Kapihan with the Media in Malaysia

Event Media Interview
Location Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

PRESIDENT MARCOS: The last part of the trip will be a visit to the Sultan of Johor to meet with him … para naman magawa natin ang ano – na tuloy-tuloy kung ano ang napag-usapan namin nung hari dito, ni Prime Minister Anwar, ay lahat ‘yun sana maging tuloy-tuloy. So, that’s the reason for that.

At really there were – as usual all of these visits always have a part of it that is business-oriented. Iyon na nga kagaya ng mga meeting namin ngayong umaga ay tungkol nga sa mga investment na papasok sa Pilipinas.

Karamihan sa kanila nasa Pilipinas na at pinag-uusapan namin kung ano pa ‘yung kailangan nila, ano pa ‘yung kulang na sa ginagawa namin para palakihin pa nila ang kanilang involvement sa Pilipinas.

But Malaysia is also – we had a special purpose also because we wanted in a diplomatic sense to revitalize really our dealings with Malaysia. They have been lying dormant for a long time and I think that is something that we can now move on from, especially since maraming – like all the other ASEAN countries the issues that we are facing are very similar and our conditions back home are also very similar.

And so it really – those partnerships again that I keep talking about are going to be – are continuing to be important. It’s a particularly shall we say – it’s a particular situation here in Malaysia because we have some very close friends. The Prime Minister is a personal friend before he was prime minister. The present King and the Royal families here are also friends of the Philippines on a purely personal level.

But that gives us already a leg up as we say on these kinds of discussions, these kinds of talks where we want to increase trade, we want to increase exchanges.

And we for our part in the Philippines want that our one million or so Filipinos who are living and working here in Malaysia are in a good place or in a comfortable situation where they are rewarded for their hard work and are kept safe and accepted in the communities where they live.

So, that’s more or less what we came here for. And I am happy to be able to say that we have actually done more than we expected we would in a very short time that we are here. But that’s why we undertake these trips, we will try and foster those new expanding relationships around the world.

So, shall I open the floor?

Q: Sir, good afternoon po. Sir, to clarify po ‘yung investment pledges po na nakuha niyo from your meetings earlier 235 million or 285 million po?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: It’s not a definite – but it’s not  a – up to 285 million. And so we are – because we are still seeing kung ano ba talaga ‘yung pupuwede.

But let me add to that another large contract of US$3 billion in terms of a new agreement that has been made by the MVP Group. [inaudible] The Speaker is more…

HOUSE SPEAKER MARTIN ROMUALDEZ: Yes, Mr. President. We were informed at a private dinner that the MPIC Group of Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan ‘no, they entered into a memorandum of agreement where initially the MPIC will invest into the railway company [unclear]. And that they [unclear] plan on investing into the Philippines into the railway system, plus in Malaysia, they have an excessive use of the cable cars as a transport system.

And also to explore opening up the airports along the missionary routes. They have a very, very ano a long string of success stories here in Malaysia. And they like to replicate it in the Philippines. I will actually give you a copy of the MOA immediately so you’ll have all the pertinent details. So it was actually signed.

Literally, because of the visit, the President’s presence in KL hasten the ano the progress of this ano – of this agreement and they are very proud to – they are about to [unclear] 3 billion will be pledged for investments into the Philippines.

PRESIDENT MARCOS: As you can see, it’s a rail project again and the reason really is the ASEAN and more specifically the BIMP-EAGA group have really decided that the way forward for us all is for us to continue improving the connectivity [garbled], physical connectivity: roads, rail, and all other forms of transportation. So, this is another part of that effort.

Q: Sir, as a follow-up lang po, with these new investments coming in, how many possible employment opportunities will this generate for Filipinos, kung may ballpark figure po tayo?

PRESIDENT MARCOS:  We don’t have a number as yet because we – kakapirma lang. So, we will have to make the assessments. But I’m talking at the very least tens of thousands if not over more than 100,000 jobs here.

Even especially during the construction phase but then hopefully even during the operational phase, the downstream, upstream and downstream jobs will also increase and will maintain that job employment rate.

So, when we start talking – when we start getting down to the details of the project, we can give you a better number in terms of jobs created.

Q: Thank you, sir.

Q: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Sir, based on data from the Department of Foreign Affairs, there are 56 Filipinos on death row here in Malaysia. I was gonna ask if you had the opportunity to take this up with the King or the Prime Minister?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Yes, with both of them. We — well, one of the important things, the items that we talked about was the convening in October of the JCM, which is the Joint Commission Mechanism that we have between Malaysia and the Philippines. [inaudible] I’m sorry?

OFFICIAL: Ministry level.

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Yes, at the ministry level. And this is something that we are going to convene after a long— it has been a while. But the issues of, for example, the transfer of the Filipinos back to the Philippines is now being attended to by our KL Embassy, and I think that we have a good working relationship when it comes to that.

So, the — I wasn’t able to bring up but the Joint Commission Mechanism is something that we use to raise any issues that will come up between the Philippines and Malaysia, and this is one of them.

So, it was my suggestion to Prime Minister Anwar upon the briefing of the DFA, that we can take up the repatriation of Filipinos in the next convening of the Joint Commission.

Q: Ibig sabihin po ire-repatriate sila para sa Pilipinas na nila i-serve ‘yung kanilang mga sentences [inaudible]?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Iba-iba. But yes, that’s essentially it because they have been — they are being repatriated because of… I guess although they consider themselves Filipinos, they consider also [unclear] they are part of their ancestral land.

So that’s where the differences lie. But when they apply Malaysian law, they are illegals. So yes, that is essentially what it boils down to.

Q: Hi, President, good afternoon po. Na-discuss po ba ninyo ‘yung issue with Sabah na [inaudible]?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Hindi. Well, hindi nababanggit, lagi namang nababanggit ‘yun. Hindi mo maiwasan mayroon naman talaga tayong outstanding claim na hindi natin binabawi.

So but the… I mean, it’s clear to all the parties involved na hindi naman maide-decide ‘yan ngayon kung mag-uusap. We will have to do something much, much larger and much more involved than just a quick discussion na 5, 10, 15-minute discussion with the leaders.

So, the consensus is that we just talk about everything else. We talked about trade, we talked about the health that Malaysia has been providing, the development of the BARMM, we talked about again the people-to-people side of our relationship.

But always— I mean, it is something that neither the Philippines nor the Malaysia is withdrawing, but we still find the modus vivendi so that we can work with each other without coming into conflict over just one single issue.

It is as usual when it comes to these diplomatic issues, it is up to us to define what our relationship is. And I think we have agreed that there is a tacit agreement at the very least that we do not – that we talk about all of the things that are solvable, all the issues that we can actually do. So when the time comes, perhaps we will come back to the issue. I’m sure it will come up again.

Q: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Sir, we would like to know lang po, how did you promote the Maharlika Investment Fund to Malaysian business leaders given sir ‘yung scandal na hinarap ng Malaysia due to the 1MDB, sir?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Their experience here is not going to be a detriment. In fact, it is a way for them to — they are the most careful of all.

Hindi mag-i-invest ‘yan kung nakita nila, “Naku! Pareho ito doon sa naging problema dito”.

So, as long as you can assure them that what their poor experience was here, the terrible things that happened here, hindi mangyayari sa fund natin and that…

Again, if you remember, I am consistently saying it is going to be run professionally and without undue political influence. And of course, the government has an interest in the fund so we have a representative on the board. But on the day-to-day decisions as to what investments are to be made, it is left to those financial managers that we will be putting into place.

So with that assurance, I feel that they do not… I think the assumption is that everyone has learned the lessons from that — from what happened with their own – well, one, one of their own – they have more than one – one of their own sovereign funds, and will do everything they can to avoid falling into the same situation.

Q: Sir, quick follow-up lang. So, clarify lang po namin, may mga nag-express po ng interest sa…?


Q: May mga nag-express po ng interest sa MIF natin?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Yes, lahat. Lahat naman nag-express ng interest because negosyo ‘yan eh. Now, there’s a new fund, now can we enter?

But when you talk to, especially to private entities, you have to be specific. Sasabihin, “O may pondo kami dito. Gusto namin ito, tulay. Gusto namin healthcare. Gusto namin digitalization. Gusto namin cybersecurity. Gusto namin agri, energy, ‘yun.”

“Oh, which one?”

“Gawa tayo ng gas – reclassification plant dito dahil kukuha sa ganyan.

“Oh, how much will it cost?”

You have to be specific. If it’s – once we get to that point, then we can talk about the amounts that are going to be invested both by the fund and, of course, by our private sector partners.

Q: Thank you, sir.


Q: Hi. Good afternoon, sir.

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Good afternoon.

Q: Sir, regarding po doon sa pag-uusap ninyo with the Malaysian government regarding sa tulong na ibibigay nila sa BARMM po kasi malaking – magandang balita po sa mga tao sa BARMM po na may mga Malaysian experts na tutulong po sa kanila para doon sa Islamic banking and halal industry po. Kailan po target natin na masimulan po ito?


Q: Masimulan po.


Q: Kailan po magsisimula iyong training po ng Malaysian experts para doon sa BARMM people po?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: That has been going on for years. They have been part of this process since before the Autonomous Region, well, now the BARMM or the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region was formed.

It was still ARMM na na-i-involve na sila. So, yes it has been going on and that’s why I was always saying – explaining to our Malaysian friends of the leadership, and the King, the Prime Minister and the people in the government about how important their contribution has been, which is the truth.

They have been of great help, both to the Republic, and also to the new autonomous regional government of BARMM. So, yes, ongoing na ‘yan matagal na.

Q: Hi, sir, good afternoon. Sir, there’s a resolution being debated sa Senate ngayon, si Senator Risa Hontiveros wants the DFA to file a resolution urging the United Nations General Assembly to call out China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea? Do you think that this is the proper course of action or do you believe that the UNGA is even the proper forum to discuss the issue?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Generally speaking, foreign policy is not set by the legislature. Generally speaking, foreign policy is left up to the Executive.

So, I mean – of course, the senator is free to file whatever resolution she wants. But I do not know how that will translate to any action that will reach the United Nations General Assembly.

The United Nations entertains governments, not parts of government, not the judiciary of one government or the Executive of one government. They deal with governments.

Q: Sir, sorry. I need to ruin the atmosphere. Pero ‘yung mga kababayan natin sa Pilipinas ngayon ay binabagyo, ano po ang inyong direktiba sa mga opisyal ng gobyerno and will you visit itong mga lugar na sinalanta ng bagyo? May mga na-i-report na pong may mga namatay na po.

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, if you will notice, none of the agency heads on these disaster responses are here. I am getting twice daily reports from Secretary Gatchalian and from PAGASA and from the Coast Guard, Admiral Abu.

So, I’m in constant touch. We were hit harder really up north. Talagang kami ang tinamaan. Cagayan across hanggang Isabela, Ilocos Sur, Abra, ang laki ng flooding at saka high winds. Maraming bumagsak na puno.

So, well, we did what we always do when we are anticipating a storm. Sinabi ko magpadala na kayo ng gamit and mga relief goods lagay na ninyo sa isang lugar na ligtas para hindi naman masayang.

But we have to wait until the storm passes. But I think na palabas na. So, palabas na. Sabi ko in the moment that the roads are passable, the moment that we are able to provide relief… Well, right now, it’s rescue kasi may mga na-stranded pa, mayroon nabaha. So, rescue and then eventually relief. We will do it immediately.

I know that most of the respondents, first respondents are already up north. Nag-landing na yata ‘yung iba sa Tuguegarao and the others landed to Laoag to go down to also to Ilocos Sur and then up to Abra.

So, that’s been our… Tinitingnan namin sa mapa, umaasa kami, sabi ko baka hindi masyadong malakas pero malakas talaga both, malakas ang hangin, malakas ang tubig kaya’t may flooding. But more or less, ‘yung kuryente nakabalik na karamihan.

In the north, I’m familiar with the situation in Ilocos Norte, for example, nagka problema lang sa equipment pero nakabalik na. Most of them were also shut down on purpose as we do pagka may bagyo. So, pinabalik na pagka – iinspeksyunin lang ‘yung mga linya na walang naputol.

So, as soon as that’s safe, then they will switch it back on. And most, I think, 80 percent already have already come back.

So, yes nakabantay kami diyan. I guess at this point, marami talagang… May nasirang mga bahay at saka ‘yung maraming natangay na gamit na kung ano-ano. So, we’ll have to…

And some areas kakatanim lang. So, we’ll have to go back and find out what are the areas na nasira ang bagong tanim para makapagbigay tayo ng seedlings para makabawi naman sila baka maihahabol pa nila ‘yung season na ito.

So, that’s generally the response that we have for Egay.

All right? Sige, maraming salamat. Thank you. Safe trip home.


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