Press conference : Baguio City

20 November 2015

Facilitator: Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Sir. Kausapin natin. You formerly launched po the free Wi-Fi noh? Diyan po sa may Rose Garden, central parks of Burnham Park. You have the opening statements for the Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr. Sir, magandang umaga po sa inyo. Kasama rin ni Senator si Mrs. Marcos, si Araneta Marcos si Atty. Maam good morning rin po sa inyo. May we have your opening statements Mister Senator?

Senator Bongbong Marcos: Well, as you said, we have just cut the ribbon for the new service, that we provided a free Wi-Fi in Burnham Park. I think that is very significant development because as we know internet connectivity is no longer a luxury but, a need in the way that we do business today. It’s good to see Baguio in the forefront of this continuing trend that we see not only here in the Philippines but even around the world. It is the government who provides that free connectivity to people. I think it’s a good sign that remains progressive, remains technically innovative and in that way provides the best service that it can to its people. So I congratulate the Mayor and I congratulate the proponents of that.

F: Thank you. Maybe we can also have a few statements from Mayor Mauricio Domogan Sir?

Mayor Mauricio Domogan: Good morning mga kapatid sa media, most especially iyung itong ating special guest, anak ni na talagang makikita tayo. Let me take this opportunity in behalf of the people of Baguio and the city of government in expressing our gratitude to the proponents. The Araneta family, in the group, in bringing the free WiFi internet connection in Burnham Park. Including those of our visitors coming to our sityo of Baguio. Including our visitors. So, second. Let me take also this opportunity in behalf of the city and its people in expressing our gratitude to Senator Marcos is the Chairman of the Committee on Local Government in the Senate. nakatulong when he passed the amendment of the City Charter during the last Congress. Unfortunately, it was vetoed. Talagang conducting public hearings not only here in the City of Baguio but in the Senate. We hope that the amendment of the City Charter that we need so much will soon be realized. Good morning.

F: Good morning sir. Okay, before we open friends and media, a few words from former Congressman and former Mayor, Sir?

Mayor: Salamat. Tama iyung sinabi ni Mayor Domogan. We have here with us our beloved Senator. Ito’y bugtong na anak na ginawa ng the greatest President of the Philippines has ever had, Ferdinand Marcos. I have the opportunity to be with him in the Senate as said by our beloved Mayor when he was the... of the City. Siya ang halos araw-araw na kasama ko. Noong sa Senado. Kaya mabilis na naisagawa niya iyung City Charter na iyan but unfortunately, it was vetoed by the President. Hindi lang iyun po. Kilalang-kilala ko iyung mga Marcos family. Bata pa si Bongbong noon. Nandiyan na nga ako as General Manager of the Philippine Commission Authority. Ako ang nilagay na Ilocano the tourist destinations and beautiful spots in the Philippines. Kaya masaya ang turismo during his time. Kaya marami tayong utang sa Marcos family. Hindi lang si Ferdinand Marcos, kung hindi ang kanyang pamilya. Kaya magisip-isip tayo naman. Let us vote wisely this time. Vote for the Vice-President who is as bright as his late father, Macoy. Kaya wag tayo magkamali this time. Let’s welcome him with his beloved wife, Madame Araneta Marcos. Nandito ang ating tatay, si Mayor Mauricio Domogan saka ang members ng and the people of Baguio along with the personnel of City Hall you are very much welcome. Salamat po sa inyong lahat.

F: Thank You so much Senator Manuel Vergara. We would like to acknowledge of course the presence of Councilors, of course Councilor, former Chief of Police General, and of course our friend from telecommunications, Capitan. Sorry. Forgive my eyes, nasobrahan ako sa WiFi kanina. Okay, anyway. Let’s now go to our friends in media. Starting of with si Joseph of Radyo ng Bayan.

Joseph: Magandang umaga Senator. Sir, reaction lang doon sa latest na survey na lumabas about na po tayo.

SBBM: Dati pa we were already running close with Senator Chiz. Palagay ko that is parang snap shot iyun last month. At this point, of course it’s innovative. We look at the surveys. Pero hindi namin pinagbabasihan iyung aming ginagawa dahil doon sa survey. At this point, anim na buwan pa, malayo pa. It’s not as useful as surveys’ closer to the election and during the campaign period. I anticipate that like what we’ve had before na marami pang dadating na iba’t-ibang survey. Mayroong sinasabing private, sinasabi nila iyun, but whatever the surveys say, you can only control yourself. So you just continue with your own plan, with your own campaign. So, that’s what I’m doing.

Q: Sir, ang regional issue, the Cordillera Region, has become the autonomous region, and most of the political governments will there be a possibility for you to ask some of the questions could you please ask them, like in your part, will you be supporting Cordillera Region to become an autonomous region?

SBBM: Yes of course but it is not a question of support. It’s a question of law. The constitution mandates the two autonomous regions to be created. One in the Cordilleras, one in the Muslim Mindanao. Kaya naman naging napaka-importante iyung usapan tungkol sa BBL. Noong naibigay sa amin ang batas ng original draft ng BBL, lahat ng congressmen nag-file na na ituloy iyung autonomous region of the Cordilleras. But as you remember, after the first Congress, after the change of government in 1986, the first Congress was mandated to create two autonomous regions. That was subject to a plebiscite. Ang plebisito rito sa Cordilleras, did not prosper. Kaya’t hindi natuloy. The one in Muslim Mindanao that’s why natuloy. So, there is a question kung paano, how can we go back? Puede pa bang gawin ulit? Palagay ko puede naman. Bakit hindi? Kung kanyang naibibigay sa akin ang national government, puede na natin gawing autonomous region ang lahat. Gawin na natin ang buong Ilocandia, the Ilocano nation, the autonomous region. Gawin na natin iyun. So, yes, but why not? If it leads to better governance, if it leads better services to the people, bakit naman hindi?

Q: Good morning Sir. Ito po kasi iyung nagdraw ng reactions in the past. May lumabas na mga issue na dapat daw mag-apologize kayo sa taong bayan. Gusto po namin marinig sa mga oras na ito mula sa inyo, nararapat po ba na kayo po’y mag-apologize sa sambayanan?

SBBM: Kung mayroon akong kasalanan kahit na kanino, handa naman ako humingi ng tawad. The question is always, you will apologize for, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to apologize for. Hindi pa rin maliwanag. If I have caused any pain, if I have wronged anyone, if I have misjudged anyone in any way, I’ll be happy to apologize to them. I own up to my mistakes. I own up to my failures. That is not really an issue. It’s not clear exactly what it is. If you can present to me someone who suffered because of any action of mine, a decision of mine, I’m here to apologize.

Q: Sir, will the Solid North...

SBBM: So far. Tignan mo, nandito si iyung ating butihing... was there when we talked about the Solid North. He was already part of that. He was one of the leaders of my father. So you can see. I think I’m very happy to be able to say na so far sa lahat ng mga leadership, at least the leadership of the so called Solid North, it looks that Solid North remains solid. I think that the results of the next election will show. Nawala kasi ang Solid North because in 1986, the northern part of Luzon was not really attended to by the following administrations. I think that we have been quiet, but I think in the next election, the voice of the north will be heard once again.

Q: Sir, regarding po doon sa napakalaking ginastos sa APEC. I don’t think it was justified since we are still fighting poverty?

SBBM: Well ako I do not understand. Mayroong nagsasabi, security operations is overkill. How can you have overkill in the security arrangements for the twenty-one heads of states? The most powerful heads of states in the world. You must make sure that nothing will happen. Can you imagine? Isipin niyo kung may nangyari habang nandito sila, kung paano tayo mapapahiya? I think no amount of money can buy your reputation back kung may mangyari na ganoon. I think maybe of course we are interested to know kung saan napunta iyung ten billion pesos. Pero palagay ko kung maganda ang naging usapan nila, kung maganda ang naipakita natin, isipin natin we made trade arrangements, we made business deals, that amounted to one hundred billion, ano iyung ten billion? So, it depends. First of all, if you are going to host a very important international conference, like the APEC Conference that we just had, you have to make sure that you do it properly and security is a very, very large part of that equation. So, I’m glad that it has gone well and it has been well organized. If you want to play the big-time, huwag kayong small-time. If you want to play with the big guys, you play with the big guys, but you have to bring home the bacon. You spend ten billion pesos, I hope that they bring us great deals that are worth hundreds of billions over the next few years. Then we can say it’s worth it. We should not be taking potshots at efforts of our country. It’s our time to shine. Tayo mismong mga Pilipino sinisiraan natin iyung ginagawa nila. Pinagmamalaki natin ang Pilipinas, kapwa Pilipino sumisira sa atin. Paano maipagmamalaki at maipagmamayabang ang Pilipinas kung iyung kapit-bahay mo sinasabi, pangit dito, hindi tama iyung ginagawa ninyo, di’ba? That’s not the way to operate within the international community. So, let us recognize what it is about. Now of course ten billion pesos is a great deal of money and we will find out where it all went, but if our economic managers in their meetings with the other government leaders will have made some advantageous trade arrangements with all of these other countries, bawing-bawi iyan. Bawing-bawi iyan.

Q: Sir, your stand on federalism?

SBBM: That’s why when I talk about it. It is I think already with the recognition that federalism might be the way to go. Papunta na tayo roon. The trend with the autonomous regions is towards the federalized form. Now, kung puede iyun para sa buong bansa, well that’s another question. I think that as a principle, as a form of government, federalism might be applicable to the Philippines. There are many reasons for that, but I would like to still see kung ano ba talaga. Paano natin gagawin? Kung makapagdecide lang tayo na magfederalize, how do we change the local government units? How do we change the local government structures? So that we are sensitive to the political subdivisions that we have. I think we should talk about it. I think we should examine the possibility and I think we should try to come up with practical ways to actually implement such. Kung kaya ba natin gawin iyung what we have to do. We have to change the Constitution completely, yes we will have to. We will have to make people understand what federalism is. For any form of government to work, not only the leadership, but also the people have to understand how that form of government works. So, that’s a long road. If we should discuss it and if we choose to do it, those are the elements that we should be talking about.

Q: Thank you very much. Magandang umaga po sa ating lahat. Mister Senator, I saw you on the Facebook yesterday about your visit to Leyte. Tatanong ko lang po sa inyo, are you satisfied with the way they handled Leyte, Samar and the central Visayas provinces?

SBBM: Let me illustrate this whole situation one by one. Not one single government official came to the second commemoration. Not a single government official. Not the President. Only the Vice-President. But I guess he’s no longer part of the executive. No cabinet secretary, no official, kahit na lokal, nobody, regional, nobody came. That’s the way the government treats the victims of Yolanda. So, I leave you with that.

Q: Ano pong maisusuggest ninyo para mapaganda po iyung mga buhay ng mga aio don? Kasi hanggang ngayon hirap na hirap po sila.

SBBM: Simple lang. Gawin nila Iyung trabaho nila. Iyung trabaho ng DSWD, para tulungan iyung mga biktima. Wala silang ginagawa. Magtayo sila ng mga bahay. Iyung public works, maglagay sila ng water system. By the own admission of this government, ang kailangan na pabahay ay two hundred fifty thousand. Ang naitayo pa lang is seventeen thousand. Those are thefigures. Ngayon, sasabihin ko sainyo, iyung seventeen thousand na iyun, walang water supply iyun. Wala pang plumbing. Wala pang electricity. Papaano natin sasabihin doon sa mga tao na lumipat na kayo? Hindi naman mga tirahan iyung mga bahay na iyun. They want to live. They want to go to their new homes. How can you tell them to go to their new homes? Walang hanap-buhay. Walang eskwelahan. Walang simbahan. Walang palangke. Walang tubig. Walang kuryente. How can you ask people to go to those? That is the extent of the government’s support. Again, nakita naman natin pinulitika talaga nila. I don’t know why. What is hanging in the balance is not the political campaign or a political election, but what’s hanging in the balance are the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands of people.

Q: Milyon-milyon daw ang operations na...

SBBM: Mula noong nangyari, kung maaalala niyo, Yolanda hit us November 8, 2013. Kasi November, nagkataon nasa budget process kami. Papunta kami sa budget process. So, immediately nakapagdagdag kami sa budget, the amount of one hundred and eighty billion. One hundred and twenty billion in the calamity fund of the national government and then an additional sixty billion specific to Yolanda. Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa natin alam kung saan napunta iyun. Ngayon, isa pa iyun. Bukod pa diyan, alam naman natin, bilyon-bilyon ang donation hindi lamang galinga sa mga Pilipino na nasa abroad, kung hindi ang mga international agencies. Hanggang ngayon, hindi nila masabi sa atin kung saan napunta iyang perang iyan. Hanggang ngayon, hindi natin nakikita. Mayroon akong narinig na sinabi yata ng I think baka si DSWD Secretary, sabi niya nakapagdownload na kami ng seven billion sa Tacloban. Ang hamon ko nga sakanila, halika kayo, pumunta kayo rito, ipakita niyo sa amin kung saan napunta iyung seven billion na iyan. Kahit isang lugar doon sa Tacloban wala akong makita na nagastusan ng even one hundred million. Sila mismo nagsasabi, they always manage to spend. Where’s the money? Mayroon tayong mga report na nabubulok iyung mga relief goods. Mayroon mga report na nag-expire na iyung mga gamot. Bakit ganoon? Sa dami. Never mind politics. Can you tell us how much we have done? What we still need to do? What is the available fund? This government does not feel the need to explain themselves in any way. Never mind the tens of thousands that live in makeshift homes, never mind that people have no jobs, never mind that people have no lives, basta ayaw nilang sagutin. Ayaw kaming sagutin. I file resolutions. The congressmen tell me to file resolutions. Kung sino-sino, we ask. They give us that general information, up to know we haven’t gotten a detail of explanation as to why the rehabilitation plan has not been implemented. The housing has not been done. The national government has done very little to return the victims to their.

Q: Thank you very much Sir. Mabuhay po sa ating Senador. Just given the chance and you’re now the lucky vice-president sa ating bansa, malaman lang natin, what will be your, in the cabinet members, ano ‘ho ang magiging choice niyo sa mga cabinet members sa ating magiging president, sir?

SBBM: Well, yes I've been asked several times and I think, when I look at the problems that are faced, kung ano iyung mga talagang pinakamalaking problema, isa sa pinakamalaking problemang nakikita ko is trabaho. So, sinasabi ko siguro puede akong makatulong sa DOLE kung bigyan ako ng pagkakataon. Dahil marami akong naiisip na puede natin gawin. Hindi tayo kailangan magbago ng polisiya. Hindi tayo kailangan magpasa ng bagong batas pagandahin lang natin ang patakbo ng DOLE para tulungan iyung ating mga manggagawa. Hindi lang iyun, iyung OFW. Napakalaking bahagi iyan ng ating ekonomiya. I think ngayon, pagka tinanong ng taong bayan, sinasabi nila isa sa pinoproblema nila iyung hindi sila makahanap ng trabaho. So, that is something that I think by just making the government system more efficient and more sensitive and more responsive to the needs of our workers, I think we can help make a big change. For example, ang programa sa gobyerno, ninety percent ng empleyado ay nasa private sector. Ten percent lang ang nasa gobyerno. So, ang dapat gawin ng gobyerno ay maglagay ng mga training program para ipaghanda iyung ating mga labor, both skilled and non-skilled to enter into the labor market, here in the Philippines. They say that the economy is growing at five percent, six percent, seven percent, but somehow this growth in the economy does not bring new jobs. We have to grow the economy and one way that the government can do that is to take on a policy of business directed infrastructure. Maglagay tayo ng mga facilities halimbawa iyung barado na iyung airport, so papaano natin gagawin iyung tourism? Pagandahin natin iyun. Barado na ang ating mga puwerto, papaano iyung mga negosyante na nagpapasok ng raw material. We have to fix that. So, bakit ang taas ng presyo ng bilihin? Dahil ang hirap dalhin mula sa farm hanggang sa palengke. So, ayusin natin iyun. Gumawa tayo ng mas magandang farmer market, gagawin natin mas mura ang transport cost. So there are many things that will help. We do not need to institute any new programs or any new policies but, if we just make the function of the government more efficient, we can do that. I think DOLE will have the most immediate effect. Escape from APEC, APEC is only indicative of what Manila is and all of the problems that they face. I talked about the ports, I talked about the airports, hindi ko maintindihan bakit iyung DOTC hindi maayos-ayos iyan. So, maliban iyung DOLE, iyung DOTC ayusin ko lahat iyang mga problemang iyan. Hindi naman siguro ganoong kahirap iyun.

Q: As the Chair of the Local Government Senator Sir, sa Facebook, magkafacebook na po nakita ko po, nabasa ko po doon na farm to farm controls ang priority now. Ang nakikita ko ‘ho kasama ang Kalinga province. Do you have some other plans here in the Cordillera Sir?

SBBM: Well it has already become naging priority iyan ng Public Works. As Chairman of the Committee on Public Works sa Senado, that is something that we have endorsed, that is something that we have encouraged. I think that the system, the network of farmer market is going to increase. But I still think we need to do more. So of course magtanong tayo kung ano. Nandito si Mayor, nandito ang ating Congressman, magtanong tayo kung ano ba talaga ang kailangan and if we can provide it. Now, unfortunately I’m not the favorite of this administration. So, we will have to ask our friends who remain in the government by the time.

Q: Good morning Senator. Sir, may proposal po ang international. Grupo nila Sir kaugnay po sa cease fire and peace talk organization between the government and the. Ano po ang magiging statement niyo dito Sir? Kasi po hangga’t maaari until Christmas, until election period po ang...

SBBM: Kailangan ipagpatuloy talaga lahat ng mga effort na makamtan natin iyung kapayapaan with any of the armed groups that are still fighting the government. I think that we should never stop dahil hindi tayo puede pumayag at hindi natin puedeng sabihin na tatanggapin natin na mayroon pang labanan lalo na sa gitna ng magkapwang Pilipino na sila’y nagpapatayan. Hangga’t maaari, hangga’t kaya natin gawin, gawin natin lahat ng kaya natin gawin para matigil ang labanan na ganyan. So, any effort I think should be supported, should be encouraged, should be recognized as something that we need to do. We should never stop. When it comes to peace talks, until the shooting has stopped, we should never stop trying to come to a peaceful settlement.

Q: To your mind, what is the most important lesson that we have to learn with our experience in Yolanda? How should we improve on it to be very prepared next time?

SBBM: Marami. Marami tayong natutunan. One of the biggest lessons that we learned is iyung pre-calamity. Ibig sabihin paghandaan natin iyung alam na natin na dadating na bagyo. Paghandaan na natin. Halimbawa, in Leyte, marami sa mga namatay, namatay sa evacuation center. Dahil iyung evacuation center, sa lakas ng hangin, nasira. May mga naging casualties, sa simbahan, sa may evacuation center. Kaya alam na natin na magkakaroon ng ganoon kalakas, patibayin na natin iyung mga evacuation center. That’s one of the things that we should be prepared for. The other, iyung PAG-ASA, patibayin natin iyung kanilang kakayahan. So there are many lessons to learn from other countries when it comes to preparing and then for meeting to do things, na mayroon tayong maraming gagawin to mitigate the effects. And then of course, post-calamity. We have a lot to do in terms of being able to provide the relief goods. I think the single most important lesson that we have to continue to remind ourselves is, politics has no place in the calamity area. Buhay na ng tao ito. Ibang usapan ito. Hindi na ito eleksyon. Hindi ito kampanya. So if we understand that that is the situation, dapat kung saan tayo nahirapan sa Yolanda, tatlo lang ang C-130 natin sa buong Pilipinas. Dagdagan natin iyun. Pati iyung helicopter natin kulang. Iyung ating tinatawag na pag gamit ng militar. Ang nangyari dito sa Yolanda, lagi kong sinasabi, ang military. Bakit wala kayo dito? Dahil ang military, diyan tayo magaling. Diyan tayo magaling. The quick transport of many material. Iyan ang trabaho natin dati. So bakit hindi nagamit iyun? Bakit hindi sila naging bahagi noong sistema? So there are many, many lessons to be learned. We know what those lessons are. The challenge is how to implement them. Kasi ang problema kung minsan, hangga’t nandiyan na iyung bagyo, wala tayong gagawin. Di'ba? Dapat alam na natin. Typhoon season na. Magtayo na tayo, ayusin natin iyung mga evacuation centers. Maglagay na tayo ng relief goods. Pagmasdan natin ng mabuti iyung weather. All these things. We have to make a proactive approach. We are saying, ito na ngayon ang mangyayari, unahan na natin. Let’s prepare already. Prepare for making ourselves more ready for when the storm comes and prepare ourselves to make ourselves more ready to provide relief when the time comes. I think again, the very important lesson from Yolanda is that iyung rehabilitation at saka re-building. Hindi nagagawa iyun sa tatlong buwan, sa anim na buwan. Taon-taon iyan. Lalo na kung ganito. So we have to commit ourselves to a long term rehabilitation plan. Otherwise, hindi mababalik sa normal na buhay ang mga Pilipino.

F: Okay. I’m sorry because the question and answer portion are from our friends in media. Before we have our distinguished panelists give their closing statements, we would like to acknowledge the presence of Councilor..., I think we have right now with us the Barangay Captain..., Mayor Farinas, Kapitan... and Kapitan... We now go to the closing statements for our distinguished panelists. Starting of with the Congressman, of course, Sir.

Congressman: Salamat. Palakpakan niyo naman Senator Bongbong Marcos. 

F: Former Congressman, former Mayor, Bernardo Vergara, Sir?
Bernardo Vergara: Sabi ko na kanina, may peace of mind about the Marcos family. Lalong-lalo ang ating kapatid si Bongbong, running for vice-president. Natalakay kanina iyung regarding the survey. Sa survey na iyan, hindi pa naisali ang Solid North. Pag nasali ang Solid North, we are ahead, si bongbong Marcos. Kaya tulungan natin siya. Tulungan natin siya para makabawi tayo sa Ilocandia. Salamat po.

F: Thank you Sir. Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Sir?

MMD: Thank you very much for this opportunity for all of us people in Baguio to have a dialogue and press conference with our very good Senator Bongbong Marcos. God bless to each and every one. As we said, we will rally for his purpose and candidacy when the time will come which is next year. So, there we are. Good morning and God Bless each and every one.

F: Once again, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

SBBM: Maraming salamat. First of all, I’d like to thank our good friends for their expressions of support. The Congressman, former Mayor, for their very kind words. Kaya nga pumapasok tayo sa isang kandidatura dahil. So, I’m very happy to see the beginnings of once again the voice of Ilocandia being heard in the national sea is seem to be a prospect we can look forward to. That will only come from the support of all our friends and all our fellow Ilocanos whom I also thank for their support. Thank you very much for the kindness that you have given me and the political support that you have given not only me, but my entire family over two generations.

F: Once again, palakpakan po natin.