SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday claimed that the taped conversation between him and Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita “Ging” Quintos-Deles was authentic, saying they are investigating how the recording was undertaken and how it reached the media.
“Unfortunately I have to say totoo [real]. [I first learned about it on Friday], I was in a place [where there was no Internet [connection]. [But I told my staff t confirm it, I told them to listen to the tape and see if it is really I talking on the tape. They said it was I . . . we can identify precisely it was the meeting between you and Secretary Ging Deles on Monday, so that was the 26th,” the lawmaker told a weekly news forum at the Manila Hotel.
Since the incident brought up serious questions about security in his office, Marcos said he has given instructions to find out how it happened, how far was the recorder from them and how it was leaked to the press.
“I’m trying to get some of these sound experts to tell me what was the distance, how far were they relative to the Secretary and I… Then [how was it sourced, who released it; who sent it to The Manila Times, Carmen Pedrosa, etc., etc.]. So that’s another line of investigation that we are undertaking,” he added.
“Talagang nakakagulat din [It is really shocking], now suddenly you don’t feel secure in your own office,” Marcos said.
The Times ran a series on the supposed taped conversation where Deles was “passionately” defending the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The paper published excerpts of the conversation on Sunday and Monday, including portions where the peace adviser sounded like a spokesperson for the MILF.
“They were killed by the group that was sitting across the table from you,” Marcos told Deles. “My friend from Davao even said that the reinforcements were killed, that’s why the [casualties]increased from 30 to 60,” Marcos said.
But Deles retorted that the incident could have been prevented had the SAF coordinated their movements with the ceasefire committee.
A copy of the recorded conversation reached social networking site Facebook after it was posted by journalist Carmen Pedrosa, who said the copy was sent by a certain “Ricky” who wrote about the audio recording of the meeting between Deles and Marcos.
Deles noted that if the audio recording does exist, it should be a cause for alarm as it is a conversation with the senator held in his office and would thus be a violation of Republic Act 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Law.
But Marcos told the Manila Hotel forum that the meeting was not done in secrecy because they had nothing sensitive to discuss.
He vehemently denied that the recording was done by one of his men.
“[We don’t record]…we don’t ever do that. There’s no reason for us to do that [and we don’t have]recording equipment… it could have been anybody,“ Marcos said.
“It was not a secret meeting. We were in the middle of a meeting, the secretary came in, people were standing around, they were talking, that was it,” he added.