Press Release
November 17, 2009

Transcript of Ambush Interview of Senate President Enrile


Q: Were you satisfied with the explanations about the inventory, sir.

SP: So far, no. I want to find out. That's why we're asking questions. We are just starting with the inventory because we have to clear the air about this so called shortage in the inventory which is a dangerous possibility. So we'll go to the pricing problem.

Q: Thus far, nothing has been established yet?

SP: None. None so far.


Q: Sir, would you like to comment doon sa proposed resolution to have senators sign to clear Villar?

SP: I would rather withhold my comment until I see it, the resolution. What's the basis of the resolution? What's this committee report... or what? 'Cause we are still working with the Committee Report. Who called the meeting of the committee? Who authorized the writing of the Committee Report other than the chair of the committee?

Q: I think it's just a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate...

SP: Well, you cannot just express the sense of the Senate without analyzing the evidence presented in the hearing. What was the hearing for? The hearing was a judicial hearing. It was one of the functions of the senate proceedings, in judgment for a member who is charged of a problem in ethics. It is not a legislative function. It is a quasi-judicial function. So, I want to know the basis of this resolution. Did they analyze the evidence? Did they check the credence of each and everyone of the witnesses? Did they sift and analyze the documents presented? I want to know to be fair to them.

Q: Is it a preemptive move?

SP: I don't know. I don't know what's the purpose. Anyway, we will probably take it up on the floor this afternoon.


I think it is better for us to discuss it this afternoon. Why is that? Because I am still preparing the report of the Committee of the Whole and I do not know of any meeting of the committee, to pass on the committee report. I do not know whether the resolution is based on a finding of someone. We have not done a finding yet, we are just preparing the committee report, sifting the evidence. Both testimonial and documentary. So I want to know what the resolution is all about.

Q: Sir, 12 senators yung nagsign?

SP: I understand, 12 senators. They must have a reason to sign that report.

Q: Will you preempt the report?

SP: It depends. I do not know the resolution yet. What is the purpose of the report.

Q: Seeking to dismiss the disorderly behavior case against Senator Villar.

SP: I would like to find out what is the basis of that resolution. Is it based on the evidence? Have they sifted the evidence? I would like to see their analysis of the evidence. If there is such an analysis of the evidence.

Q: Sir, kakausapin ninyo si Senator Pimentel regarding that resolution?

SP: No, we will take it up. Bakit, si Senator Pimentel ba ang gumawa? Is there any evidence na siya ang gumawa?

Q: One among the 12 senators po.

SP: Well, we will find out, to be fair to them.

Q: Sir, yung committee report, how soon can you come up with it?

SP: It is being studied, the evidence is being sifted and analyzed. And then we are preparing a draft of a committee report which we will present to the Committee of the Whole.

Q: Will you finish that before the holiday season, sir?

SP: Yes. We will finish that before we go on recess.

Q: Sir, in your dialogues with your colleagues on the C-5, will it be on the Senate Floor or closed door?

 SP: Well, if they filed it in the Senate, it must be on the Floor. It has to be on the Floor, it cannot be on the Committee of the Whole.

Q: Sir, you will tackle that this afternoon?

SP: Yes. I think it is in the Order of Business.

Q: Sir, if ever, ano ang option? Ipapabawi yung report? They already signed it. What is the other option?

SP: I do not know. I cannot make any statement about what will be done, what will not be done, by anyone.

Q: Sa proseso po ng Senate, sa Senate Rules, ano po yung bearing nung nakamajority na yung pirma?

SP: I don't know nga, because the report that the committee will prepare has not been done. The draft is being prepared.

Q: Sir, with broad signatories to the resolution, ano na ang chances na maaadopt pa yung Committee Report?

SP: Well, the 12 senators signed a report, then it is presumed that those people will probably maintain their position. Even then it is the duty of the committee to prepare a report and use the received evidence as a basis with a clear analysis of the evidence, both testimonial and documentary. Then file it, it becomes a minority report, then so be it. I must tell you, the matter was brought to the level of the Committee of the Whole upon a resolution passed by a majority of the Senate. And precisely, as a President of the Senate of, for the moment, I have to preside. I never took sides on this. I will not take sides. I will deal with this case objectively. As objectively as I can be, without favoring anybody one way or the other, I will deal simply with the evidence presented to the committee as I see it as a lawyer. Now, we terminated the hearing, we gave all the leeway for the respondent to present his evidence, to appear, to participate, we asked them to pass memoranda, whatever documents they have, to controvert the evidence presented, but they did not participate, they did not submit any evidence. Where they got the evidence to come up with a resolution and make a finding, I do not know. If they based it on the evidence that the committee received, they must have an analysis at least of this evidence. You cannot just write a conclusion to pronounce the innocence or guilt without analyzing the evidence. An ordinary hearing of the committee in aid of legislation. This is a hearing of a case, an ethics case against a member of the Senate, and the nature of this hearing is more or less quasi-judicial.

Q: Sir, procedure wise, can you file a resolution to scrap or junk the committee report?

SP: I do not know. I have to check the Rules. I must admit this is the first time that I have done an ethics case and I do not know all the Rules about it.

Q: Sir, assuming that Villar will be exonerated by the committee on the charges against him on the double funding, will his refusal to participate on the proceedings of the committee be taken against him?

SP: In what context? Taken against him by whom?

Q: By the Committee of the Whole?

SP: No. That is his right. Even in criminal cases, if you do not want to participate in the case against you in the hearing, it will not be taken against you. But the matter will be decided on the evidence. On the evidence that was presented. That's all there is to it. You cannot go outside of that.

Q: Ilalabas ninyo pa rin sir yung Committee Report?

SP: We will come up with a Committee Report, and whether anybody will sign it or not, let there be a finding of the committee as a whole. Whether it will be accepted or not, that's another question. Mind you, I presided over this hearing, I never talked to any of the members of the committee, how they will comport themselves. How they will decide. I have always taken the position that we are judging a fellow senator, and this is a matter of conscience for each and every one of the members of the Senate. You decide according to your perception of the evidence.

Q: Sir, about the legal counsel of the Committee of the Whole, drafting the initial report?

SP: I hired a lawyer. An independent lawyer for the committee plus the counsel for the committee. They are the ones doing the draft. I will go over the draft myself. Line by line, word for word, clause by clause, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph.

Q: Sir, how do you feel sir that the senators could not wait for your report?

SP: My feelings have nothing to do with the merits of the case. Let's not put emotions into involving the judgment on a member of the Senate.

Q: Sabi kasi ni Senator Lacson, parang it's a slap on your face? According to Senator Lacson, it's a slap on your face kasi inunahan kayo?

SP: Not necessarily. Well, if they want to write a report, let it be considered by the body. The presiding officer does not always get the support of the members, even in the other committees of the Senate, but so far, there is no voting yet on the committee of the Senate. What is now in front of the Senate body which was filed, I understand, is a resolution. What that resolution is, I do not know.

Q: Sir, can senators who did not participate in the hearings, participate in the drafting of the committee report and then sign it?

SP: Can they participate? Well, they can participate in the deliberations, when they are members of the Committee of the Whole. Whether they opted to be active participants, they are still members of the Committee of the Whole. Then they have their own judgment about their peer, which is Senator Villar. Individually, as I said, I never asked anyone to vote this way or that way. I have always allowed the members of the Senate to vote according to their best lights on any given issue. Especially on this case, where we are judging a fellow senator. But I will prepare a report based on the evidence, and let the public judge.

Q: Sir, at the very least ba, yung resolution na yan, can we say it is a preview of the voting that will happen?

SP: I will not make any conclusion. You are asking me to make a conclusion, I will not.


Q: Sir, sa oil lang. Si Secretary Reyes was told to be circumspect that time, yung announcement n'ya kasi na kakapusin na yung supply ng langis, but apparently according to the oil companies, enough naman pala yung supply nila during the implementation of EO 839?

SP: Well, according to him, it was just a statement by a very small player in the market that is composed of 5% of the market. What's that? That's a ripple.

Q; Pero he made the announcement sir na 13 days na lang yung supply?

SP: Well, he echoed the statements from Total, I think that was an error on his part. He should have considered the fact that the volume is much, much bigger than just 5%.

Q: Were you satisfied, that there is enough inventory?

SP: Well, according to the members of the oil majors controlling 80% of the market, they have enough supply.

Q: Secretary Reyes should be more careful next time?

SP: I will not teach a Cabinet member how to act as a Cabinet member. I have been a Cabinet member myself.


SP: You can appoint an undersecretary or a Cabinet member and the President assume.

Q: Is it advisable to appoint an acting defense secretary, when his function as national security adviser is also time consuming?

SP: Precisely, he is national security adviser, it is logical to appoint him as acting secretary of defense.

News Latest News Feed