Press Release
April 30, 2009

Transcript of interview with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

Sir have you convinced him to subject himself to the resignation?

SP: I leave it to him. I do not have to convince him. That's up to him. We can proceed with the hearing with or without him.

Q: Anong consequences kung hindi siya makapag-cooperate?

SP: Kung hindi siya mag-participate then it will be a one sided presentation of evidence. We have no choice but to make a finding. There will be no rebutting evidence.

Q: Kailan ang first hearing?

SP: Monday. Just to adopt the rules and assess the complaints.

Q: Saan ang venue?

SP: Dito.

Q: Yung pag-arrest kay Lozada, is it under the Senate custody?

SP: Oo. It's under Senate custody.

Q: Magkano ba ginagastos ng Senado sa custody niya?

SP: Ewan ko. Malaki. Binawasan ko na nga. Dati yan apat yata, e kung minsan namamsyal sila kasama ng mga security.

Q: Yung pamasyal ni Lozada bayad din ng Senado?

SP: Oo. Pati gasolina nila, pati pagkain nila. Kawawa naman ang bayan.

Q: Starting today wala ng kuwan?

SP: No, no. We will withdraw the security when he gets out again.

Q: Nag-apologize sa inyo si Villar kagabi?

SP: Oo. That is not fair. Never mind about what I said. The Senate of the people cannot be a kangaroo court.

Q: Is his apology to you an apology to the Senate?

SP: He apologized to me. I don't know. I told him I will never be a party to any effort to commit injustice because my oath of office says that I have to protect and defend the Constitution. It goes without saying that justice is included.

Q: Did you ask him to apologize in the Committee?

SP: No, I did not.

Q: Would you?

SP: I would not. That is addressed to his own personal character as a person whether to apologize to his institution or not. For me, the first mark of the leader is to observe the laws.

Q: What kind of assurance did he give that he would cooperate?

SP: He did not give me any assurance. But my impression is that he would answer the charge. My God, he has to. The rules require that his lawyer must test the credibility of the witnesses that will be presented against him.

Q: Will the privilege speeches suffice?

SP: The privilege speeches are not evidence. They are not under oath. As far as the proceedings are concerned, those will be basura.

Q: Sir, with regards sa errors na nakita sa Ethics Committee, what particular errors are those?

SP: I don't know. Maybe errors of grammar or punctuation. I'm not sure. An ethics proceeding, just like a court proceeding, requires statement of facts under oath. A privilege speech is not a statement of fact under oath.

Q: Allowed ba ang media coverage?

SP: It will be addressed by a decision of the Committee.

Q: Anong explanation ni Villar why he said the Senate is a bigger kangaroo court?

SP: He did not explain. I think it was an emotional outburst.

Q: Maybe he should apologize?

SP: I will not leave any suggestions. I leave it o the wise and rational judgments of men who hold positions of honor. Even my grammar is getting bad.

Q: Security of Lozada?

SP: We have to withdraw the security; he is already secured. He is placed behind bars. He is under the custody of the court. He is no longer under the custody of the Senate.

Q: But if he bails?

SP: if there is still threat. My God nobody will harm him. Why should there be a threat to his life? He goes around, roams around.

Q: Are you going to make an assessment kung may threat?

SP: Yes, I am going to make an assessment in due time. We already made an assessment to reduce the number of security. So far, nothing happens.

Q: Ilan na po ang security niya ngayon?

SP: Dati apat. Tinanggal ko dalawa. Dalwa na lang ngayon. Pwede na siguro next time, isa na lang. Magastos sa bayan e.

Q: How soon will you make an assessment whether or not he still needs security?

SP: I cannot say how soon but I will.

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