gordon will do an excellent job.
Mr. Liwanag: Sir, ikinagulat niyo ba ‘yung pagkaka-oust ni Senator De Lima?
SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi ko inaasahan.
Mr. Liwanag: Hindi niyo inaasahan?
SEC. ANDANAR: Oo, kasi again, kami naman dito sa Presidential Communications Office, meron din kaming mga problema na inaayos ‘no. At meron din tayong mga trabaho na dapat gampanan at again babalikan ko po, kami’y naniniwala na independiente ang Senado and us here in the Executive should mind our own business.
Mr. Liwanag: Prior doon sa pagkaka-oust kay Senator De Lima, nagkaroon ho ba ng time na nakapag-usap si Senator Pacquiao and Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, sir?
SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi ko alam, Benjie.
Mr. Liwanag: Okay. Thank you very much, sir.
SEC. ANDANAR: Thank you, Benjie.
Joseph Morong (GMA): Sir, under Senator Gordon’s leadership of the committee, do you think it’s still worth — presenting si Matobato?
SEC. ANDANAR: Let’s allow the Senate to decide.
Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning, sir. There’s an ongoing investigation in the House and the congressmen want to give immunity to several inmates including Herbert Colangco. Sir what does the Palace… what could the Palace say about this, considering that… Don’t you find it ironic that the House wants to protect a drug lord and Herbert Colangco was also on the very first matrix that the President presented?
SEC. ANDANAR: Again, I’d like to say that the House is also independent. The Lower House, they have their prerogative to decide what they want to happen and the Palace and the House are not connected in any way. We are just a co-equal branch of government and we respect their independence.
Ms. Salaverria: Sir, but the proposal is backed by the Justice Secretary who is the alter ego of the President. So—
SEC. ANDANAR: I have to talk to Secretary Vit Aguirre about his backing of the move of the House of Representatives.
Ms. Salaverria: But, sir, do you think it will be worth it to grant immunity to a drug lord just to pin down Senator De Lima?
SEC. ANDANAR: The best person to ask that question is Secretary Vit Aguirre. It’s always been Secretary Vit Aguirre who’s spoken about the case since last week ‘di ba? We appointed him to be the official spokesperson pagdating po sa kasong ito kasi magkadugtong-dugtong ‘yan eh.
Ted Tuvera (Daily Tribune): Sir, good morning, sir. On another topic, sir, you mentioned yesterday that Filipino Americans in New York are planning an ‘Oust Digong Movement.’ Sir, are we taking this seriously and what– is the government planning to foil such plans?
SEC. ANDANAR: We take any destabilization move seriously whether it’s rumor or it’s A-1 information. It’s against the law. You cannot… it’s inciting to rebellion ‘no. And this has happened in the past.
So I have received information from credible sources in the United States. And yeah, we are aware of this and we have names, I’ve received names but I’m not going to mention it because alam mo naman, tayo din naman ay naging journalist eh. ‘Di ba? Baka ma-libel tayo.
Ms. Halili: Sec, are there officials involved?
SEC. ANDANAR: Basta hanggang doon na lang. Meron kaming mga pangalan. We know who they are, we are studying it. And, just be… The warning is just be careful in what you plan because it’s against the law.
Whoever is planning, whoever is planning an ouster or a coup d’etat, just be careful with what you do and just make sure that whatever you do is within the bounds of the Constitution.
Mr. Liwanag: Sir, sabi ninyo tinitingnan. You are studying on — you are studying it. Sinong may hawak ‘nong, itong coup plot na ‘to, sinong may hawak from the government? Who’s investigating this? Sino po ‘yung tumututok? Are there officials from the Palace or the government na pupunta sa United States para, to coordinate —?
SEC. ANDANAR: Ang masasabi ko lang, Benjie, we are looking into it very seriously. Thank you.
Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much.
Mr. Ganibe: Follow-up lang po Secretary. Since we have the names and you mentioned that ‘yung binabanggit, ‘yung ginagawa nila is already inciting to rebellion? Any legal move from the government?
SEC. ANDANAR: Not yet. We are looking into it seriously. We are investigating it. Hanggang doon lang muna tayo. And what I am conveying is the message that we know that these — these plans are being hatched.
We have some information also. We have some names but we have to confirm, we have to vet, but whatever they’re planning, just think twice because it is not lawful when you bring down a government. And rest assured that we will protect our President.
Mr. Ganibe: But are we going to wait until the plan is hatched before we make any legal move?
SEC. ANDANAR: We are looking into it, investigating it and we will protect our President whatever it takes.
Mr. Morong: Sir, to you this is very serious ‘no, the oust plot. Correct?
SEC. ANDANAR: Of course. It’s serious — it should be serious for the entire nation. For the 91 percent of the Filipinos who trust the President. Remember that the President was also voted with over 16 million votes.
Mr. Morong: You have the names and I’m sure you will not reveal them. But with the names given, are you able to tell who may be behind this or you know who’s plotting it at the very least? Is there a certain group of individuals?
SEC. ANDANAR: I don’t want to answer that question.
Mr. Morong: Why, sir?
SEC. ANDANAR: Because I don’t want to answer that question.
Mr. Morong: Because you know who?
SEC. ANDANAR: Because it’s under investigation.
Q: [off mic]
SEC. ANDANAR: Easy, easy boy.
Mr. Morong: But you mentioned–?
SEC. ANDANAR: ‘Wag ‘yung ganyang mga tanong.
Mr. Morong: No, no. But you mentioned January 2017. That sounds like a definite plan. Why daw may ganong oust move?
SEC. ANDANAR: I will have to… I have sources and, of course, I cannot reveal the entire story or those who have witnessed such meeting.
Mr. Morong: But the motivation?
SEC. ANDANAR: The motivation? I don’t know. I haven’t talked to them.
Mr. Morong: Anong nakarating sa inyo? Why would they oust the President?
SEC. ANDANAR: I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s…
Mr. Morong: There has to be a reason.
SEC. ANDANAR: Let’s ask them.
Mr. Morong: Hindi sinabi sa inyo ‘nong ano? Basta may oust lang?
Mr. Liwanag: ‘Yung hint ni Pangulong Duterte na sinasabi niya, ‘gusto kong patalsikin ‘nong mga “dilawan.” Is this part of the oust movement or what?
SEC. ANDANAR: I’d love to answer that question but I won’t answer that question.