Kapihan sa Senado forum | Aug. 2, 2018

At the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– House leadership change and Mayor Sara Duterte’s alleged role
– Lamitan suicide bombing
– Internal cleansing vs scalawags in the PNP
– Charter change and federalism
– Using seized smuggled high-end vehicles vs criminals
– firing of Deputy Ombudsman Carandang
– US proceedings vs Janet Napoles
– TRAIN-2 in the Senate
– proposed 60-40 joint exploration with China in the West PH Sea

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Quotes from the interview…

Opening Statement

Recent and current events, both on the national scene as well as local, bear watching and monitoring:

1. The GMA Speakership and Mayor Sara Duterte’s alleged participation and influence in the change of the House leadership
2. The Lamitan suicide bombing
3. Scalawags in the PNP
4. Charter change and federalism, among others.

Only because of what the Filipinos have experienced in the past administrations involving presidential relatives, we should reject any interference and influence-peddling by somebody outside the official chain of the government bureaucracy, but who projects closeness to the president due to kinship.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an Imelda Marcos, or a Peping Cojuangco, or a Mike Arroyo, or any presidential relative. It is not about them. It is about undue intrusion in some major state affairs in which they have no business interfering.

Speaking of Mayor Sara Duterte, make no mistake: if the next leader of our country will emerge from the young, fresh and new faces in national politics, my top choice right now is Sara Duterte. She is strong-willed, stern, vibrant, progressive-minded, and has obviously good leadership qualities.

There is no saying that there are no other emerging young leaders. Right here in the Senate for example, a number of our young hardworking colleagues are showing good leadership potentials but at this time and this is my personal opinion, based on whatever political sense I have accumulated after my long years in government service, Mayor Sara stands out and is right in front of the pack.

Second, on the Lamitan suicide bombing. While it was tragic and unfortunate, it is frightening and worrisome, to say the least. First, it is the first suicide bombing pulled off by an apparent terrorist. It is worrisome in that it could inspire or motivate other homegrown local extremists and set a trend of a series of suicide bombings in thickly populated urban centers in Mindanao, Visayas and even here in Metro Manila. That is why it is imperative that our security officials must remain on their toes to abate and more importantly preempt any future incidents of its kind.

Like a broken record I dare say for the nth time, it is intelligence for breakfast, intelligence for lunch, intelligence for dinner and all the time in between.

Third, on the perceived proliferation of scalawags in the police ranks. On the surface, based on recurring news reports, it may appear that police corruption has become ubiquitous and discipline has sorely deteriorated among the police. My take is, commendations are in order to the present PNP leadership in general and the NCRPO in particular, for stepping up their drive against the rogues and criminals within their own ranks. Internal cleansing should be the highlight of our message to our people, not a supposed wave of police hooliganism. Let’s give credit to where it’s due. I give special mention to CPNP Albyalde, PCS Eleazar and his district commanders here in the NCR.

Fourth, on the proposed charter change and federalism. Right now, as far as the Senate is concerned, the proposed Charter change is just waiting to be cremated.

I am now ready to answer your questions.

Other topics raised in the forum

On Mayor Sara Duterte:
“I’m not endorsing her. I’m just saying that among the known young leaders if we would choose from young and fresh faces in national politics, and I think you can agree with me, na si Sara Duterte talaga tinitingnan natin. Not only because she’s the daughter of the president pero ang track record niya pati experience niya as a local government official in Davao, says it all.”

On relatives ‘influencing’ government matters:
“Ang buong context ng sinabi ko is not about personalities but ang kalakaran sa ating pamahalaan na di nakakatulong sa smooth and efficient delivery of services ng national government. You can just imagine kung karamihan ng kamaganak ng pangulo no matter sino ang pangulo nakikialam sa usaping dapat wala siyang pakialam kasi wala siya sa official chain ng bureaucracy, e magulo ang ating daigdig. Naranasan na natin yan, ayoko na ulit-ulitin ang pangalan. Pero naranasan natin di nakakatulong, bagkus nakakasama sa decision-making process ng president at Gabinete kung may nakikialam na kamaganak.”

On whether President Duterte should take action to discourage Mayor Sara Duterte from ‘influencing’ government matters:
“As we speak palagay ko nagkausap na sila para masabihan na, kasi alam natin na alam ni PRRD di makakatulong yan sa kanyang governance eh. Any sensible thinking individual lalo kung leader ka alam mo pag nakialam kamaganak mo hindi tulong yan.”

On Speaker Arroyo’s statement favoring separate voting on Charter change:
“Wala naman garantiya. Maski sabihin ng Speaker na okay, I’m for voting separately, anong guarantee because it is only good for now. But by the time nakapag-adopt kami ng joint resolution at pumasok kami sa joint session, we allow ourselves na makipag-compose ng joint session with the Lower House, anything can happen. And what SGMA has mentioned, pwede naman magpalit yan. And pagka nangyari yan as I said para kaming mga daga na naka-trap sa mousetrap, hindi na kami makalabas.”
“As of last Tuesday and thereafter, solid ang Senado sa position na hindi kami papasok sa isang tinatawag ng abogado na magkakaroon ng cause of action. Pag gumawa kami ng kaukulang aksyon na magkakaroon ng oportunidad para kwestyunin sa SC, yan ang di na kami pwede kami makaatras. So napagkaisahan namin as of now, we’ll just fold our arms and do nothing.”
“Naroon pa sa committee level ang usapin sa Charter change. At ang pinaguusapan ano ang mode, sa con-ass, con-con or People’s Initiative. The third one I suppose is already out of question. May ruling ang SC sa PI.”
“We’re not about to preempt ang ginagawa ng committee on Constitutional amendments and revision of codes and laws.”
“In the case of Speaker Alvarez masyado siyang open kailangan voting jointly; sino pa kami para pumasok doon? In this case under Speaker Arroyo maski sabihin niya ok ako I am for voting separately e isang boto rin lang naman siya sa Kongreso. What if yung mayorya ng members ng Lower House e iba naman ang pag-iisip? Marami sa kanila nakapag-express ng opinion na voting jointly ang Senado at Kongreso. So she’s speaking for herself. Assuming that she’s sincere and genuine ang kanyang sinabi she is for voting separately, but she is only one vote despite being the Speaker of the House.”
“Dahil di maganda ang nangyari, nasaksihan naman natin lahat. Parang nasakripisyo ang dignity yung solemnity ng okasyon dahil lamang sa pag-agaw sa poder. At sabi ko nga di lang napaka-awkward kundi napakapangit at how low could it get? Naroon ang foreign dignitaries, bakit ganoon nasasaksihan nila naabala nang mahigit 1 oras pag-deliver ng SONA dahil lamang sa pag-aaway sa liderato samantalang pwede naman ganapin yan kinabukasan. Doon lang nakita natin bakit medyo atat maupo agad at nakita rin natin parang nagpa-practice, e wala pa SONA, pina-practice pati ang gavel?”

On the Cha-cha ‘trap’:
“Ang tawag ng mga abogado ang cause of action. Kasi once nagsimula kami maka-adopt kami ng joint resolution na kami pumapasok sa isang kasunduan sa Lower House na sasali kami sa isang joint session, yan ang tinatawag ng mga lawyers na cause of action na pupuwedeng umakto ang korte para mag-rule on the matter. Kung halimbawa may mag-file ng petition at decision ng SC, di kayo voting separately kundi jointly then paano kami lalabas sa ganoong situation na kami mismo parang pumatay sa sarili namin? Considering 23 kami 292 sila and ¾ of the total number will render useless the 23 senators.”
“Meron pang ibang mode. Kung concon bakit kailangan pilitin ang conass? Siguro kung concon pwede natin ipagkatiwala kasi ihahalal ng kababayan natin ang mag-constitute ng constitutional commission. Bakit natin pinipilit conass? Pangalawa, nag-distribute sila ng kopya ng proposed Charter change although sabi nila we may adopt en toto, we may adopt in part, we may completely reject. Pero nagbigay sila ng guideposts. Some of my colleagues who read in part the draft federalism, may nakita sila na parang hindi maging sangayon ang mga senador. For example kahapon binabanggit ni Sen Escudero as he was reading the draft, yung pag nagkaroon ng botohang 2/3 ang Lower House di na kailangan mag-bicam at carried na ang panukalang batas. Ganoon din, balewala na rin ang Senado kung maka-2/3 votes. Alam natin ang kalakaran sa House, ang 2/3 easy sa kanila. Kung gusto nila i-preempt ang Senado para mag-provide ng check and balance o mag-review sa panukalang batas mga bills na tinatalakay ng buong Kongreso, itsa-pwera na kami.”
“Unless we see very clear, not sign, pero klarong klaro talaga na hindi kami magiging irrelevant sa pagbalangkas o sa pag-constitute ng ¾ ng buong Kongreso.”

On openness to amend economic provisions in the Constitution:
“Kung ako tatanungin, kung economic provisions lang bubuklatin, marami talaga papayag. Kasi ang ating 1987 Constitution I would say is too nationalistic to a fault. Masyadong reclusive dahil coming from long years of dictatorship, parang naging overprotective and ang tinamaan nasama ang economic provisions. You can just imagine the world has become very small, ang restriction sa foreign investment nariyan pa sa atin whereas pati China bumuka na talaga, nag-open na sila sa world market. Bakit tayo, dahil constrained tayo ng provision ng Saligang Batas, di tayo makapag-open up para makapag-encourage ng foreign investors.”

On having made peace with Speaker Arroyo:
“Make no mistake. I’ve made peace with her. Sa bicam conference ng National ID I was chair of the Senate panel, she being one of the authors, naroon siya, member siya ng HOR panel. We shook hands, it was a warm handshake. And I want to keep it that way, na hindi na kami magkaaway.”

On PNP scalawags and involvement of junior officers:
“That’s why on Monday I am sponsoring a bill na ililipat ang training from the PPSC to the PNP pagdating sa recruits. Ito ang naging contentious issue nang nagkakaroon kami ng committee hearing dito. Nagtuturo ang PNP kasalanan ng PPSC sasabihin ng PPSC pag binalik namin sa OJT kayo nag-influence sa recruits na gumawa ng kalokohan. So to clear things up at ma-pinpoint ang responsibility at accountability ng recruitment at training, ibigay natin sa PNP, ito ang hinihiling nila. Kung napansin ninyo puro PO1 and PO2 ang nasasangkot sa krimen. Ang basic issue na talagang totoo may problema talaga ang recruitment kasi bakit karamihan ng nasangkot ang bagong recruit na mababang rango. It’s about time revisit natin ang RA 6975 as amended para i-amend ang provision na yan na ibalik sa PNP ang PNP training institute.”

On the advantage of moving the training of cops to PNP:
“Isa roon madaling pinpoint ang responsibility, walang finger-pointing. Yan ang nangyari nang nagkaroon kami ng committee hearing nagtuturuan sila PPSC nag-training diyan. Sabi ng PPSC binabalik namin sa inyo sa OJT doon nagkakaroon ng problema. Parang mas practical sa PNP yan kasi sila rin talaga magha-handle ng bagong recruit at PO1. So more or less siguro mas may capability sila para mag-recruit ng sarili nilang tao.”

On PNP leadership’s internal cleansing that includes intensified background checks and working with the Church:
“Tama yan. Long shot pero meron siyang sinabi kukunin ang pangalan ng nagko-conduct ng RCBI, ang Record Check and Background Investigation, kasi para ma-pinpoint sino responsible at nakalusot ang psychiatric cases ng pulis, paano nakalusot, sino responsible na nag-conduct ng RCBI. Because one policeman I heard, nakapasok sa pulis yun pala pero 2 standing warrants of arrest. So nagkulang ang record check and background investigation. So mabuti ang ipapatupad ni CPNP Albayalde na pati ang responsible every step of the way sa mga nagre-recruit e mabigyan ng accountability.”

On PNP chief Albayalde’s internal cleansing being as deadly and chilling as the war on drugs:
“Ang nakikita natin ngayon, there’s a renewed effort to go after the rogues in uniform. Sabi ko nga recurring ang news reports nanggaling sa inyo sa mga reporters na nagko-cover sa PNP sa Crame, laging may nahuhuli. Bakit? Hindi dahil sa dumami ang police scalawags kundi nag-step up ang liderato ng PNP lalo sa NCRPO para hulihin. May extra effort sila nagko-conduct ng intelligence operations to identify and entrap these people. Kasi maaaring nariyan talaga sila pero di binibigyan ng pansin o attention kaya hindi natin nalalaman. Pero ngayon dahil maigting ang kampanya ni Gen Eleazar laban sa scalawags, at kanyang district directors, nakikita natin ang resulta. And I hope ma-replicate ito sa ibang mga regions dahil NCR lang parati natin narinig na may accomplishment against scalawags. So sana maging nationwide ang kampanya sa scalawags.”

On what CPNP Albayalde can do to improve discipline in the PNP:
“Sa akin dapat walang letup especially ang anti-kotong operations. Di sa pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko, talagang effective kung talagang no letup, indiscriminate at sustained. And when he paid me a courtesy call nagkausap kami upon his appointment yan din pinagusapan namin sabi niya Sir paano ang maganda? Sabi ko initially mag-concentrate kayo sa internal cleansing kasi yan ang napakalaking problema, para ma-restore mo ang trust and confidence ng mga tao. And same with C/S Eleazar. When we talked about the problems upon his assumption sa NCR, ganoon din pinagusapan namin. And he told me then na gagawin namin yan Sir. And rightly so, ginagawa talaga nila. Kaya nga karamihan ng anti-scalawag operations sa NCR.”

On President Duterte’s reported statement na “ipa-project ang involved sa kalokohan”:
“Pag ipa-project, pagtutuunan ng pansin. Gagawa ng special effort para mahuli. Pag sinabing ma-neutralize hindi naman ibig sabihin patay eh. Na-neutralize, hindi makagalaw. Nakulong. Pwedeng humiihinga pwedeng hindi huminiga pero neutralize, pwede namang humihinga pa rin pero neutralized.”

On martial law in Mindanao as a factor in Lamitan bombing situation:
“Martial law or no martial law, wala naman talagang additional powers ang Pangulo much less ang Armed Forces. Maski review natin ang Constitution o provisions sa ML wala kang makikita kasi di naman suspended ang writ of habeas corpus. Hindi naman dampot dito dampot doon, kailangan pa rin provisions sa warrantless arrest, or reglamentary period pag ikaw ay nagkulong ng tao, sinusunod pa rin lahat yan. So wala naman additional powers except siguro in Mindanao probably psychological. Pero ano, kaya nga ang mahabang debate sa pag-declare ng ML, kami nang binasan namin ang Constitution wala naman pala tayo dapat ipangamba wala tayong dapat pagdebatehan kasi wala naman extra powers.”

On AFP dismissing claims that ISIS is behind bombing:
“They should know better. Pero ang reputation talaga ng ISIS di lang sa atin kundi sa ibang parte ng mundo mahilig sila mag-claim ng mapapatunayan later on na di talaga handiwork ng grupo nila. Di lang dito maski Syria, Iraq, sa ibang lugar, may kine-claim sila later on na ma-prove na di sila nagsagawa. So I think that is where the AFP is coming from.”

On PNP being on heightened alert in NCR after Lamitan bombing:
“Tama lang. Sabi ko kanina ang nakakatakot baka ito test mission dahil unang initial findings nila foreigner, foreign-looking yung nag-trigger. At kung hindi sa checkpoint baka ang napasabog pa ang mataong lugar na nalalampasan sa checkpoint. So kung ito test mission, this could serve as inspiration or a motivating factor para sa homegrown extremists sa atin na naka-align sa Al Qaeda o ISIS para magsagawa rin ng suicide bombing missions. Yan ang nakakapangamba. Pag terrorist acts they know no targets, indiscriminate kaya may namatay na bata may namatay na matanda maski sino tamaan.”

On whether the Bangsamoro Organic Law can prevent future bombing:
“Ang BOL pag na-implement we are hopeful ito magbigay ng daan para sa matagalan, permanenteng kapayapaan sa parte ng Mindanao. But hindi rin tayo masyadong optimistic kasi nangyari na ito nang nakipagkasundo ang pamahalaan sa MNLF under Misuari. Ang nangyari noon nakipagkasunduan sa MNLF, may na-integrate sa AFP, MNLF regular forces, pero pinanganak naman ang MILF. Ngayon kausap natin ang MILF, agad-agad may BIFF or baka mabuhay dating MNLF dahil tribal ito. Sa nakakaintindi sa kultura sa Mindanao, kasi halos 2 ang major tribes dito, Maguindanaoans and Maranaws, tapos ang Tausugs and may mga Yakan. And ang long history nila na they don’t see each other eye to eye, at hindi sila nagkakasundo because of differences of cultures, practices, traditions, etc. So I just hope na magkaroon ng pamamaraan ang pamahalaan para makakuha ng solution na di talaga sumibol uli isa pang pwersa na manggugulo na naman at magiging abala sa kapayapaan sa Mindanao.”

On issuing seized smuggled vehicles for PNP/AFP use:
“Yan sana sa halip na i-bulldozer ang iba, pinamigay sana para magamit ng gobyerno. I presume kaya sinira yan kasi abandoned na yan, declared government property na yan, para bang abandoned in favor of the government so walang pakialam maski sinong private individual sa pagmamay-ari ng mga sasakyan. How I wish instead na sinira, kasi ang estimate nasa P200-plus-million e gahol na gahol ang AFP at PNP. Ang Porsche pwedeng gamitin pang-surveillance. Sayang. Dahil sino ba mag-aakala ang Porsche na umaaligid sa hideout e pulis pala. Mas mainam siguro ang iba’t ibang klaseng sasakyan, kasi ngayon madali ma-detect lalo ang criminal, ang drug dealers, parang alam na nila ano itsura ng sasakyan ng pulis. Pag nakakita sila ng Mahindra pulis yan. Maski civilian makakita sila ng Innova, alam nilang pulis. Di ba mas maganda ang mailto ang kalaban may Porsche, may Ferrari, may Harley Davidson, e di malilito talaga ang kalaban. I just hope the president considers destroying all these government properties after all.”
“Cost-effective naman yan kung mas makakatulong sa intel operations. Ganoon din. Gumagastos tayo ng milyon-milyon sa intel funds ano ang kaunting gas ng Ferrari.”
“Dapat i-define na pagka confiscated na in favor of the government pakinabangan ng gobyerno, ito ay i-auction o pagamit sa taong gobyerno para di na magpo-procure o bibili ng sasakyan ang gobyerno samantalang may available na pwede ipagamit.”

On the firing of Deputy Ombudsman Carandang:
“That is a question the SC will finally decide on dahil ang contention ni ex-Ombudsman Morales, walang pakialam ang executive branch sa Ombudsman being a constitutional body. Iba naman ang pananaw ng Malacanang so tulad ng lagi nating pinagdedebatehan, ang final interpreter, ang final arbiter ng batas at SB ang SC.”
“He can seek redress sa mga korte especially SC. It’s his call. Whether harsh or not if he thinks di justified or unjust ang ginawa sa kanya, libre naman siya mag-seek ng redress.”

On speculations that Carandang was fired due to his reported probe into the President’s supposed wealth:
“You can think along that line and many people think ganoon din ang dahilan kung bakit tinanggal si Overall Deputy Carandang. Pero di naman natin alam kung ano ang rason. So bayaan natin SC mag-decide if the case is brought to the SC.”

On the possible extradition of Janet Napoles to the US for money laundering charges:
“Kung criminal case ang kanilang ihahain vs Mrs Napoles at marami siyang kasong hinaharap dito, baka hindi advisable i-extradite siya roon kasi di natin alam kung gaano katagal siya at what if pagka na-extradite siya roon ma-convict siya ng US courts di siya mababalik dito para panagutin ang nirereklamo laban sa kannya. So importante rin na maresolba ang kaso rito mas mainam nang unahin na natin, bigyan natin priority ma-resolve ng korte ang kaso niya.”
“Pagka na-prove na ganoon kalaking pera ang nailabas ng bansa at naipangalan sa kamag-anak doon at na-prove yan ay nakaw na yaman, malaking tulong yan sa plunder na kasong hinaharap niya rito. Siyempre saan nanggaling ang pera? Ma-reinforce ang ebidensya na galing sa pork barrel.”

On the implication of Napoles’ cases in the US on her co-accused:
“Pwedeng meron pwedeng wala, depende paano ipiprisinta ang ebidensya. Ang hinahanap ng co-accused lalo ng mambabatas, yan ay limitado sa mga pera naman na dumaan sa kanila para ilagak sa sinasabing questionable NGOs.”

On TRAIN-2:
“Based on the briefing that I got from my staff, ang TRAIN-2 parang similar sa pinu-pursue kong amendment sa VAT. Kasi mga incentives ito na tatanggalin sa iba’t ibang sector, sa economic zones, sa coop, sa housing, sa power, may mga incentives kasi. Ang count nga namin diyan, sa mga special laws na naipasa namin, 84 lines of exemption sa VAT pa lang yan. Kaya talagang nagpuputok ang butsi ko noong natalo ako sa amendment ko kasi we could have generated at least P117B on VAT alone and at 10% not even 12% VAT. Why? Ang culprit kasi ang katakot-takot nating lines of exemption, 143 ang count namin noon. E sa pakikipagkasundo ko sa DOF pinagtulungan namin i-compute and we arrived at the amendments na dapat ko i-introduce. But you know how things happened. Nang nagintroduce ako ng amendment nagbabaan ang aking kasamahan at tinalo ako sa boto. Ngayon, kaya walang takers sa TRAIN-2 except the SP, ang tatamaan na naman doon ang mga incentives, the same business interests na tatanggalan ng incentives. Mas mainam i-pursue sa VAT kasi di naman aalis lahat yan. At ang VAT, as far as they are concerned, pass-on ito. Samantalang ang tatanggaling incentives direct ang tama sa kanila. That’s how I understood the contents of TRAIN-2. All I can say kay SP Sotto is, May the brute force be with him kasi kailangan kaunting brute force dito. Di pwedeng kami-kami lang nag-uusap. I was suggesting to the DOF at the time before I introduced my amendments which we both worked on, sabi ko tulungan nyo ako sa boto kasi alam ko na kung ano ang mga resistance na mangyayari rito kasi kung walang boto walang mangyayari sa amendments natin. E hindi sila gumalaw. When I say tulungan nyo ako, baka pwede pakiusapan ni PRRD ang individual senators na baka pwedeng bayaan nyo magbawas tayo ng mga lines of exemption para lumaki ang ma-generate na revenues sa TRAIN-1. So yan ang foregone revenues nang na-shot down lahat na amendments ko, P117.1B at 10% VAT, not even 12%.”
“Hopefully sa amendments I can restate the amendments that I introduced para mamili na lang tayo at least ito pass-on ito kesa sa contents ng TRAIN-2 na ang tama talagang sa lalamunan ng mga industries.”

On SP Sotto sponsoring TRAIN-2:
“SP Sotto volunteered to file a bill and sponsor the measure. So yan lang masasabi ko. May the force be with “I am open-minded. Kasi kung ano pwede itulak e di yan ang itulak natin… I am open kaya lang nadala nga ako sa DOF. They were requesting me to sponsor it. Kung pwede ako mag-handle. Sabi ko resolve muna natin ang ginawa ninyong pag-abandon sa akin sa TRAIN-1 bago ako makipagusap uli sa inyo.”
“Ako I’m willing to have an open mind pagdating ng committee hearings at deliberations sa floor. Siyempre si SP na mag-sponsor nito. So more or less right now I’m inclined to support him.”

On 60-40 joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea:
“Ang pinanggagalingan kasi noong sinabi kong more than being acceptable, yan ang practical. Why? Because it complies with the provision sa Constitution natin sa foreign investment. I’m looking at it from the point of view of foreign investment. Kung tayo mag-e-explore meron ba tayong technology, meron ba tayong capital? Wala rin kasi napakalaki ng pera kailangan diyan para mag-explore tayo. Wala naman tayo noon. Di ba mas practical yan? Ang pinakaimportante sa akin kung payag ang China na 40-60 ibig sabihin di natin sina-sacrifice ang ating sovereignty over the areas kasi nga nag-comply sa Constitution. Ang mahirap payagan kung sinabing 50-50. The president could be open for culpable violation of the Constitution dahil bakit ka papaya ng 50-50 e sabi natin sa atin yan? So ang pinanggagalingan ni dating president PNoy, bakit ibabahagi sa China atin yan? Parehong tama. Pero sa akin for practical purposes, hindi natin sinasabing hati tayo riyan eh. I’m talking from the point of view of foreign investment. At maski sino mag-invest at mag-comply sa 40% against 60%, dapat pumayag tayo kasi sila ang may capital at sila may technology. Imagine how much resoources in terms of oil and natural gas ang pwede nating makuha sa area na yan? Study after study ang sinasabi talagang there’s hundreds of billions of barrels of oil in that area. I don’t know if it’s accurate or not pero yan ang consistently lumalabas sa mga studies sa mga reports na up to at least a trillion barrels of natural gas, parang ganoon ang finding doon. That’s why China is so interested in claiming those areas.”
“Di natin sinu-surrender na hati tayo riyan. Amin yan pero kung gusto nyo mag-invest as a foreign investor, hanggang 40% lang kayo. So what’s wrong with that?”
“Sino ang willing mag-invest na another country. Nothing will prevent us but mas practical ang China kasi pag ibang bansa 2 pa ang kakausapin mo pati China kakausapin mo pa rin meron kang sigalot doon. Di ba mas practical? Sa akin ang bottom line is, how do we uplift the lives of our people, how do we get the needed funds or generate teeh needed funds para sa infrastructure and development and pag-enhance ng industries? Yan ang tinitingnan ko muna. Basta walang pinaguusapan na kaya nag-60-40 kasi pareho nating pag-aari yan, di natin sinasabing ganoon eh.”

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