Pandesal Forum at Kamuning Café Bakery
WLF: Good Morning to everyone. Good morning to Senator Bongbong Marcos. This is another breakfast natin. Good morning. The reason ‘ho Senator, we call it a “Pandesal Forum” because Kamuning Bakery Café is 76 years old na, is well known for its pugon style bread, pandesal and other. Our forum ‘ho Senator, focuses mostly on social economic issues. Gap issues. Parang pandesal issues. We’re very fortunate to have the Senator here. I think he is the most popular and the most interesting and the most experienced of all the Vice-Presidential candidates. I’ll shortly introduce lang si Senator then he will say a few words, after he says a few words, our panel is here. I will introduce the panelists. They will ask questions and then the media, will be free to ask questions. I will introduce first the panelists here, we have… Very distinguished panelists Senator. Si Ms. Tina Arceo-Dumlao, is a business teacher’s editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Suki namin dito. A very good editor, a very good person. And then we have two very respected educators Senator, from two of the largest schools, in Quezon City. Si Doctor Cynthia Vidad. Si Docotor Vidad Senator, is the Principal of the oldest public school in Quezon City- Quezon City High School where Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is a graduate. She used to walk here to buy bread as a kid. And then, a former educator of the same school, was recently promoted As the Principal of Flora Ylagan High School in Quezon City, Ms. Gina Rosena. They will ask some questions about the public school welfare, teachers, education, sila naman socio-economic issues. And then the media, would be free to ask questions. You can ask all kinds of questions, but we prefer socio-economic and other questions Senator. We don’t need to really introduce the Senator, since he is not only the most famous Vice-Presidential candidate I personally believe, I researched also all the other Vice-Presidential candidates, si Senator Bongbong Marcos has the most experience among all. Twenty-fiive years in public service, in government. Former three-term outstanding Governor of Ilocos Norte. Former Vice-Governor, former Congressman and many others. Welcome ho, Senator.
BBM: Thank you very much Wilson at magandang umaga sa inyong lahat. Thank you for all being able to come and join us in this, well I guess, “Pandesalan”. Medyo-medyo bago ‘ho ito para sa akin.
WLF: Do you like pandesal for breakfast?
BBM: Iyong original lang. Basta original.
WLF: Ilocano longganisa?
BBM: No. umiiwas na tayo diyan. Thank you Wilson for that introduction and good morning to our different panelists who have come to join us here. As I’m sure, I have made known my intention for the upcoming 2016 election, and I’m sure that there are many questions that you have been wanting to ask me and finally I am able to answer. So I think its better that we leave it up to the panel and to the media practitioners here to ask the questions. I have no significant announcements to make except for that I have scheduled my official, I suppose announcement, for Saturday. Saturday the 10th in the afternoon. We are looking in Intramuros. A place in Intramuros. Anyway I will be making, we are giving a media advisory to everybody for when we have finalized all the times and the venue, etcetera. At which time I will talk about I suppose all of the issues that I feel need to be addressed in the coming elections. So with that thank you very much Wilson.
WLF: Thank you very much Senator. Sino mauuna sa mga panelists to ask questions? The teacher. For a start. The Principal of the famous school, Dr. Cynthia Vidad. In behalf of the public school teachers, and students.
Dr. Cynthia Vidad: I think you know very well that we are into the K to 12, and soon in 2016 we are having elections. If elected, how would you address the problems in K to 12, especially in the public sector?
BBM: Education I think is one of the, what we have fallen behind. We have not been, of course the obvious areas that we need to be addressing are not only the quality of the teaching, of course the number of school buildings, the quality of the supplies that we are providing, our students but also what seems to be lacking is a support system, that we need to have in place for our teachers. At the heart of it, the educational system depends upon our teachers. The quality of our teachers is the quality of our students which I will take another step further. And we always say, ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bansa. Sinasabi natin ay kung hindi maganda ang pagkaturo sa ating mga kabataan, ay hindi magiging maganda ang ating kinabukasan. So for me it’s that simple. For me it is I think the most important in my view, education is the most important and the most valuable service that government should provide to our young people especially to the country. So in that specific area of the K to 12, sa palagay ko ay marami pa tayong kailangang pag-isipan ng mabuti kung paano ang pag-implementa ng K to 12. Although K to 12 seems to be a good idea, because kung minsan nangyayari ay ang ating mga nagtatrabaho lalo na sa abroad pagka dumating sila sinasabi kulang ang training ninyo ng dalawang taon, so that is something that will help our people get jobs and to compete in the global labor market which is of course very important. However, the implementation has become a little bit of a problem, not a little bit, but a big problem. Because sa ngayon, although we hear from the DepEd, that we no longer have any, we have completed all of the necessary classrooms, we have built all the necessary classrooms, and wala na tayong pagkukulang. Ang katotohanan diyan is that we do not have any, as of 2010, that is true. But from 2010 to 2015, bigla lumaki ang ating student population at wala na tayong, malaking pagkukulang natin pati sa classroom. Marami tayong naririnig na mga issue tungkol nga sa mga school supplies, sa mga libro na the quality of the material is not what it should be. All of those things still need to be attended to. In terms of K to 12 again, not one classroom for K to 12 has yet been built. Not one. I cannot see how we are going to do full implementation. So the K to 12 perhaps is a good idea but unfortunately we have come across with, we ran into the same problem, that we have ran to, not only in education, but in other aspects of this government in that implementation falls way behind the promises and the statements and the pronouncements that have been made. Unfortunately this has been the same situation with the K to 12 implementation.
WLF: Ms. Tina Arceo-Dumlao, from Inquirer.
Tina Arceo-Dumalao: Sir, I have 3 questions. First is why VP, why not President? Second, what was the deal breaker with VP Binay? And third, how sure are you that, what’s the assurance of Duterte supporting you because you said they promised they will support but in the news, well at least the speculation that they would also support Senator Cayetano? So those three. Why VP, why not President. Second what’s the deal breaker then what’s the assurance of support?
BBM: Well as we all know, this administration has not exactly been supportive of any of the Marcoses. And anything that we will do is going to be opposed by as policy by this administration. And again the time was just not right to run for President this time. As we always say, the Presidency even the Vice-Presidency for that matter, is a question of destiny. We do all that we can, to hopefully gain some kind of an advantage when it comes to the elections. But destiny will tell you what it is to do and I believe that it is that, that is being, that is the voice of wisdom that I hear when I speak up. When I think to myself and I look around and I try to examine the political reign. It would seem that, I would like to continue to be in public service and I think I can do a great deal as a Vice-President.
Tina Arceo-Dumlao: Second, the deal breaker.
BBM: As I said in my statement, it’s really very simple. The political divide between Vice-President Binay, and myself, you know when you come to this kind of, when you talk about this kind of arrangement, you’re not talking about yourself as an individual, you’re talking about your camp, your group, your supporters. However you want to describe it, and again, simple lang, the political divide was a little too wide, for us to be able to breach in every level. Hindi naman kaming dalawa lang ni Vice-President, kung hindi kung sino pa ang mga kasama namin. So that is the situation right now. As to the situation with Mayor Duterte, he has said that he’s not running. So I take it at that when I speak to him. When I speak to him personally, you know it would be unwise for us. Mayor Duterte and I have been friends for a long time and I talk to him very regularly, and of course of late, much more frequently, and pag-naguusap kami tinatanong ko siya, ano ba talaga ang gusto mong gawin. Sinasabi niya, “Ay hindi ako tatakbo!” Ano pang iisipin ko kung hindi iyon ang kanyang gagawin. Lahat tayo siguro naririnig natin, ay hindi sinasabi niya lang iyan, tatakbo talaga iyan. All of that but I suppose when we talk about getting it from the horse’s mouth, ito na iyon dahil siya na mismo nagsasabi. So kailangan kong paniwalaan iyong kanyang sinasabi. So I’m proceeding on that basis. What Mayor Duterte has told me personally, what the people close to him have told me, is that he will not run. He may change his mind of course that’s a distinct possibility. We keep hearing all of these speculations na tatakbo iyan. Si ganito ang kukunin, si ganiyan ang kukunin. Maghahati pa iyong support, whatever. But you know, we are in the heat of before filling, I guess there’s that very heated period, everybody’s speculating what everybody else is doing. So I try to take all of these news, lahat itong mga bali-balita, lahat itong mga haka-haka, I always try to take it with a grain of salt and just have a plan of my own and proceed on that basis. If something else happens, we will adjust. We will be able to take it into account. But until it happens, we have to assume that the Mayor is telling me sincerely what his plans are. We have to take it on that basis.
Tina Arceo-Dumlao: Sir, phone in question from Phil Daily Inquirer pa rin, sorry ako lang ang nandito. If you’re going to run for VP– well you are going to run for VP, what is your platform? What is your priority list? And I guess are you really sincere about helping the country? Although, the sins, so-called, that the father cannot bequeath upon the son, is it a burden or a help to be a Marcos?
BBM: One at a time. On the detailed, rather the more detailed reasoning behind my campaign and my candidacy, iyon na nga. Siguro pagka dating ng Sabado, maipapaliwanag ko ng mabuti iyan. That will formulate it in a way that I can easily explain and is easily understandable. And will give light to the reasons why I have embarked upon this campaign. Am I sincere in helping the country? If I am not sincere in helping the country, I would not have gone into politics at all. My history is well known to everyone, and when I was a younger, umiiwas ako sa pulitika. Lahat ng puwede kong gawin para umiwas sa pulitika, ginawa ko. Pero ang bagsak ng, ganiyan ang buhay. Hindi mo masasabi kung saan ka dadalhin, and life brought me back to the life of politics. That’s why here I am. But again, at any point, in that time,kapag sinasabi ko, hindi naman ako handang tumulong, bakit ko pa gagawin ito. E di ang gagawin ko nalang mag-negosyo ako, mag-private life ako, intindihin ko lang ang sarili ko, intindihin ko lang iyong pamilya ko, intindihin ko lang iyong mga malalapit sa akin, bakit ko pa iisipin iyong ganito. At hindi naman siguro, kahit naman sino masasabi ay hindi naman madali ang buhay na pulitiko at bakit pa titiisin iyon ay dahil ang turo sa amin, ang aming pagkakaalam, kami ay nandito upang magsilbi. That has always been the culture in my family, that has always been our understanding, that we are here to serve and that is the continuing motivation that I have and I continue to think that way. I might be naïve, but maybe it is time to turn to that kind of very fundamental understanding of why we are in politics. Why we run for political office. And that is not because we want to do better for ourselves. Madaling magkaroon ng maginhawa na buhay, wala ng gulo. No more uncertainty. But why do we continue to do this? Because in my heart of hearts, I truly believe, that I was put on this earth to serve. To be a public servant. That’s what I will continue to do until the day that I die. That is the reason for my existence in my belief and that is why I am doing all of this.
Tina Arceo-Dumlao: Sir the other question. Burden or blessing?
BBM: Which one?
Tina Arceo-Dumlao: Being a Marcos. Burden or blessing?
BBM: Oh my God! The greatest blessing. You think somebody who knows. For me I still consider myself luckiest person. I am the luckiest person that I know and being a Marcos is part of that. I am very happy that I was born into the Marcos family and I congratulate myself for picking my parents very well. But no, I have never felt it to be a burden. I have only felt it to be an advantage, a blessing, and I am very thankful that I am a Marcos.
WLF: The other Principal Ms. Gina, has a question.
Gina Lucena: Ako po ay isang produkto noong study plan ni former President Marcos. Ang tanong ko po , dahil ma e-elect kayo na Vice President, paano po natin maiipagpapatuloy ito upang mas marami po ang makikinabang na kagaya ko noon na walang kakayahan makapag-aral sa kung hindi dahil doon?
BBM: Ang problema kasi, nawala na iyong polisiya ng pamahalaan na magkaroon ng malawak na scholarship plan kagaya ng nabanggit ninyo. Hanggang ngayon marami tayong nakikita, marami tayong na kilala na tinatawag na “Marcos Scholarship”, “Marcos Scholar”. Iyon ay dahil kailangan na magbago ang polisiya at saka pagka-prayoridad ng ating pamahalaan sa tungkol sa edukasyon. We must do much, much, better. I remember in the past, we talked about a 98% literacy rate in the Philippines. We talked about the highest literacy rate in the Philippines. All of the beginnings of the OFW was because our people, our workers were very well-trained. We do not have that kind of policy right now. We do not have and over a national policy where we are going to focus on education. And we are going to focus on certain types of education that are going to be most useful for our countrymen. I think that is something that we have to return to. We do not have an educational policy per se for that matter, we only have these, mapapasulpot-sulpot na mga sasabihin, mag-tatayo tayo ng classroom, magkakaroon tayo ng K to 12, pero after the announcement, wala ng nangyari. Kaya’t kailangan nating talagang gawing totoo ang ating polisiya para sa edukasyon para maibalik natin. Lalo na ngayon, globalization na ang labanan, ang competition is in the global market. We have to bring our people to that same level. Never mind the, not only the OFW’s, but even the locals because the product of their work must be of equal quality or better than that of our foreign competition. And that is something that we are not addressing properly. I think a wide spread scholarship program that rewards those under-privileged but deserving students and gives them an opportunity to actually study what they want and to take their scholastic career as far as possible. That is something that we do not have now and that is something that we have to reinstitute. The only way to do that is for the government to take on that, to adopt the policy of wide-spread education at all levels. Pati yung both diploma and non-diploma courses, both specific to our workers who are abroad and those who are staying here and as a general policy that our young people, their good quality of education cannot be, hindi lang natin iniiwan sa tertiary at hindi natin iniiwan lang sa mga non-diploma kung hindi mula sa umpisa, ay kailangan ay talagang iyan ang ating ginagawa na so that is something that we have not seen in our country for a long time. That’s something that we need if we are going to continue to progress, if we are going to be able to compete, and that is the key word that we have to be able to compete in the foreign labor market and in other markets abroad.
WLF: Thank you maam. Miss Tina Dumlao of Inquirer has a question.
Tina Arceo-Dumlao: Sorry Sir.
BBM: Why sorry? I thought that’s what we’re here for.
Tina Arceo-Dumalao: Sir dalawa ulit. What makes you, what do you think makes you singularly qualified to be Vice-President and second what do you think about your opponents so far? Baka madagdagan pa. Pero iyong nadiyan na ngayon. Anim kayo and which are the best?
BBM: I think that I have sufficient experience. I always say that I have been in politics all my life. Starting from the time na may malay na ako dahil talagang ang pamilya ko ay nasa pulitika. But more than that, more than just having been born into a political family, I have been part of the government in every, I suppose in every department except the judiciary. I have served in the executive, I have served in the legislature, I have seen many things in my time in government and I have learned much and believe that that experience will hold me in good stead in whatever position I take on in government. So I feel that when confronted by certain issues, and challenges, that I have the capability and I know how to work out those problems, how to address those problems out, how to bring it to a solution. As to the other Vice-Presidential candidates, I do not want to make comments about them or what I feel about them. Kasi hindi ko naman masyadong iniisip iyon. Ang iniisip ko kung anong gagawin ko. Ang aking prinsipyo, hindi mo naman makokontrol iyong ginagawa ng ibang tao, ang makokontrol mo lang iyong ginagawa ng sarili mo. So, gagawa ako ng plano, susundan ko, kung may mangyari we will adjust, pero it is not very useful to be sitting and trying to think of what your opposition will do next or what is going to happen. Basta’t gawin mo lang iyong sa palagay mong tama and I think that will bring.
Tina Arceo-Dumalao: Paano kayo sa Senate Poll?
BBM: I’m sorry?
Tina Arceo-Dumalao: How are you in the Senate Poll? Nagtatanguan ba kayo?
BBM: Of course. The Senate is a very collegial body. Lahat kami doon.
Tina Arceo-Dumalao: Baka nag-iirapan kayo sir.
BBM: Hindi, walang ganoon. Siguro lahat naman ng Senador, siguro naman matagal ng nasa pulitika. Alam naman naming lahat na wala namang silbi iyong mga ganoong klaseng personalan. We are striving for different positions, we are striving for our own advocacies and we just work within that basis so para sa akin it’s not really useful trying to anticipate anong gagawin nito, anong gagwin niyan. Wala na, mauubos na oras mo noon. Kailangan mong isipin iyong gagawin mo and that’s what I’m doing.
WLF: Senator, a lot of people are asking kasi you have a lot of admirers Senator Bongbong Marcos. They say a lot of Ilocano votes and you have a lot of Waray votes, who naman would you endorse as President? I am very curious. Because I’m sure your support would be crucial on some voters.
BBM: Well, I’m happy to be able to say na maraming lumalapit at maraming nag-ooffer. As we all know, Vice-President Binay also offered me but did not push through. But I am happy to be able to say that, as I said people are who are planning to run for different positions have offered their support, and that is something that is very important. But as of now, dahil hindi pa buo ang lahat ng, like Mayor Duterte has not, we’re still speculating if he’s really going to run or not, but I operate on the basis that he is not going to run because that’s what he told me. So the time will come soon enough especially after filling when all of these questions, what their actual alignments will be, will be answered. Sa ngayon let me defer that question.
WLF: You will announce your Presidentiable eventually?
BBM: I think. We’ll see. When time will bring. This is the strangest and the most complicated election that I have ever come across in my long, long time in politics. Never mind as an actual candidate or actual official. But as a child, watching politics as they go on has always been, it has never been simple but it has never been this complicated and with much variable. In this case, yes.
WLF: Too many candidates?
BBM: Hindi, marami naman. Lagi namang ganyan. Marami, tapos may mag wi-withdraw. May papasok, may a-atras. But to be happening so late in the day, dati itong prosesong ito, ang nag-uusap sino magiging Vice, sinong tatakbo na ano, dapat usually mga 1 year before the election medyo alam na natin. Ito hanggang ngayon, magfifilling na next week, wala pa tayong nakikita na maliwanag. That is why I say that it is unique in my experience anyway. So, again, since essentially the schedule for all candidates has been pushed back. Which you have to push back even of all those kinds of alliances, those kinds of announcements.
WLF: Senator you said that you talked to Duterte and you talked to Binay, I heard you’re also close to Senator Grace in the Senate? Have you talked to her?
BBM: I talk to her everyday.
WLF: Did she ask your support?
BBM: You know, no. We have been friendly especially after.
WLF: What do you think about her?
BBM: Especially after everyone has presumed that she is my sister.
WLF: What is your reaction to that? They say there’s a DNA test and all. Is it about you?
BBM: No, no it has nothing to do. Mga tsismis lang iyan na nangyayari kaya ginagawa nalang naming biro. Yes, and we spoke to her but we don’t talk about politics.
WLF: Sir someone texted ‘ho. Kasi Vice-President Binay and Senator Chiz Escudero came here last time, they said they were for lower taxes. Are you for or against lower taxes for income tax earners and the business people because the President seems to be against it very much and Mar Roxas is against it also.
BBM: Well yes in my view we have gone too far in terms of taxation. The government has become overly aggressive in its taxation policy. And I think that if the government does not change its policy na magbabago, na hindi masyado. Kasi ang problema na nakikita ko pati iyong mga sektor, na nasa batas, the formation of their sectors, nasa batas na nakalagay na sila ay tax exempt, tinatax pa rin. At iyan ang hindi ko maintindihan. Dahil maliwanag na maliwanag sa mga batas na itong mga sektor na ito halimbawa Cooperative, halimbawa low-cost housing, lahat iyang mga area na iyan, tax exempt iyan. And because we are trying to encourage the cooperative movement, we are trying to encourage the developers to build low cost and socialized housing, ngunit ay itong BIR natin. Kahit na ganoon, imbes na sabihin, tax exempt kayo, sinasabi patunayan ninyo na tax exempt kayo. Sa ngayon, hangga’t napatunayan niyo, magbayad kayo ng tax which is completely the wrong thing. In fact, it has gotten in the way of our investment policy already and businesses do not know what they can expect when in terms of tax policy. Kasama doon ang balita na sinasabi sa appropriated funds ng gobyerno, may 800 billion na hindi nagamit. So bakit tayo pataas ng pataas ang tax tapos hindi naman gagamitin ng gobyerno? So kung ganoon lang ang gagawin bakit pa natin pipilitin na itaas ang tax? So in my view, first of all, we must convince the government to change its policy and to have a more cohesive, a more rational tax policy. Ang tax policy ngayon basta kolekta ng kolekta, kolekta ng kolekta kahit saan ka makakuha, kolekta ng kolekta. Hindi, dapat isipin natin ano bang investment policy ang gusto natin? Ano ba iyong gusto natin itulak? Ano ba ang gusto natin i-encourage? Ano ba ang gusto nating palakihin, pagandahin na mga sektor. Well, that’s how tax policy should be written. So that’s why I believe the tax policy as we have now, has no central concept, principle, has no rationale behind it except to collect, to collect, to collect, to collect. Iyon lang ang kanilang iniisip. Hindi ibinabagay, hindi isinasama. Ibinibahagi nga, do we want to attract foreign investment? Do we want to build up IT? Do we want to help the TELCOS? Do we want to encourage power generation? And that, your fiscal policy will be part of that. Sa ngayon, iyon na nga. Kolekta ng kolekta ng kolekta. Now, the absence of a change in government policy and taxation, then the only, kaya tayo napunta rito because government refuses to change this. Parang naka blinders iyong, collect, collect, collect, collect. Hindi iniisip what will be the effect on the economy, what will be the effect in the future, what will be the effect in different sectors. Basta collect, collect, collect. Now if they don’t change that policy, all we are left with is to push for a lowering of the tax rate, of the income tax rate. That is the only recourse we have left if government refuses to change its policy so yes, I am in favor of that. I hope that government still comes around and comes to its senses and comes around and puts together a fiscal policy that will actually be shown in an advantageous, to the sectors that we are trying to encourage, that we are trying to grow, that we are trying to become competitive again in the market today. Since they do not want to do that, and every proposal that has been made that the tax policy, the fiscal policy of the country be made more rational. Kung ayaw talaga, walang matitira sa atin. Kung hindi, sabihin na lang natin , babaan na natin iyong income tax rate, dahil napakalaki na ang load sa ating mga tao na lahat ng maaring i-tax, tinatax. Lahat ng buwis, lahat ng kahit na, kahit na anong bagay na Makita na puwedeng lagyan ng buwis, ay lalagyan ng buwis. Pero ito ba ay nakakatulong talaga sa ating ekonomiya? Ito ba ay talagang nakakatulong sa pag baba ng presyo? Ito ba ay talagang makakatulong para dumami ang trabaho. Ito ba ay makakatulong para iyong poverty rate natin ay mababawasan. Sa palagay ko wala tayong nakikitang ganoong rational. Wala tayong nakikitang dahilan na para mangyari lahat iyon. So yes we have to take the only course left to for the people and that is to lower the tax rate.
Q: Sir if you are elected VP, and it is in the system of our government, hiwalay talaga iyong President sa Vice-President , how much do you think will you have to implement your programs if in case you have serious political differences with the President?
BBM: Well mula noong hiniwalay iyong pag boto sa Pangulo atsaka sa Pangalawang Pangulo, mula noong nangyari iyon, every Vice-President will have to find a modus vivendi with their President. And they will have to find a way to work together because marami talagang maitutulong ang isang Vice-President at kung talagang nagkakaunawaan, now if there is serious political difference and you come from different parties, then I believe that that is something that you have to work out between you and your President. But, of course there is much more that you can do even as Vice-President, if you are already a member of the Cabinet, you are the member of the executive, at sa palagay ko marami paring magagawa kahit ano man ang maging usapan sa gitna ng isang Pangulo at iyong kanyang Bise.
Q: And second are you still open to any partnership at this point?
BBM: In what sense?
Q: I mean let’s say if Mayor Duterte does decide to run, I mean are you still open to still discussing, iyong solo bid ba talaga kayo?
BBM: Well, no. Well siyempre. Siyempre mag-aadjust tayo. Yes, I’m flexible as to what are the opportunites. What are the alliances that will become available. To use your example kung si Mayor Duterte decides to run then that will change the political scene. So of course you take that all into account and you must be able to adjust to any new development. I suppose the simple answer would be yes. I’m not closed, except perhaps my declining the Vice-President’s offer to run with him as Vice-President, except for that, maybe. But you know matagal pa e. when after filling October we still have November, December, January, February, March, April, May, that’s 6 months. And siguro alam naman natin na dito sa Pilipinas lalo, 6 months that is like a lifetime in politics. Especially pag nandito na tayo sa campaign period at saka sa election period.
Q: Sir, speaking of the campaign period, how will you finance your campaign on your own? Where is the money going to come from?
BBM: Well we have many friends who have offered their support, both financially and in other forms. We of course look into them to continue that support, so sa palagay ko, kung nag- aagree naman sila sa ating adbokasiya, sa ating paniniwala, at kakayahan, magiging tuloy-tuloy naman ang kanilang magiging tulong sa amin. That is something of course, it is always an issue because elections have become more and more expensive as time has gone on, so we will continue to depend on our friends and supporters, for the financial support that we will need in this national election.
WLF: Thank you very much. One more question sa panelists then we will open up to the media. Dr. Vidan?
Dr Vidan: You had programs in Ilocos Norte and you brought it into national level, by putting cultural divisions, then we have your wind technology, the establishment of Philippine Youth Commission. What program in Ilocos Norte would you bring to the national level if and when you win as Vice-President?
BBM: All of them. They are all necessary. We know that the agricultural sector in the Philippines basta we have not seen an agricultural policy in the Philippines in the last few years. Walang naitutulong sa ating mga magsasaka, wala tayong nakikitang pagbabago at pagpaganda ng sektor ng agrikultura, at ito ang pinagbabasehan ng ating ekonomiya. Sa aking pananaw, kung hindi matibay ang sektor ng agrikultura hindi maaari maging matibay ang ekonomiya. It will always be imbalanced. Unless the foundation of the agricultural sector is something that we attend to. I always quote this very simple statistic that- the irrigable areas in the Philippines today in 2015, is smaller than the irrigable area of the Philippines in 1986. In other words, since 1986. Walang nadagdagan na bagong irrigasyon sa sistema, walang nadagdagan na areas that are irrigated. Alam naman natin pagdating sa agrikultura, ang unang-una na dapat natin tignan ay ang patubig. Ngayon hindi lamang sa walang pagbabago, walang bagong itinayo, walang bagong inilagay na irrigation systems, iyong pa ngang mga nasisira ay hindi nila inaayos. Kaya naman hindi natin maabot-abot iyong tinatawag na self-sufficiency. That is a problem that we see because agai, we do not have an agricultural policy. There’s no plan. On how to make our farmers and agricultural sector competitive, especially with the upcoming ASEAN Integration. We always hear, every year, sasabihin, this year we are going to achieve self-sufficiency. Less than a month later, they will say, we are going to import rice more than the last year. So walang nangyayari. That is why agriculture is still for me very, very important and the unfortunate thing is, 60 to 70 percent of the people who are living in poverty, are in the agricultural sector. Which is a very clear indication of why or that the agricultural sector has been completely forgotten and we have not done anything for that. The other big program that we have is in tourism. That is something also that we have to look into because it is a simple, ang dali-dali ang ganda-ganda ng Pilipinas, ang bait-bait ng mga Pilipino. It is an industry that we can immediately do very well in. But again, the infrastructure that is going to help that has not been available. The aspiration is that tourism will reach 10 million a year. We are stuck at 4.3 million. Why? Because our airports cannot take more, our ports cannot take more, all the infrastructures simply cannot take more. And we have not actually done anything to encourage tourism. So those were the 2 main projects that I had in Ilocos Norte. The third one, you speak that has caughtpeople’s attention is the wind power. And that is also something that we can see that we have to be thinking about things like wind power because ang Mindanao may brown out na, ang Visayas ay brown out na, kahit na dito sa Luzon nagkakaroon na rin ng brown out. Nagkakaroon ng, nagkaka-problema sa kuryente. Sa foreign investment sinasabi ng mga foreign investors, papasok sana kami sa Pilipinas pero ang problema ang mahal mahal ng kuryente ninyo, nag ba-brown out pa. Doon na lang kami sa ibang lugar. So again there has been no policy. There has been no plan on how to upgrade our power generation, our power distribution. There are many, many problems kung bakit napaka-taas ng ating presyo and that has been evolving over so many years. The cooperatives, and then your relationship with the NAPOCOR, with the NEA has evolved not in the best possible way that’s what caused all of these problems. These are the areas that I think we have to look at. Balikan muna natin, these are specific areas that I focused on where I was in Ilocos Norte, but balikan natin iyong mga basics, mga utilities, our telecommunication. I think everybody here, mararamdaman ninyo ang bagal-bagal ng internet. Ang ating mga telepono, ang daming na do-drop call. Ang laki-laki ng charges, ang daming mga hidden charges, kung anu-ano. Hindi natin inaayos iyan pero kailangan na nating gawin iyan. The peace and order , we are constantly being told. I read the survey the other day ang number one issue ngayon sa tao, ay drugs. Simple lang iyan. that is the number one issue and why has this happened? Because the peace and order situation, yung ating kapulisan is not supported enough, is not monitored enough, dapat natin silang tulungan pa. at talagang bigyan ng gabay para kung papaano ang kanilang gagawin. These are the simple issues. Those of us here who are in Metro Manila, I will just say one word, traffic. Siguro hindi ko na kailangan ipaliwanag pa iyon. And yes, never mind the ranking that we are the worst in the world, but the estimate that we are losing 2.4 billion pesos every day because of the bad traffic. Not any country can afford to be throwing away that kind of money for no good reason and why? Wala na namang plano. Walang plano para sa ating Mass Transit System. Ang sagot lang naman diyan ay Mass Transit System. You know in other countries, makikita mo pagka pumunta ka, pag sumakay ka ng kanilang sa Hong Kong MTR ang tawag, sa London, Tube ang tawag, makikita mo ang mga nakasakay doon, ang mga nakasakay sa tren, iba-ibang klase. Kahit iyong mga mayayaman doon sila sumasakay sa tren dahil iyon ang pinaka mabilis. That’s the most convenient way to do it. That’s what we have to provide so that people will stop buying cars and bringing cars onto the street and making it more congested. So these are the problems that has started to arise because we have no policy. We have no plan to address those problems. So let us start with the simple problems. Ang taas ng presyo ng bilihin, the drugs, the peace and order situation, again corruption still rears its ugly head, kahit saan ka tumingin. Mayroon talaga tayong nababalitaan na kung anong hindi magandang nangyayari. All of these issues still have to be addressed. And in my view have not been properly addressed. We have not seen a policy, a program, in any of those sectors, from the government, that will seek to remedy the problems that. I think we have suffered from a lack of leadership. We have suffered from a lack of vision. Walang nagsasabi sa aking pananaw, sa limang taon, dapat aabutin natin itong ganitong klaseng sitwasyon. Sa sampung taon dapat naayos na natin itong sektor na ito. Dapat nauuna na tayo sa buong mundo, dapat sa sektor na ito ang mga plano na mga ganyan and to show leadership , ito ang ating plano tapos ihikayat lahat ng tao sumama kayo. And this has become the effect of, and it has already become government policy. It is not the policy of one person, it has already crept in to government policy where all we do is play politics, we are not thinking about the betterment of our people. We are not thinking about improving the country. We are not thinking about building the nation but all we do now, all we can see is play in politics. You cannot succeed if the merits of a program, of a proposed program, of a proposed project, of a proposed development, the merits do not count for anything. It is only, ito ba ay kapartido ko o hindi, ito ba ay kalaban ko o hindi, kung kapartido ko kahit pangit iyong sinasabi niya, okay, kukunin natin iyan. kung hindi ko ka-alyado ito, kahit maganda iyong kanyang sinasabi hindi puwede iyan, and that kind of governance has brought us to this place. And that is the fundamental change that we have to bring to the country. Politics has its place. Politics has its place but once the election is over it is the country that wants our service. It is not our party. It is our country that requires our services and our duty to serve the country is again, should put aside, should overshadow, any other concerns. The country first. The national interest first. All the time. That is something that we seem to have forgotten. That is something our leadership must now again remember.
WLF: Thank you very much Senator. Somebody at the back here from DZRH, is asking if you have talked to former President Joseph Estrada about the elections next year?
BBM: Well I just spoke to him. I had lunch with him last week. Of course. Yes the two of us, two politicians, of course pag-uusapan namin ang pulitika. He was very simple. Sabi niya, nag-proklama lang ako, I have declared already. I’m running as a reelectionist. Of course we were speculating kamusta kaya si ganito, anong kayang mangyayari sa gagawin nito. I was asking how he’s doing In Manila but again just a general, again, our President Mayor is somebody I have known for a very long time. A very, very long time. Bata palang ako, kilala ko na si Erap. And so parang, two friends who are in the political arena, trying to figure out what the situation is around the country.
WLF: Will you support each other next year?
BBM: Yes of course. I am a great supporter of Erap. Always been. He worked very closely with the government in the time of my father and my time in my mother’s governorship in Metro Manila he was the Mayor of San Juan then. So yes. I don’t see any reason why I should withdraw that support for him. He has always been a good and loyal friend to me and I opt to be a good and loyal friend to him as well.
WLF: Another question before opening to the floor, somebody said, you already talked to Duterte, he’s not running and then you talked to Vice-President Binay, you did not agree. How do you assess Senator Grace Poe as a potential leader and a potential candidate that you might support?
BBM: Ako I was quite impressed with her, pagpasok niya sa Senado. Dahil hindi namin alam what to expect from her dahil wala naman, we have not dealt with each other before she became Senator. We have not seen her in government work until she became Senator. I did not know what to expect. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that she is very well prepared. She’s quite intelligent and she has a good understanding on the issues. So despite the fact that she has only spent 3 years in government, I think that she has all the tools available to her. And we wish her the best of luck for her endeavors.
WLF: I would like to open the floor. Questions to the floor, anybody?
Q: Good morning Senator Marcos. Sir you mentioned that you consider the Marcos name as an asset. Sir why do you still consider it that way Sir despite of–?
BBM: Because that’s the way, that’s my experience. Being a Marcos has given me an advantage I would not have if I was not a Marcos. Ang bait-bait ng taong bayan sa akin. In terms of politics, it is very clear. Name recognition of course is very important, that helped. But I think overall, just as I grew up into a privileged childhood, because I’m a Marcos, I was able to go to the best schools because I’m a Marcos, and now that I have entered politics, I have been able to enjoy the support of many, many people because I’m a Marcos. So all of these, make it clear to me that it was a lucky thing to me to have been born a Marcos and it continues to be a lucky thing to me.
Q: Sir just one follow-up sir, how do you feel being constantly viewed under your father’s shadow and sir what makes you different from your father?
BBM: Well, it’s inevitable. He cast a very, very big shadow. So, it’s inevitable that you are going to fall under parts of that shadow. And again, he elicits responses from most people especially who were around at that time, so that’s something that I don’t really feel one way or the other about. It’s something that is expected, something that I know will happen, something that I know will continue to happen so it’s neither here nor there really. I’m sorry what was the second one?
Q: What makes you different?
BBM: What makes me different? I cannot say that. You’ll have to ask people who work with me or people who have dealt with me and my father and they can tell you. It’s very difficult for somebody to be able to say, I am like this, my father was like that. Maybe the biggest difference is he was a product of another time, a product of a different time and many generations later so that would immediately imply there would be differences. What they are? Again, it is not for me to judge. I don’t think so.
Q: Sir will you just continue the program of the present government of exporting human beings, how will you continue the one started by your father which was to industrialize the Philippines to provide jobs here and instead of exporting human beings, exporting finished products.
BBM: Well if you remember nagsimula iyong OFW boom in the mid-70’s. After the oil embargo in in 1973, the oil crisis in 1973, ang mga Middle Eastern lalung-lalo na ang Saudi Arabia nagkaroon ng malaking pondo, nagkaroon ng malaking pera. Inakyat nila iyong presyo ng langis. So bigla silang nagkaroon ng malaking pera. They went into a massive infrastructure development. Doon tayo pumasok. We saw it as an opportunity. But at that time, it was meant to be, just taking advantage of that opportunity. It was not meant to be the policy of government to continue to export our workers. There’s a social cost to doing that. And secondly, we should really be able to put up a framework in our economy wherein the hard work, the industry, the resourcefulness, the intelligence, the experience of our Filipino workers be expressed and be felt here in the Philippines. Ang daming magagaling na Pilipino na kailangan umalis dahil hindi makahanap ng trabaho. Sayang naman ang kanilang galing. Sayang, kung nandito sila sa Pilipinas, para ay tumutulong sila, sa pagpaganda ng ating bansa. But the only way to do that is to have an economy that is expanding, provides jobs. Mayroon akong nabasa na survey noon na sinasabi ang mga overseas workers handa silang mangalahati ang kanilang sweldo, basta’r makauwi sila, at sila’y kasama nila iyong pamilya, iyong kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. That is an opportunity that we are missing because simply the economy is not growing quickly enough. We hear all about the growth rate of the GDP but if you look at, paghati-hatian natin, if you look at the economy, all that growth is only at the very top level. It is not felt at the lower level. And one of the reasons for this, is that our infrastructure development has been close to non-existent. We have been spending two and a half percent of our GDP on infrastructure development. That is very, very low. If you look at it compared to the other countries. And it only through infrastructure development that economic activity will grow. It is again the structure that government provides so that dumami ang economic activity, dumami ang mga papasok sa negosyo. Lalaki ang mga trading. Just a perfect example is manufacturing. Wala na tayong manufacturing dito sa Pilipinas. We have completely given up on manufacturing and industrialization. How can you industrialize if you do not have sufficient power? How can you industrialize if your ports are congested? How can you industrialize if your airport is congested? How do you industrialize if you do not have sufficient training for your people? How do you industrialize if you cannot bring in a foreign investment. All of these aspects, have again been ignored. And have again been allowed to degenerate, to deteriorate, to the point now that one of the, madalas akong maging ninong sa kasal, and lagi kong sinasabi doon sa mga newlywed, alam niyo, seryoso ako maging ninong, what do you want me to do to help you? Almost 8 out of 10 ang sagot sa akin tulungan niyo kami makahanap ng lugar sa abroad. Mag trabaho sa abroad. Nakakalungkot iyon because ang nakikita niyong mga bata na bagong kasal ang nakikita na pag-asa nila para sa kanilang magandang buhay ay mag-abroad. Wala na tayong binibigay na pagkakataon na sila’y maiwan dito at sila’y magtrabaho dito, at gumanda ang kanilang buhay at dito nila gawin ang kanilang buhay sa Pilipinas, hindi sa ibang lugar. That is the many consequences to the government being delinquent in trying to develop a more balanced growth of our economy. A growth that distributes wealth properly. Iyan ang nagiging problema natin. The distribution of wealth in our economy is very, very poor. And the government has not done anything to improve it. Marami tayong nababalitaan na naririnig natin na iyong CCT, lahat iyan, ang laki-laki 85 billion ang ginagastos kada taon, hindi nag i-improve ang poverty level, hindi nag i-improve ang educational level. Hindi nag i-improve ang health. So, saan napunta iyong perang iyon? Bakit hindi nakikita iyong epekto? So we have to think of something else. We have to think of better ways to handle the problem.
Q: Follow-up question sir. How will you ensure that you will not be cheated?
BBM: You just have to do the hard grind and have a presence in as many places as possible. Hopefully even per precinct. That is something that we all aspire to and that is why it is important that the different elements of the election, of the counting are very, very transparent. Maraming nangangamba doon sa PCOS, marami raw nangyayari, marami raw hindi maintindihan, mayroong mga problema, so we are of course studying that because everyone is concerned that that is going to be used somehow. But if we are vigilant, kung talagang bantayan natin ng mabuti, tutukan talaga natin, at bawat lugar may tao tayo, siguro palagay ko naman mababawasan ng husto iyan. I think, in my view, that the question of cheating has been, has improved, dahil sa automatic counting, it has improved. But in that sense, pero nandiyan pa rin ang vote buying, nandiyan pa rin ang intimidation, nakita naman natin sa 2013 kung papaano ipintakbo ang halalan, those are the things that we have to worry about. But again we’re still continuing to study what might be the vulnerabilities of the PCOS machine. Sa ngayon, it’s not yet clear exactly what the PCOS machine is going to be, how it will be handled, what it will look like. There is no simple answer to that. Kailangang bantayan ninyo all the way from the entire electoral process that we have to be vigilant, we have to watch very carefully, and you have to field people, na alam ang gagawin pagka nagkaka problema, marunong tumingin na mikita agad kung hindi maganda ang patakbo, kung mayroon mga problema, nakikita na may sumusubok, all of these things, so. Again, there is no simple answer to this. What we have to do is to be vigilant and to try and have everyone to be very, very vigilant, have everyone, as many of your people as possible watching. But again, that’s why the survey also serves a purpose. Because pagka naman nagbago, malayong-malayo sa survey iyong naging resulta ay talagang makikita natin baka nagka problema na. But this is, of course it is something that we are watching very closely. Of course it is something that we are trying to remedy as much as possible. But I think we will be able to di it basta’t bantayan ng mabuti, hindi lamang noong mga grupo ko. Hindi lamang ng mga ibang partido, kung hindi pati na iyong mga NGO.
WLF: Thank you Senator. Somebody at the back asking when will you declare candidacy? Sabado daw? This Saturday. Miss Dana at the back, is asking what are your approaches to problems in foreign policy daw. What would be different?
BBM: Well, first, have a foreign policy. That’s the first thing you have to do. You should have a foreign policy. Have a foreign policy. Wala tayong plano. Basta’t iyong ginagawa natin, halimbawa, I’m sure in foreign policy the number one question is China. The number one concern is China. We have began to make our case in the adjudication in the UN, which is a good thing, para masabi naman natin kung ano sa palagay natin ang talagang katotohanan. But we have not done anything else besides that. So foreign policy, we have to decide ano ba talaga ang ating gustong gawin. Where are we? For example in the case of China, ang foreign policy medyo kumplikado because you’re talking about geo-politics, you’re talking about the forces, outside of the country for which we have absolutely no control. That is why,the Philippines we are in a very, very strategic place. Ang nagkataon, suwerte ba o hindi na andito tayo sa West Philippine Sea, napaka-importante ng West Philippine Sea, para sa mga malalaking bansa kagaya ng Tsina kagaya ng America, ngayon kagaya ng Japan, so lahat iyan ay kailangang pag-aralan ng mabuti, at kailangan lagi natin isipin ano iyong ikabubuti ng Pilipinas. Huwag natin sabihin na basta sinabi ng America, ay susunod tayo diyan, basta sinabi ng China susunod tayo diyan, kung hindi isipin lang natin kung ano ang ikabubuti ng Pilipinas. And in my view, what we need to do is to be more pro-active.
Wag nating antayin na yung ibang tao, ang UN ang mag-ayos ng problema natin, yung mga Amerikano ang mag-ayos ng problema natin, yung China ang mag-aayos ng problema natin. Ang kailangan natin unang-una isipin natin ano ba ang position ng Pilipinas when it comes to geopolitics. When we talk about strategic geopolitics, what role do we in the Philippines want to play? Now, that will dictate our policy and from there we move on and try to implement that policy.
Q: Sir follow up, what is your position on EDCA and what is your position on China’s claim? Do you favor a multi-lateral discussion with the claimants to the South China Sea or bilateral discussions with China?
BBM: I say, try everthing. Try everything. We have to solve this problem. The one thing that I noticed, pero hindi napuna ng ating DFA, parang hindi napuna ng ating gobyerno, for the first time sinabi ng Ambassador from China, we should have bilateral talks under the framework of international law–that is the first time they ever said that. And we have always claimed that we have the right claim under UNCLOS, under international law. Ang sinasabi ng China noon nine-dash line lang, wala na tayong pag-uusapan. Nine dash line. Ngayon may pagbabago. Parang hindi pa naunawaan ng ating gobyerno na may nagbago, and that is something that we have to take advantage of.
Q: Do you want to pursue that bilateral…?
BBM: I will pursue bilateral, pursue multilateral, pursue G to G, pursue private, pursue all. Unahin na natin, simple lang—you know diplomacy is not done in one meeting, in a one instantaneous moment. It is done in small steps, it is done slowly.
So let us first start with our fishermen. I’m sure we can sit down with the Chinese and say to them: ayusin natin itong problema natin sa mga mangingisda. Dahil noon naman wala naman tayong problema. Yung mga Filipino fishermen at saka yung mga Chinese fishermen e they fish together, magkasama sila. And pagka nagpapahinga sila they will eat together, they will drink together and pagkatapos na hihiwalay sila. Let us bring it back to that. That’s one good step. At kawawa naman yung ating mangingisda dahil kung hindi natin ayusin yan ano yung kanilang magiging hanap-buhay?
So in my view, try everything. Try everything, you don’t know what will work. Look, let’s say with China, paano sila nagsimulang nakipag-usap sa AmerikBBM: pingpong. Sino naman ang mag-aakala that these two great, huge countries, would come together over pingpong? Tayo papaano tayo nagsimula na lumapit sa ChinBBM: basketball. Di ba? Hindi mo malaman, you have to try everything. Because it is a problem that cannot stay as is; we have to find ways to fix it. Hindi naman basta’s bayaan na natin sa UN yan, bahala na sila. O basta kung anong sabihin ng Amerikano yun ang gawin natin. Hindi pwedeng ganun. Kailangan isipin natin ano ba ang talagang gagawin ng Pilipinas? Ano ang kailangang ikabubuti ng Pilipinas–what’s the best way we can navigate this rather tricky, difficult situation.
BBM: Abut EDCA? I believe it’s a treaty. And the recommendation of our committee–I’m also in foreign relations with Sen. Mirriam–has been that we recommend that it be ratified first by the Senate. The problem is members of the Senate–many members of the Senate—feel that it is in fact, in all but the words used, but if you look at EDCA it is actually basing, magbe-base na ang Amerikano ulit dito.
Q: Are you in support of it?
BBM: I am not in support of EDCA itself because I think luging-lugi tayo sa EDCA e, wala tayong nakukuha sa kanila, they are taking advantage. Lahat, silang gumagamit sa atin. And I believe it is not advantageous to the Philippines. I think we should continue to deal with the United States, they are our traditional allies, they have been for a hundred plus years now. And certainly they are an important ally and they are a friend to the Philippines and have been for many many years. But I do not think EDCA is the best way to do that.
Q: Anna Estanislao of CNN Philippines has a question: what were some of the issues that you and Vice President Jojo Binay and his group did not agree on regarding political divide. Number two question of Ms. Anna Estanislao, what portfolio in the Cabinet would you want to hold should you win as Vice President?
BBM: That’s all premature. First, the first question. These were the product of private discussions so let me leave it where it belongs within the discussion between our different camps. Nangyayari talaga yan but again it’s the political divide that I talked about. Very presumptuos naman yung sinasabi daw that I want this brief, that I want this sector, I want that Cabinet position–malayo pa tayo doon.
Q: Senator, you mentioned sir about feeling fortunate of being born into the Marcos family. What are your thoughts about the Martial Law human right victims who feel that the Marcos family be hailed to answer for the crimes and abuses of the dictatorship…?
BBM: We have. Many cases have been brought to court not only here but in the United States. But if you talk to people they are not concerned about that. Filipinos are concerned about their lives today. We want answers: why are there drugs in our streets. Why is the crime rate going up at an alarming rate? Why is our educational sector miserable? Why is the distribution of wealth not happening, why are our government not doing anything about it? Why is there no infrastructure development? Why is there no agricultural development? This is what people are worried about, and that’s what I will address.
Q: Miss Dumlao has a question? Sir sa campaign trail those were the two issues that will be thrown at you, you know that right?
BBM: What two issues?
Q: Martial Law and stolen wealth–that will be a constant when you go across the country. What’s your ano…?
BBM: What happened in 1986 happened already. These things have been decided. To analyze it belongs to those historical scholars, to analyze what happened and to make some judgements about what happened. But I am not an analyst, a historical analyst. I am a public servant and all I look at is what people want from their public servant, what people are asking from their leaders. Very simple: a vision, leadership, a plan, a program, policies to improve their lives, policies to show that we are in fact trying to put the elements of a nation together. Not politics, not partisian politics but actual solutions to the problems that ordinary Filipinos face everyday.
Q: There would be last two questions because of the schedule of the senator.
Q: Just two questions sir. What’s the reaction of your mother on your declaration. Was she disappointed because, of course she said she wanted you to go back to Malacanang? And the second question sir, since there is a possibility that you will not also win, are you willing to take a break from politics?
BBM: No, I’m not prepared to take a break from politics. That is certainly not my intention. If I thought that there was no chance of winning I would not even try, I would not even campaign. As to my mother, yes she’s disappointed. As I’ve said many times before, she has wanted me to be president since I was three years old. So you can just imagine how disappointed she is.
Q: There’s a question from Rappler.com, Ms. Ayee Macaraig there: How do you view the work of the Vice President. Vice President Binay said that the Vice President under the constitution does not exactly have a function. Sometimes it is considered a spare tire. How do you view the vice presidency?
BBM: I think because of the change in our electoral process na pinaghiwalay na nga ang President and Vice President, the Vice President is no longer what you would call a spare tire. And I think it really is up to the person in that position. Ang traditional is ibinibigay nga yung housing, then you become a Cabinet member.
Sa palagay ko kahit hindi kayo magkapartido ng Pangulo ay marami ka pa ring magagawa. And I think just speaking out on issues, just studying the issues, just talking to people, and having advocacies that makes sense to the people ay malaking bagay na yun. And again, you can effect change from within, you can effect change from within the Executive Department, and you can also take initatives.
I think yung sinasabi nga na spare tire, palagay ko noon totoo yun dahil ang Vice President ay nandun para kung sakaling may mangyari sa Pangulo they are there to take their place. But with the change in our rules right now I don’t think that that applies anymore. I belive that it has become a more important position than it used to be and sa palagay ko marami pa ring magagawa ang isang Bise para makatulong sa bansa.
Q: If the President asks you to choose a portfolio, would you want which one?
BBM: I’d wait until a President asks me to choose a portfolio before thinking about that. It’s again quite premature. Hindi pa tayo nagpa-file tinatanong na natin kung ano yung magiging trabaho mo. But of course I will seek to play as big a role as possible. Now, what exactly that role will be will come down to the discussions between the two personalities.