Press Release
August 13, 2008

Transcript of interview with Sen. Pia S. Cayetano
Senate Plenary

Q: Ano po ang comment n'yo sa panawagan para sa Cha-cha ng Malacañang?

SPSC: I find it appalling that Malacañang is riding on it [Senate Joint Resolution No.10], making it appear that they have the Senate's support when they have caused so much loss of lives already in Mindanao, because meron silang hidden agenda all along.

Q: Hindi n'yo ba babawiin yung pirma ninyo?

SPSC: Hindi ko babawiin yun. Kasi separate yun, but what I want to be very clear that this is totally separate and Malacañang has no right to claim support from the Senate. They got into a war in Mindanao, they started negotiations for a MOA that is totally unconstitutional and without sufficient consultation, and now they are saying na eto na yung solution: Federalism through the Senate. So Senate, kayo na ang bahala.

Q: Ang sinasabi po ni Dureza pag hindi po pumasa ito kayo ang sisihin...

SPSC: Exactly, but who started that war? Look at all the news accounts, is Malacañang owning up to any accountability as to what's happening in Mindanao? Are they owning up to any of the provisions in that MOA that include territories in Mindanao whose people were never consulted? And then all of a sudden, Senate kayo na ang bahala dyan, and they are claiming that we have one common agenda? That's totally misleading people.

Q: One statement for Dureza...

SPSC: Mini-mislead ng Malacañang ang mga tao. Obviously this is a part of their master plan. Seriously, what is their reaction to that MOA? Has Malacañang owned up to that foul-up? It's unbelievable. For me, dapat very clear ang Senate na hiwalay ang ginagawa namin. This has nothing to do with Malacañang.

Q: Malacañang has no right to claim?

SPSC: Yes, they have no right to claim. These debates were scheduled a long time ago, so these debates will continue regardless, and Malacañang should still own up to the loss of lives in the war that they are causing in Mindanao now. Ang kapal nila, I mean, a full-blown war is going on in Mindanao, and then ang parang gusto nila, focus muna tayo diyan sa Senate para ma-appease yung mga leaders. That's not right.

Q: Ma'am will you rethink your position regarding federalism...

SPSC: No I won't. But as I was saying, Malacanang has no right to claim support and to say that there's some kind of unity here in purpose between the Senate and Malacañang because there is none. And before they even begin to look at Senate action or federalism as a solution, they should immediately fix the damage that they are causing in Mindanao now. Just because it's so far away and we don't have the kind of access to know what's going on as if it were happening in Metro Manila, they're not doing anything about it. They are not owning up to the deaths and loss of lives and displacement of thousands of people there.

Q: But Ma'am do you think [federalism] will be passed before 2010?

SPSC: I'm totally okay with it passing after 2010. But that's not to dictate a time frame on the Senate, the Senate will do what it has to do. I don't think the Senate at any time takes orders from Malacañang on time-frame, but they should fix this problem in Mindanao regardless of what happens to the joint resolution. Why all of a sudden is federalism their solution? Was this their "solution" a week ago before the MOA-AD signing was stalled?

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