Press Release
January 21, 2010

Transcript KAPIHAN sa Senado with Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri


JB: Okay, the first question that takes to be ask I think is, when are you going to tackle the report of the Ethics Committee?

SJMZ: Okay, papag-usapan po natin ang committee report of the committee of the whole sa Lunes po, first item on the agenda ang request po ni Senate President Enrile. Ang plano po ay pagpasok po natin at matapos po nang pambansang awit and prayer we'll already recognize the Senate President for the sponsorship of this committee report. After which there will be interpolations, magkakaroon po ng interpolasyon at papayagan po natin ang ating iba't ibang mga kasamahan na magtanong po kay Senator Enrile dito sa kanyang findings sa committee report. Pagkatapos po nun ay magkakaroon din po tayo ng pagkakataon na ilabas din ang resolution ni Senator Cayetano and Villar dun sa counter, sort of counter proposal of the Senate Committee of the whole. And, possible na magkaroon po ng botohan sa Lunes. But it could also be a possibility that it could be on Tuesday or on Wednesday dahil siyempre kung mahaba-haba 'yung interpolations, then magkakaroon po tayo ng delay in the voting of the said resolutions.

JB: You have mentioned the name of Senator Cayetano, so I will assure of the quorum on Monday?

SJMZ: Hopefully, we'll have a quorum on Monday--I think what had happened on Tuesday was a minor glitch--and I believe on Monday will have a quorum dahil kung babasehan po natin 'yung nangyari sa Wednesday, kahapon, ay nakita po natin 18 members of the Senate answered the quorum call. So, siyempre nahihiya din po sila kung hindi sila papasok ng Lunes baka sabihin ay hindi po nila ginagawa ang kanilang trabaho, siyempre ayaw po nilang marinig yun, sa tingin ko at the very least magkakaron tayo ng 12 members na papasok sa Lunes.

JB: Just for clarification, my last question before I give you to the floor, yung 12 votes, meaning those who signed the committee report, only means the report will be discussed on the floor. To implement the recommendation of the report, I think you need two-thirds vote to censure, to be specific.

SJMZ: We need about 12 votes for censure. For that's the majority of the members of the Committee of the Whole. When it comes to suspension and removal from office, it's very clear its two-thirds vote, which is sixteen members. For censure and reprimand, hindi naman po kailangan sixteen votes.

JB: I asked that because I heard differently from Miriam Santiago's interview last night, that to censure a member, you need two-thirds vote, sixteen.

SJMZ: Let me get the rules, let me ask Dave. Majority. So if it's majority, its 12. We follow that in voting on the floor, 12 is a majority. Okay?

Q: Sir, si Senator Villar po ba nagpaschedule din ng privilege speech?

SJMZ: Hindi pa yata kami nasasabihan. Wala pa. We have not been given the notice that he will give a speech. Usually, privilege speeches take precedence over the agenda of the day kaya po nasa taas yun. So kung hihingi po ng pagkakataon na mag-privelege speech si Senator Villar, we have to accede to his request. If you look at the rules, and by the precedence of our pasdt Congresses and past Senates, the rise of a question, when a member rises on a question of personal privilege, it takes precedence over all other measures. But if I were Senator Villar, hayaan ko na muna magsalita si Senator Enrile, para siya naman po ang tatayo at ipagtanggol niya ang kanyang sarili.

JB: Related to that sir, pag umattend si Villar ng session, because he has been saying that he doesn't recognize the Committee of the Whole, because he won't get justice there, if he appears and speaks, does it mean that he recognizes the process already?

SJMZ: Well, I cannot guess what Senator Villar will say in his speech, but definitely, if he debates with Senator Enrile, that means he is participating in the deliberations of the Committee of the Whole. Pero kung tatayo lang po siya para lang ipagtanggol ang kanyang sarili, bilang isang miyembro ng Senado, through a personal and collective privilege, it can still mean that he is not participating in the Committee of the Whole debates.

JB: Kasi kung magsasalita siya sa forum na hindi niya nirerecognize, eh parang, I don't know.

Q: (unclear)

SJMZ: Oo nga po eh. Pero ayaw ko naman magbigay ng eksplanasyon para kasy Senator Pangilinan, hindi kop po alam.

Q: (unclear)

SJMZ: Hindi naman dahil yung ag-pipirma sa Committee Report, matagal ko na sinasabi, it is ministerial. Senator Escudero says it is not. No! I have seen Senator Escudero sign several Committee Reports which he opposed on the Floor without having to write with reservations. So, it does not mean na pag pumirma ka sa Committee Report, na pabor na pabor po kayo sa nalalaman ng Committee Report. Maraming beses po na nangyayari, na iba yung boto mo kaysa pirma mo sa Committee Report. For example, sa budget appropriations, almost everyone have signed the budget appropriations, but the members who voted against, wala naman po silang nilagay na they will vote against or with reservations dun sa pirma nila sa Committee Report for the budget. So, it's ministerial. At the end of the day, malalaman po natin yung boto, pagdating pos a huli, pag magkaroon nap o tayo ng voatation. And till tell who is in favor or who is against it. There c ould also be those who will abstain and I know of some who will abstain because they feel that yes, there may be weight to t Committee Report, however, medyo they question the timing na medyo papasok na po tayo sa kampanya, may kanya-kanyang grupo na sumusuporta sa iba't-ibang presidential candidates, so that could happen in the course of the whole process. Ang magiging importante dyan ano ang magiging laman ng votes n gating mga kasamahan. Will they vote in favor, or against, for whatever reason?

Q: Ano ang expectation ninyo pagdating sa botohan?

SJMZ: Medyo madugo kasi if you do the numbers now, it is a split in the middle eh. Not naman loyalties but the friendships among both are split down the line. So it's going to be a ti8ght vote to have the Committee of the Whole report approved.

JB: What about votation, one Minority Senator intimated to me that he will not vote. He will deliberate, debate, but he will not vote.

SJMZ: If they don't vote, and they don't participate in the voting, its still important that the Committee Report gets 12 votes. We will have to get 12 votes from the members of the majority of the Committee of the Whole. Even if we have 23 Senators, the majority vote will still be12. If it does not get the magic number of 12, then the Committee Report cannot be adopted.

JB: Yung 12 na pumirma sa Committee Report, won't change their mind?

SJMZ: That's correct.


JB: Is the coup for real?

SJMZ: The coup I do not think is for real especially when they made mention of the supposed head of the new team, Senator Angara, who I am very close to. As a matter of fact, he himself denied it to me. Magakasama kami nung Tuesday Morning and we also had a bicam meeting ditto sa Senate, wala naman siyang sinasabi na magkakaroon ng leadership change, or humihingi siya ng support para sa kanya. So much so na nung nagkagulo na nung Tuesday, pinuntahan ko siya sa Renaissance Hotel para kausapin siya, he was with the leaders of the Central Bank discussing the amendments to the Central Bank law, so walang katotohanan po. Now if there were talks of coup, it could also be divide and conquer. You saw intrigues with your loyal allies para mag-away-away ang mga kaalyado mo, at pagkatapos nun, papasok ka. That could also be a possibility.

Q: Wala bang mention sir on the proposed early election for the ARMM?

SJMZ: The problem right now is we are down to six sessions, unless they give me a committee report, hindi naman po kasi ako chairperson ng committee na 'yan eh. The chairperson of that committee is Senator Escudero, unless they give me a committee report, I cannot ask on it on the floor. And if I do not pass the measure on second reading next week, dead on the water.

JB: Kasi tinanong ko 'yan, matitigil pa next week.

Q: (unclear)

SJMZ: We are trying to talk to the Senate President to reconsider his feud with Senator Angara. They've been friends for a very long time. They were together (unclear) in the 1970s together with Senator Cayetano, the father of Senator Pia and Allan and as well as Senator Gordon. Tampuhan lang po ito. Tampuhan lang po ito ng mga Senior Citizens. So let's pass the Senior Citizens Act para happy silang lahat. They were together during Marcos pa. Senator Angara was UP President and Enrile was the...

Q: (unclear)

SJMZ: I have not spoken to the three of that particular (unclear). Just continue doing your work and just maintain the status quo. I hope you will listen to our advice. We are appealing to them at this point of time. We are working on Senator Lapid, i believe Senator Lapid is out of town. Pagbalik po niya kakausapin po natin siya.

Q: I thought he is out of the senate, out of town. So what could have started the feud between, because what I said earlier, this is an open secret, it was Angara who instigated the ousting of Villar to install JPE. I think JPE was reluctant when it was offered to him. Do you have any insights about Enrile and Angara?

SJMZ: Well because the haka-haka or the hearsays that Senator Angara daw was being soon to be his replacement but when it comes to the crop of the minority, so I think you will do the divide and conquer rule. 'yun ang gagawin ko very simple. I'll just be putting one on the other side and say 'naku 'yung isang kasama mo hindi mo pwede pagkatiwalaan 'yan dahil gusto niya maging Senate President', and so mag-aaway-away kami para magkaroon po ng disunity among the majority members at nakita po natin 'yung nangyari nung Tuesday, nagkukulang po tayo ng tao and eventually led to our adjournment. At this point in time, I don't think we should waffle any more senators and create any more intrigues amongst our colleagues. So we are trying to patch up, me and Senator Gordon, kami po ang nag-aayos ng dalawa nating senior members of the Senate.

Q: (unclear)

SJMZ: The problem is kasi for me it's hard to believe that Senator Angara would do such a thing kasi dahil masyado akong malapit kay Senator Angara. Alam niyo naman 'yun. Siya ang aking mentor. 'pag meron siyang planong ganun, bakit ako hindi kinausap? Sinabi nga niya sa'kin 'Migz, kapag may plano, ikaw ang unang may alam nito dahil ikaw ang unang kakausapin ko. In fairness to him and you can ask Senator Gordon, may grupo kami eh, lima kami eh. Senator Gordon, Senator Angara, myself, Senator Bong Revilla, Senator Lapid. This is the Magic Five. Naku, mga madyikero ah. Mga Voltes five nalang. Mahirap 'yung madyikero kasi si Ronnie Puno sinabi ni Miriam madyikero 'yun eh. Voltes five nalang. So voltes five na 'yan, we will discuss matters when it comes to bills, legislations, and leadership of the house, of the Senate. So definitely, he would've spoken to Gordon, he would've spoken to Lapid and Revilla. But you can ask each one of them, hindi sila kinausap ni Senator Angara. Kaya highly unlikely e. Now, 'yung scenario na 'yun narinig nila galing dun sa kampo ng kabila, ng minority. Nagkwento sa kanila na magkakaroon ng coup. Nung sinabi kung sino magiging leader ng coup, nag-react kagad sila. But in fairness to Senator Angara, he 's not instigating anything. He's in complete shock, in denial of any of these events

Q: (unclear)

SJMZ: Well the minority could be playing tactics, one is to intrigue with the majority coalition, one is to delay the proceedings of the committee report in the plenary. And these parliamentary tactics have been done time and time again. Nung nasa opposition ako ganun ang ginagawa namin nung araw, 'yung i-delay ang certain measures na sabihin po natin na masama para po sa ating mga kababayan. Ganun po ang parliamentary tactics. I don't know what the minority would be planning on Monday. But we will be one step ahead of them by having a complete slate of the majority on Monday para sa ganun po ay may quorum tayo, pwede tayo magkaroon ng bills of the agends, or resolutions of the agenda.

Q: On Ping Lacson's absences

SJMZ: Meron daw siyang sulat na ibinigay kay Senate President Enrile but I have not received that letter.

Q: Monday maybe a crucial day not only for the, to get the majority to vote on the resolution on the C-5 road and a possible attempt to mount the coup? Can the Senate President order....

SJMZ: I'm sure kinausap na po siya ni Senate President to come on Monday kasi isa siya key personalities dito sa C-5 controversy being that he is also the chair of the Committee on Ethics, so alam po niya iyon. Baka Monday darating po siya. Hindi ko alam ang rason bakit absent siya nitong linggong ito but probably by next week papasok po siya.

Q: It seems that the Senate ....

SJMZ: Well it is always calendared as an agenda. They can be taken up on the floor at any point in time. Hindi ko pa nakakausap si Sen. Gordon kung anong desisyon niya diyan. Kung ready na ba siyang i-defend ang committee report na iyan, but definitely we could take this up. Inuuna lang po natin itong mga priority measures, priority agenda and pieces of legislation na kakatulong sa ating mga kababayan. You see these reports, like the ZTE very important as they are. They also take up a lot of debate and time, so what's important for me is handa si Sen. Gordon sa pagumpisa natin dito sa debate na ito sa NBN-ZTE ay hindi po tayo tatagal ng masyado. Para at least ma-take up natin iyong ating priority agenda, but we'll put it in the agenda.

Q: Any reaction to the ....

SJMZ: That is a decision of the Commission on Elections which I respect. Being a constitutional body wala po tayong magagawa doon. We may have our own personal opinion on the case, on the matter, but at the end of the day siyempre ang papakinggan natin iyong desisyon ng isang constitutional body such as the Comelec. However, I still feel na magkakaroon po siguro ng appeal pa rin diyan sa Supreme Court. Some body will take that case up to the Supreme Court, but whatever it is the Supreme Court should decide immediately because of the printing of the ballots for the automated elections. Para sa ganoon they must decide whether to disqualify him or not at the soonest possible time. Iyan ang pinaka-importante because then it will not be fair to the people to disqualify him later and yet his name is in the ballot. That should be been done prior to the printing of the ballots.

Q: Sir my two cents worth there is that according to Chairman Sarmiento, it's not a problem at all, because if he is not disqualified then his votes is counted, if he is disqualified the Estrada votes becomes a stray.

News Latest News Feed