Lacson on Panelo’s ‘flip-flopping’: ‘That’s the best we can get’
MANILA, Philippines— Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s flip-flopping on some issues is the “best we can get.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson said this on Thursday when asked over Panelo’s alleged latest inconsistent statements on the issue of the Reed Bank, internationally known as the Recto Bank.
“That’s the best we can get,” Lacson said at the Kapihan sa Senado when a reporter asked about Panelo’s flip-flopping on some issues.
“Ang masama ‘yung alam nang mali ayaw pa mag-backtrack, ‘di ba mas nakakainis ‘yun, ipilit pa ‘yung mali? At least ito nagba-back track, kinokorek,” he said.
“Mamili kayo, maghanap na kayo ng spokesperson na alam na alam ng mali, ipipilit pa. ‘Di ba mas nakakabiwist ‘yun kaya ok na rin ito,” the senator added.
But what if the spokesman has been repeatedly committing a blunder?
“At least, bina-backtrack,” the senator said. “‘Di ba mas nakakainis ‘yung bukong-buko na, sige pa ring sige na tama s’ya. ‘Di ba lalong nakakainis ‘yun? Ma-stress pa tayo. Mabuti na ito…entertainment na lang.”
On Tuesday, Panelo disputed Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s warning that China could seize gas resource in the Reed Bank if the Philippines fails to pay the $62-million loan for the Chico River Pump Irrigation project.
Carpio said the rich gas field in Reed Bank falls under the category of “patrimonial assets and assets dedicated to commercial use.”
But Panelo dismissed Carpio’s warning, saying it was not possible because there is no law declaring that Reed Bank is a patrimonial property.
The following day, however, Panelo backpedalled on his statement and agreed with Carpio that there is already a law on the Reed Bank.
“I agree na meron,” the spokesman said in a television interview.
Lacson agreed though that it would be impossible for the Philippines not to pay the loan with China since there is automatic appropriation in the annual budget for debt services.
But it also wrong, he said, to make the country’s patrimonial assets as collateral in the loan since the entire country and the next generations would suffer from it.
“Pero para mag-renege sa loan payment? I don’t think it will happen,” Lacson said. /kga
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