Press Release
August 28, 2006

Transcript of interview with Liberal Party President Sen. Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the people's initiative

SFMD: The law is clear, the person of the oppositor does not really matter. The first issue is, have they complied with the requirement of three percent of the registered voters from each congressional district and twelve percent over all? Number two, is the enabling law sufficient? There is an existing injunction saying that the law is not sufficient. Number three, assuming that the law is sufficient, is this allowed under the Constitution? In my view, this is clearly a revision of the Constitution, which is not permitted under the people's initiative as a mode of amending the Cosntitution. Whoever is the petitioner does not really change the issues that must be resolved. I am sure there are enough arguments that can be harnessed by any oppositor. What is important is that the Comelec must give the oppositors an opportunity to be heard. And the opportunity to be heard includes an opportunity to examine the compliance with the three percent requirement. Because there is proof that some of those who are already dead even signed the petition. I repeat, dapat pagbigyan po ng Comelec iyong mga hindi sang-ayon sa prosesong ito na maiharap ang kanilang oposisyon at ang kanilang pruweba. Iyan po ang kailangan sa ating batas.

Q: The Comelec should not act if the Supreme Court

SFMD: So that when the matter is brought before the Supreme Court, as I'm sure it will be, then it already includes the evidence of the fraudulent signatures. Therefore, the issue is whether or not there is compliance with the three percent.

Q: Saan po galing ang info natin na dead persons also signed

SFMD: Mayor Binay presented this morning proof that may mga pumirma na patay. Patay na pumirma pa. The death certificate, the picture of the tomb of the guy who was supposed to have signed; it will be presented during the hearing tomorrow in the Senate.

Q: What does this say about the proponents?

SFMD: In fact, Mayor Binay and his group filed a falsification case in the fiscal's office against the election registrar who verified the signature of this person who was already dead. In the counter-affidavit, they pointed to Raul Lambino. That indicates to you the procedure that was followed by the Sigaw ng Bayan. That is why there is need for the Comelec to allow the oppositors to present their evidence to oppose the factual basis for the people's initiative, which is a support of three percent of the registered voters in a particular congressional district.

Q: Hindi ba meron tayong anti-chacha group who joined the petition?

SFMD: This is the Stop Chacha. Mayor Binay is part of that group and former Sen. Ting Paterno.

Q: No-show of Cabinet members at Senate hearing on oil spill

SFMD: Sa akin, dapat umakto ang Senado diyan. Hindi naman tama iyong kanilang ginagawa. Ito ay para sa kapakanan ng mga nasiraan sa Guimaras at sa Visayas. At hindi humaharap iyong mga taga-Malacañang . Hindi tama iyan. Dapat umakto ang Senado dito. I propose that the Senate leadership should take a firm action on this. (end)

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