Press Release
September 15, 2010

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On Sen. Santiago asking SP JPE to intervene on the road user's tax

SP To intervene? I have not received the letter. I have not seen the letter. Saan ba naka-deposito daw?

Q Hindi daw po na-scrutinize ng Congress?

SP Ano ba ang gusto niya? Titignan ko, pag-aaralan ko kung ano ang gusto niya.

Q Your immediate personal intervention, that the road user's fund shall be deposited and subsequently appropriated by Congress.

SP But that is a trust fund. That is allocated for a certain purpose. If the law specifies the uses of that fund and it is under the control of the Secretary of Public Works, DOTC I think, if I remember correctly.

Q Sir, hindi kayo pwede manghimasok?

SP Hindi, nasa batas 'yun. Kailangan palitan 'yung batas.

On when the CA will start working

SP Mag-uumpisa na sila ng hearing kung kumpleto na ang mga documentation ng mga nominees or appointees.

On the complaint filed before the Ethics Committee regarding Senator Lacson.

SP What is the case?

Q Abandonment of his duties.

SP He is not abandoning, so far as I know. Only that he has not come back because there is a pending warrant against him. When he comes back he will be arrested anyway, so how can you say that he has abandoned his office? We will study the case. Let the Ethics Committee study the case.

On the event of a Constitutional crisis because the House insisted on proceeding with the impeachment complaint against Gutierrez.

SP That is not what I heard from the Speaker. He said that we will heed the Supreme Court's request for a status quo because they have asked for time to study the matter. There is no prohibition. They are just saying, sandali lang, pag-aaralan namin. Huwag muna kayong gumalaw d'yan at pag-aaralan namin in 10 days. Walang prohibition. 'Yung complaint. Kaya nga, 'yun ang pag-aaralan nila. Kung sasabihin ng Supreme Court, mali 'yung dalawang complaint, sino kami na hindi susunod sa Supreme Court?

On whether the President will talk to Corona regarding the judiciary's budget cut

SP That's not proper. Why, what's wrong with that? He is the President, he is the head of budget, alter-ego lang niya 'yung Secretary of Budget and Management. The President is the Chief Executive of the land. The President is the one that proposes the budget. We are the ones approving, scrutinizing.

On when the three acting secretaries will be appointed by the CA

SP Acting secretaries? Hindi maisasalang 'yun, acting kasi. We cannot resolve that in the CA, 'yung tungkol sa acting secretaries. Wala kaming kapangyarihan doon. Prerogative ng Presidente 'yun to appoint a person in an acting capacity sa opisina na nasa Executive. We cannot tell him Mr. President, huwag ka mag-a-appoint ng acting. Depende kung anong appointment 'yun. Kung ad-interim appointment, pwede 'yun, every recess of Congress, ire-reappoint niya 'yung appointee na hindi nakukumpirma. Ngayon, maliban na lang kung sinabi ng Commission on Appointments, this Cabinet member is rejected. Kung wala pa kaming aksiyon, pwedeng paulit-ulit. Kung meron na kaming aksiyon at sinabi niyang rejected, tapos.

Q Paano po kung gawin niya every time?

SP Political responsibility niya 'yun sa taong bayan. It becomes a political issue against him. His responsibility is to the people and to us. Separation of power kasi. Pag hindi niya pinadala sa amin, that is his responsibility. We cannot compel him to send the appointments to us. Kung kailangan niya 'yung tao at alam niyang hindi makakalusot, we cannot tell the President, you submit the names of the people to us. I went through that, I was targeted by several Senators in the past not to be confirmed so the President reappointed me ad-interim for several times. I think for two years as Secretary of National Defense, I was not confirmed. Panay reappointment, ad-interim.

Congress cannot tell the President, bring that appointment here. If the President abuses his prerogative, the only recourse of Congress is to file an impeachment proceeding against the President.

On whether it is reasonable for the Office of the President to release guidelines regarding jueteng bribery?

SP Pahuli kung may nag-bribe. Walang guideline-guideline, kung may nag-bribe, hulihin at ikulong. Kasuhan. Hindi naman bribe 'yun (Usec. Puno). Kinausap lang siya. Sabihin niya kung sino yung mga kumausap sa kanya, pangalanan niya. Siguro sabi niya, wala naman akong ginawang masama, hindi naman ako tumanggap.

On the allegations that the Church is accepting bribe money from jueteng

SP Kung totoo 'yun, that is news. Bakit namin iimbestigahin 'yun? Dapat ang Santo-Papa ang mag-imbestiga nuon. That is the domain of the Pope.

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