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    Q&A with OVP Spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez

    Quezon City Reception House

    ABS-CBN: Sir, ano iyong mga planong gawin ni VP ngayong tinanggap niya?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Obviously, she needs to get up to speed para she can hit the ground running, so in the next few days we will be dealing with iyong mga details of her new designation. So ang importante dito, makuha niya iyong tamang impormasyon para malinaw kung ano iyong problemang kaniyang hinaharap. Mahirap kasi iyong mangangako ka ng six months lang, eh iyon pala hindi mo alam kung gaano kalaki ang problema. So ayaw nating ganoon ang mangyari. So ang una niyang kailangang gawin, at iyon iyong priority siguro in the next few days, aalamin kung ano iyong extent, which probably means looking up and coordinating sa lahat ng mga agencies under that.

    ABS-CBN: Magpapatawag ba siya ng meeting sa lahat ng agencies, saka saan siya mag-o-opisina?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Ayaw kong pangunahan kasi wala pa iyong mga detalyeng iyan. Ang importante lang ngayon, tinanggap niya iyong hamon. All the details will be worked out in the next few days… Yes, Llanesca?

    GMA NEWS ONLINE: Good afternoon po. Sir, sabi ni Secretary Panelo yesterday, by accepting—in the event that the Vice President accepts this post, it’s a ladder to the Presidency. How do you respond to that?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Sila nagsabi noon, hindi kami. As far as VP Leni is concerned, the reason why she is accepting iyong designation ni Presidente is so she can act on iyong kaniyang mga binanggit regarding drug war. Binanggit niya kanina iyon at in-emphasize niya, gusto niyang matigil iyong pagpatay ng mga inosente, gusto niyang mabigyan ng hustisya iyong mga naging biktima na walang kasalanan, gusto niyang matigil iyong mga abusadong mga opisyal. So that’s what she will be focusing on, iyon ang kaniyang intensiyon dito. Kung mayroon mang any political intention iyong ibang tao, wala sa kaniya iyon. In fact, ako ang tingin ko, binitawan ni VP Leni ang politika dito. Isinantabi niya iyong mga agam-agam na lahat na ito ay politically motivated para mag-focus on what she thinks she can do bilang isang advocate, bilang isang tao na ang concern talaga ay ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan.

    GMA-7: Sir, itatanong ko lang iyong… sabi lang ni Secretary Panelo, she can attend na, like today, the Cabinet meeting.

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Una, wala pa kaming nakukuha na official invitation to the Cabinet meeting. Ayaw naman kasi naming pangunahan. Ang hirap kasi, from the start, ang sinasabi namin dito, hindi dapat dinadaan sa mga announcement sa presscon ang mga ganitong bagay. Sana man lang may dokumento. In fact, it was the reason kung bakit natagal din iyong announcement ni VP—sinigurado muna namin na natanggap officially ng Malacañang iyong kaniyang letter of acceptance bago siya mag-announce in public. May paggalang kami sa Pangulo at doon sa mga prosesong ito.

    But that said, the details of what meetings she should attend, who she should meet over the coming days, will be worked out ngayong tinanggap niya na iyong hamon na maging—i-take iyong lead dito sa anti-drug campaign.

    CNN PHILIPPINES: Sir, yesterday, when you held a presscon, the tone was, at least to me, towards declining, eh, kasi you were saying na parang hindi seryoso, ganoon. So what changed for the Vice President?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Sinabi ko naman sa inyo, at the end, it was not a definitive yes or no. It was an observation on how we viewed Malacañang treated this offer—feeling namin hindi seryoso. At actually hanggang ngayon tingin namin, there were certain aspects of iyong designation which seemed to need further action on their part. In-admit as much ni ES Medialdea kanina noong sinabi niya na, “Kapag tinanggap ni VP, sige, i-a-amend natin iyong EO.” So actually, iyong sinasabi ni Secretary Panelo mula kagabi na hindi na kailangan ng EO, hindi na ako ang kumo-correct sa kaniya, sariling Executive Secretary na niya ang nagsasabi. Pero sa dulo, ang pinakaimportante, iyong binanggit ni VP Leni kanina, which is “I’m willing to set aside lahat ng mga technicalities na iyan, I’m willing to set aside lahat ng sinasabi na political lang ito, I’m willing to set aside even iyong apparent insincerity of this offer, to take on itong challenge na ito, dahil tingin ko puwede akong makatulong sa mga tao. Tingin ko, kung puwede akong magligtas ng kahit isang buhay, gagawin ko.” So iyon ang kaniyang gagawin. What happens in the next few days, actually bahala na iyong administrasyon diyan. We will see kung talagang seryoso sila sa kanilang mga sinasabi.

    CNN PHILIPPINES: Actually, Sir, hindi pa sigurado as co-chair of ICAD kung if they will even acknowledge her authority? Parang hindi pa sigurado iyon, eh. Pero what you’re saying is she, at this point, isinasantabi niya na iyon. Basta ang kaniya, susubukan niya.

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Oo, at ang pinanghahawakan namin dito, iyong sinabi ng ating Pangulo. According to the President, he is giving the Vice President the lead in this. He is asking the agencies to fully support and cooperate with her. Kung hindi sila susunod, pananagutan nila iyon, ‘di ba? Basta kami, iyon ang aming pinanghahawakan. She will do what she can para maisulong iyong kaniyang gustong maisulong dito, which is to stop ang pagpatay ng mga inosente.

    REPORTER 5: Sir, good afternoon, Sir. Sir, iyong pagbibigay ng proposals or recommendations ni VP Leni kay President Duterte para ma-address iyong mga allegedly failures sa war on drugs, mayroon na ba, Sir, details noong proposal, kung mayroon na?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Katatanggap lang niya ten minutes ago. Medyo mahirap naman yatang hingan natin ng proposal. But definitely, in the next few days, iyan ang tututukan ni VP Leni.

    INQUIRER.NET: Sir, the primary criticism na binabato kay Vice President online is that parang ang dami pang sinasabi ng OVP, hindi na lang diretsuhin kung tanggapin. Ngayon na tinanggap niya, what can you say, what can you tell them, the people who are saying this to the Vice President? Ano ang pwede niyong sabihin?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, sana, in the same way na napakarami nilang sinasabi before, ngayong ginawa ni VP Leni ang kanilang hinahamon nang matagal sa kaniya, sana naman i-acknowledge nila iyong step na tinake ni VP Leni na ito.

    RAPPLER: Hi, Sir. Ano po iyong plano ni VP Leni to work with PDEA chief Aaron Aquino—the same person who will be her co-chair in ICAD and who already said that she will surely fail if she leads the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the President? And Sir, si PDEA chief, sabi niya rin, huwag na sa enforcement side si VP Leni, so kumbaga parang may utos na sa kaniya which aspect of the drug war she should be focusing on. So what’s the game plan para harmonious iyong working relationship nila?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Again, ako, I can’t really speak to that. These are details which should be threshed out in the coming days. I imagine, at some point, kailangan nilang i-resolve iyan within themselves. But definitely, ang hindi aatrasan ni VP Leni iyong kaniyang mandato dito, which is to be able to take action in order to fix what she perceives to be shortcomings in the drug war, specifically na nga iyong patuloy na pagpatay sa mga taong wala namang kasalanan, at iyong pananagot ng mga taong kailangang managot. All these details will be worked out, but what is clear from today’s statement is that she’s ready to take on the challenge, she is answering iyong challenge na binigay sa kaniya ng Palasyo, at iyan ang tututukan niya sa susunod na mga araw.

    DZBB: Sir, will we expect na ibang Leni Robredo iyong makikita natin? Kasi sinabihan siya one time ni DG Aquino rin na “soft.”

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Kayo ang makakapaghusga niyan. Nakita naman niyo kung ano iyong statement niya kanina. Ibang Leni Robredo na ba iyon o hindi? As far as I’m concerned, matagal ko nang kilala si VP Leni, noong kami’y nasa Kongreso pa lang. At para sa akin, iyong matapang na Leni Robredo, iyon ang totoong Leni Robredo.

    REPORTER: Sir kailan po magsisimula si VP Leni sa kaniyang trabaho, at mag-a-attend na po ba siya sa Cabinet meeting this coming Thursday?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Ah, wala pa kaming invitation on that. The details of saan mag-o-opisina, anong meetings ang kaniyang mga a-attend-an, we will work that out in the next few days. But as far as I understand, dahil ito ay designation, hindi naman siya appointment, as soon as she actually submitted her acceptance, she already assumed iyong posting. Kasi a designation, as far as I understand, hindi iyan original appointment, eh. You are just being given an additional task, in addition to your current role as Vice President. So, ako, tingin ko, legally, she’s already assumed the post. But iyong detalye, we will have to wait to see kung ano iyong gagawin in the next few days.

    REPORTER: Iyong approach on the Tokhang style, will she take that course?

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Well, mahirap sabihin pa at this point. I really can’t answer that. She is the one who is the lead in the anti-drug campaign, as per the designation of the President, so she will have to make the decision in the next few days. Ayaw kong pangunahan iyong kaniyang gagawin. Of course, gaya nga ng binanggit ko kanina, the first thing that she will have to do—and ito iyong sinabi niya—she will first get a good grasp ano ba talaga, gaano ba kalaki iyong problema, ano iyong hinaharap niya, at ano iyong mga dapat i-prioritize.

    REPORTERS: Thank you, Sir!

    ATTY. BARRY GUTIERREZ: Thank you!

    – 30 –

    Posted in Transcripts on Nov 05, 2019