Press Release
February 17, 2010

Transcript of interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile
at the Davao Press Conference

Davao Press Conference - Part 2

Q: I'll go back to the MEDA bill that you signed. The Mindanao Economic Development Authority. Can you assess the salient points of the bill and if you were to assess or evaluate, how much fund is required to create it?

SP: I'm not sure of the money requirement to create and establish the geographic structure of the Mindanao Economic Development Authority, but the powers granted to this authority is almost similar to the powers given to the National Economic Development Authority. It is specifically and particularly concentrated on the totality of economic, social and infrastructural development of Mindanao. If you assess the resources of Mindanao, the potential for agriculture, the potential for mining, the potential for tourism, the potential for aquaculture, the forest resources available and how to utilize these natural resources and the whole system, the communication system that will be done. This is the function now of Mindanao and we need to create legislation that would be needed in order to implement the rapid development of Mindanao. That's the purpose of this, to create a planning group concentrated mainly on planning throughout the mainland and peripheral islands of Mindanao.

Q: Sir, we find graft and corruption in this country for how many years now, and I think even decades. Sir, we know having graft and corruption in this country is really massive and disgusting. How are you going to stop it once and for all?

SP: When do we stop graft and corruption once and for all? I can tell you no government in this country has stopped graft and corruption once and for all. You can only minimize it. I don't think you can totally eradicate it unless you make governments so simple that there is no human digression involved in the governance of the people and in the administration of public affairs. Having said that, I can tell you that you can minimize the corruption in government if you will really use the laws. You stand in Customs, you called a state guy who knows his customs commissioner, you leave him alone and he will stop his corruption on the Bureau of Customs. In the case of Internal Revenue, you put a guy who knows his business coupled with a good Secretary of Finance who knows his business, you leave him alone and tell them I want to clean that part of the government, then he'll do it. There is no question about it. There will be no sacred cow, then you can bring out all the hidden wealth when you want to do it. So the question is just a matter of governance, of leadership.

Q: Rumor na nag-circulate sa Luzon about Senator Manny Villar being the secret candidate of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

SP: I'm not familiar with the relationship between Malacanang and Manny Villar so I don't know the situation.

Q: So wala pong nagaganap na investigation, formal or informal po? SP: Wala.

Q: Ano po ang legal remedies available for the Filipino people to run after the compensation kahit na manalo po si Gloria Arroyo sa Congressional Race to answer the questions na walang closure?

SP: What is the legal remedy? Cory Aquino issued Executive Order Number 1 right after the EDSA Revolution. Illegal wealth in the Constitution are confiscable and without prescription, but to enforce that, you need a good Ombudsman that is beyond the touch of any temporal power. That is the legal remedy because it is the Ombudsman that will prosecute the case against whomever may acquire illegal wealth and the disposal of the case will be the Sandigan bayan. That's the legal remedy.

News Latest News Feed