PANELO ANSWERS JOMA SISON’S LATEST ACCUSATIONS

PANELO ANSWERS JOMA SISON’S LATEST ACCUSATIONS

September 16, 2020 @ 12:07 AM 7 days ago

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In his live television program “Counterpoint” on Friday, September 11, 2020, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo answered point-by-point the latest accusations of Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Joma Sison.

Launched on May 1, 2020, two weeks after he relinquished his post as Presidential Spokesperson, Secretary Panelo hosted the talk show aired on state-owned PTV4 and said during the pilot episode of the show that “We will analyze, dissect issues raised by certain critics and others against certain policies of the government, as well as judicial acts and… or demeanor of some of our government officials.”

“We will dispassionately or objectively, without emotion or exaggeration, (discuss) these people’s concerns so that these issues will be crystallized and we will be guided accordingly. There are certain personalities [in] our country today that are bent on criticizing the government and they appear to be not content and not happy with everything or anything that this government does,” he added.

While, Secretary Panelo said during the pilot episode of his program that he would discuss the issues “without emotion,” he could not, understandably, be dispassionate when talking about Joma Sison whom he has slammed many times for engaging “in a ranting nonsense that only highlights his perverted vision of reality” and for rather choosing to “have a hostile environment where Filipinos argue with, if not kill, each other.”

Here are Secretary Panelo’s answers to the latest accusations of Joma Sison who called President Duterte “a tyrant who has confused himself beyond recall, or who has all along been mentally deranged” and accused the President of aspiring to be a fascist dictator beyond 2020:

1. The militarization of the Cabinet. Secretary Panelo reasoned that the cabinet members who are former generals and colonels have master’s degrees and some even with doctorate degrees in various fields aside from their education in military science and tactics. He said they retire at the young age of 56 and are still capable of holding positions especially because they have management skills and discipline, the reason why the President prefer to have them in his Cabinet. “Hindi sila mahilig makipag-debate. Alam nila [na] kung mali ka, mali ka,” he explained, adding that the cabinet members are not fond of arguing and engaging in discussions.

2. Anti-Terrorist Act and the escalation of State Terrorism. Secretary Panelo stated that the country already had an anti-terrorist act (Human Security Act of 2007). He said that the new anti-terror law is needed to confront and prevent terrorist activities such as those in Marawi and Jolo. He added that it is also one of the measures agreed upon by countries to prevent the spread of terrorism. Secretary Panelo was evidently referring to the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

3. Projected charter change on the pretext of federalism and parliamentarianism. Secretary Panelo recalled that the first advocate of federalism was Ruben Canoy of Cagayan de Oro followed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. He said that while on his presidential campaign, President Duterte also adopted the platform of his political party; however, it has not moved an inch in Congress because of the need for the Constitution to be amended.

4. Control of TIM-Smartmatic’s voting system. Secretary Panelo said that President Duterte has pledged that while he is President, there will be clean elections. He pointed out that the President removed even his friends from the cabinet even at the slightest issues and allegations of corruption or non-performance.

5. [That the President] has serious illnesses which had made him scarce and look sickly whenever he appears publicly. Secretary Panelo told Mr. Sison that if he sees the President as somehow lethargic, it only means that he lacks sleep or could not sleep at all in trying to find solutions to the country’s problems. He chided Mr. Sison for being ill even if he was not the President because of connivance to destroy the government.

6. [That the President] has corrupted his own government by plundering the Treasury under the cover of COVID-19. Secretary Panelo called the accusation as malicious and untrue. He said the President is the one most angered by corruption. He told Mr. Sison that the President has a weekly report on how the Bayanihan 1 funds were spent.

7. [That the President] has offended the U.S. by allowing China to have seven military bases in the EEZ of the Philippines, cell towers, China Telecoms in the AFP camps and other footholds that run counter to the U.S. security scheme. Secretary Panelo explained that President’s foreign policy is to be a friend—not an enemy—to all. He said that while the President maintains the country’s hold on the arbitral ruling in its favor, it could not be implemented, the reason why he engages with China in other human endeavors, like sharing of intelligence, fighting terrorism and criminality, and engaging in business as he disclosed that China is the Philippines’ largest importer of “saba.” He said that the trade relations do not mean that the government is at the beck and call of China. Moreover, he said that when Joseph Scott Pemberton was pardoned by the President, many were surprised as they thought all along that the President was anti-U.S. He also said that the President is street-mart, not bookish, and easily adapts to any situation.

8. [That the President] is known by (inaudible) the loot in China in the form of bank deposits…. Secretary Panelo likened Mr. Sison to Mr. Trillanes who accused the President of stealing and stashing millions in bank deposits that are actually non-existent.

9. [That the President] is failing in his pledge to the U.S. to destroy the armed revolutionary movement. In this regard, the U.S. has no reason to keep him in power beyond 2022. Secretary Panelo said Mr. Sison’s allies are surrendering to the government. He also urged Mr. Sison to return to the folds of law.


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