Press Release
March 14, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On the Partial Blue Ribbon Committee Report

Q: Sir, si Sen. TG Guingona refused na alisin dun sa initial report 'yung recommendation na i-impeach si Merceditas Gutierrez.

SP: I respect his prerogative as a Chair but that's going to be a problem that we will encounter when we have the impeachment case here because we are not supposed to be the initiator of impeachment and to recommend the impeachment of somebody, we are, in effect, pre-judging. I hope he will reconsider but if he does not want, well, he is the Chair of the Committee.

Q: Sir, are you worried about sa magiging image ng Senado pagdating sa impeachment?

SP: I am not worried. I know how to handle this.

Q: Sir, pagdating po ba sa plenary, ibig sabihin io-oppose niyo na lang po ninyo 'yung report?

SP: No. I will not oppose anything. It's the responsibility of every senator. I was asked, I have to answer the question.

Q: Pwede na po bang i-present sa plenary kung initial pa lang?

SP: I do not know. I have not seen the report and I do not want to see the report.

Q: Why?

SP: Well, the impeachment is coming here anyway. We are going to judge the person.

Q: Pero you said po na pwedeng ilagay sa alanganin ang Senate kung mayroon na kaagad na ganung klaseng recommendation ang Blue Ribbon.

SP: Hayaan mo na lang 'yun. Let the whole thing speak for itself. Res ipsa loquitur.

Q: But sir, is that part of the recommendation, 'yung impeachment po? Is it valid given that most of the who senators signed it...

SP: There is no question that we have to have a report on the investigation. And the issues taken up in the investigation were two things. Initially, the corruption in what was the subject matter of Senator Jinggoy's speech --- corruption in the AFP. Then, as an incident of that main issue which caused the hearing of the Blue Ribbon, the issue of the plea bargaining agreement came up and that is when the matter of the responsibility of the Ombudsman came. But the primary reason for the call of the Blue Ribbon to conduct an investigation was the speech of Senator Estrada as a consequence of which, former Chief of Staff and former Defense Sec. and Cabinet member Gen. Angelo Reyes was summoned. And unfortunately, it ended that in a tragedy. That's the basic issue involved and in the meantime, the issue of impeachment was going on in the House. Then, there was a final recommendation by the Committee of the House to impeach the Ombudsman but subject to the voting of the Plenary of the House of Representatives. So, I would say that the report properly ought to deal with the two issues. Now, a recommendation like what the Chair of the Blue Ribbon made would imply that he has prejudged the guilt of the person being impeached and he's going to be a judge. I do not know how he will be able to explain this position. He does not have to hear the evidence anymore if he has made up his mind.

Q: Can he still remedy that, sir?

SP: I will not teach them how to remedy their problem.

Q: Sir, magagamit po 'yun laban sa kanya ng depensa?

SP: They will probably ask for his inhibition. They'll challenge his participation.

Q: Mapre-pressure po ba siya na gawin 'yun?

SP: I don't know.

Q: Sir, in your view, dapat po ba hindi ni-release 'yung partial report?

SP: Bahala sila. I'm not the Chair.

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