Press Release
August 24, 2010

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Enrile

On the hostage taking incident

SP I guess the police were not prepared for the event.

There is a need to look into the situation of the Philippine National Police. Crimes are happening, and the result obtained by way of arresting people who commit these crimes, you have the case of torture done by men of the police. It was televised. It was gruesome. All of a sudden, they were caught flat-footed by a hostage-taking done by a man in uniform, one of their kind. There must be something wrong. I think it is about time that they have to explain to the policy-makers why this is happening, and why they have not arrested the deterioration of the image of the Philippine National Police.

(Shouldn't there have been a timeline yesterday, when to end it?)

SP I would not make a judgment. Let us look at the facts first, what really went wrong in the handling of the hostage-taking so that we can repair it by legislation if we could repair it, or let the Executive Department handle the problem because this has something to do with the management of the police service.

You cannot make a cut-and-dried time reference when you are in a battleground like that. That depends upon the ability of the commander to assess the situation and take the steps necessary to quell it and repair the damage or minimize the damage.

(What is your advice to the president?)

I think the President should look into the PNP's performance. This has been going on. It is not a reflection on the Presidency. It has been going on, and there have been many lapses. In fact, I called the attention of the leadership of the PNP even before the election about the spate of all these unabated killings in the country. There is very little apprehension of the people who are doing the killings. There is a proliferation of professional killers, and now this one. A hostage-taking. Unknown to them, 'yun pala meron silang tao na-agrabyado sa kanyang paningin. They did not know about it.

On whether the hostage-taking incident can be considered an act of terrorism

SP It is. Hostages were taken. A demand was made for the government to act. What is that? That is under the Human Security Act.

(With foreigners involved yesterday, wouldn't it have been prudent for the President to have taken hold of the situation?)

SP Why should we always look up to the President?

That is why he has underlings him, being paid with tax money to handle the situation. If you are going to depend on one person, the President--no matter who he is--he is not God. He cannot anticipate all things. That is why there are departments of government that must handle these things.

On Robredo (DILG) not being seen in Luneta yesterday

SP 'Yun nga ang problema. Meron silang mga tauhan separated na pala sa serbisyo, meron pa ring mga baril, meron pa ring mga uniporme, meron pa ring mga kamag-anak sa serbisyo, hindi nila nalalaman ang nangyayari. And yet they are supposed to have intelligence funds to obtain intelligence, information and counter-intelligence inside their organization.

On whether the country can handle the economic repercussions of the incident

SP It is not whether we can handle. We have to handle the economic repercussions. We have to survive.

On whether the Philippine government should apologize to the Hong Kong government

SP Why should we apologize?

These things will happen anywhere in the world. There are aberrant people in all society.

On media participation

SP We have to address that to the members of the media. They are very sensitive about this. We all belong to one country. We have to love our country and we have to exercise judgment in looking at all the problems of our country.

(If it falls under terrorism, should we warrant a news blackout?)

SP Well, the person is dead. If he has any cohorts, then they should be discovered.

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