Press Release
August 3, 2010

Transcript of ambush interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On Jun Lozada and two Legacy witnesses being out of the Senate's custody

SP We cannot make them wards of the Senate ad infinitum. There must be an ending. I don't think there is anybody who would harm them at this stage.

On the proposal for government to take over PAL

SP It all depends. Even if we take over, and if government will take over, who are the pilots who will go there? The Air Force? I don't think they are rated for those kinds of planes. That's going to be a problem. Essentially, in a situation like that, government should step in, but whether they can really operate is another thing because you need pilots. The people involved I suppose were trained and rated for these aircrafts that they are flying. I don't know if they have Air Force pilots who are rated to fly those aircrafts. Not all pilots can fly any aircraft.

On the committee chairmanships and the perception of LP getting plum positions

SP That's my decision. I told my colleagues, "you know, I assume that when you voted for me as Senate President, I am entitled to make decisions. I'll make a decision. I give the privilege to you to kick me out if you do not agree."

Q: (Sir, ano po ang naging basehan ninyo?)

SP Based on the need of government and the capability of each one.

Q Kasi, sir, parang nagkaroon ng personalan?

SP Hindi, advocacy. Kung ano ang kaya. I have my own notion of the capability of each one of us here.

On the possibility of the committee on constitutional amendments being given to Senator Santiago

SP She is a minority and I will think about it.

Q: (Bakit po si Sen. Pia Cayetano, who also belong to the minority, she was given committees?)

SP Correct, I gave her (several committees). It is my decision. Miriam Santiago has not voted for me. She has not attended our caucuses. Now, she proclaimed that she is a minority.

Q: (Sir, si Senator Lacson nabigyan pa ho ng committee? Si Trillanes?)

SP I have reserved for him (Lacson). He is holding Accounts and I will see what other committees can be given to him when he comes back.

Q: (Paano nya mape-perform, sir, kung hindi pa rin siya lulutang o magpapakita sa Senate?)

SP In the meantime, it is handled by the Majority Floor Leader. Q: (Walang personalan kay Senator Miriam?)

SP Wala, wala. 

Q: (Hindi naman siya punishment for not voting for you as Senate President?)

SP No, no punishment. Alam mo, ako, I don't take things with emotions. I assess the situation objectively.

On whether senator's preferences were considered in the choice for committee heads

SP If the preference jives with the ability of the senator in the perception of the leadership, then so be it. If not, then I'll have to beg off because I have to consider the efficiency of the Senate. Not for myself but for the country.

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