Press briefing of Asec. Banaag with AFP spokesman B/Gen. Padilla
Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building
02 December 2016

ASEC. BANAAG: Good morning, Rocky. Magandang umaga po sa ating lahat. I’d like to introduce a soldier and a gentleman this morning.

Brigadier General Restituto F. Padilla Jr. is the current Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations (CMO), J7 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), a position he assumed November of 2014.

Currently, he is also the Spokesperson of the AFP.  He is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy and a member of the Class of 1985. Following graduation from the Academy, he joined the Philippine Air Force and earned his Aviator Wings from the Philippine Air Force Flying School in 1987. He also holds a Masters Degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management.

Brigadier General Padilla is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations coming from the military and civilian sector, including the Distinguished Aviation Cross, the highest award for an airman in the Air Force and the TOPS 2009 Awardee of the Metrobank Foundation/Rotary Club of Makati. He is happily married and blessed with 5 children. Ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, let’s welcome General Restituto F. Padilla, Jr.

GEN. PADILLA: Thank you very much, Asec., Atty. Marie.

Members of the Malacañang Press Corps, it’s a privilege to be here today to move out of our camp, Camp Aguinaldo and be with you. I’m not sure if our friends from the Defense Press Corps will be happy to see me out of their turf and now under your control.

But I’m sure they’re monitoring and whatever pronouncements we have here today is actually also monitored by them. In any case, you also work for the same news outfits which I am pretty certain will all have the same stories as well.

I was invited here to provide you a brief update on security matters pertaining to the Armed Forces.

Number one on my list would be the current operations that we are conducting in the area of Lanao del Sur. I’m happy to inform you that most of our wounded are very stable and all on their way to recovery. The visit of the President the other day as well as the awards they got and the cash assistance they received from the President himself or the Commander-in-Chief himself had a lot of healing effect on the part of our soldiers and definitely, their families are happy to see that the Commander-in-Chief has expressed his concern for all those who were hurt during the previous weeks’ battles as well as those who fought. Even his security team who were hurt in the roadside IED bombing.

In reference to that roadside IED bombing, again, I’d like to state that whatever news that came out viral in social media coming from a certain alleged youth group is nothing but propaganda.

The incident did and actually happened and was not something that was contrived or made up by the Armed Forces. Our men were hurt in a roadside bombing and we admit that there was a lapse in security along that line when a certain member of some terrorist groups in the area may have been able to dump a piece of bag on the side of the road where they knew the convoy would be passing.

The convoy was an easy target because it was marked vehicle and they were moving in broad daylight so those are things that we are closely looking at and learning from so that nothing of that sort will be repeated again in the future.

For the other updates pertaining to our operations in the area, as well announced yesterday, the sentro or the heart the municipality of Butig is well in the hands of government. No other signs of enemy presence have been seen.

The built-up area or most of the buildings that were tentatively occupied by a lot of the local terrorist group who entered the municipality last week had all been cleared. What remains for us is to clear the outskirts and that operation is ongoing. The sentro itself is well-secured and we are preparing and paving the way to allow the local government to get it back so that their constituents can return to their homes and resume their normal lives.

The most important feedback that we’ve received when we visited the area before the President came was the appeal of our kababayans who farmed the area. Kawawa po itong mga magsasaka dahil ang kanila pong daing ay nagtatanim sila, nagpupundar sila ng pagod at ng kanilang sariling resources at sa kalaunan, pagdating ng anihan ay papasukin lamang sila ng masasamang loob upang pakinabangan yung kanilang pinaghirapan.

It’s something that they have asked their local government officials and executives to do something about and they in turn told us that it would be best to be able to figure out a way to secure the area for a bit of more permanence. 

That was one of the topics that we discussed with them when we visited but having heard that from them, we can guarantee you from the Armed Forces as well as the leadership of the Western Mindanao Command that there will definitely be a concrete action taken to address this concern.

On the part of the statistics pertaining to that offensive, the numbers continue to rise in favor of government. The final number that we got as an update was 62 killed on the part of the local terrorist group, with reported 15 wounded and about 37 Armed Forces personnel hurt in the last week’s firefight, to include those who were hurt during the roadside IED bombing the other day. Those are the numbers that we have had as a last report from Col. Roseller Murillo, the commander of the 103rd Brigade.

The area will continuously be secured until with the ongoing operations — that have not been stopped until we can guarantee that this local terrorists groups will be unable to return to the area.

The other report that I have for you is pertaining — pertains to the issue on terror alerts. Today, I have received so many inquiry on the meaning of terror alert level 3.

The Armed Forces follows a very simplistic alert system. We only have white for normal conditions; blue for potential contingencies that must be prepared for which demands 50 percent manning of our personnel in all camps; and a red alert status which is a call on all our personnel to return to camp, man their stations and prepare for a contingency that can possibly happen.

This is the simplistic alert system that we follow and we do not subscribe to the terror alert level that was recently announced. This level system — this alert level system is actually an issuance from the Anti-Terrorism Council and I understand that the police has been following this alert level system.

In any case, the primary responsibility for securing our cities is in the hands of our police personnel. They are tasked to lead in all major citie and the Armed Forces only provide support.

The reason why we are in a white condition here in Metro Manila is because in our assessment, the threat that has been seen through the presence of a bomb in front of the American Embassy is already addressed and that action is concretely being taken that warrants no increase of any alert level.

Second to that, we also have a unit that is directly tasked to provide whatever needed assistance the police will require. This unit is known to you as the Joint Task Force National Capital Region and is always on the ready to provide any kind of assistance or whatever form of personal beef up that the NCRPO or any unit of the police may require.

And you have seen them in action many times over, particularly during the onset of holidays. They are uniformed personnel with K-9s, or with their other vehicles who man checkpoints, mobile checkpoints, and who roam our periphery if the police needs a little more warm bodies.

So again, on the part of the Armed Forces, like what the police have mentioned previously and earlier today and late yesterday, we would like to assure the public that everyone is closely following the security situation in the metropolis and there’s no reason to be alarmed.

Our call to the public, as we have made yesterday is that we must all subscribe to the tenet that security is a shared responsibility. It is not something that is placed on the shoulders of your police and your military alone. That every community, for it to remain secure, must be a shared task on the part of every citizen.

Kaya nga po kahapon, ang aming panawagan sa lahat n gating mga kababayan ay lagi pong isaisip na kung nais po natin talagang garantihan na ang ating komunidad at ang ating kinaroroonan ay laging safe o maayos, tayo po dapat ay nakikipagtulungan. Sama-sama po dapat tayo.

At paano ito gagampanan ng bawat mamamayan? ‘Yan po ay magagampanan nila sa pamamagitan ng pagiging mapagmasid, pagiging alerto, pagiging vigilant at laging conscious po sa mga lugar na kinaroroonan niyo.

Kung may mga kahina-hinalang tao sa paligid, dapat — at saka mga bagay na iniiwan na wala pong dahilan, unattended, dapat po ay ipinagbibigay alam na kaagad ito sa ating mga otoridad sa inyong lugar. Maaaring ito ay mga tanod, mga barangay official, mga myembro po ngg  pulis or mga myembro po ng militar na naka-himpil sa inyong mga kinaroroonan.  

So ‘yan po ang panawagan namin at patuloy naming uulit-ulitin hangga’t lahat po tayo ay maintindihan po natin na ang pangangalaga ng seguridad ng ating komunidad ay sa atin pong lahat dapat.

So this and all is what I have for you this morning before I open up the floor for any questions.


Rose Novernario (Hataw): Good morning sir. May statement po kahapon si Secretary si Esperon na naka-alert, terror alert daw po sa Davao, Zamboanga, and Cotobato. Pwede pong paki-paliwanag po ito? At kung hindi — kasi po ‘yung announcement po kahapon ni Gerenal Bato eh nationwide daw po ‘yung terror alert level 3, so ang  statement naman po ni Secretary Esperon ay sa Davao, Cotobato, at Zamboanga lang ito. Bakit po magka-iba ‘yung kanilang pahayag?

GEN. PADILLA: Unang-una po, I cannot speak on behalf of the police ‘no but I can speak on behalf of the Armed Forces and our Chief of Staff. Ang alert system po ng ating Armed Forces ay nakadown — naka ano po, nakadownload sa ating mga area commanders. Sa mga ibat-ibang lugar po may tinatawag tayong unified area commands, na pinamumunuan ng isang three-star general.

Diyan po sa Mindanao, dalawa po ‘yan. Ang Eastern Mindanao Command sa ilalim po ni General Rey — Lieutenant Rey Guerrero at sa Western Mindanao Command, sa ilalim naman po ng pamumuno ni Lieutenant General Mayoralgo Dela Cruz. ‘Yang parehong area commands na po ‘yan ay nananatiling hangang  sa ngayon, red alert. Dahil po sa mga — sa laging nananatiling banta ng mga terorismo at mga iba pang contingencies na nasa radar screen natin. 

Alam din po natin na mayroon tayong ongoing offensive laban po sa Abu Sayyaf diyan po sa lugar ng Basilan, sa lugar po ng Jolo at Tawi-Tawi.

So itong patuloy na ginagawa nating operasyon, pati na po dito sa may Lanao Del Sur ay bahagi po ng rason kaya kina-kailangan manatili sa red alert ‘yung mga lugar na ‘yan, ganoon din po sa ating Eastern Mindanao Command na naka-hightened alert — naka-red alert pa rin po. So maaring ‘yun po ang naging dahilan sa pahayag ni Secretary Esperon  dahil isa po siyang dating Chief of Staff natin. 

Ngayon ‘yung sa terror alert level po na sinasabi, katulad nga po ng nabanggit ko kanina, ito po ay isang sistema na sinusundan po ng ating Anti-Terrorism Council. And I guess the police has aptly explained this yesterday during their presscon and meeting with some of the members of the media.

Benjie Lawanag (DZBB): Sir, goodmorning.

GEN. PADILLA: Good morning, Benjie.

Mr. Liwanag: Sir may ano — may sinagot kayo kahapon ‘eh. You were telling that okay lang na makipag-usap sa Maute, sa Maute group. ‘Yung today, this afternoon —


Mr. Liwanag: ASG also. This afternoon, the President will ano — ang MILF will have an audience with the President this afternoon in Davao City. Dito ho ba, doon sa operation ninyo did you somehow coordinated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front? And also the ceasefire, the ceasefire mechanism of the Bangsamoro, nagamit po ba ito ng AFP for Maute. We are talking about Maute and Butig, Lanao Del Sur.

GEN. PADILLA: Yes Benjie, mabuti tinanong mo ‘yan. Opo, inoobserba po namin lahat ng mekanismo na nakasaad sa ating ceasefire sa MILF, ‘yung mga mekanismo po ‘yan ay patuloy nating sinusunod para maiwasan kung anumang bakbakan sa hanay po ng MILF, at ng hanay natin. Kaya dito po sa ating ginagawang operasyon sa Butig, kasama din po ‘yan sa sinusunod natin. 

Tulad nga po nung bumisita si mahal —- ang mahal na Pangulo doon sa lugar ng Butig kamakailan, naandoon po ‘yung local monitoring team present po sila doon at  direktang nakikipag-ugnayan po ating kasundaluhan na siyang gumagalaw sa lugar.

Mr. Liwanag: Okay, follow-up to that. Kasi local terrorist group nga ‘yun tawag natin doon sa Maute ‘eh. Meron ho bang link kahit papaano ito with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or any group pa po na nagli-link itong ano. Aside doon sa sinasabi nilang, may link din sila ISIS?

GEN. PADILLA: So addressing your question one at time, kung may link ba po sila sa MILF, o iba’t ibang grupo. Ang aming pong paniniwala ay wala po. So maaring may ilang miyembro na hindi po naniniwala sa isinusulong ng kanilang liderato sa MILF. At ‘yung iilan po na ‘yun ay maaring sumanib sa pwersa ng ibang grupo, maging BIFF o Maute. Pero itong sa Maute group, paniniwala namin ay hindi po, kung meron man iilan lang ‘yan dahil sa rason na sila ay kamag-anak o kadugo.

‘Yung sa pangalawa naman, sa koneksyon sa Deash o ISIS. Patuloy po nating ipinapaliwanag na kinakailangan may mariin na basehan bago nating sabihin may direktang ugnayan ang isang teroristang grupo sa isang mas malaking grupo. Pero bago ko sagutin ‘yan, kailangan ko lang ho maipaliwanag ‘yung konteksto ng grupong ito.

Ang grupong ito po ay dating nag-pledge ng allegiance sa Jemaah Islamiyah ng sila ay pinamumunuan ng isang na neutralize nating Indonesian cleric na nagngagalang Sanusi. So noong nawala itong si sanusi at nawala sa radar screen ng katanyagan itong Jemaah Islamiyah, pumasok naman po sa katanyagan at notoriety sa terror world—terrorism world itong tinatawag na ISIS or Daesh. Kaya noong nalaman po karamihan ng mga terrorist organization sa mundo, pati na rin po dito sa ating bansa, na napakalaki ng resources ng Daesh, natural lang po na pumanig sila sa pag-asa, sa pag-asang maaari silang maambunan na mas malaking mga suporta. 

So ‘yun po ang aming nakikitang rason, kaya sila’y lumabas at naglantad at nagbigay ng kanilang allegiance sa Daesh. Ngayon naman po, dito naman po sa ginagawa nila ngayon, ito po ay isang hakbang upang mapansin. Kaya nga po ang pakiusap naming kung kami po ang tatanungin ninyo, kung maaari nga po ay sana hindi na po ito binabalita. Kasi ginagawa lang natin na, pumapasok lang tayo sa kagustuhan nila na malagay sa pahayagan, malagay sa newspaper at saka ibang mga balita na maaaring makarating sa mga gusto nilang i-target na audience.

Mr. Liwanag: Maraming Salamat po.

Joseph Morong (GMA 7): Sir, just staying on the topic of Maute and ASG, why are we talking to them?

GEN. PADILLA: Unang-una naintindihan po natin ang mga…right off the bat I have to tell you we’re not yet talking to them. Not yet. The condition is makikipag-usap tayo sa kanila for as long as meron talaga silang pagnanais na magbagong buhay. So isa diyan, ang sabi ng mahal na Pangulo, siya talaga ay ang ama talaga ng ating bayan at ayaw niya ng nagkakaroon ng hidwaan sa ating bansa. So nais niyang ihinto lahat ng mga labanan sa kapwa Pilipino.

Yes, we believe that and we have been saying that all along that when it is a battle or a fight against a fellow Filipino, it becomes harder on the part of the Filipino soldier because he is fighting his own fellow Filipino. So we all support any kind of initiative for peace and this initiative for peace that has been sounded off by the President has the support and backing of the Armed Forces. Our only request is that we must not allow this at the expense of justice. Because those who have pending warrants or who were already sentenced in court must answer for the crimes they have committed.

But for the greater majority of the group who may have been duped or may have been confused in joining the group, this is an opportunity to bring out the white flag or send out feelers that you would like a new life. Kung ganyan po ang usapan at kayo po ay nagpapahiwatig na gusto niyong magbagong buhay, ito pong pagbubukas ng isang daan sa isang negosasyon ay susuportahan natin at tutulungan namin kayo.

Mr. Morong: How are you classifying the two groups?

GEN. PADILLA: They are still terrorist groups. But you must remember that as I’ve mentioned earlier, Pilipino pa rin itong ang mga ito.

JP Bencito (Manila Standard): Sir, good morning sir. Sir pwede po ba naming malaman lang po kamusta po yung operations natin doon—specifics on ilang soldiers yung pinadala po natin, ilang tropa natin yung sa Butig and yung sa areas na ‘yun? Do we plan to send more troops and clearing out the areas? Tapos is the AFP open sir to possible all-out operations against Maute?

GEN PADILLA: Una, bilang kasagutan sa iyong unang katanungan, I would like to ask your…I would like to…humihingi ako ng paumanhin na hindi ko maaring sagutin ‘yung bilang ng ating mga tauhan. Ito’y isang operational na bagay na hindi namin bastang inilalahad lalo na sa mga active pa na offensive na ginagawa natin. So ipagpaumanhin niyo po.

Ngayon sa openness ng Armed Forces na magsagawa ng opensiba, ginagawa na po natin ito at inanunsyo na po at binigyan na po ng pahayag din ng ating sariling kalihim ng Tanggulang Pambansa na ang trabaho natin ay talagang lutasin yung security issue na ‘to kaya kung ano man ang karapat dapat na gamitin, if we need to apply the full might of military power, which is what we are doing to solve this problem, then we will.

Henry Uri (DZRH): General, magandang tanghali po sa inyo. Hanggang kailan ho natin pagpapasensyahan ang Maute group, ang Abu Sayyaf, bilang mga Pilipino?

GEN. PADILLA: Tandaan niyo po ang sabi po ng mahal na Pangulo noong siya ay bumisita is huwag po siyang subukan and don’t wait for the 25th hour and for the bells to toll, if I may quote. That’s what he exactly said. So may hangganan po ang pasensya ng pamahalaan, ng military at ng gobyerno. Pero dahil po sila ay kapwa Pilipino natin, sila po ay pinagbibigyan natin ng pagkakataon na magbagong buhay, na sumanib uli sa mainstream ng society at makiisa sa lahat ng Pilipino.

So isa sa mensahe po na ipinaabot ng ating Pangulo noon ay ang kanila pong mga pinaglalaban ay isa namang foreign item or issue, labas po sa mga issue dito sa Pilipinas. Kaya nga sabi niya, maybe out of levity or just a levity or joke. He said if you want to fight and you want to continue on what you’re doing just go out. I will give you a ticket and a plane ride free to do this somewhere else but please not in the Philippines.

So, kami po sa Armed Forces, nakita niyo naman po ang aming matibay na suporta at solid na pakikipagtulungan pagka ang usapin ay kapayapaan. We have been proven to have given our all when it came to talks with the MNLF. In fact, of a lot of the MNLF who joined our forces when they were integrated are really in their own right very effective soldiers and our heroes. Many of them died fighting for the Republic.

Mr. Uri: Masasabi ho ba natin na ibang usapan na kung lulusob muli sila sa isang bayan pa doon sa may area ho ng Lanao?

GEN. PADILLA: Opo, katulad nga nitong binanggit kanina. Kung mararapatin, pwede silang magtaas ng puting bandila, ibaba ang kanilang armas at magpahiwatig na sila’y gustong magbagong buhay, tutulungan po natin. Pero kung talagang gusto nila ganitong labanan, kinakailangan harapin sila ng sa ganoon ‘yung mga matahimik mga kababayan na nagnanais na mabuhay ng matahimik ay matutulungan din natin ma-achieve ‘yung kanilang gusto. 

Rosalie Coz (UNTV): Hi sir, good afternoon po.


Ms. Coz: Sir after po ng bold step ng Pangulo, dati po kasi hindi niya kinokonsider makipag usap sa mga teroristang grupo katulad ng Abu Sayyaf. Pero recently, nagbago po siya, kino-consider niya po na makipag-usap. Bilang mga sundalo na nakikita na — nakakakita ng movements sa ground, ano po ‘yung initial observation niyo po sa Maute group? Kasi po may napa-ulat na nag iwan pa po sila na parting message na nagbabanta sa mga tropa ng militar ganoon din sa ating pong Pangulo?

GEN. PADILLA: Tulad nga ng sabi ko, itong mga bantang ito kailangan harapin natin. At bilang mga kawal ng inyong bayan, ang bawat sundalo po natin ay handang makipagharapan dito sa mga taong ito. Kung sa kanilang pag-iisip ay kaya nila ang ating hukbo, nagkakamali po kayo. May hangganan po lahat.  At kung ang inyong bulsa ay hindi malalim, napakalalim po ng bulsa ng Armed Forces upang tapusin at tugisin at tapusin kayo. So huwag niyo pong binibiro ang ating Armed Forces dahil sa mga bagay na ito, nakita ninyo naman po ang level ng professionalism ng ating kasundaluhan. Gagawin at gagawin namin ang nararapat.

Ms. Coz: So sir up to this point in time, wala pong feeler na gusto po nilang makipag-usap sa pamahalaan?

GEN. PADILLA: So far wala po kaming nakukuhang feeler at kami nanalangin na baka sakali magbago isip nila o bukas po ang loob ng ating hukbo na tanggapin ‘yun. Provided masunod po ‘yung sinabi natin kanina, na dapat mayroon pong pagpahiwatig ng kagustuhan nila talaga na magbago.

Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning sir.

GEN. PADILLA: Good morning.

Ms. Salaverria: Hihingi lang ho ng clarification. ‘Yung pag-uusap ho natin sa Maute not as group but only sa individual members na gustong sumuko. Paano ba sir ‘yung pag-uusap parang kagaya sa mga communist na they’re in a position to make demands on the government?

GEN. PADILLA: Well, I don’t know if will come to that and I definitely —I’m sure that it will not come to that. So kung grupo nila gustong makipag-usap, then susundin natin ‘yan, pagbibigyan natin.

It’s better to dialogue than fire at each other. So whatever it is that we have issues that they didn’t like to communicate across, then having a listening ear is better than having your ear made dumb by or made deaf by the blare of guns. So it’s an openness to dialogue I think that the President has tried to communicate and we are leaning forward if ever they have any indications of doing so but again, I would like to emphasize, still, that justice must be served.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, yung position niyo na they must be willing to surrender, sir, is this a non-negotiable condition of the talks?

GEN. PADILLA: Of course. Remember, anyone, even a single person who bears arms is a threat to the community. And what we are protecting here is the community. Ang kapakanan po ng bawat Pilipino ang ating pinangangalagaan so kung meron pong isang indibiduwal na ang pag-iisip ay hindi tama at hindi alinsunod sa karamihan, dahil ang pagnanais niya ay mang sakit, hindi po tama iyon so sosolusyunan po at gagawan po natin ng angkop na hakbang.

Ms. Novenario: Good afternoon po, sir. Magkakaroon po kaya ng problema ang Armed Forces of the Philippines o ang Department of National Defense sa relasyon sa ibang bansa sakaling makipag usap sa Abu Sayyaf Group na deklarado pong international terrorist organization ng US at ng European Union?

GEN. PADILLA: You know, this is an internal matter that we are trying to address. Kapwa Pilipino po natin itong mga indibiduwal na ‘to at palagay ko, may karapatan tayo na gawin ang naaangkop na hakbang para lutasin ‘yung sarili nating panloob na problema. So I guess the international community will understand if we go that way.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Yes, I have one statement and I hope this will be the only one. Maraming salamat, sir, sa pagsagot sa lahat ng katanungan, at please po, wag po muna kayong umalis. 

The Philippines wishes to convey our warmest congratulations to his Majesty, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, on his accession and proclamation as the King of Thailand. We are confident that his reign will continue to bring happiness, peace and prosperity to the Thai people. We wish for him success as he leads the Kingdom of Thailand. Thank you.

Ms. Novenario: Hi, good morning ma’am. 


Ms. Novenario: ‘Yung statement po kahapon ni Secretary Leila De Lima, ay Senator Leila De Lima on Special Assistant to the President Bong Go ay pinabulaanan po ni General “Bato” kanina sa isang interview sa radio. So, ano po ‘yung ating masasabi tungkol dito? Ito po ba’y squid tactic ni Senator De Lima para mailihis ‘yung atensiyon ng publiko sa pag-amin niya sa kanyang pakikipagrelasyon kay Ronnie Dayan at pagkakasangkot niya sa drug trade sa Bilibid?  

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Maraming posibilidad nyan dun sa sinasabi ni Secretary De Lima at nasabi mo nga na klaro na nasabi ni General Bato na hindi naman si Special Assistant to the President Bong Go ang tumawag sa kanya. 

So, I don’t think may i-kailangan tayong iklaro dyan. At dun sa punto ni Secretary De Lima, hindi natin siya pwedeng sabihan kung anong pwede niyang isipin at kung anong pwede niyang, isipin at sabihin. 

Kaya kung sa kanyang banda po, kay Senator De Lima, kung gusto niyang sabihin ‘yun, walang problema po sa atin kasi anytime po they can, they can feed any misinformation in order to, para magkagulo ang ranks ng mga nagta-trabaho sa administrasyon. 

Ms. Novenario:  So nanggugulo po, ibig niyo po sabihin?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Ang sinasabi natin may posibilidad na ‘yung mga opinion ni Senator De Lima, ‘yung kanyang mga sasabihin ay pwedeng pwede, posibilidad na pwedeng para magulo at para magka watak-watak at magka may suspicion sa ranks ng mga nasa administrasyon. 

Mr. Morong: Sir kung, ay Ma’am, kung hindi si SAF Go, sino po ‘yun kaya? 


Mr. Morong: I mean hindi ba irregular, doesn’t the Palace think of it as irregular na tinanggal na then ibinalik ng ganun-ganon lang? 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Joseph, siguro mas magandang si General Bato din ang mag-komento dyan. Sapagkat, siya naman ang tinawagan nila, kung sino man ang tumawag sa kanya. 

And nasabi niya kanina na that’s water under the bridge kung baga, water under the bridge kasi hindi naman niya ginawa yung pinapaki-usap sa kanya. 

Mr. Morong: Paanong hindi ginawa?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: I think it’s best that General Bato should comment on that. It was clear during his interview kanina na may nasabi sa, may nasabi, may nasabi tungkol kay sa Marcos, kay officer Marcos at sa kanyang mga kasama na he was, he is in restrictive custody. 

Marcos and, officer Marcos and ‘yung mga allies niya, mga kasama niya ay, they are in restrictive custody, so that’s water under the bridge. 

It would be best siguro na si General Bato na rin ang mag-clarify niyan. Baka sa pilit kong pagclarify ay lalong mas napapagulo. 

Mr. Morong:  Pero from your understanding ay hindi sila reinstated as the Palace, from the Palace’ perspective, they were not reinstated?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: That’s I think what is, what it is, they were not. 

Mr. Morong:  They were not? okay.


Ms. Salaverria: Ma’am clarification lang, wala bang concern from the Palace that the PNP Chief is being influenced by his compadre to take action on suspended policemen na in, na nililink sa drugs?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: That is again, once again that is best answered by General Bato because he was the one, initially who claimed that a Palace person called him up. 

Ms. Salaverria: Ma’am the fact na may tumatawag sa PNP Chief, you don’t think there is something fishy going on or irregular going on?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Perhaps kung sino man ‘yung tumawag sa kanya at kung babalansehin niya ito at ginawa niya, siguro pwede. But then, it’s best talaga na si General Bato ang magklaro niyan. 

Leo Palo (DZME): Hi ma’am. Tutal na-deny naman po ano, gusto lang po natin klaruhin, kung meron man, nakahanda ba ang Pangulo na sibakin ito kung sino man siya?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Well, we cannot speculate on that. Kung totoo nga at mapapanindigan na may nangyaring ganun at ini-impluwensiyahan ng Malacañang kung ano man ang mga disposisyon ng PNP, hindi natin alam kung –

Mr. Palo: Kasi taken from the word of the PNP Chief mismo eh, na kumpare niya coming from the Palace, so, kung sino man itong kumpareng ito at nalaman ni Presidente, sisibakin ba? 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Alamin natin kung sino muna si kumpare kasi malaking bagay ‘yan na kailangang malaman ng publiko. For now, we cannot comment on that kung anong gagawin ng Presidente, kung anong maaring niyang gawin at dun sa gravity pati ng ginawa, kung meron man, at kung ano ‘yung impluwensiya nung tumawag sa kanya. 

Mr. Palo: Thank you ma’am. 

Mr. Morong:  Ma’am would, would the Palace ask General Bato because as you said yourself, parang malaking issue ‘yan diba, kung sino man ang tumawag sa PNP Chief, would you ask him to reveal kung sino ‘yung kumpare na ‘yun?


Mr. Morong:  You will?


Chona Yu (Radyo Inquirer): I just would like to get an update on the invitation of the President sent to UN Rapporteur, when is she coming to conduct an investigation?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: The date of that would be, the announcement of the date would be coming from the DFA. As to the limits of what would be tackled during the investigation, kung matutuloy man, because that has been going around for months already. Kung ano ang totoo, we would know. 

Nevertheless, kung ano man ‘yung mga metes and bounds ng gagawing imbestigasyon, that would be tackled by the inter-agency task force headed by Executive Secretary Medialdea and the DFA and other agencies. 

Dexter Ganibe (DZMM): Asec, good afternoon.


Mr. Ganibe: Naka-schedule na tagawan ni Pangulong Duterte si Trump mamayang gabi, any words from the Palace? 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Yes, Dexter. As to, as to kung anong pag-uusapan, ‘yun ang hindi pa natin alam kung anong pwede, pwede nilang pag-usapan. 

Mr. Ganibe: Possibilities sa kanilang pag-uusap, kung halimbawa imbitahan siya ni Trump sa U.S. sa kanyang inagurasyon sa January, any possibilities? 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Well antayin siguro natin hanggang mamayang gabi kung may posibilidad nga na maimbitahan at kung pupunta nga ang Pangulo kung sakaling maimbitahan siya.

Mr. Ganibe: Another issue, kararating lang po kagabi ‘nung bagong Ambassador ng U.S., any words from the Palace sa bagong U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, at isang Asian? 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARIE BANAAG: Yes, we welcome the, the new Ambassador of the United States to the Philippines and sana po mas maganda ang pag-uusap at pakikipag-negosasyon natin, pakikipag-diplomasya, pakikipag-palitan natin ng diplomasya with the U.S. dahil Asian ang ating counterpart from the U.S.