Press Release
June 4, 2010

Transcript of Interview Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile


Q: When is the proclamation?

SP: We will continue the canvassing on Monday. I do not know how long they can make the Committee Report but surely we will try to do the proclamation the following day if we can, depending on how energetic is the Majority Floor Leader of the Senate. He's going to do the work. So, I think, next week we will finish the whole thing --- both the president and the vice president.

Q: Sir, ano ang implication na mauna ang presidente kaysa vice president?

SP: Wala namang rason para mahuli ang sa vice president, so far. There's no major problem about the canvassing for both president and vice president.

Q: Sir, hindi ba hinihiling ng kampo ni Senator Roxas na bilangin 'yung 3 million null votes?

SP: Well, if there are 3 million null votes, it has to be taken with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. We cannot nullify any votes but we cannot include votes that are not presented to us for canvassing.

Q: Sir, will the remaining votes to be canvassed still affect the results of the VP?

SP: Yes, because the difference is a little over 600,000. But of course, not all the remaining votes will go to one candidate. We do not know the ratios. Although, what I heard is that Mayor Binay won very big in Davao City, I think. That's a big block of votes. Senator Roxas also won very big in Bacolod. So we do not know how much votes each one garnered in Eastern Samar and Mt. Province, and Lanao del Sur is still to be tabulated.

Q: Sir, so post-proclamation protest na lang 'yung way for Senator Roxas kasi, sir, di ba pinapabuksan nila 'yung mga ballots for manual counting?

SP: In a canvassing process, you cannot open the ballots. Only the Electoral Tribunal can open the ballot boxes and go to the ballots. The canvassers do not go to the ballots.

Midnight Appointees of GMA

Q: Sir, 'yung mga midnight appointees ni Presidente Arroyo, umabot sa 250 daw.

SP: Well, if they are presidential appointees, it has always been a tradition that the elected president can ask for the courtesy resignation of all presidential appointees so he can do that. As far as we are concerned here in the Senate and in the Congress, the confirmable appointees could not be confirmed because we have no more time. We are going to adjourn sine die today. So, the military people who have been appointed cannot be confirmed. The career people from the Department of Foreign Affairs will have to wait for the opening of the 15th Congress.

Proclamation of the Vice President

Q: So, the VP will be proclaimed with the president?

SP: That is my surmise because there is no reason not to proclaim both because as far as I know, there are no issues left to delay the proclamation of one or the other.

PCOS machines

Q: Sir, 'yung controversial PCOS machines?

SP: Controversial PCOS machines. That is not within the jurisdiction of the canvassing body nor of the Senate. That is within the jurisdiction of the COMELEC who entered into a contract with Smartmatic. So they have to thresh that out.

Q: Will it delay the (canvassing)?

SP: It will not delay. If there is any problem about claim of fraudulent voting or so forth and so on or falsification of document, that will all be taken up in the protest.

Q: On the forensic analysis?

SP: Well, may humiling doon , ipinasa namin sa Comelec. Pinayagan naman sila pero I don't know what happened. I understand there was a dicussion until this morning.

Q: Sir, saan dadalin 'yung PCOS kung mag-adjourn na 'yung Senate?

SP: I will ask the Comelec to take over the PCOS here. Canvassing Issues

Q: Sir, ano na lang ang natitirang issues to be resolved by the canvassing committee?

SP: Five major issues. Two cities and three provinces. Mountain Province, Lanao and Eastern Samar and Davao City and Bacolod City.

Q: What will happen to the motions raised by the candidates' counsels?

SP: We will dispose that because some of those raised in those pleadings are matters that can only be handled by opening the ballot boxes.

Q: So you're asking the Comelec to take care of these PCOS?

SP: Well, we have no space. We need the space that is being occupied by these PCOS machines. Besides, these are supposed to be properties of Smartmatic, so they can take them. If there are interested parties, then they can file the proper motions with the Comelec so that these machines could be safe-guarded.

Chief of Staff Appointment

Q: Bangit's appointment will expire, hindi ba?

SP: If he is not reappointed by the next President then he will lose the position of chief of staff but he will carry the rank of four-star general. An ad interim appointment is a valid appointment in all respects. It's not a nomination, mind you. He is a chief of staff. He carries the salary of a chief of staff. He will retire as a chief of staff with all the benefits.

Q: Sir, but it expires today, his ad interim appointment. So what will happen? Will the President need to reappoint him?

SP: No, but she cannot reappoint him anymore.

Q: Acting capacity ba?

SP: The vice chief of staff will take over.

Q: He has to step down ba?

SP: Yes, he has to step down as chief of staff. That's why you have a vice chief of staff to take over.

Q: Pero hindi ba there's a part in the Constitution that the President can make temporary appointments in the executive when it's precarious?

SP: No it's not precarious. There is a vice chief. Hindi ba? We have the same thing before during the time of President Marcos. For a time, there were a few days Ileto took over. May vice chief of staff. He can run the military organization. Kung mamamatay 'yung chief of staff? Magta-take over 'yung vice chief of staff. Kung ma-retire 'yung chief of staff? The vice chief will take over, hindi ba?

Q: Sir, is Tuesday the earliest proclamation?

JPE: Hopefully, I think so. We will hurry up the proclamation. We are already tired also of going there. That's a long trip.

Q: Sir, hindi ba tomorrow 'yung vice chief magtake over kasi today maexpire?

JPE: Automatic yun. That is why he is vice.

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