Press Release
September 7, 2010

Transcript of Ambush Interview of Senate President
Juan Ponce Enrile before the Plenary Session

SP: So, now, when I had occasion to discuss with the President about the budget because we met on the budget initially a few weeks back, the President, Butch Abad, Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Appropriations Committee Chairman Andaya of the House, Senator Drilon and myself for the Senate, I suggested that they should change the nomenclature of the intelligence fund in the Palace so that it will not look as if they are involved in gathering intelligence information because they are not. They're users. All intelligence material gathered by the government goes to Malacañang so I guess they took note of that. So, my understanding, from the papers at least, is that this money, the intelligence fund, placed with the Transnational Crime Commission. They are creating a Transnational Crime Commission instead of the Presidential Anti-Organized Task Force (PAOCTF) because of the anti-terrorism effort of the country, with all of these ongoing hostage-taking and so forth and so on.

Q: So, okay na 'yun, sir? Hindi pa in-oaudit 'yun? Exempted pa rin from auditing?

SP: Well, pwede 'yun. It is going to be used by that because there is a need for that Commission to be funded. Well, it is exempted from audit because you are going to use it for intelligence gathering. That Transnational Crime Commission will be entitled to gather information.

Q: Sir, hindi ba kaya open siya for abuse kasi hindi na-oaudit? SP: Well, you cannot audit that anywhere in the world. That is the practice. When I was in the Defense Department, I was the clearing officer of all intelligence fund and I see to it that even if they will open the envelopes, expose it in investigations, I can defend every intelligence project.

Q: Sir, wala bang redundancy or duplication sa pag-allocate kasi meron naman ang Philippine National Police?

SP: Iba 'yung intelligence objective ng Defense Department, ng military, at iba rin ang objective ng intelligence gathering ng pulis, at iba rin ang intelligence gathering ng Commission na 'yun. Iba rin ang sa Immigration. Iba rin sa NBI. Kanya-kanyang objective 'yan, for different purposes.

Q: Ano ba ang objective ng Office of the President? Ano bang kailangan nilang information when it comes to intelligence? SP: The President is the repository of all intelligence information in dealing with the world, foreign countries. You need information. You cannot deny him that right because he will be blind. Your country will suffer. You will be in trouble if he does not possess full information about what's going on around the world.

Q: Sir, when you say intelligence, it does not only focus on security matters? SP: It covers everything including potential efforts against the president or anybody in the society.

Q: Sir, going back to the hostage-taking, kahapon po si Colonel Yebra admitted na 'yung PNP does not have a specific negotiation unit kaya nagkaroon ng botched operation doon sa rescue.

SP: Well, if they do not have, then they should prepare one now after that unhappy incident where they were acting almost blindly because they do not have the guidelines. In my time, when we organized the Anti-Hijacking Commission, we organized a group to handle all kinds of hijacking in the country. That's why we have ADSECOM, which later got involved with the problem of Senator Aquino's assassination, and we defined the task, the way they will handle any hijacking operation. So, wala kaming problema noon. Noong ginawa naming ang National Disaster Control Center, ako rin ang nag-umpisa noon when I was Secretary of National Defense. We defined clearly the functions of each agency involved.

Q: Sir, sa mga hostage-taking situation, ano po ba dapat talaga ang mataas, ang Local Government o ang police?

SP: Alam mo, ang mayor has no authority over the police. I do not know why General Lim was given the power to issue an order or direct the police because under the Constitution, the one that has administrative supervision and control over the Philippine National Police is the National Police Commission and no one else. As a Commission, the Secretary of Interior and Local Government is the chairman of the Commission but he is not the Commission unless he is authorized by the Commission in a proper resolution to deal directly, in his personal capacity, with the police. It has to be done by the Commission.

Q: Sir, nasa Local Government Code ba 'yun na kapag may ganyang crisis kailangang mayor.

SP: Hindi ko alam. I am not familiar with the Local Government Code.

Q: In coming up with a manual doon sa negotiations, maraming agencies ba ang dapat involved like DFA...

SP: Well, of course. The DFA will come in when foreign nationals or elements are involved. You deal with countries like China and other countries.

Q: Sir, clarify ko lang 'yung idea 'yung transferring to Transnational Commission 'yung intel funds, you brought it up with Malacañang?

SP: I mentioned it in passing and I told them how that intelligence fund in Malacañang got there because I was the one who created that for the PAOCTF.

Q: So, most likely, sir, ia-adopt nila 'yan?

SP: So, that's why, they are now going to create the Transnational Crime Commission because that has to be properly funded with enough intelligence fund to perform its job.

Q: The Commission, sir, is a creation of the Anti-Terrorism Law?

SP: Yes, it is in the Human Security Act.

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