Press Release
March 8, 2011

Transcript of interview with Sen. Vicente C. Sotto III

Q: Pag-transfer ng article of impeachment, are we going to adopt the existing impeachment rules?

Sotto: Oo, subject to the discussion of the Senate kung meron bang babaguhin o idadagdag. There are existing rules, it is a matter of adopting it and to conform with the issue taken by the Supreme Court. It should be published. Gagawin lahat naming 'yon at the proper time, relax lang sila.

Q: Sir, ang concern n'yo lang 'yung pag-admit ng evidence like what happened during Estrada administration? Up to what extent po can we admit evidence?

Sotto: The rules is, if you will read the rules, baka hindi kabisado ni Chiz dahil wala sya rito during the last impeachment, nandudun 'yon, maliwanag, na if the rules of the Senate does not suffice, the rules of court will be used. So, ano pa ang gagalawin mo dun? Ayus na 'yon, may mga manner lang na pag-uusapan dyan. Siguro hindi nya alam na the rules of court apply. Kompleto 'yon encompassing the rules of the Senate.

Q: May mga reasons ba for us to worry ba ka mangyari ulit 'yung dati?

Sotto: Problema ng prosecutor 'yon na mangyari uli 'yung kay Erap?

Q: Opo!

Sotto: Problema ng mga prosecutors 'yon hindi problema ng Senate, they presented evidence that was not included in the impeachment. Hindi naman pwedeng baguhin ang rules of court para dun, na sasabihin natin na during the course of trials, additional evidence against another crime can be submitted, walang abogado rito na papayag dun.

Q: Sir, meron bang time frame for us to adopt the rules? Di ba pag this afternoon or tonight na transmit 'yung article of impeachment, until when can we adopt?

Sotto: the following day, existing 'yung rules eh.

Q: We will just adopt it?

Sotto: We will just adopt it and then submit for publication just to conform with the Supreme Court decision na 'yung rules ng Senate must be published.

Q: Ilang araw 'yung publication?

Sotto: Hindi ko kabisado, we should ask the senate secretary.

Q: Ready ba tayo sir?

Sotto: Oo, naka-ready tayo dyan, ang alam ko na issue na pinag-uusapan baka 'yung Senate hindi nakahanda, pag-uusapan pa 'yan. Part of the work of the Senate is impeachment, to act as an impeachment court, therefore, if you are ready to legislate you should be ready to be an impeachment court also, we are always ready, it is just a matter of time table or timing ng pagdating ng impeachment complaint. Gagawan ng resolution, the rules are existing, just to conform it. A simple motion, we can easily adopt the rules, mabilis lang 'yon.

Q: Pero sir gahol na sa oras?

Sotto: Syempre, because the procedure is, when we receive the impeachment complaint we have to send it to the impeachment officer for her to answer, hindi naman kaagad dito impeachment court agad tapos convene agad, hindi ganun...we have to give her a chance to answer.

Q: After na nasagot 'yan ni Ombudsman Gutierrez magbobotuhan na kayo?

Sotto: Hindi pa, matapos nyang masagot 'yan, magko-convene na 'yung trial.

Q: Sir, does she has an option to go to court to stop the trial?

Sotto: Wala!

Q: To stop the Senate?

Sotto: Nothing can stop the Senate, except the Senate itself. Once we receive the complaint and do not want to act on the complaint.

Q: She has no option to go court and stop it?

Sotto: Wala, nasa constitution natin 'yon. Impeachment complaint approved by the House or once an impeachment complaint approved by the House it goes to the Senate, then the Senate acts as an impeachment court and goes to the trial or not necessarily goes into trial because (its not the real wording) pero ganun ang nangyayari but the Senate acts on the complaint, parts of the action will be go into trial or dismiss it.

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