Press Release
February 2, 2010

Remarks of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile
(after Sen. Manny Villar delivered his Privilege Speech and left the Senate Session Hall)

SP: Mr. President, I stood up several times because I wanted to ask questions from the distinguished gentleman who delivered a privilege speech a while ago to find out whether his statements could be tested by cross-examination. Evidently, we do not have that opportunity because he has left the Hall. There are certain questions that I would like him to answer, but it is quite unfortunate that he refuses to practice the tradition that we practice in this Senate, to answer questions from colleagues who may wish to clarify certain things out of statements made before the Senate. Be that as it may, I am glad that the gentleman has come here to explain to the people his side of this issue. Whether he told the truth or not, it is up to the people to evaluate that based on the facts that are stated by him as contra-distinguished with the facts narrated in the Report that had been supported by 990 documents that could not lie. Self-serving statements made before this Chamber by anybody whose interest is involved and who wishes to portray himself as a saint, though he may not, is not evidence. It is simply a hollow statement to justify one's misconduct, if there is such misconduct. I am sorry for him that he comes here like a boxer and a fighter but he left with alacrity, without so much explaining why he does not want to be interpellated. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

[Second Part]

SP: 18 years. 8 years member of the Batansang Pambansa. 3 years as a member of the House of Representatives. I am going to be 18 years a member of this Chamber. I would like to say with pride, whenever I stood before you, and before the Chambers of the people, I allowed every assertion of my name to be tested by questions from my peers, because the test of truth is the ability of that asserted truth to stand the rigors of questioning. I would like to say sorry, that today, a distinguished colleague in this Chamber stood before us, asserted so many things and shied away from being tested by questions regarding the assertions that he has made. It is easy to make an allegation and assertion, but it is very hard to stand the rigorous questioning of peers, who will ask you questions, whether you are indeed telling the truth. In my case, I presented a report to this Chamber regarding this particular matter involving the ethics case of Senator Manuel Villar who has just spoken before us, and I am ready and willing to be crucified, to be interpellated, questioned, with every word, every letter, every period every comma, every punctuation, every noun, every verb, adjective that I used in that report because I know that I prepared a faithful report based on the evidence, not self-serving assertions, about how good I am, how humble I am, how truthful I am, how noble I am, how charitable I am, how courageous I am. These things can only be shown if you have the moral courage to face your peers, look at them in the eye, eyeball to eyeball, and answer questions coming from them. That is the only method I know of to ferret out the truth and falsety from anyone of us. I am sorry that I cannot believe what the protestations of my distinguished colleague Senator Villar. I stand on the report that I presented to this Chamber and I challenge all the members of the Minority to question me on this report.

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