Press Release
October 8, 2015

(Moderator: Wilson Lee Flores )
October 7, 2015
Part 2

Wag nating antayin na yung ibang tao, ang UN ang mag-ayos ng problema natin, yung mga Amerikano ang mag-ayos ng problema natin, yung China ang mag-aayos ng problema natin. Ang kailangan natin unang-una isipin natin ano ba ang position ng Pilipinas when it comes to geopolitics. When we talk about strategic geopolitics, what role do we in the Philippines want to play? Now, that will dictate our policy and from there we move on and try to implement that policy.

Q: Sir follow up, what is your position on EDCA and what is your position on China's claim? Do you favor a multi-lateral discussion with the claimants to the South China Sea or bilateral discussions with China?

BBM: I say, try everthing. Try everything. We have to solve this problem. The one thing that I noticed, pero hindi napuna ng ating DFA, parang hindi napuna ng ating gobyerno, for the first time sinabi ng Ambassador from China, we should have bilateral talks under the framework of international law--that is the first time they ever said that. And we have always claimed that we have the right claim under UNCLOS, under international law. Ang sinasabi ng China noon nine-dash line lang, wala na tayong pag-uusapan. Nine dash line. Ngayon may pagbabago. Parang hindi pa naunawaan ng ating gobyerno na may nagbago, and that is something that we have to take advantage of.

Q: Do you want to pursue that bilateral...?

BBM: I will pursue bilateral, pursue multilateral, pursue G to G, pursue private, pursue all. Unahin na natin, simple lang---you know diplomacy is not done in one meeting, in a one instantaneous moment. It is done in small steps, it is done slowly.

So let us first start with our fishermen. I'm sure we can sit down with the Chinese and say to them: ayusin natin itong problema natin sa mga mangingisda. Dahil noon naman wala naman tayong problema. Yung mga Filipino fishermen at saka yung mga Chinese fishermen e they fish together, magkasama sila. And pagka nagpapahinga sila they will eat together, they will drink together and pagkatapos na hihiwalay sila. Let us bring it back to that. That's one good step. At kawawa naman yung ating mangingisda dahil kung hindi natin ayusin yan ano yung kanilang magiging hanap-buhay?

So in my view, try everything. Try everything, you don't know what will work. Look, let's say with China, paano sila nagsimulang nakipag-usap sa AmerikBBM: pingpong. Sino naman ang mag-aakala that these two great, huge countries, would come together over pingpong? Tayo papaano tayo nagsimula na lumapit sa ChinBBM: basketball. Di ba? Hindi mo malaman, you have to try everything. Because it is a problem that cannot stay as is; we have to find ways to fix it. Hindi naman basta's bayaan na natin sa UN yan, bahala na sila. O basta kung anong sabihin ng Amerikano yun ang gawin natin. Hindi pwedeng ganun. Kailangan isipin natin ano ba ang talagang gagawin ng Pilipinas? Ano ang kailangang ikabubuti ng Pilipinas--what's the best way we can navigate this rather tricky, difficult situation.


BBM: Abut EDCA? I believe it's a treaty. And the recommendation of our committee--I'm also in foreign relations with Sen. Mirriam--has been that we recommend that it be ratified first by the Senate. The problem is members of the Senate--many members of the Senate---feel that it is in fact, in all but the words used, but if you look at EDCA it is actually basing, magbe-base na ang Amerikano ulit dito.

Q: Are you in support of it?

BBM: I am not in support of EDCA itself because I think luging-lugi tayo sa EDCA e, wala tayong nakukuha sa kanila, they are taking advantage. Lahat, silang gumagamit sa atin. And I believe it is not advantageous to the Philippines. I think we should continue to deal with the United States, they are our traditional allies, they have been for a hundred plus years now. And certainly they are an important ally and they are a friend to the Philippines and have been for many many years. But I do not think EDCA is the best way to do that.

Q: Anna Estanislao of CNN Philippines has a question: what were some of the issues that you and Vice President Jojo Binay and his group did not agree on regarding political divide. Number two question of Ms. Anna Estanislao, what portfolio in the Cabinet would you want to hold should you win as Vice President?

BBM: That's all premature. First, the first question. These were the product of private discussions so let me leave it where it belongs within the discussion between our different camps. Nangyayari talaga yan but again it's the political divide that I talked about. Very presumptuos naman yung sinasabi daw that I want this brief, that I want this sector, I want that Cabinet position--malayo pa tayo doon.

Q: Senator, you mentioned sir about feeling fortunate of being born into the Marcos family. What are your thoughts about the Martial Law human right victims who feel that the Marcos family be hailed to answer for the crimes and abuses of the dictatorship...?

BBM: We have. Many cases have been brought to court not only here but in the United States. But if you talk to people they are not concerned about that. Filipinos are concerned about their lives today. We want answers: why are there drugs in our streets. Why is the crime rate going up at an alarming rate? Why is our educational sector miserable? Why is the distribution of wealth not happening, why are our government not doing anything about it? Why is there no infrastructure development? Why is there no agricultural development? This is what people are worried about, and that's what I will address.

Q: Miss Dumlao has a question? Sir sa campaign trail those were the two issues that will be thrown at you, you know that right?

BBM: What two issues?

Q: Martial Law and stolen wealth--that will be a constant when you go across the country. What's your ano...?

BBM: What happened in 1986 happened already. These things have been decided. To analyze it belongs to those historical scholars, to analyze what happened and to make some judgements about what happened. But I am not an analyst, a historical analyst. I am a public servant and all I look at is what people want from their public servant, what people are asking from their leaders. Very simple: a vision, leadership, a plan, a program, policies to improve their lives, policies to show that we are in fact trying to put the elements of a nation together. Not politics, not partisian politics but actual solutions to the problems that ordinary Filipinos face everyday.

Q: There would be last two questions because of the schedule of the senator.

Q: Just two questions sir. What's the reaction of your mother on your declaration. Was she disappointed because, of course she said she wanted you to go back to Malacanang? And the second question sir, since there is a possibility that you will not also win, are you willing to take a break from politics?

BBM: No, I'm not prepared to take a break from politics. That is certainly not my intention. If I thought that there was no chance of winning I would not even try, I would not even campaign. As to my mother, yes she's disappointed. As I've said many times before, she has wanted me to be president since I was three years old. So you can just imagine how disappointed she is.

Q: There's a question from, Ms. Ayee Macaraig there: How do you view the work of the Vice President. Vice President Binay said that the Vice President under the constitution does not exactly have a function. Sometimes it is considered a spare tire. How do you view the vice presidency?

BBM: I think because of the change in our electoral process na pinaghiwalay na nga ang President and Vice President, the Vice President is no longer what you would call a spare tire. And I think it really is up to the person in that position. Ang traditional is ibinibigay nga yung housing, then you become a Cabinet member.

Sa palagay ko kahit hindi kayo magkapartido ng Pangulo ay marami ka pa ring magagawa. And I think just speaking out on issues, just studying the issues, just talking to people, and having advocacies that makes sense to the people ay malaking bagay na yun. And again, you can effect change from within, you can effect change from within the Executive Department, and you can also take initatives.

I think yung sinasabi nga na spare tire, palagay ko noon totoo yun dahil ang Vice President ay nandun para kung sakaling may mangyari sa Pangulo they are there to take their place. But with the change in our rules right now I don't think that that applies anymore. I belive that it has become a more important position than it used to be and sa palagay ko marami pa ring magagawa ang isang Bise para makatulong sa bansa.

Q: If the President asks you to choose a portfolio, would you want which one?

BBM: I'd wait until a President asks me to choose a portfolio before thinking about that. It's again quite premature. Hindi pa tayo nagpa-file tinatanong na natin kung ano yung magiging trabaho mo. But of course I will seek to play as big a role as possible. Now, what exactly that role will be will come down to the discussions between the two personalities.

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