Press Release
November 18, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Sen. Drilon on the Comelec's
decision to file electoral sabotage case against former President Arroyo

FMD: This now provides the basis for a hold departure order because under the Constitution, the respondent in a criminal case can be held by the courts. In other words, the accused is under the custody of the court at this point. Of course, the prior condition is that there must be a warrant of arrest issued. That matter is addressed to the sound discretion of the Regional Trial Court. Once the warrant of arrest is issued, then that will make the issue in the Supreme Court academic. We have always maintained the view that a case should have already been filed if there is a prima facie case, so that the issue before the Supreme Court will become academic. It is accepted and unwritten that once a case is filed, and the Regional Trial Court will issue the warrant of arrest, the court will now have full jurisdiction and can issue the hold departure order, which will make the case in the Supreme Court academic. Pag nasampahan na po ng kaso ang dating Pangulo sa Regional Trial Court, at mayroong warrant of arrest na i-issue, magiging academic n ang kaso sa Korte Suprema.

Q: Sa situwasyon ni PGMA ngayon, papaano po yan, halimbawang nagpalabas ng warrant of arrest, ikukulong po ba siya agad?

FMD: Depende po sa husgado yan kasi sila ang may tangan, at technically, the former President is in the custody of the court. Kung saan dadalhin ng husgado ang dating Pangulo, nasa kanilang discretion po yan.

Q: Makakaapekto po ito sa planong pag-alis ni PGMA?

FMD: Yes, makaka-apekto dahil sa yun naman ay nakalaan sa ating Saligang Batas na ang husgado ang siyang may kapangyarihan na pigilin ang pag-alis ng isang akusado sa husgado.

Q: Yung MR sa Supreme Court, kailangan pa bang desisyunan yun?

FMD: Sa aking tingin, hindi kailangang desisyunan kung mag-issue nga ng warrant of arrest ang Regional Trial Court. Ang Korte Suprema ay hindi po nag-dedecide on a theoretical basis. Dapat may actual case.

Q: Agaran po ba yan pag nagfile ng warrant of arrest, or may span of time pa po?

FMD: Under the Constitution, the Regional trial Court will now examine the information filed, and determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant the issuance of a warrant of arrest.

Q: Possible po na within the day a-isyuhan ng warrant of arrest?

FMD: Hindi ko po alam, nasa husgado po yan.

Q: Sa normal procedure, pwede ba yun na kaka-file lang sa fiscal, ira-raffle, pwede agad mag-issue yung judge ng hold departure order?

FMD: Nasa husgado yan.

Q: Normal procedure or special case?

FMD: It is not unusual that the judge will now decide whether or not on the basis of the evidence presented before the court, a warrant of arrest is issued.

On whether the budget debates will be finished on time.

FMD: We are on schedule to finish the debates tonight and we will submit for Second and Third Reading on Monday or Tuesday the budget. We are on time.

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