Press Release
July 8, 2010

Transcript of Interview of Sen. Bongbong Marcos
at today's Kapihan sa Senado

On Nacionalista Party

BM What occurred during the campaign and the filing of Certificates of Candidacy was that I filed a nomination with the Nacionalista Party and as we speak, as the alignments are being created for the Senate President candidates, I am also with the NP group. I believe that technically speaking, the KBL is in coalition with the NP. So I supposed that is the technical description of my party affiliation.

On KBL's future

BM We are trying to decide how exactly to proceed with the party. There are several options. Of course one is just to strengthen and try to reorganize the party. Second option is just to restyle the party. You see, the KBL has a very singular characteristic because it really didn't begin as a political party. It began as a Kilusan, a movement, and because of that it has taken on unusual characteristics. We don't know if those characteristics are particularly appropriate for the political conditions that we have today, especially since the multi-party system has changed the ground rules. I have no doubt that we will have long discussions amongst the party faithful to try and determine what the future is for the party. On his choice committees: BM I had some in mind and I had actually spoken to Sen. Manny Villar and some other senators to get some suggestions as to what committees I would like to join. We made a list. But during the birthday celebration of my mother, the Senate President came to Ilocos Norte and while we were waiting for the luncheon, we had a very good discussion. After the discussion, I had to rethink all my previous ideas about what committees are best for what I would like to do. I suppose the thing that is consistent is that I would still like to be involved in agriculture and education. We spoke briefly about putting together some measure to make a cohesive national policy on climate change and global warming. Of course, local government is always interesting to me because I came from local government.

On Villar as Senate President

BM We don't know. That's really hard to say. If Sen. Santiago says the numbers are in and Sen. Villar will make it as Senate President Enrile, that's all very well. But I really think that since it's about three weeks to go, minds can change and the positions can change, I, myself, would not like to make any predictions this early on. To look at the numbers for the Senate Presidency, I think Sen. Villar starts with the largest number so it's a little easy for him to get the magic numbers 13. He has a shorter way to go to get the numbers for Senate Presidency. Tignan natin. I have spoken to some senators and they had made their positions known to me but again it is not the final vote yet and we really wouldn't know until the 26th.

On Kiko Pangilinan's candidacy as SP

BM The one who approached me was the other rookie, TG, Guingona. And he said if I could meet with their group and I said I will be happy to meet with their group. So that I don't come with false pretenses, I said my position is very clear that I ran with the NP, I won with the NP, so I will stay within the group. Having said that, I told him that maybe if they still want see me I will be very glad to meet them. But it was not pursued further so that was the end of that. That was in our last session of the House, itong last session namin, doon sa canvassing, doon sa Joint Session, during the beginning of the canvassing nag-usap kami but it wasn't pursued and that was the time, at least during the LP side, hindi pa maliwanag who their standard bearer would be. It is now Sen. Kiko but at that time I think they were still deciding. Hanggang dun lamang.

 On his stance on NP:

BM I am fairly well committed to the NP group of Manny Villar. Nagsign na ako (resolution). It's an actual resolution. It says "that the undersigned will support the Presidency of Sen. Manny Villar for Senate President." It was something new for me because in the House hindi naman pumipirma basta binoboto na lang kami so this is something different. But I think this is a better procedure to commit yourself on paper. I think umpisang-umpisa pa lang mga anim, pito, na pumirma something like that.

On Enrile as Senate President:

BM Napa-isip ako sa mga sinabi niya sa akin. As I said, medyo committed na ako. The subject never came up. Basically we talked about committees. I actively seek his advice. Syempre malapit kami ni Senate President na matagal na matagal ko nang kilala, he's like my uncle. I look to him and I know he is a very experienced and accomplished Senator, so he knows of what he speaks kaya I actively seek out his advice. In fact after this, if he is in his office I will go and see him again and try to pick his brain because I need all the advice that I can get.

On a prediction of a stalemate between Senator Villar and Enrile:

BM That's possible, kasi the point is that people really are not voicing out. Siguro pag ilan lang kami, nagsasabi sila, pero pag publicly, they have not really committed yet. Mahirap mag-bilang eh. So it is entirely possible that there will be a stalemate and that the compromise candidate will be the present Senate President. As I said, the other senators are not committing yet publicly. We have to wait until their actual vote on the 26th, on the first day of session.

On Sen. Bongbong and Villar's conversation:

BM We talked about the campaign, kung ano ang mga nangyari. Kung ano ang analysis niya, saan siya malakas, saan siya hindi. Ako din, ganun. We tried to analyze a little bit kung ano ang nangyari sa kampanya. We talked about the Senate President briefly. He opened the discussion on what committees I would be interested in. That was only a half hour, the rest of the time we were talking about the campaign.

Let's cross that bridge when we get there. I don't want to preempt or make any speculations that will color the discussion on who the senate president should be. It's not something that I have thought about but let's see what will happen. If that's the case, that's what will happen, inevitably there will be some kind of compromise agreement between the different parties so that will make a big difference. That will have a big influence as to what the others will do. It's very hard to say this early, and that speculatively, about something that may not happen. Antayin na lang natin.

On the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, former President Marcos' pet project :

BM I think the more solid or robust way to approach that question is to have a good, cohesive and sensible energy policy. Let's work on that first. Now, if that includes nuclear power, then we start looking at the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. If that policy is in fact accepted by the administration then that is the first step. You know we have to write it up, we have to propose it, and if the administration adopts it, then we will have to see what form it is adopted in. Is nuclear power included in it or not? If it is, then we look at the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Otherwise, we look at other options.

I do not want to have any specific legislation for the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. That has been done, very famously by Rep. Mark Cojuangco so I think the case has been made for the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant specifically. I don't think it is necessary, I think we need to take a step back. Formulate a policy properly so its very clear in a year, what we should and should not do. If we include nuclear power into our energy policy, into our climate change policy, all of that, if that's included, then for all we know, if nuclear power is included, maybe we have allowed the BNPP to deteriorate, baka hindi na pwedeng ayusin. We have to keep thinking about other options. We cannot see it as a silver bullet. That's why we need an over-arching national policy on energy, on alternative energy and climate change.

On wind power:

BM I will certainly be a great proponent of wind power. We are continuing to develop the wind power in Ilocos Norte, but it is very site specific and therefore quite expensive. However, expensive as it may be, it is commercially viable. Seeing as the government is not going to fund such as an expense, I am sure that we can find commercial outfits who can look into it. The wind power should only be viewed as part of the solution because the wind does not blow every day of the year. The wind does not blow every hour of the day and you have to have a source of power when the wind is not blowing so we have to look at other power sources as well.

Ed Angara and I had a chat about it after the election and we have to now formulate this policy that I am talking about. There have been good attempts, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, even the renewable energy. They have to be pulled together. There have been attempts at very specific areas, but we have to pull together all of those ideas and bring it into some form that can be recognized as national policy.

About the truth commission:

BM I don't know quite what the brief of the Truth Commission is, it is not yet clear, it is not yet clear, it is still a very nebulous idea. What exactly they are going to do, who will be in it, who will they investigate or examine, what the scope of their investigations or discussions will be, have not yet really been set. Until that is the case, we should wait and see what the president has in mind about the Truth Commission. We don't quite know. It would be a commission that will look into the supposed anomalies during the previous administration on the surface. Whether or not that is as far as that will go, we will have to see what exactly the formulation of it is. What the brief of the members of the Truth Commission will be.

Our experience with the PCGG, it is basically the same kind of thing. But the PCGG was very specific to my father's administration. With the Truth Commission, I don't know. We don't know exactly what the president has in mind, we can only wait and see. Whether or not they should be investigating, I think rather than using up the bureaucracy's time in this investigations, perhaps if there are any wronged individuals, they should come forward and say their piece and conduct a regular investigation into these anomalies that are being alleged and act accordingly. I don't think it will need any special commission. The Judiciary is there, the investigative agencies are there, the police is there. I suppose if it is in the interest of having an objective third party, if we are going to investigate, investigate everyone, sure, if that's what the intention of the Truth Commission.

On human rights group claims:

BM Alam mo naman, sa amin, kung ano 'yung utos sa amin ng Court, that is what we do. As I said, the human rights group, lahat ng kaso nila, nai-file na nila. They have gone to Court. They have continued in Court. They are continuing in Court. So, I think there is an active mechanism for dealing with those cases. What more we can do, it is really the onus right now is on the Republic of the Philippines because they are the ones claiming right now. Halimbawa, may nakitang bank account or something na they claim is ours, sinasabi ng gobyerno sa kanila, it is for the republic. Sinasabi ng human rights, sa kanila. Sila naman ang nagtatalo, that is what's happening now. So, the discussion between the human rights group claimants and the Philippine government. In most of these cases, we are no longer represented, we no longer appear, hindi na kami na-involve because the judgments have been made with the family, so tapos na.

It has always been a family position to have a global settlement but for one reason or another, there have not been any negotiations. Any negotiations there have been did not bear fruit.

On Noynoy's presidency:

BM I cannot assess a six-year administration in one week. He has not indicated the areas in which he would be most active in. As to the appointments he has made, he has chosen people who are close to him and he obviously trusts. So that's a plus and that would be helpful for him to know that he's surrounded by people he can count on. Some of them we have seen before in government and we know them to be competent, the others we do not know. The only one that most people do not know about, but I am personally very familiar with, is the new executive secretary. I know him because he is a partner in my wife's law firm and that is why I know him. I feel that he will be a big asset and a great stabilizing influence for the Palace. I think the President is lucky to have him. The others, we just have to wait and see kasi wala pa siyang sinasabi kung ano ang uunahin niya kaya maghirap magsabi.

On no sirens policy:

BM I think it is a personal decision by different officials kasi merong gumagamit. Ako, I've never used a siren my whole life, only when my father was president. And even then, only when he called me. Pag tinawag ako ng father ko, saka lang magsisirena 'yung kotse namin. Pero since then, I've never used it so it is of no consequence to me. I think it's a good thing to let the officials suffer the traffic also. Maybe they'll do something about it. I would say, for security reasons, that it would be better for at least the President to spend as little time exposed in traffic and on the road.

On peace talks in Mindanao:

BM I don't know what to expect but I hope for true and lasting peace in the South finally. The peace process must not be allowed to stop. It must continue. The question of pre-conditions is something to be addressed. There should not be too many pre-conditions because it shoots down the entire effort. The government has to agree that Mindanao is under represented, that Mindanao needs infrastructure, education. The worship of our Muslim brothers should be encouraged and aided by the government. Remember we changed the idea that we are specifically a Christian country alone, we are now a pluralistic society. It's more of a change of thinking but there has to be very concrete acts to be done.


BM They haven't been allowed to file cases for 14 years, they have not been allowed to sequester anymore or any of the actions they started of with. Their powers have actually lapsed. I think the PCGG has served its purpose. Right now, it's not moving forward in any way that I can see.

On new taxes:

BM I think we have to look in the collection side because the collection figures are very low. We have to do better than that. Reorganize those agencies and make them more efficient in their jobs of collecting. Lessen the corruption that goes on. We should not look immediately in raising taxes.

On charter change:

BM Kahit na anong sistema, kahit na anong klase--Constitutional Assembly, Constitutional Convention, huwag na nating pabayaan iyan baka gagamitin lang ng kung sino-sino para sa kanilang ambisyon na pulitikal. That is the fear that people have had. We had hoped that that fear would go away but by the former President filing that specific measure then that association has returned once again.

The last phrase is if that is at all possible as I understand it, once the debate begins you can pretty much go in to any subject , any part of the constitution that you want, which makes sense there should not be any limitation to that. Perhaps we can find a better way of doing it. Maybe we can change some of the rules.

I think whatever people's opinions are, this measure is taken seriously, will be examined, hearings will be conducted, committee meeting will be held, the debate will come out mostly in plenary in the House, and also in the session hall here. It will be debated. It will go through the process. I'm just saying that I don't think it will pass. The large part of the reason why I think that is because the former president is the one who filed it, and again reminding people of that old association that charter change actually means return to power or extension of term of the president.

We need charter change now na dahil marami ang problema. Halimbawa, nahihirapan ang ibang agencies, ibang parts of the bureaucracy dahil sa istruktura na ibinibigay sa kanila, that they have to work in, because of the Constitution na baka kailangang palitan. So why wait? Bakit pa tayo maghihintay? What are we waiting for? Define to me a good time, the problem is here, let's solve it as quickly as possible so that when the government runs better, the Constitution is more relevant and more appropriate to the times. That was written 23 years ago, ang dami na ring nagbago. I cannot see why we should wait. The problems are well-identified, the different possible solutions have been proposed so we should start talking about it.

On pork barrel cut:

BM I think that was just a suggestion made by one member of the House. I don't know why, bakit doon kukunin. Kung ang gobyerno ay nangangailangan ng pondo at nangangailangan ng pondo ang gobyerno, para mas efficient ang inyong bureaucracy, tanggalin ninyo iyong pagkotong, iyong pag-overprice-- basta lahat ng mga raket sa gobyerno, itigil ninyo lahat iyon. Imbis na mapunta ang pera sa bulsa ng ibang tao, mababalik iyon sa gobyerno. Ang CDF, PDF, PDAF, whatever you want to call it, has always a direct effect sa tao. Nakakatulong naman sa tao iyan. Magpapatayo kami ng ospital, magpapatayo ka ng iskwelahan, magpapatayo ka ng cooperative, may natutulungan iyan. Bakit iyan ang tatanggalin mo?

Tanggalin mo ang mali. Ninanakaw naman pala ang pera, itigil ninyo ang pagnanakaw, kunin ninyo ang pera, gamitin ninyo. If they need funds, they should get it in the places where money should not be going. It always because laging pinag-iinitan ang PDAF dahil it is always suspected na pinagkikitaan ng congressman, pinagkikitaan ng senador at kinukuhanan ng mga opisyal. Then, fix the system. The system has a good idea na may pera para tumulong ang congressman sa kanyang distrito, ang senador para sa kanyang pet projects. Pero kung nagkakaroon ng abuses, iyon ang palitan natin, ang sistema na iyon para hindi na magkaproblema. No, pork is not a source of corruption. What I said was that the reason why we are always talking about cutting the pork barrel is because it is suspected by many that it is just a hand out. Many people think that there is let's say P20-30 million, whatever the number is, and that money is given to the congressman, or to the senator. And that's not the case. If you go around the country, you see many, many areas where kung walang PDAF, walang projects.

To fix the system, you have to ask the people who have problem with the system.. Nagkakaroon ng mga lump sum at kung ano ano, hindi dapat ganon. Kaya pinababayaan iyon minsan. Huwag nating pabayaan iyon. Very specific ang mga project na ibinibigay, magbibigay lang kami ng listahan.

On role to play under the Aquino administration:

BM I approach this new job that I have in the same way that I would approach it whoever the president is. The fact that the name of the president is Benigno Aquino does not make any difference to the way we approach this job. I hope that the fact that my name is Ferdinand Marcos will not change his approach also to the Senate. Basta kung ano ang trabaho. If I feel that something is being done and is going to be actually helpful and useful, I will support it. If I do not agree, then I won't. We are all human with our frailties, but I really hope that I can be objective and look at the proposal s, the initiatives, the new administration will come up with and see them for their merit and not give political color to it. Matagal ko nang sinasabi, many of the reasons kung bakit tayo nahihirapan ngayon dahil ang mga desisyon na iyan ay ginagawa on a partisan basis. Hindi ko gusto iyon. I will work very hard to not make the same mistakes. Kung ano man ang sa palagay ko ay dapat gawin, iyon ang susuportahan ko. Kung meron silang ginagawa na sa palagay ko hindi tama o kulang, o pwedeng pagandahin pa, then I will say so as well.

On the resurgence of the Marcos family:

BM If you look in other places, in other provinces, they have more people in government in one family. When our new vice president was with us again in Ilocos, I was telling him, lahat ng question ng dynasty, ituturo ko ang mga Binay--vice president, congressman, mayor. Sabi ko, iyan ang dynasty, hindi kami. Pero nanalo ang mother ko saka kapatid ko kaya more or less, the same. But you can see that that is the trend in many areas around the country. What it means for those families is the same that it means to us, we are very involved in politics. I don't think it means any more than that. Perhaps, the real meaning to the three of us, having won our elections, is that we are no longer the issue. Whereas before the issue was Marcos. Tinitingnan kami as candidates and not as the issue so kung gusto ng tao sa amin, binoboto kami whether or not kung ano ang pangalan namin.

On plans for 2016:

BM 2016? What will happen will happen. I don't know. I have been in this job for nine days and everyone's been talking about 2016. Hindi pa ako nakapag-privilege speech, hindi pa ako nakapag-interpolate. Let me do this job first bago natin pag-usapan yung six years from now. I understand, I am teasing you all, but it's very, very early to be talking about the elections in 2016. Ang sagot ko nga madalas diyan, malay ninyo 2016 wala nang president. Really, it can happen. It's just too far in the future to guess about what will happen. I always say the example, do you remember the political situation in August of 2009? And where we are now? Not by any stretch of the imagination that we could have predicted where we are now. Mahirap mag-predict ng six years, yung anim na buwan marami nang nagyayari dito sa Pilipinas, anim na taon pa?

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