Press Release
November 17, 2021

Kapihan sa Manila Bay interview of Senator Win Gatchalian with Marichu Villanueva on the budget, Malampaya sale, face to face classes, electric coops and politics

Opening Remarks

SEN. WIN: Just as an opening remark, I chair the Energy Committee as well as the Basic Education Committee. These are the two committees I spearhead in the Senate and right now we are in the midst of finalizing the budget for the entire nation and we are also personally, I am also monitoring the school opening because last Monday, we opened our school on a pilot basis but it's a good signal that we are slowly going back to normal. On the Energy front, we are determined to lower the electricity cost in making sure that we have energy security, we have enough supply of electricity especially with this coming election season next year. So these are the two things I monitor on a regular basis as the chairman of the Basic Education Committee and the Energy Committee.


Q: I just saw in your Twitter that you just winded down your Senate deliberations on the budget at 2am. Can you share with us, what took you this morning marathon session, what took you so long?

SEN. WIN: We finished at 2am and I was defending the budget of the Department of Energy yesterday and our senators were very concerned with what's happening in the Energy sector, specifically the Malampaya, a lot of questions were focused on that being the person who is in charge of defending the budget of the Department of Energy, we have to clarify many things in the heads of our senators and we also have to give them all the details surrounding the Malampaya. My principle is transparency and I shared with them the updates and also the latest developments surrounding Malampaya then hopefully that we will protect the interest of the Filipino people and the senators will also be part of this quest to protect the interest of our country.


Q: How were you able to defend that?

SEN. WIN: Going into Malampaya, I've mentioned before in many of the interviews that from the evidence and documents that submitted to us, my conclusion of this transaction ay "lutong makaw" because we have rules and laws that govern this type of transaction. And from the documents that I have seen, the rules were not followed, it was in fact bent towards approving this transaction and this is not in line of protecting the interest of the Filipino people because we have rules to protect our interest and those rules should be followed and based on the analysis that we saw, it was not conducted that way and this is a dangerous precedent, because Malampaya is only one of its kind and it should be only run by highly qualified in very stable entity.

Q: There's no way of rescinding the contract?

SEN. WIN: We're still in the midst of analyzing that. That's a legal question. In fact, Senator Pimentel last night, also mentioned this is a legal situation, and a legal question. And one thing is for sure, based on the evidence and the documents that were submitted to us, that rules were not followed. And now as to what will happen, what can happen with the transaction, that is still under, we're still studying the situation.

Q: It will raise the question that the interest in Malampaya might be politically colored because this is an administration project or administration deal. So how can you insinuate to the Filipino voters that it has nothing to do with political campaigning of the senators but has to do with protecting national interest?

SEN. WIN: I don't want to venture into the political talk with regards to Malampaya. but what we are after is just following the rules and evaluating it fairly. And the rules are governed by what we call DC 2007, Department circular 2007 ng DOE. Nakasulat doon, you have to evaluate three things, legal, financial, and technical. Kung pumasa siya dito sa tatlong ito, then you give a stamp of approval. But you have to evaluate one entity kasi when you evaluate, you don't evaluate two separate entities and give it a stamp of approval. You have to evaluate one entity and in our review of the documents that did not happen. The DOE evaluated two separate entities. For financial, they evaluated UC 38, a different company, for technical and legal they evaluated UC Malampaya which is another entity. These are two separate entities evaluated by one circular. And then the result came out an approval so paano mo iaaprub kung ang inevaluate mo dalawang magkahiwalay na entities. So you use one circular but you evaluated two entities and then you approved one entity. Obviously that's not the clear application of the law and the circular.

Q: Medyo naguluhan ako Sir, yung UC 38 is that Dennis Uy?

SEN. WIN: Yes, all of those are Dennis Uy. Itong on the left is the evaluation. Ang sabi ng DC 2007, ievaluate mo ang buyer pero kapag tinignan natin ang financial evaluation, iba ang inevaluate nila UC 38, pagdating sa legal evaluation, iba na naman, UC Malampaya. Pagdating sa technical, iba na naman, UC Malampaya. Makikita natin in the three way test, they evaluated two different companies. Ang sabi ng DC 2007 dapat ievaluate mo lang isa which is UC Malampaya. And on the right is the approval of DOE at makikita natin dito they approved it. So how can you approve that transaction if you evaluated two different companies?

Q: You are saying that UC 38 and UC Malampaya ang both Dennis Uy companies?

SEN. WIN: UC 38 now became a Dennis Uy company, before it was Chevron but Dennis Uy bought it. UC Malampaya is a subsidiary.

Q: UC 38 kanino naman yun?

SEN. WIN: UC 38 was formerly Chevron pero binili na ito ng Udenna. In effect ngayon it's Dennis Uy company na ngayon. This is the crook of the issue. Parang its common sense you don't need a lawyer to evaluate it. In evaluation, when you evaluate three things, the three way evaluation, financial, legal and technical, dapat isa lang para alam kung yung entity na yun qualified. But in this case, clearly dalawang kumpanya ang inevaluate nila. Then all of a sudden they approved it.

Q: Parang ginamit nila ang financial capability ng Chevron tapos ang technical and legal yung kay Udenna?

SEN. WIN: Correct, siguro ang tanong bakit ginamit nila iba sa financial? Una rin sa kanilang memo lumalabas na si UC Malampaya has negative working capital. Doon na rin lumalabas, sila na rin nagsabi nun. Hindi mo naman pwedeng imix and match para lang maaprub. Ang nangyari dito inimix para lang lumusot, yun ang ilulusot natin. Kaya tawag ko nga "lutong makaw" dahil makikita natin na pinili nila ang kumpanya na pwedeng lumusot. This is the crooks of the issue and in number 9, sinasabi rin nila pwede nating gamitin itong DC 2007 sa pag evaluate, in fact dapat nating gamitin dahil power yan ng gobyerno, it's also in the memo, in the documents that they sent us. In another slide, in November they sent us an email, kasi tinanong ko ito as early as 2020. Ito bang transaksyon ni Chevron at Udenna dapat ba ievaluate ng gobyerno ang sagot nila sa amin thru email, yes nakasulat dito dapat ievaluate ng gobyerno. In fact nakasulat nga yun, very clear. It needs to undergo legal, financial and technical evaluation. Very clear dito. And then in October 2021, nag-iba na yung ihip. In our hearing, sabi ni Secretary Cusi na hindi na kailangan, it is not required so nag-iba ang ihip.

Q: So what made them change?

SEN. WIN: Of course, they came out with many many confusing statements but the mere fact, the point of the matter here is, November 2020 it is very clear that the government position is to evaluate, no ifs and buts. Nung pumunta na sila sa evaluate, ito na nga ang nangyari, iba iba ang nangyari. Iba iba ang kumpanya na inevaluate. Nung nakita nila na naging "lutong makaw" ang evaluation, iba na rin sinabi nila na hindi na pala kailangang ievaluate.

Q: So we have to protect the interest of Filipinos otherwise our electricity bills will be subject to?

SEN. WIN: Ang problema kasi dito Udenna was not evaluated properly. So in other words, malaki ang pagkadelikado na hindi niya kayang patakbuhin ang plantang ito. Itong oil rig. The reason why we have this type of rules is to evaluate prospective companies on their qualifications. But since we don't know if they are evaluated properly, there is a big risk right now that they are not qualified. So kapag may nangyari sa Malampaya, 4 million homes ang mawawalan, 20 percent of our power mawawalan, malaking danger yan.

Q: So right now, it is not a done deal yet?

SEN. WIN: It is a done deal, as far as Udenna is concerned, it is a done deal. So yan ang danger ngayon because we gave them a faulty invalid approval, they consummated the transaction. Tinapos nila ang transaction. Ngayon ang kawawa tayo. Ang gobyerno na dapat protektahan tayo niluto ang transaksyon. Tayo ngayon ang kawawa.

Q: Can this be undone?

SEN. WIN: That's what we are studying, we are studying it very carefully if this can be undone but definitely there's a basis, if possible, to undo the transaction to protect the Filipino people. Importante dito protektado tayo.

Q: Napapabuntong hininga na lang ako.

SEN. WIN: Oo nga, I was surprised, to be honest about it. Kaya nga tayo may mga batas at circular to protect us but di nangyari yun.

Q: Wala bang prior notice muna or prior concurrence ng Senate before this can be done?

SEN. WIN: Wala eh.

Q: So magiging reactionary tayo kasi done deal na.

SEN. WIN: Correct, yun ang nangyari. In fact in the law hanggang Secretary level lang ito, hindi na ito umaakyat sa presidente.

Q: Epira law?

SEN. WIN: It's called PD 87. That is oil and gas development law. Presidential Decree.

Q: Marami pa palang PD na nag-eexist.

SEN. WIN: Matagal na yan. Tama ka 60's pa yata yan.

Q: So are you considering visiting this law to update it at least?

SEN. WIN: Yes, we need to update it and make it more transparent and learning from this issue, we need to be more transparent.

Q: Ang alam ko lang Malampaya, nauubos na ang natural gas dito kaya Chevron took it up.

SEN. WIN: Nauubos na ang existing pero yung katabi niya, yung tinatawag nilang near well, meron pa yan. Sabi ng Shell kausap ko ang Shell, bago sila nag isip na magbenta na they want to drill but we have to extend first the contract because this is a long term business. The contract will end by 2024.

Q: Ano nangyari? Ibinenta na lang sa Chevron which in turn ibinenta naman sa Udenna because we don't want to spend to drill more?

SEN. WIN: Correct. They want to spend to drill more. Chevron and Shell.

Q: Now, Udenna na, will they spend to drill?

SEN. WIN: That's on paper.

Q: Eh wala ngang financial.

SEN. WIN: Kaya nga, iba naman ang sinasabi, iba naman ang katotohanan. Because you can always promise but if you look at their financial, malaki ring problema. Sinong magpopondo ng ganitong high risk business. Kasi itong oil and gas is a high risk business. Hindi porket magdidrill ka makukuha mo agad ang gas and oil. So iba yung sinasabi nilang gagawin nila, iba ang nasa libro. That's why we have this process to protect the Filipino people and make sure that we get financially, technically and legally qualified operators.

Q: What's the next stage?

SEN. WIN: We are still studying on how to. Ang aking objective is protect us, the Filipino people and we are going to do it to minimize destruction because of this ongoing concern na itong Malampaya. We want to make sure that we will minimize destruction. And then third, we need to make people accountable. Hindi naman tama ang ginawa, hindi naman pwedeng ipikit lang ang mata. We have to make sure that people responsible should be held accountable.

Q: Cusi is the chairman of PDP Laban, they will say this is politically colored.

SEN. WIN: Well, ako personally I don't want to venture into the political talk as far Malampaya is concerned. As far as I'm concerned the documents and evidence can speak for itself. And the most important thing here now is making sure that we are protected. That's why my hunch, personal analysis ko ito, Udenna will eventually sell out to another entity because they have the experience in exploring and they are encountering financial difficulties, my hunch will eventually they will sell out to another entity who can operate at that rate. So that's why if you look at yung structure ng deal na ito, it is really designed for Udenna to sellout.

Q: Kikita pa siya.

SEN. WIN: Ang akin naman ang pinakaimportante is how to protect ourselves and making sure na hindi tayo mapuputulan ng kuryente.


SEN. WIN: Nung Monday, I went around Zambales and also to Quezon to look at the school opening and my salute to the teachers, principals, and supervisors and superintendents for making do with what they have. Nakita ko na talagang sinundan ng ating mga school officials, ang very strict protocols. Mas strict pa sila sa mall. Kapag pumasok ka sa school, may contact tracing, may QR code, kumpleto ang handwashing facility and meron silang nurses on the ground. Very strict talaga ang school officials natin. With that learning, I can see that we can open more pilot schools in low risk and zero risk areas. Yung pinuntahan ko ang kanilang COVID ay isa lang. In fact, pagaling na nga siya. So in other words, my analysis is to open up more pilot schools in low risk and zero risk areas.

Q: How about NCR?

SEN. WIN: Wala pa. We have to be conservative kasi dikit-dikit dito sa NCR. Ang difference with the provinces and in here. Yung school natin sa provinces, maluwag. Nakita ko wala silang problema sa space. Dito problema natin space. So I would take it one step at a time by opening up schools in the provinces and then after we can open up schools here in NCR. But ang nakikita ko because our situation is improving. Kahapon, first time, in a very long time, below 1,000 na lang ang ating new cases, tingin ko by January we can go back to face-to-face classes.

Q: Konti lang naman nagsubmit na laboratory.

SEN. WIN: I'm basing it on my own data.

Q: Sa Valenzuela okay.

SEN. WIN: Malaki improvement sa amin. We are also below 100 na. So nakikita ko on the ground nagiimprove ang situation and plus nagbooster shot na today ang ating frontliners, malaking bagay yan. Booster shot na ang frontliners, ang teenagers natin binabakunahan na rin. Hopefully yung mga five years old and above mababakunahan na rin para kumpleto na each age groups.


Q: Cong. Eric Yap filed the bill proposing for the 2022 reenacted budget?

SEN. WIN: Ang reenacted budget will destroy our economic recovery because part of the strategy for economic recovery is to spend, spend, spend. Reenacted budget will not enable the government to spend. Kasi ang capital outlay meaning lahat ng infrastructure, hihinto yan. So ang reenacted budget will definitely destroy the economic recovery of the country. Ang kailangan nga natin gumastos, lahat ng pwede nating pagkakagastusan, gastusan natin para bumilis ang ikot ng ekonomiya. Pero ang reenacted budget ang mga tulay, kalsada, hindi na magagastusan yan and that will destroy our economic recovery.

Q: Our intended anti-COVID measures di ba malaki rin ang inirealign sa anti-covid measures?

SEN. WIN: Correct. When you say reenacted budget ang pwede lang sweldo at MOOE, walang capital outlay. So ibig sabihin walang imprastraktura, lahat ng imprastraktura wala yun. Walang build, build, build. Yung build, build, build will not happen. That's number 1. Number 2, based on schedule, may oras pa naman. In fact, last year, mas late pa nga ang nangyari kasi COVID pero nahabol pa natin. So kaya naman. I don't see any reason why we will reenact budget. Reenacted kasi political. We don't want that to happen in political cycle.


SEN. WIN: That is also part of the questioning of Senator Risa and Senator Pangilinan very good questions. One thing for sure, just to give context, maraming magagaling na electric cooperatives, mas magagaling pa sila sa private. To name a few, Uresco is one. Maraming magagaling pero merong ring a few na tinatawag nating ailing ito yung lugi talaga at every year lugi. So kailangan natin number 1 tulungan itong mga ailing at number 2 maghanap ng ibang paraan para hindi bigay ng bigay ng loans at subsidy ang gobyerno. So electric cooperatives are important drivers of our locality. Natutuwa ako over the years napakaganda ng patakbo ng electric coop natin dahil nagtutulong tulungan sila.


Q: Secretary Cusi should not be heading the admin ruling party?

SEN. WIN: I have to beg for an answer to that question. Ako, I deem myself as a professional so I confine my answers to the committee that I chair. I think yung political question should be answered by another political person.

Q: On possibility of being Vice Presidential Candidate of Sen. Bong Go

SEN. WIN: Marichu, thank you for being my campaign manager. Endorsement mo sa akin kay Greco malaking bagay yun. If ever, I will be adapted by PDDS, malaking bagay din yun sa akin. It will be a great honor campaigning along side with Greco. Narinig ko lang ang conversation kanina, me and Greco comes from Christian home, my mother is also a pastor and actually dalawa po mother ko and kapatid niya. Actually ang kaibigan ko talaga ang father ni Greco. Because when I was a Mayor, the elder Belgica used to visit us in the City hall, because of our moral recovery programs. Nung mayor po ako one of his advocacies is to reachout sa mga detainees natin, to reach out to the marginalized and vulnerable. But most importantly, yung mga detainees, because in our faith, true change comes from spiritual change and no matter what intervention the government offers, if there's no spiritual change, that person will not change. And then after that naging kaibigan ko si Jeremiah, he took over his father's moral recovery work. In fact ngayon pati brother ko is doing some projects with them and then I met Greco later on during the campaign season pero ang families namin matagal na because of our Christian community. Having said that, tama ka nanligaw tayo aside from mahirap na panliligaw ko sa girlfriend ko, mahirap din ang panliligaw na ginawa ko kay Mayor Sara. Sa buong buhay ko dalawa lang ang niligawan ko girlfriend ko ngayon at Mayor Sara but I respect Mayor Sara's decision and I'm very happy that she runs for Vice President because even before alam ko ang kanyang qualifications, alam ko ang kanyang track record, alam ko ang kanyang ugali. And I also admire her humility despite being the daughter of the President, she never use that relationship to be able to gain access to the government. She went through the line just like all of us. So nakita ko ang ugali niya, humble but yet firm so she has the qualities of becoming a good leader. And of course her track record in Davao, tama si Greco importante ang track record, track record will speak for itself. So I'm happy that she is running for national post. But yes during that time I was visiting her and we had several meetings. Sabi ko if ever magdecide siya na tumakbo bilang Pangulo, put me on the list of her vice presidentiables.

Q: You decided ahead for reelection?

SEN. WIN: Yes. She was quite clear naman during that time, She was very clear that she wanted to run as reelectionist mayor in Davao. In fact, at that time, she was into many things. Running for national post is not easy. You need to internalize and also go deep within your consciousness to see if this position will fit you and what you can do for the country. But then again during that time na nag-usap kami, she was already decided to run for reelection. Of course we respect that also. That's why I also decided to run for reelection instead. For me, that's the best decision for now.

Q: Being VP for now will be postponed?

SEN. WIN: I'm already 47, not young anymore. I think it's God's will and we just have to listen to what his plan for us.

Q: Kasama ba sa plans ang getting married?

SEN. WIN: Hopefully, and I'm also looking forward to that sabi ko nga tumatanda na tayo ayokong makita ang mga anak ko kapag senior citizen na tayo saka ko sila makikitang lumalaki.

Q: When and how Senator Sherwin will go about the Senate Investigation about Malampaya?

SEN. WIN: We are finalizing the details of our investigation and hopefully we will have a committee report or some form of output in the next few days and encourage members of the Media to look at the first, second and third hearing, including the budget hearing because napag-usapan doon ang mga detalye ng isyu na ito. And in fact all of these discussions are inquired during the hearing. In the next few days we will have a report or some form of conclusion on how to move forward.

Q: There are efforts to manipulate the deal to favor some groups of people, how would you go about them?

SEN. WIN: The ultimate action is to hold them to account administratively and criminally to our court system. So ang ibig sabihin cases will be filed. Whether it is in the Ombudsman or in the other courts, a case should be filed. In my opinion, itong mga fact finding na ginawa namin, will enable us to paint the picture and once the picture has been painted we need to hold them into account by filing cases.

Q: Senator Sherwin was also accused of politicking in raising this issue, your comment?

SEN. WIN: That's why I refused to answer political questions related to Secretary Cusi, PDP and Malampaya because in my view Malampaya is an independent case and I want to focus on the evidence and documents in Malampaya. That's why I don't like commenting on the political aspect of Secretary Cusi and the PDP. That's his own prerogative.


Thank you very much for this opportunity. I agree with Greco, three things na hindi mawawala sa isang bansa. I'm not isolating the Philippines, our country. Number 1 is corruption. Number 2 is drugs. Number 3 is poverty. Never ending battle ito talagang day in and day out dapat labanan natin ang tatlong ito. And we need people who can fight these three in a continuous manner. Hindi let up ito kasi hindi mawawala yan in generations to come. We need people who can sincerely serve our country and have the track record and experience to fight all these things. Pare-pareho naman ang gusto natin ay progressive nation but we have leaders that have track record and sincerity to address these three ills of the country. Thank you.

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