Press Release
May 18, 2009

Transcript of interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile re Balikatan Funds

Q: Will the Senate investigate the possible misuse of Balikatan Funds as alleged by Lieutenant Senior Grade Nancy Gadian?

SP: Because this is supposed to be only for the senators. This is not for public dissemination. Alam mo kung merong misuse, suriin lang sa Judge Advocate General and Court Marshall, whoever is responsible. There is a military justice system within the military organization. They have to perform their job. Now, if there is an indication that the Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is biased or is not capable of handling the case, then other institutions of government will come in. The primary role ought to be given to the Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces. Because I'm sure that those people have enough sense of delicadeza and rectitude to perform their job. We are not a country of cover-ups. We are not like that naman. I don't like to consider my country as a country with irresponsible officials who don't know how to enforce the law.

Q: Sir, yung Senate investigation?

SP: Masyado nang kargado ang Senado sa mga imbestigasyon, huwag na muna. Pabayaan muna natin yung mga ahensya ng gobyerno na may direct responsibility dyan to do their job.

Q: Sir, meron din kasing offer yung mga lady senators para i-take custody yung iba dyan?

SP: We have to evaluate whether she is a credible witness. Not only because she is a witness or a whistle blower ay tatanggapin na namin. We have to find out kung totoo ba ito. O, wala bang kasalanan ito? Kung may kasalanan at nagtatago lang sa amin ay hindi naman pwede yun, hindi ko papayagan.

Q: Sir, yung kay Justice Puno?

SP: I will not comment.

Q: Why?

SP: That's the opinion of the Chief Justice. I respect his opinion. But I don't think the election of the country is controlled by oligarchs. We are a pitiful country if indeed the election in this country is controlled by oligarchs. And who are these oligarchs? John Gokongwei? Lucio Tan? Meralco? The Enriles? (laughs) Danding Cojuangco? You know, we have to be very careful in making out pronouncement and I respect the chief justice. He is the chief justice. But I think statements like that, while I respect his right to say it, must be very carefully thought about before being uttered. Because it can create impressions about us abroad, especially when uttered by responsible officials of the State.

Q: What can happen sa CARP?

SP: We are trying to finish it.

Q: This week n'yo po ba i-aaprove, Sir?

SP: That's why Greg is now in the Palace. Because I think the Bishops are there and precisely the government is discussing the law, baka they will certify it.

Q: Sir, ano daw yung killer amendments?

SP: Anong killer? Sino ang magbibigay ng killer amendments?

Q: Exemption of certain lands like sugar lands and coconut lands.

SP: Ay, no. I think hindi naman siguro mangyayari yan.

Q: Hindi n'yo naman i-eexpand?

SP: So far, what I know is that 50 hectares sa Davao will be taken first then we'll go down once that is finished.

Q: So, what's the schedule, Sir?

SP: Second Reading. We'll have to finish the Second Reading, and if it's certified, then we'll go to the Third Reading.

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