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    Press Conference During the Endorsement of Vice President Leni Robredo by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and United Bangsamoro Justice Party

    Press Conference During the Endorsement of Vice President Leni Robredo
    by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and United Bangsamoro Justice Party
    MILF Headquarters, Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao


    VP LENI: –all the other local officials who are here this morning, and [inaudible] media, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. Nasabi ko na po kanina Nasabi ko na po kanina na I am very grateful. I am very grateful to have been given the confidence, the trust, and the support of the UBJP party. Lalong lalo na po after the address of Mr. Iqbal and the Chief Minister. They took a recognition of the many years of our friendship and support also to the Bangsamoro region. Let me just reiterate my commitment, that if given the chance to be president, we will assure all the Bangsamoro people that your interest will be our priority. So, maraming, maraming salamat.

    MODERATOR:
    Thank you, madam Vice President. Now the President of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party, sir.

    MURAD EBRAHIM: Hello. Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. Maraming marami pong salamat sa pagdulog ninyo sa itong programa namin dito. As I have mentioned, this is the first time na kami po ay sumali sa politikang [inaudible]. Dati po ang hinahawakan namin po ay armas at tsaka kami po ay hindi sumasali sa anumang eleksyon dito sa Pilipinas.

    Pero after na nagkaroon ng proseso ng pagkakaroon ng negotiation which actually ang negotiation na ito was sealed during the term of President– the late President Noynoy Aquino in 2014, at kasama po ang the late husband of our candidate today for President na si Leni Robredo.

    So, dito po nagsimula na nagdesisyon kami na bitiwan na ang armas at lumaban tayo sa pamamagitan ng democratic process dahil yun naman ang kailangan natin ay makabuo tayo ng isang gobyerno na talagang para sa lahat, hindi lamang para sa kung sino sino ang lumaban sa gobyerno kundi para sa lahat. Ang Bangsamoro para sa lahat ng Filipino people. So, marami pong salamat. As-Salaam-Alaikum [inaudible].

    MODERATOR: Thank you, sir. So we ask now our colleagues from the media to please, kung sino po ang mauuna. [inaudible] of DZRH.

    DZRH: Magandang tanghali po. Madam Vice President, nandito po ako. Ngayong nakuha niyo na po yung ika niyo ho ay basbas ng Bangsamoro, ng MILF, ano, ano po ang magiging future ng Bangsamoro sa inyo pong panunungkulan kung kayo po ay mahalal bilang presidente?

    VP LENI: Ako, gaya ng sinabi ko sa address ko kanina, nagbigay ako ng limang puntos na pwedeng itaas. Nagbigay po ako ng limang puntos na pwedeng isama under a Robredo presidency. Pero to summarize everything, it is really a commitment to further the peace process. It is a commitment to assure to the Bangsamoro people na pagatrabahuan natin nang sabay-sabay yung autonomy.

    And yung commitment na bibigyan natin ng heart and soul yung mga batas na ipinasa ng Kongreso, to make sure na tuloy-tuloy hindi lang ‘yung– hindi lang ‘yung katahimikan pero tuloy-tuloy yung development dito sa Bangsamoro region.

    I’m sure everyone will agree with me na marami tayong dapat trabahuin. And ang akin pong assurance is really na ‘yung national government will be with you every step of the way. As we assure of our commitment to ensure your autonomy, the national government will be by your side habang tinatahak yung landas patungo sa kasarinlan.

    Ito naman po yung sinasabi natin, ito yung- ito yung pagbigay ng puso sa aspirations na matagal nang ipinaglalaban. Ito yung kasarinlan na kasama parin ‘yung local- national government unit. Kanina po namention ko yung commitment na mapasa na yung Transitional Justice Law. Sinabi ko po yung commitment na ituloy-tuloy na yung– tapusin na yung rehabilitation sa Marawi. Nandito yung commitment na yung Compensation Board ay mabuo na kasi ito yung mga mahahalagang components para maging buo yung proseso.

    REPORTER: Thank you, thank you so much.

    MODERATOR: Salamat po. Ang susunod na magtatanong si Jamela ng Al Jazeera.

    AL JAZEERA: Good morning. Happy Birthday, VP. Good to be back here po in Darapanan after many years. I just want to pick up from what you said earlier. Yesterday kasi we happened to be doing a story on martial law [inaudible], So we were in Carmen, North Cotabato. I spoke to survivors po of Manili Massacre. Malinaw ‘yung sinabi nila kahapon. Sinabi nila, nasira yung buhay namin dahil sa nangyari sa kanila noon, 1971.

    At kung hindi lang pinatay mga magulang namin, sana nakatapos kami ng pag-aaral. So, ang running point nung message nila kahapon is they want compensation from what happened to them, from itong commitment. So, when you speak of transitional justice, is it something that you will pursue? Compensation for the Marcos victims? Because it’s the same sentiment shared to us also in Palimbang po.

    VP LENI: Yes definitely. When you talk of transitional justice ito yung, hindi lang yung compensations. Hindi siya natatapos sa compensation but also assuring that under my watch hindi na mangyayari ‘yun. Hindi na mangyayari ‘yung pinagdaanan nila.

    [crowd claps]

    ‘Yung paniniwala ko kasi ‘yung proseso ng healing ay nangangailangan ng isang leadership na pinapakita mo kung gaano ka ka-committed na siguruhin na yung, ano ito, yung paghi-heal ng mga tao dito sa Bangsamoro maging ganap.

    Having said that, marami kasi siyang aspeto. Hindi siya basta lang magprovide ng compensation pero making sure na government will make up for all the years na nagdusa sila by also assuring them na kasama nila ang pamahalaan habang inaayos nila yung kanilang buhay.

    They have been deprived of that for many years dahil yung struggle continues. Pero under my presidency, sisiguraduhin natin na ipaparamdam sa kanila na nararamdaman ng national government yung hirap na pinagdaanan nila. And we’ll do everything to our utmost para siguruhin na yung transformation ng [inaudible] tsaka yung healing ng bawat tao maibigay.

    MODERATOR: Ang susunod po na magtatanong ay si [inaudible] ng GMA.

    GMA: My question goes to VP Leni. Ngayon pong araw kasi nakita na namin yung support ng UBJP at tsaka– pero there are groups also na nagswitch ng kanilang support. I mentioned yung gubernatorial candidate si Congressman Toto Mangudadatu since nandito na. Since ang mga supporters ng Isko ay nasa iyo na ngayon.

    [Applause]

    VP LENI: Ako, palagay ko I am not in the right position to answer the question, pero ‘yung sa akin lang appreciation ng event today. Ang appreciation ko ng event today, na ang sinusuportahan ng mga leaders dito, hindi naman ‘yung mga tao, pero ‘yung sinusuportahan nito ‘yung mga paniniwala saka mga programa na makakatulong–

    [applause]

    –makakatulong sa pagtulak ng mga aspirations ng Bangsamoro people.

    Kahapon meron kaming event sa Manila, and ito ‘yung sinabi ko: na sana tingnan natin ‘yung eleksyon na ‘to na extraordinary turning point siya para sa bansa natin, na hindi natin siya ma-relegate na away lang ito ng mga kandidato, pero pagdesisyon ito kung anong klaseng pamahalaan ang gusto nating mamayani in the next six years. [Applause]

    MODERATOR: Thank you. The next to ask the question is [inaudible].

    REPORTER: [inaudible] from Cotabato. My question is like this, for you, Ma’am, how important is the endorsement of UBJP for your candidacy? Gaano ho kahalaga ito para sa inyo?

    VP LENI: Ako, sobrang halaga niya. Again, napakaimportante siya on so many levels. Number one, makakatulong siya. Makakatulong siya ng napakalaki sa panalo ko bilang Presidente, pero ‘yung–

    [applause]

    –pero meron siyang mas malalim at mas mahalagang dahilan. For the past nine years, I have been doing my part to help in the peace process, to help in the transformation process. Dalawa din ‘yung dahilan doon, and sinabi ni Chief Minister kanina na when my husband was still alive he was very actively working on attaining peace in Mindanao.

    And noong pagco-author ko ng Bangsamoro Basic Law in the 16th Congress, ‘yun ‘yung primary consideration ko palagi. ‘Yung primary consideration ko was that I felt that I joined government already to continue the advocacies which my husband started.

    Pero as we were working on the Bangsamoro bill already, hindi na lang siya asawa ko eh. Parang I was so invested, I became so invested in what we have been fighting for. And ang paniniwala ko talaga, ‘yung lasting peace can only be achieved pag binuksan ng pamahalaan ‘yung puso niya at inintindi niya kung ano ‘yung pinagdaanan ng Bangsamoro people. ‘Yun lang ‘yung tanging dahilan, ‘yun ang tanging paraan para makapag-respond ‘yung national government in the manner that it should.

    So, ‘yung sa akin, ano siya, nag-umpisa siya na very personal, pero it became a mission already. Such that with my limited mandate and limited capacity as Vice President, I have been doing what I can to help uplift the lives of the Bangsamoro people.

    [Applause]

    HOST: ‘Yung susunod na magtatanong ay si [inaudible].

    REPORTER: Assalamu alaikum. Good morning po sa lahat. Dalawang question lang po ‘yung aking ia-address. Una kay BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim. Sir, kung sakaling, alam natin dalawang scenario lamang po mangyayari—mananalo, matatalo. Kung sakaling mananalo ‘yung nangunguna ngayon sa survey, ano po ‘yung magiging stand ng BARMM government at ng MILF?

    Pangalawa, kay VP Leni. Ma’am, hindi ho ba kayo nababahala ngayon sa mga pinakahuling survey na although tumataas naman po ‘yung rating po ninyo, pero hindi ho ba kayo nababahala doon sa katunggali po ninyo ngayon? Salamat po.

    MURAD EBRAHIM: Thank you very much. Unang-una, itong mga commitment na binibitiwan ngayon ng ating Vice President na kandidato sa pagka-Presidente, very similar ito noong kumakampanya pa si President Roa Duterte– President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

    [Applause]

    So, binitiwan niya na very straightforward, sinasabi niya na when he will be elected as President, he will implement the Bangsamoro agreement. So, true to his commitment, immediately after na na-elect siya ay binuo niya ang transitional– Bangsamoro Transition Commission para buoin ang law na magpapatayo sa Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

    So, we are very confident na with the commitment given by our Vice President and incoming President, ay makumpleto– kasi we have to [inaudible] na hindi nakumpleto ang implementation ng agreement during the time of President Duterte dahil po sa kulang ang oras. Kaya nga naghingi man kami ng extension ng transition period. So, with the commitment of the Vice President and incoming President, we are confident na maso-solve itong problema.

    Now, on the other side, pagka ang– hindi po siya [inaudible] manalo, ang mananalo po ang sa kabila, we will also continue our advocacies kahit sinong Presidente. We will advocate, we will continue our advocacy na iimplementa itong napagkasunduan ng gobyerno at ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front dahil ito’y hindi kasunduan ng Presidente, sinong Presidente, kundi kasunduan ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas at Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

    [Applause]

    VP LENI: ‘Yung tanong sa ‘kin, dalawa din siguro ‘yung sagot ko. ‘Yung pinakauna, natatakot ba ko because of my numbers? Hindi.

    [Applause]

    While realistic ako, pag tiningnan niyo kasi ‘yung lahat na laban ko, when I ran in 2013, when I ran in 2016, ganito din. Talagang I started from the bottom. When I ran in 2013, I was newly widowed. I was running against a very well-entrenched political family in our district. Walang nag-aakalang mananalo ako, pero nanalo ako.

    When I ran as Vice President, ganoon din. Hindi ako masyadong kilala. Wala pa akong masyadong track record to speak of, pero dahil sa sipag, dahil sa tiwala ni binigay sa akin, nanalo ako.

    Ngayon na Vice President na ako and running for the presidency, mas may maipapakita na ako. Mas may maipapakita na ako kasi hindi na lang plano ‘yung aking napiprisinta pero the six years that was given to me as Vice President is the assurance that I will be true to my commitment.

    Pero, again, having said that, naiintindihan natin na much work remains to be done and time is of the essence. Kaya ‘yung support na nakuha natin from the UBJP party this morning, sobrang ano ito, sobrang welcome development na kailangan na kailangan natin at a time na very pivotal siya.

    Ako, mas pinapahalagahan ko ‘yung suportang ‘to, na ito ‘yung mga tao na have spent most of their lives fighting for justice. Tumataya sa isang hindi frontrunner. Tumataya sa isang hindi frontrunner speaks so much of the kind of principles saka ‘yung lalim ng pinanghuhugutan ng pinaglalaban.

    [Applause]

    So, doon nanggagaling ‘yung aking, not just resolve, pero lakas ng loob, na kung may mga tao kagaya noong mga leaders natin dito na very well-respected, handang tumaya sa isang hindi nangunguna sa survey, there is so much hope in the Filipino people.

    [Applause]

    MODERATOR: We still have seven minutes. Next to ask her question is Carol Arguillas from Mindanews.

    MINDANEWS: Good afternoon po. For Sir Murad and VP Leni. This is for you, Sir, Mr. Chairman. Making this [inaudible] of endorsing Vice President Leni Robredo is a political risk for the Bangsamoro government that the MILF is leading given the fact that if the next President who will appoint the Bangsomoro Transition Authority members and that there are so many things that have yet to be implemented under this agreement during the extended transition period that will on June 30, 2025. If Vice President Robredo, for example, does not win in May, are you ready for whatever political backlash there may be from the winning candidate?

    And for VP Leni, the extended transition period ends on June 30, 2025, and hopefully, that exit agreement will [inaudible] signify that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro has been fully implemented. If you win as President, June 30, 2025 will be the end of the first half of your presidency. How will you ensure, then, that the commitment by the national government under the peace agreement will be implemented and you will witness the signing of the exit agreement on or before June 30, 2025? Thank you po.

    MURAD EBRAHIM: Unang una, ‘yung sinasabi mong risk o [inaudible] pagsuporta kay VP Leni– actually hindi natin ito kino-consider na risk because we are quite confident na despite itong mga survey na kuwan, we are confidently siya pa rin ang mananalo.

    [Applause]

    Kung sa– kung sino ang kuwan, kung halimbawa na dahil hindi nga siya ang manalo at mayroong nanalong ibang presidente, the law is very clear tungkol sa composition ng transition period, transitional authority. Ito po ay majority will be coming from the MILF, nominated by the MILF. So kahit sino pong presidente ang nadiyan, he is binded by the law– kasi law na ito, it was provided in the law.

    So, we are assured na forty one of the eighty members of the parliament will come from the MILF. So, being majority and being in a parliamentary [inaudible] form of government we will be still tasked to form the government. So kami pa rin ang magiging gobyerno ng government Committee.

    So, that is assured in the law which already part of the Constitution so kaya kuwan– and then gaya ng nasabi ko we are confident na si Vice President Leni Robredo

    [applause]

    VP LENI: Ako the question propounded to me, gaya ng sabi ko kanina, the Bangsamoro advocacy, wee had been working on the Bangsamoro advocacy since 2013. I am quite familiar with all the many issues, pati 'yung mga kailangan na tulong para maabot natin 'yung ating 2025 na deadline.

    Sa akin kapag ako naging pangulo hindi na ako mag-aaral– mag-uumpisa sa umpisa, dahil in the last, not just the six years that i was Vice President but also the three years that i was in Congress, we have been constantly engaging with many different groups in the Bangsamoro region. We have been partnering with many, many civil society groups. In fact under our Angat Buhay program meron po kaming ni-launch na Angat Buhay Youth dito sa Bangsamoro region para makatulong sa mga kabataan sa peace process.

    'Yung mga initiatives are already in place, pero 'yung magiging commitment ko na as I have said during my speech earlier, that the national government will be by your side para siguraduhin natin na 'yung lahat ng pangangailangan, all the support from the national government, all the capacity building that needs to be done, one hundred percent ang magiging suporta para masiguro natin na matapos 'yung ating commitment pagdating ng 2025.

    MODERATOR: The next to ask a question, and this will be the last, is ErwinCabigbigan from RMN.

    RMN: Magandang araw po kay Vice President Leni and sa lahat. Question po for Chairman Murad Ebrahim. May we know kung gaano karaming boto na kayang ideliver ng UBJP from BARRM region, or even outside ng BARMM at [inaudible].

    CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Actually we cannot say na ganito karami ang maiidedeliver natin, ganito karami. But we assure you na as far as the leadership of the BARMM we are still in control of the entire BARMM area.

    [Applause]

    MODERATOR: I think that is a fitting conclusion for this press conference. In behalf of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party and the campaign team of the Vice President Leni Robredo, we would like to thank the friends from the media and we wish the Vice President a very happy birthday Ma'am, and good luck. See you in Malacañang.

    [END]

     

     

     

     

    Posted in Transcripts on Apr 23, 2022