Press Release
February 15, 2011

Transcript of Interview of SP Enrile

On the statement issued by the PMA Cavalier's Association denouncing the behavior of Sen. Trillanes

SP From their viewpoint, the upper classes have ascendancy over the lower classes so probably based on the precepts that they imbibe in the academy, there was a reason for them to make that statement. They follow a strict code of discipline and behavioral conduct as officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines especially as products of the Philippine Military Academy. If you read the alma mater hymn of the PMA, it gives you an idea what kind of training and discipline they maintain. Integrity, courage and loyalty. Those are the three values that they maintain. Loyalty to the country. Loyalty to civilian authority. Loyalty to the chain of command. Loyalty to their superiors and loyalty to God. Courage, moral courage, physical courage. Integrity. It encompasses a lot of things. So given that, I suppose they render a judgment on the conduct of one of them which is Sen. Trillanes. I could not judge him because I am not a member of the military academy. I can speak about him as a member of the Senate and I would be more understanding perhaps as a fellow Senator given the fact that one, he is new in the Senate. He has not been really grounded on the rules. More important than that, he was incarcerated for seven years precisely because of the very issue that was in front of him at the time we were hearing the case in the Blue Ribbon Committee. Corruption. It opened the very core issue under which they undertook their military adventure at Oakwood.

Q Sir, the code of the PMA, should this also hold sa Senate proceedings?

SP It applies to the members wherever they are, in whatever position they may be. They are a part of a breed of men trained under the aegis of discipline.

Q It will not affect the integrity of Sen. Trillanes?

SP No. That was rendered. I suppose the statement of his peers was rendered in the context of their military discipline.

Q In what way can they censure Sen. Trillanes?

SP They can only express an opinion about him. He is not open to court martial anymore. He is no longer in the service and he is now covered by a different kind of rule that as a Senator of the Republic cannot be questioned on any speech or debate done by him inside the confines of the Senate as a Senator. He could not be questioned outside.

Q So what matters more today is his being a Senator?

SP Yes. They can no longer discipline him. I do not know whether they have the power to expel him from the rolls of the graduates of the Philippine Military Academy, but they can express their opinion about him and he can also throw back "all right, sir" to them. They have a way of challenging their superiors. They will ask, "all right, sir."

On the Supreme Court decision to push through with the impeachment proceedings against Merceditas Gutierrez.

SP I will not comment on that because if that impeachment complaint is passed, it will come here. I will be the presiding officer.

Q May jurisdiction po ba ang SC sa kaso ni Gutierrez?

SP Well, there is always the principle that decisions done arbitrarily in such a way that the arbitrariness amounts to a lack of jurisdiction, is open to the review and scrutiny of the Supreme Court.

On allowing the remains of former President Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

SP I agree. The former president was a veteran of World War II. He fought in Bataan. He went through the Death March, where very few Filipinos have undergone that rigor and sacrifice. He got sick in Capas, Tarlac, where he was confined. Then he joined the guerilla organization where he fought again. He was a member of the United States Army in Northern Luzon. He became a Congressman, Senator of the Republic, Senate President. He became President of the country, and he did well as a President. He got sick, and his regime was ended by People Power in 1986. Those are the facts. Now, he has not been tried of any crime although there are claims about certain misbehaviors and venalities in his government, but that is to be judged by the people and the courts in a proper case. I think in terms of his entitlement to become a resident of the Libingan ng mga Bayani, it should not be questioned.

Q Is it also time to put the issue to rest?

SP You see, that is a separate issue all together. I think it will take a big portion of one's lifetime to heal the wound that created that division.

Q 'Yung paglibing sa kanya sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, will that be offensive?

SP We have to take that into account but you see he acted in accordance with the Constitution. So there is an issue. Of course, the fact that Martial Law was declared is not a license to commit oppression. Then again, each one has to prove that there was oppression committed on him or on her and there are remedies for that.

Q Will the President be the one to approve?

SP I do not know if it is the president that approves. I think there is a law. It defines who are entitled to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Q Will he allow?

SP I don't know. I cannot answer that question. My feeling does not matter. The thinking of the person who makes the decision is the one that matters.

Q At this point, does it require for Congress to decide?

SP There is a law. It is not Congress anymore. They have passed a law.

Q Sino po ang implementing agency?

SP Defense Department if I remember correctly because that is under the control of the Department of Defense.

Q May power 'yung Pangulo na pigilan?

SP I guess he has the power as the Commander-in-Chief. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He can, he is the Commander-in-Chief. As the President, he has control and supervision of all the departments and bureaus of the government.

On the Garcia case

SP I do not know whether you can compel him to reveal. You have to establish first that there is a protector and not just on the say-so of anybody. You have to present evidence that somebody is protecting him. You can probably ask him "is there anyone protecting you?" If he says none, that is the end of the matter. And if you say "so and so is protecting you," then that is a different type of question, but you have to have the evidence that that person is really protecting Gen. Garcia.

Q In the hearings, you have not heard who the protector is so far?

SP We have not established anything about that fact because in the first place, there was no one who has presented a formal allegation that there was somebody protecting him.

Q How is the Senate going to conduct the continuation of the hearing?

SP I don't think we are going to hold an Executive Session unless somebody will make a motion.

Q Pero sabi po ni Presidente may lead na daw po sila?

SP That is Malacañang. If they have a lead, then that is not evidence yet. A lead is a lead. It is only a suspicion that will become a reality if the evidence is gathered. But your mere speculation, mere surmises, amount to no evidence until you have presented concrete proof that indeed somebody is protecting Gen. Garcia and that somebody is this person, or those persons, and this identification is backed up with clear, unassailable evidence.

Q Hindi po 'yun reason para i-stop na 'yung hearing?

SP Hindi. Kung merong backer, kailangan hanggang doon tanungin mo 'yung backer. It is the right of the person being alluded to as backer to defend himself or herself and to give an explanation.

Q How would that affect the Blue Ribbon Committee?

SP It does not affect any of the Blue Ribbon Hearing. Why should it affect? He only claims that there is now a backer.

Q Magbi-build up na daw ng case 'yung DOJ?

SP We do not deal with speculation. When you are dealing with people who are going to be hailed before the investigating body as witnesses, then you must be prepared to prove their link with something.

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