Panelo: “The source of that is from the Office of the President, from the President himself”

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(Note from MindaNews: Official transcript of April 22, 2019 press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, mostly on the alleged “oust Duterte plot” with a matrix showing the alleged involvement of journalists and lawyers. Transcript released by the News and Information Bureau of the Presidential Communications Operations Office)

PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS OPERATIONS OFFICE
News and Information Bureau 

PRESS BRIEFING OF PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON SALVADOR PANELO
April 22, 2019/12:07-12:42 PM

USEC. IGNACIO:  Good afternoon Malacañang Press Corps; Happy Monday. Let’s now have Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO:  Good afternoon, good noon; Happy Easter.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Sir, just your reaction to the report of Mr. Dante Ang with regards to the alleged ‘Oust Duterte Plot’ po, wherein he implicated – according to his source in his write up – that some journalist especially from PCIJ are behind, as the propaganda machinery of that oust plot?

SEC. PANELO:  The source of that is from the Office of the President, from the President himself. I don’t know how he got one. But it’s coming from the President. I talked to him the other day.

You must remember that the President has so many sources, so he got this matrix from one of his sources. And I am not even surprised that there is such a plot. If you notice this has been going on, the pattern is clear – false news and then transferred to another and it circulates. So, I am not surprised at all.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Photo from the FB page of the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

But I was interviewed this morning by Henry. He was asking if what will be the reaction of the Palace if the journalist mentioned here would say that the Palace is trying to stifle their right. And my answer and I will repeat: we have never stifled dissent in this country. It’s the President who encourages dissent – that is what democracy is all about.

For the last three years, no journalist has been charged with any case in relation to his or her exercise of the freedom of speech or of the press.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  Sir, absent the AFP and the police, you are actually convinced that these journalists have the capacity to plot or even to oust the President?

SEC. PANELO:  It’s not the capacity. When you conspire with others, you don’t have to have the capacity because others would do it for you. In other words, what these people are doing is to give succor or assist the enemy, if they are not the enemy themselves.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADYO:  So what will you do with the matrix or how will you counter suit, we will be expecting that the President will do a counter propaganda?

SEC. PANELO:   The counter propaganda is the achievements done by this administration. And the result as you have seen is the very high satisfactory and trust rating of the President surveys after surveys.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Sir, anong legal action o legal move ang gagawin po ng Palasyo sa alleged nasa likod po nung demolition job?

SEC. PANELO:  Di ba, they’re at it already for the last how many months already or years. Pinapabayaan lang namin. We just want them to know that we know; and we want the people to know that they are on this.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  So, wala pong legal move na gagawin, hindi ninyo idedemanda?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala, hahayaan lang namin sila… sa ngayon ha, sa ngayon. Kasi if the plot thickens and they perform acts which are already violation of the penal laws, that’s a different story.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:   So mag-i-expect po ba tayo ng loyalty check sa hanay ng pulis at militar?

SEC. PANELO:  Wala. The military and the police are all behind him naman eh. That’s a fact.

CHONA YU/RADIO INQUIRER:   Sir, will the Palace monitor the activities of these journalists who are in the matrix?

SEC. PANELO:  No. You don’t have to monitor, they are all there doing their thing, trying to destroy this government by spreading false news and planting intrigues against the government.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  Sir, last night in Cabadbaran City, President Duterte said that the source of the information was a foreign country?

SEC. PANELO:  Was what?

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  President Duterte said that the source of the information was from a foreign ally. Since you are saying that the matrix that came out in the Manila Times came from the Office of the President, can you identify which country gave it to you?  

SEC. PANELO:  I do not know which country. If he said that, you have to ask him, himself.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  President Duterte you mean?

SEC. PANELO:  Yeah. You can ask him where he got the source and who provided him with the info.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  So, is it safe to say, sir that—since you are saying the Office of the President is the source of the information, President Duterte did orchestrate through the Manila Times, iyong paglabas ng matrix?

SEC. PANELO:  I said earlier, I didn’t even know where they got a copy of this matrix. Although since journalists are very creative and has so many access; sometimes I cannot even understand why we haven’t even left the Cabinet meeting some of you already know what’s  happening inside, so magagaling. In other words, meron kayong mga moles.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:   I just need to clarify, sir. The Office of the President did not give the matrix to the Manila Times?

SEC. PANELO:  No.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  But you are saying that the source of the matrix was the Office of the President earlier.

SEC. PANELO:  I’m supposed to expose it today, eh naunahan pa ako ng Manila Times.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  So what you are saying, sir, is that the matrix the you are supposed to publicize today is the same one that came after the Manila Times.

SEC. PANELO:   Yes.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI:  But you are not saying that the Office of the President gave the matrix to the Manila Times.

SEC. PANELO:  No. Sabi ko nga sa iyo, very creative. Ako nga ang dapat na ano, naunahan pa ako. Magaling ang mga peryodista natin, kasing galing ninyo.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN. PHILS:  Sir, just to press a little on the source of the matrix, because the President himself confirmed and let me quote what he said the few days ago, “What you did not know is that you are being listened to habang ginagawa ninyo iyang mga kalokohan ninyo. It was an intelligence report, not from us, but from another country.” Although you are saying na hindi mo alam which country—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, hindi ko alam. Wala siya, hindi niya sinabi sa akin.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN. PHILS:  Is this something that is okay, sanctioned by Malacañang, a foreign government or—yeah a foreign country spying on Philippine—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi, alam ninyo iyan, iyan ang tinatawag na sharing of intelligence information. That’s standard for all countries, they share intelligence information. If it affects the security of a particular country, talagang they share information.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN. PHILS:  Okay. How would you describe—what would make them listening to reporters as you claim—

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t know.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN. PHILS:   Valid, why would it be okay?

SEC. PANELO:  I am not saying valid. I’m just saying to you that this—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN. PHILS:  What would justify it rather?

SEC. PANELO:  I am just saying that this is intelligence information sharing. That’s how they call it.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN. PHILS:  Sir, si PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde had a statement on this earlier. He said that although destabilization plots are possible, there’s really no specific evidence he says to support itong sinasabing destabilization plot in the—based on the Bikoy videos?

SEC. PANELO: Baka sa kanila iyon, sa parte nila. Hindi lang naman sila ang ahensiya ng gobyerno on matters of security ng ating bansa.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: So right now, sir, you’re saying what—ang ginagawa nitong mga reporters na sinasabi ninyo ay they are assisting the enemy. So who is this enemy that—

SEC. PANELO: Eh kung sino iyong gustong mag-oust sa Presidente, eh di iyon na iyon. Either tinutulungan nila o sila kasama sila doon.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Sino nga iyon, sir, as far as Malacañang—baka may nasabi na po iyong foreign intel.

SEC. PANELO: Wala pa. Wala namang sinasabi. But I suppose they are the enemies of the state. Sino ba ang gustong magpabagsak sa gobyerno kung hindi iyong mga kalaban ng estado. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Who are the … can you specify, Leftist? Sino po ba?

SEC. PANELO: Basta kasama na lahat ng mga kalaban na gustong magpabagsak sa gobyerno. 

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Sir, good afternoon po. Sir, para mas malinaw lang po: Iyong source ng istorya po ay someone from the OP or the President himself, sir? Para mas malinaw po.

SEC. PANELO: Anong source—sinabi ko na nga sa’yo na … hindi ka nakikinig eh. Sabi ko sa’yo, ako, I’m supposed to release this eh, today. Eh naunahan pa nga ako ng Manila Times, ibig sabihin, magaling silang ano … mag-monitor.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: No, sir. Kasi nabanggit ninyo kanina, sir, the President himself—

SEC. PANELO: Ha?

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Nabanggit ninyo po kanina, the President himself.

SEC. PANELO: Ang Presidente ang nakatanggap nito. Pero whether or not Manila Times got it from us, eh definitely hindi.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Okay. So hindi po ibinigay ng OP or ng Pangulo?

SEC. PANELO: Sinabi na ngang hindi eh. Letku. Hindi, hindi.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Sige, sir, follow up lang po. Para lang po malinaw, sir. Sir, follow up lang po: Wala po kayang nalalabag na legal standards or ethical standards itong pag-listen in ng ibang bansa doon sa supposed—

SEC. PANELO: Sinagot ko na rin iyan. Sinabi ko na sa inyo, we call that intelligence information sharing. 

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Sec., can you give us details on the vetting process that you did for this matrix?

SEC. PANELO: You will have to ask the President himself because siya ang source nitong matrix. Oh di tanungin ninyo siya kung paano niya vinet, paano niya vinalidate. 

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So how reliable is the information relayed to him?

SEC. PANELO: Siguro naman considering he is the President and he has so many sources eh validated iyan.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: Pero remember, may mga pagkakataon din dati sa drug matrix, nag-apologize siya dati kasi— 

SEC. PANELO: Isa lang naman iyon out of what? Out of a million tapos isa lang, ikaw naman.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So we can say it’s properly vetted?

SEC. PANELO: Yes. 

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR:  Did it undergo a rigorous verification process, kasi iri-release ninyo ito—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi iyan mag-i-instruct sa akin na i-release ko kung hindi niya na-validate.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL STAR: So may validation, may proper validation?

SEC. PANELO: Siyempre.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, you mentioned that the President instructed you to release the matrix, naunahan lang talaga kayo ng Manila Times? 

SEC. PANELO: I think so, kasi supposed to be ako ang maglalabas nito ngayon eh. 

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir, why did the President instruct you to release the matrix?

SEC. PANELO: Bakit naman hindi? Kasi kahit hindi niya ako ininstruct, kung natanggap ko ito, ilalabas ko. 

MARICEL HALILI/TV5:  Why, sir? What’s the essence? 

SEC. PANELO: Bakit naman—this is very important. If there is an oust to—or there is an ouster plan, then people should know about it.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Bakit, sir?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean bakit? People have the right to know what’s happening in this government, and that includes people who want to destroy this government. It is our constitutional duty to inform the public of what is happening.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: And what was the exact instruction po of the President to you, sir?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean? What the …

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Iyong exact instruction po niya sa inyo just to air it, just to publicize it? 

SEC. PANELO: Yeah, that I touch it on my news briefing today.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Sir, I’m looking at the matrix dito sa Manila Times. I’m not sure if it’s the exact same one that you have over there, but can you explain to us, medyo confusing and there’s not much details doon sa article on how it works? Ang daming linya, e-mail used to log in, Vera Files, then web IP, e-mail used to log in, link.

SEC. PANELO: I think the article of The Manila Times is clear enough. It says it’s coming from this, papunta doon sa ganoon. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Yeah, but the matrix itself, iyong links, can you tell us—from you, since you were told by the President to explain it to us, I assume. 

SEC. PANELO: No, he didn’t tell me to explain. Kaya nga sabi niya—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: So bakit ininstruct ka po na ilabas?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba sinagot ko na – we have to inform the public. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Oo nga. And it’s true that matrix which I am asking, can you please explain it to us? Ano po iyong ibig sabihin nung video uploaded and e-mail used to log in because we cannot rely on a colleague’s report solely? 

SEC. PANELO: Ah hindi, kung ano iyong sinabi ng Manila Times, iyon na iyon. Maganda nga ang pagka-explain nila eh.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: No, sir, we’d like to hear it from you especially since you are instructed by the President himself.

SEC. PANELO: No, the instruction of the President is just to touch on it. Pinadala sa akin ito—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Okay. Can you explain us the matrix, sir? How does it work?

SEC. PANELO: I don’t know how it works. Tinanong ko nga si Presidente, oh how will—if supposed they ask this, tell them to ask me.

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Oo, sa kaniya nanggaling eh di siya ang makaka-explain. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: He told you to release it. Now we’re asking you and then your response is, we ask him?

SEC. PANELO: To touch on it, not to—to touch on this. Kasi pinadala sa akin ito eh, oh di nakita ko kaya nilabas ko. Eh may nailabas naman pala. Mas maganda pa nga iyong paliwanag ng Manila Times, kumpleto pa eh. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Yeah, but you’re supposedly the source, sir, eh di ba?

SEC. PANELO: No, I’m not the source. It’s the President.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Exactly. And he instructed you to relay that to us, so I was hoping for a bit more explanation.

SEC. PANELO: No, he just asked me to touch on it, iyon lang ang sabi niya. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Meaning, ano po?

SEC. PANELO: Oh iyan. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: A simple explanation of the matrix please, sir? 

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko nga alam ang explanation nito. Basta kung ano iyong nakalagay sa Manila Times, mas klaro eh. Kung ano ang pagkalagay doon, maganda iyong—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Assume, sir, that The Manila Times hindi kayo naunahan, so how would you explain it to us then?

SEC. PANELO: Oh di ganoon din, kung ano iyong nakalagay sa Manila Times. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: I mean, it starts with a video and then there’s a line po kasi. It sent e-mail. And whose e-mail was used? And then ano po ba?

SEC. PANELO: Ang ganda ng paliwanag nila, bilib nga ako sa kanila eh.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: I hope you are not quoting a media article, sir. 

SEC. PANELO: No, hindi, gusto kong … para marinig … ang ganda nga ng paliwanag.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Unless he’s the source himself?

SEC. PANELO: Ayan oh, there is an obvious pattern, close coordination. The playbook is all too familiar, sabi niya, utilize the media, plant fake news. 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Sir, we appreciate the article from Manila Times, but we would like to hear your explanation because you are the one who is supposed to be releasing it to us.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, I would be—hearsay iyong akin eh. Hindi naman ako ang … 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: Hearsay? Why would you say it’s hearsay? 

SEC. PANELO: Because hindi sa akin ang source eh. I’m not the source eh; it’s the President.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: You were instructed by the source; you are the Presidential Spokesman.

SEC. PANELO: No, he didn’t explain to me. He just sent me this and then sabi niya, “Sige touch mo.” 

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: So again, please give us a simple explanation on what it is? 

SEC. PANELO: Anong gusto mong explanation? There’s an ouster plot—

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: What is it? Kasi linya-linya po eh.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, ang ibig lang sabihin niyan, iyong mga … nandoong mga pangalan, iyon ang mga miyembro ng organization. ‘Di ba? There’s the National Union of People’s Lawyer. Who are the members of that? Ito iyon, iyong grupong iyon, nakangalan doon. Sa Rappler naman, sino ba iyong mga nandoon? Iyon na iyon, it was named there. And then sa PCIJ, nandoon din. Oh di ba very clear naman. Nilagay lang ang mga pangalan para alam natin kung sino iyong mga nandoon.

INA ANDOLONG/CNN PHIL: I’m asking about the process. There appears to be some sort of a work flow. 

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ba, galing daw kay Bikoy tapos nadala kay Tordesillas and then ipapasa naman niya sa iba. That’s it. That’s how I understood the matrix, the way The Manila Times explained it too.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Hi, sir. So ibig ninyong sabihin, sir, iyong linya ng pag-iisip ng Malacañang at saka iyong pagkakasulat ni Dante Ang pareho? Tugma? One hundred percent accurate si Dante Ang? 

SEC. PANELO: The way it was explained, tama naman eh. Kasi based on this, eh ganoon nga kasi from Bikoy, papunta kay Tordesillas tapos may mga linyang arrow, eh di ibig sabihin ini-spread.

In other words, just looking at this, using your common sense—

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Hindi nga, using your—kasi nandito, nakalagay naman eh. Nandito iyong source, tapos papunta kay Ellen Tordesillas and then three arrows papunta doon sa tatlong companies or organization. Oh di ibig sabihin—

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Sir, wala pong authority na mag-i-explain sa amin, halimbawa po from the intelligence community, from cyber division ng NBI o kung sino pong ano—

SEC. PANELO: Wala.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: A mere piece of paper po ay parang gusto ninyo paniwalaan na namin?

SEC. PANELO:  Galing kay Presidente kaya paniwalaan ninyo.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Pero kailangan po may paliwanag kasi eh.

SEC. PANELO:  Sabi nga ni Presidente, ‘Tell them to ask me.’ Iyon ang sagot niya, kaya pag nakita n’yo siya tanungin ninyo.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Kung sharing po ng intelligence information, dapat po may taga-intelligence community na magpapaliwanag man lang, kasi sa kanila I’m sure shinare iyon. Noong ibinigay po kay Presidente—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi dineretso kay Presidente.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW: Kaya po, siyempre papa-vet po ni Presidente iyan sa intelligence community, hindi naman po niya agad paniniwalaan iyon eh. 

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi natin alam. Basta ang sabi niya sa akin, ‘if they have questions, tell them to ask me.’ Iyon, that’s it. I am just relaying to you.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  So, may plano pong mag-conduct ng press conference si Presidente?

SEC. PANELO:  Aba, eh pag nakita ninyo, I-ambush ninyo kaagad. Tulungan ko kayo, ambush interview.

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  So, hindi po siya magpe-presscon, si Presidente?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi. Iyong mga nandoon sa Beijing, iyon ang makakasiguro. Iyan si Ina, sigurado iyon. Nandoon ka ba, wala, hindi ka darating? Ah si Maricel, si Pia.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:  Sir, ire-rephrase ko po iyong last two question po ano. So, let’s see if we can pretend for the next few seconds na hindi lumabas iyong article ng Manila Times. What were you supposed to tell us, sir? How were you supposed to break the story po, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  O di sabihin ko, may matrix dito, pinadala sa akin ni Presidente. Di ganundin ang paliwanag ko: galing kay Bikoy, papunta kay Tordesillas… Kung ano ang nakalagay sa arrow, di iyon na yun.

Hindi, simple lang naman iyan. Ang ibig sabihin, the source is Bikoy, gumawa siya ng mga fake news, pinadala niya—hindi nga alam kung sino, obviously ano yun pseudo name lang o kung sinuman iyon. Pinadala niya kay Tordesillas, pinadala naman ni Tordesillas doon sa tatlo, tapos ikinalat na nila, iyon lang naman ang ibig sabihin nito. 

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Sec, kasi kaya we are asking for an official explanation— 

SEC. PANELO:  Iyon na ang official explanation.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Yeah. Kasi mahirap naman iyong common sense lang, eh iyong araw-araw and we are tagging people and making some serious allegations—

SEC. PANELO:  Iyon na nga ang explanation, that’s the explanation: the source is Bikoy, it was relayed to Tordesillas and Tordesillas relayed it to three groups na dinistribute naman nila. 

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Ito, Sec, ganito na lang. Iyong sinabi nilang hindi man lumabas sa diyaryo ngayon, who briefed you about the matrix.

SEC. PANELO:  Si Presidente nga ang kausap ko. 

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  So the President told you—hindi niya sinabing—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi nga sinabi. Sabi niya, ‘may papadala ako sa iyon diyang ganito – matrix.’ Sabi ko, ‘ano ba iyon, Mr. President?’ Sabi niya, ‘ouster plot against me.’ Oh eh di bahala ka na, touch on it.

ACE ROMERO/PHIL. STAR:  Tinanong n’yo siya kung how it work? 

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi na, basta ang sabi ko, paano kung tanungin ng media ganito. Tell them na galing sa akin mismo iyan and they can ask me. Iyon, okay sabi ko naman. 

VIRGIL LOPEZ/GMA NEWS ONLINE:  Sir, we just like to confirm if the President will be attending iyong Boao Forum mamaya?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko pa alam. Kasi nag-text ako doon sa OP kung tuloy o hindi, wala pang sagot eh. Kasi nag-text si Ina, kaya pinorward ko iyong tanong.

VIRGIL LOPEZ/GMA NEWS ONLINE:  So wala pa sa Manila si President, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Ha?

VIRGIL LOPEZ/GMA NEWS ONLINE:  Is the President in Manila already?

SEC. PANELO:  Palagay ko wala pa.

Teka muna, iyong kay—natanggap n’yo ba iyong aking response kay Mr. Del Rosario? Natanggap ninyo iyon? Pero hindi pa lumabas iyon? Lumabas na, saan? Meron bang diyaryo nung Holy Week?

Q:  Dalawa, Manila Times at saka Bulletin.

SEC. PANELO:  Ano Sabado lang?

Q:  Hindi buo, as if nothing happened.

SEC. PANELO:  Ah ganoong? Okay. 

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Sir, sino po iyong nasa likod ni Bikoy?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam, tanungin natin— 

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  So iyon nga po, iimbestigahan iyang matrix na iyan para malaman kung sino ang nasa likod?

SEC. PANELO:  Sabi ni Presidente if you have any question, you can ask him direct, from the source. 

ROSE NOVENARIO/HATAW:  Kasi sabi ni Chief PNP Albayalde, iimbestigahan dati ng PNP kung sino iyong Bikoy. ‘Di ibig sabihin iimbestigahan?

SEC. PANELO:  Siguro di—baka meron silang separate investigation.

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:  Sir, iyong sa matrix pa rin po, sir. Sir, ngayong lumabas na iyong istorya, does the Palace consider the plot effectively quelled or are anticipating maybe some sort of reorganization from the plotters?

SEC. PANELO:   Ano iyong tanong mo, whether it’s ano?

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7:  Quelled na po iyong plot, kung wala na. Crushed, wala na tapos na, kaput.

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi natin alam kung itutuloy pa rin nila. Basta as far as we are concerned, we are exposing it. But as I said they can do their worst, we will just do our best. And the Filipino people naman apparently do not believe them. Lahat ng mga kasinungalingan, hindi naman pinaniniwalaan, otherwise matagal nang bumagsak ang rating ni Presidente.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  Sir, does the Palace consider this plot as a serious threat against the administration?

SEC. PANELO:  Lahat naman ng plot against the administration will be serious. But whether it will succeed or not is another thing. 

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  So, you are considering it as a serious threat. Pero considering, sir, sa sabi ninyo hindi n’yo nga kakasuhan iyong mga tao na nandito sa matrix na ito. What does the Palace intend to do to stop this threat?

SEC. PANELO:  Eh, by exposing it, di ba. Kasi kaya nga natin ini-expose para makita natin ang kaibahan ng mga tunay na peryodistang kagaya ninyo na hindi nagpapalabas ng kasinungalingan, hindi nagde-distribute ng mga false news and false narratives. Iyon ang intention ni Presidente.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN:  So, how can the public make a distinction between the Palace just destroying the credibility of these journalists to the Palace responding to a credible threat?

SEC. PANELO:  Iyon na nga iyong ano eh, by exposing them eh sinabihan mo na sa publiko, pag ito galing dito wag kayong maniwala dahil iyan ang mga nagpa-plot against this government. Ngayon kapag galing kay Ina, kay Pia, Maricel, Chona, Ace, Arjay mga matitino iyan. See, wala iyong mga pangalan ninyo rito eh. Iyong may mga pangalan dito ang delikado.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: So we wouldn’t expect any other action other than the Palace exposing these people?

SEC. PANELO: As I said, kapag nag-perform na sila – apart from this – which is violative of the provisions of the penal laws, that’s a different story.

PIA GUTIERREZ/ABS-CBN: Pero is it conspiring against the government violative of the Constitution or the laws, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Pero kung ang conspiracy mo lang ganito, tumutulong ka lang, wala ka namang overt acts na talagang pinapabagsak mo ang gobyerno, hindi pa. Wala pa, kulang pa.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, are we, reporters, being surveilled by that foreign country?

SEC. PANELO: Definitely not. I don’t think so.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Not. But we came up with that matrix because a foreign country is surveilling reporters; so definitely we are being surveilled.

SEC. PANELO: Basta ang alam ko, that’s standard, iyong mga intelligence sharing information. I’ve been hearing that ever since.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: And it’s fine, sir, for foreign countries to surveil Filipino journalists?

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t know whether there is surveillance or none. I’m just saying that intelligence information are shared by them relative to the securities of other countries because siguro maaapektuhan din sila, whatever, hindi ko alam.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Maaapektuhan sila. Sir, may kakasuhan?

SEC. PANELO: Basta lumabag na sila. Kapag mayroon na silang mga overt acts to bring down this government, that’s a different story. Pero kung mga ito, ito lang muna— 

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Hindi pa iyan na-overt, sir? 

SEC. PANELO: Eh dati-dati naman nilang pinaggagawa ito eh, hindi naman sila nagsa-succeed. But the public has the right to know.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Walang kakasuhan, sir?

SEC. PANELO: Sa ngayon, wala. Kasi wala pang binibigay sa akin na overt acts.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Sir, since you’re saying that the matrix that came out in The Manila Times is the same as the President has, how will the Palace take to the possibility that the Palace might be included in possible charges by these journalists, say, for libel or for—

SEC. PANELO: Ano, the possibility of what?

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Libel charges, sir. 

SEC. PANELO: Who will file?

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: What if the journalists or the lawyers file libel charges against The Manila Times and the Palace as well since you’re saying that you have the same matrix, how will the Palace react to that? 

SEC. PANELO: Oh di sige. This is a democratic country nga eh, everyone has the right to sue. But whether or not that will prosper is another story. But we will not stop anybody from filing, that’s their right.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, you mentioned acts na puwede na silang kasuhan. What specific acts na puwedeng makita natin na, ‘yes, puwede na silang kasuhan’?

SEC. PANELO: Halimbawa, nag-usap sila doon sa nga kung sinuman iyong mga kausap nila na nagpaplano na silang mambomba, magpatay, mag-assassinate – ibang usapan na iyon. 

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: So how is this an ouster plot kung hindi pa siya umaabot sa ganoon?

SEC. PANELO: What do you mean how?

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: This Bikoy and then communicating with journalists, publishing—

SEC. PANELO: Sa ngayon, ang tingin ko, ang purpose nito is to… for this government to lose credibility. That’s how you destroy a government. You lose—or government is losing credibility will be the start of its fall. Kasi iyong mga tao, kukontra na sa’yo kung mapaniwala mo sa mga kasinungalingan mo. Iyon ang magiging start niyan.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sir, any update on the diplomatic protest filed by the government sa China? 

SEC. PANELO: Wala pang sinasabi si Secretary Locsin kung mayroon nang response.

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: Sir, good afternoon po. Sir, recently iyong Philippine Navy po natin, pinadala natin iyong BRP Davao Del Sur sa China to participate in the founding anniversary po ng People’s Liberation Army nila. Hindi po ba ito parang salungat doon sa stand natin ngayon na may diplomatic protest tayo, na parang nakikiisa pa tayo imbes na ano?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman, parang pupunta lang sila roon dahil sa anibersaryo kasi kapwa … pareho rin silang Navy eh. 

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: Sir, follow up lang po. Last night po, President Duterte parang called out China doon sa ongoing construction daw po sa disputed territory. So is this a sign po na the President will take it up with President Xi when he goes to Beijing?

SEC. PANELO: I said, before that, he may or may not. Depende, depende sa kaniya. Puwede rin naman na si President Xi ang mag-raise ng issue dahil nagbigay na tayo ng ating pananaw o katayuan. We made our stand already.

TINA MARALIT/DAILY TRIBUNE: But, sir, is Malacañang confident na pag-uwi ni Presidente from Beijing ay may makukuha na po tayong resolution? 

SEC. PANELO: Well, as we said—as I said before, and as said by the President to the other day or yesterday, negotiation is still the best solution to resolve this conflict. Mag-uusap tayo. 

CEDRIC CASTILLO/GMA7: Sir, phone in question, sir. Sir, we need to confirm, sir, kung pinatawag nga raw ni Presidente iyong mga Bureau of Immigration agents daw, Manila agents daw po ito, and allegedly ay nagku-conduct ng extortion versus Korean agents. This is a story from two or three weeks ago, sir. 

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa naano iyan, nakarating sa akin. Wala pa akong info niyan.

USEC. IGNACIO: Okay. Thank you, MPC. Thank you, Secretary Panelo.

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