Press Release
November 17, 2008

Transcript of ambush interview with Senator Pia S. Cayetano

Senate plenary

Q: Kindly give us your reaction on the change in leadership...

SPSC: I was caught off-guard. I was in an alternative budget meeting when this happened. But I have always thrown my support behind Senator Villar. I believe that the Senate has moved forward and its independence has been maintained throughout his leadership and so I really felt no reason for a new leadership. But having said that, it being a foregone conclusion since the new majority has decided to select a new Senate President, I believe that Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile is very capable. He has my full respect and support. I will always support whoever the Senate President is because I respect this institution and he [Enrile], in particular, has vast experience that I respect.

Q: What do you think motivated the senators to push for the change in leadership?

SPSC: It is their prerogative. It is each of the senator's prerogative on whom they will support. Like I said I was thrown off guard. I tend to focus on the work at hand and my only concern is how the work will proceed. I don't want to second-guess what various political agenda pushed each one to support the change...I'm sure there wouldn't happen if there weren't. And I just hope that it would be for the good of the country because I do believe that under the leadership of Sen. Villar, our leadership was strong, we did our work. Under the Constitution, we are in charge of passing laws, and we did that; we are entrusted to pass the budget, we did that; and third, in the conduct of investigations in aid of legislation, we have continued all our investigations unhampered. I hope that the Senate committees will be able to continue doing this.

Q: What can you say about the timing?

SPSC: You know we have been hearing about a lot of moves from Malacanang, but I don't want to second guess. Let's watch closely. But I certainly hope that regardless of the political motives in supporting this change, the work of the Senate will not be hampered. Whatever the political motives are, if each one of use will hold firm to our commitment, then we will all overcome this.

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