Q: Sir, kahapon Sir may book launch si President Aquino and may hearsay iyung mukhang kayo daw iyung pinapatamaan when he said na... when you cannot admit a mistake... Your reaction po sir?
SBBM: I do not know. I do not feel alluded to. I do not know what the President might be referring to but now that you’ve read me that quotation, he did not say my name. So, I don’t think he’s specifically referring to me. It sounds like a general statement of theory on policy. Maybe he was commenting on the problems that we have been seeing recently. I don’t know. I just cannot react because simply I do not know what he is referring to.
Q: May sinabi siya Sir na mayroon daw candidate sa 2016 pero no name was mentioned sir.
SBBM: There are thousands of candidates in 2016.
Q: Sir, iyung timing po ng appraisal noong mga jewelry kasi sinabi ni BOC Commissioner no politics daw dito Sir. You think it’s suspicious Sir iyung timing po ng...
SBBM: I wouldn’t know. Again, we are men. We really don’t preoccupy ourselves with issues about jewelry. Hindi ko masyadong sinusundan at hindi ko masyadong inaalala kung ano iyung mga ginagawa ng gobyerno regarding that. So, I suppose it’s just the ongoing process that they are doing. I don’t know very much about it. I have not really been following it to tell you the truth. The timing, yes. Some people consider it suspicious but, that’s politics in the Philippines. We all have to learn from the root.
Q: Sir, when you said you’re having discussions with Mayor Duterte asking of tandem po. Some got confused. Ano ba talaga Sir? Dalawa ba ang magiging presidential candidate mo?
SBBM: No. When I was saying that he wasn’t running. So, I was seeking his support. But, he decided to run. So, again. That’s the process of elections here. The people eventually. It’s not 1 person, it’s not 1 individual, not 1 party, but the people who will decide who is going to sit on the high offices of government. It’s just part of the process. The whole thing is part of the process. Mayor Duterte always surprises not only me, but all of us. Again, he managed to keep us interested on what his plans are.
Q: Sir, give me 5 reasons bakit ka iboboto ng mga tao?
SBBM: 5 reasons? Well, my experience. For example, one of the functions of vice-president is to take over should the president become incapacitated. I have been in every, except the judiciary, I have been in local government, I have been in national government, I have been a vice-governor, a governor, a congressman, and now a senator. I think I have a fair understanding, a very good understanding of how government works and how things get done in government. Secondly, I think the problems, iyung mga hinaharap na problema ng ating mga kababayan ay dikit sa bituka, dikit sa tiyan. The economy is the problem and that is something that I have trained in. Diyan ako nag-aral. So, marami naman tayo sigurong ma-ooffer para pagandahin ang ekonomiya. Pangatlo, mayroon akong programa. Mayroon akong mga sagot. Pagka sinasabi na ito iyung problema sa pamahalaan, problema sa bansa, mayroon naman akong maibibigay na sagot. Pag pinag-usapan ang presyo, mataas na presyo, mayroon akong sinasabi na dapat natin gawin. Pagka sinasabing naghihingalo ang agrikultura sa Pilipinas, mayroon din tayong puedeng gawin. Alam ko rin, sa palagay ko, kung ano iyung kailangan gawin. Pagka sinasabi walang trabaho, masyadong maraming OFW, may laglag bala, lahat itong mga bagay na ito, sa palagay ko mabibigyan naman natin ng solusyon. I think that is the best reason. Alam mo naman sa atin, pinaka-importante hindi iyung pangangampanya kung hindi iyung record ng isang tao at ang isa pang bagay na dahil lang sa kampanya ko, pinag-uusapan ko iyung pagkakaisa ng Pilipinas. Sa palagay ko sa dahilan palang noon, sapat na dahil sa aking pananaw iyung ang pinaka-importanteng kailangan natin gawin ay ipagsama-sama ulit ang mga Pilipino dahil ang ating mga nakaraan na ilang administrasyon, ang kanilang ginagawa ay ipinagwatak-watak ang Pilipinas. Kaya tayo nagkakaganito. Siguro kailangan ibalik na natin sa pag-iisip natin na tayo’y Pilipino at kailangan natin magtulungan. So, I think that is a sufficient reason by itself. I think if we are to go into the details of it, we would run to more than 5 reasons. Those are the general aspects that I think we should be focusing on.
Q: Sir, tell me about your visit here in Sarangani.
SBBM: The Governor invited me and asked me to come and join him in their festival today. So, that’s why I’m here.
Q: Mayor Duterte will be arriving in the next minutes. Ano iyung pag-uusapan niyo?
SBBM: Wala. We were together all of yesterday. So hindi ko na alam kung ano iyung idadagdag pa namin sa usapan namin. We are not here to meet with each other. We are here upon the invitation of the Governor.
Q: May I know your reaction on the finding that vice-president Binay is also here at the same time Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was also in Sarangani?
SBBM: We are all candidates. Pagka kandidato ka, kapag inimbitga ka ng isang local chief executive, it is an opportunity to meet, to go, to visit, to say your piece. That’s why I don’t think we should read too much into it that there is somehow a secret reason. There’s none. We were invited by the Governor. Ganoon lang naman kasimple iyun.
Q: Since the good Mayor of Davao has only announced that he is finally running in 2016 elections, how would you equate this Sir with your “loose alliance” with Senator Miriam?
SBBM: It has no real effect. Our loose coalition continues. Our partnership is slowly becoming to form. Now, admittedly, the re-entry of Mayor Duterte is a game changer but that is something that we will see or feel the effects of as the campaign goes on. Sa ngayon, wala. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang aming ginagawa. Hindi naman nagbabago ang mga planning namin. Ganoon pa rin.
Q: Sir, if I may read your body language, I noticed that you were here in Sarangani in Gen San about 2 weeks ago, if I’m not mistaken. If my memory serves me right. So bakit pinaka malapit sa iyong puso ang Sarangani Gen Santos?
SBBM: Dahil nga the Governor is here. Syempre basta’t busy na busy kang pinuntahan ni Gov na dadating, we are their friends and they have been kind enough to be very hospitable to me. So, that’s why. Lagi naman, bilang pagikot-ikot ko, I think the same could be said not only of Sarangani, of Gen San, but it could be said of many other places that I have been to repeatedly. Kasi iyan ang trabaho ng Chairman ng Committee on Local Government. Pinupuntahan mo ang mga local government. So kung titignan ninyo, lahat naman ng mga ibang probinsiya, pinuntahan ko rin. Hindi lang in the last few months, kung hindi sa last few years. Para sa akin it is part of my job to continue to go around. Kahit na palapit na tayo sa kampanya, I still have to continue to perform my duties as Senator. That’s why.
Q: Follow-up question to that Sir. Ngayong sinabi po ninyo iyan, how will you place them if and when you will be the next vice-president of this country? Sarangani province in particular.
SBBM: Well I think the problems that Sarangani province faces are similar to what the problems are all around the country. I have put forward and will continue to put forward, not a program of government, but at least the suggestions of what it is that we can do when the time comes. I think that these are things that will apply not only to Sarangani but to all parts of the country. I hope that I will be given the opportunity to serve in that position and I feel that there is much to offer in that regard. So, Sarangani of course is an important part and of course there is also special context here. But again, we govern the Philippines as a whole. That is why we look at the problems as they are aggregated around the country. So, we continue to look for solutions not only for Sarangani, but for all of the country.
Q: I think this question goes to the Governor. Sir just a reaction. Tatlong mga very influential persons ang bisita ng...
Governor: Happy na happy talaga kami. Alam niyo iyung Sarangani gusto nating ilevel-up ang probinsiya natin. Itong ginagawa nating programa today called the “Platform” or “Sarangani Talks”, we had a long list of people to choose from, authorities on certain topics, to speak to our barangay kapitan, to barangay kagawads, to the populous of Sarangani Province. The point really here is that instead of getting peachy-peachy speakers, we want to get top caliber speakers. At least maangat din iyung kahibalo sa mga katauhan sa Sarangani Province. We are planning to do this 3 months from now, we are trying to get Ms. Gina Lopez of ABS-CBN to speak on environment. Mr. Raffy Alunan to speak on security issues between Philippines and China. Something that may laman at makakatake-home ang mga tao or mga listeners natin. So, we’re very happy Senator Bongbong came over before during our... during the... he participated and gave a speech also here. He’s always welcome to come back to Sarangani province.
Q: Balik kay Senator Sir. What’s your reaction again with especially on regarding BBL po? Update po sa BBL.
SBBM: Kakatapos lang naming ng budget sa Senado. So babalikan nanaman namin iyung deliberasyon sa Lunes. Paliwanag ko sa lahat, hindi na namin napapag-usapan ang BBL because the BBL or The Bangsamoro Basic Law is dead. It’s finished. It will not pass the House. It will not pass the Senate. The substitute bills that have been filed in both Houses is now called The Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region- BL BAR for short. So, iyun. Pag pinapagpatuloy namin iyung aming deliberasyon sa Senado, wala ng tigil. Basta’t ako may kumpiyansa ako kung matapos namin ang interpellation by next week, pag natapos iyung pagbigay ng mga amendment, kaya pa namin tapusin, maipasa iyan sa Senado before the end of this term. Ngayon, ang House iba ang usapan. Dahil hindi na nila dinedeliberate na sa House. So hindi ko alam kung ano iyung mangyayari. Ang mapapag-usapan ko lang ay tungkol sa aming ginagawa sa Senado.
Q: Kung sakali po papalarin po kayo this coming 2016 election, sa dami-dami pong problema na na-eencounter ng Pilipinas, ano po iyung unang-una po ninyong tututukan po para maresolba ito?
SBBM: Lahat high priority. Hindi mo masasabi lahat. Alam mo lalo na ang ekonomiya, maraming iba-ibang parte iyan. Hindi mo naman puedeng sabihin aayusin mo lang ang isa tapos pababayaan moa ng iba. You have to fix everything. It is a system that needs to be fixed. There are many things that need to be done. Again, the burning issues these days are ang paglaganap ng iligal na droga, ang mataas na presyo ng bilihin, ang walang trabaho, ang pagdagdag ng mahirap. Ito iyung mga simpleng mga problema na hinaharap ng ating mga mamamayan araw-araw. Iyun ang dapat natin unahin. Sa palagay ko bilang bise-presidente, marami tayong magagawa. Hindi naman kailangan palitan ang polisiya ng gobyerno. Pagandahin lang natin ang patakbo ng gobyerno. Before we try to change the world, we have to change ourselves. Let us start with the government itself. Ayusin natin ang patakbo ng gobyerno- more efficient, more responsive, more sensitive to the the people. I think in that regard matutugunan na ang mga iba’t-ibang problema ng ating bansa.
Q: My question is how comprehensive is the consent for the Indigenous People?
SBBM: I think that has been demonstrated in a work that we did for the IPs in writing a substitute bill for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. Pinaglaban namin ng mabuti kasi iyung original version na binigay sa amin ay walang masyadong nabanggit tungkol sa IPs. Tiniyak namin doon sa aming substitute version, tiniyak namin na ang IPRA Law ay maging maliwanag na maliwanag na ang lahat ng mga karapatan at pribelihiyo na ibinibigay sa mga IP ng IPRA Law ay kikilalanin ng pamahalaan ng Bangsamoro. I think the upshot of it ang aming prinsipyo diyan ay ang aking sinasabi, puede natin dagdagan ang ating ibibigay sa IP pero huwag natin babawasan iyung sa IPRA. Iyun ang basis. Iyun ang ibig sabihin, iyun ang minimum. Kung ano man ang aking gagawin when it comes to the IPs, their ancestral lands, their cultures and their traditions.
Q: Exactly Mister Senator because that was one of our concerns when we had our conventions in Davao City. Among the IP (?) said, that’s constitute 1 of our that the IPRA is being considered as the framework for development of the Indigenous People and if this in the end will push through then can you give the or scheme...
SBBM: The IPRA is a national law. No sanggunian, no local government can amend or can repeal or can violate that law. It can only be done by an act of Congress. That’s something we can guarantee. If you read the substitute bill, you will see clearly that there’s not only one, but several mentions of the rights of Indigenous Peoples within the Bangsamoro Region. That is something that we have made sure is very clearly understood and is very clearly stated, expressed, stated in the Basic Law.
Q: Mukhang tuloy-tuloy talaga ang laban ni Mayor Duterte. Kanina lang pinirmahan na niya ang kanyang COC for President. Nagwithdraw na rin siya ng kanyang COC as Mayor. So, ano iyung napag-usapan niyo dito...
SBBM: Alam niyo everytime I’m in Davao, pinupuntahan ko naman lagi si Mayor Duterte. Kahit na wala kaming specific na pag-uusapan, pinupuntahan ko siya. Matagal ko ng kaibigan iyan. We get along very well so pinupuntahan ko siya. Basically, syempre napapag-usapan namin ang pulitika. Tinutukso ko nga siya. Ginugulat mo naman kami na bigla kang tatakbo ulit, ganoon, ganoon. That’s okay. That’s part of politics. Syempre tinatanong ko siya, paano ka nagdecide? I’m sure he’s coming along soon and I’ll let him explain that to you. Of course, ako naman ang tingin ko, maganda ang sitwasyon ko dahil tignan ninyo.iyung lahat ng presidential candidates, si Vice-President may lahing tiga Norte, si Mar Roxas pinsan ng aking asawa, si Mayor Duterte ay matalik kong kaibigan, si Miriam idol ko. Lahat in tayo. So ako, kampante ako dito. Hindi niyo naisip iyun noh? Kailangan ng planning.
Q: Sir ano po sa tingin niyo iyung epekto pagkatapos ng eleksyon...
SBBM: Iyun ang aking inaantay. Alam ninyo, unang-una, kailangan talaga, syempre maraming nalalakihan, 10 billion. Ito’y ating komperensiya na ito, talagang kailangan natin tiyakin na walang masamang nagyari at sa awa ng Diyos wala naman talagang masamang nangyari. Ngayon, kahit malaking-malaking pera ang 10 billion pesos, kung talaga ang ating gobyerno at ang ating mga economic managers ay nakakuha ng magagandang trade agreement na iiral for the next many years, palagay ko kayang-kaya natin bawiin iyung 10 billion na iyun. Pero titignan natin. Hindi pa natin nakikita ang mga report kung ano ang nangyari sa Pilipinas, kung anong nakuha ng Pilipinas, ano iyung mga madadalang kabutihan sa ating mga mamamayan. So, first I’m happy that the APEC went through na walang problema. I’m very proud mayroon pa tayong ipinagmamalaki na mga PICC kung saan kinonduct iyung mga conference. Mayroon tayong mga lugar na kahit papaano hindi tayo mapapahiya. Walang nangyari na hindi kanais-nais. So, great. I always said, pagka ganyan na may international conference, it’s our time to shine. Instead na binabatikos natin kung ano, we should encourage them and be supportive. It’s not for us, this is not for 1 person or 1 party, this is for the Philippines. Pagka for the Philippines, everybody should be together. Pero syempre, kailangan our government and our department secretaries, especially our trade and financial managers, should take advantage of any such opportunity. I hope they have. We will see when we learn more about what the conclusions were. Kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari. Maraming mga naging diskusyon, maraming naging private meeting, maraming naging bilateral meetings. Kailangan pa nating malaman. I hope na mayroon silang maibabalita sa atin na magiging barya iyung 10 billion na ginastos natin doon sa makukuha natin sa konperensiyang ito.