Press Release
February 8, 2007

Transcript of Sen. Franklin M. Drilon's interview
with ANC on the Iloilo siege committee report

Q: What does a censure mean?

SFMD: It's an admonition that they were not prudent in the performance of their functions. It is obviously an overkill. The DILG should have known that the order is not yet final and they used excessive force to enforce what appears to be a patently illegal order. On the part of Secretary Gonzalez, there is evidence that he unduly interfered and allowed politics to come to interfere. It is not his job as justice secretary. These are the two most powerful officials in the Cabinet as they have forces under them. As Secretary of Justice, Secretary Gonzalez should be aware that he should be perceived as impartial. This actuation certainly did not strengthen that perception that he is impartial.

Q: What actual effect will the censure have on the people cited in this report?

SFMD: In the case of the two gentlemen, they are before the Commission on Appointments. Certainly, the CA will take into account the censure taken by the Senate.

Q: Will such a report also have the power to cause the reassignment of the police regional director as well as the officers involved in the assault?

SFMD: We in the Senate, ask that they be reassigned so that the witnesses will not be intimidated and there can be an impartial investigation.

Q: Who is to conduct this investigation?

SFMD: Right now, we are requesting the Commission on Human Rights to conduct the investigation. The Ombudsman, I understand, has started its own investigation.

Q: Is there any possibility that the officials cited in this report will be able to cause some reconsideration, appeal the decision?

SFMD: The Senate is already adjourning today. These are recommendations that we have. This is not a court proceeding. This is all an examination of whether or not there is need to review the rules, for example, of the Ombudsman, as we have recommended.

Q: But the report itself, will it have any value for those conducting their own investigation? Will this serve as some sort of evidence?

SFMD: Certainly, it has value because this is a public document, which can give enlightenment and evidence in the investigation.

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