Press Release
February 14, 2012

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On SBN 2857, a bill authorizing Civil Society Organizations to participate in budget deliberations

SP What is the use of electing representatives of the people? Are we joking? We can consult. I can appeal, but what is the purpose of a law? You institutionalize it and they will say well, we have a right. Suppose none can agree? Who will decide?

Q Ang sinasabi nila transparency daw po?

SP There are so many crimes committed because of transparency.

Q What crimes are committed?

SP I am willing to wear out my stomach, including my intestines. If they are willing to do it, then I am willing to do it.

On EDSA Anniversary

Q Ano po ang relevance ng EDSA to us now, 26 years na?

SP At this point I do not know. I am no longer current about what's going on in EDSA.

Q Yung relevance niya to us now? Yung EDSA 1?

SP We have regained our freedom supposedly from what others considered an oppressive government, although that is debatable.

On the Impeachment Trial and SPE JPE's Birthday

Q Sir, dahil ba birthday mo at Valentine's Day, maagang mag-aadjourn ang impeachment trial?

SP Siguro tatapusin ko ng alas-sais. Or 5:30pm para kayo makapag-Valentine.

Q How about you Sir?

SP Wala akong handa. Sa bahay ko wala. Family only.

Q And sa Valentine's Day?

SP I prayed this morning as I usually do, and I'll have dinner with my family tonight and that's it. My birthday wish? My wish is for God to give me the stamina and the divine life to do what is right in the remaining years of my life.

Q Sa trial po ano ang wish n'yo?

SP Gusto ko happy ka.

Q Sir, dahil very crucial yung botohan kahapon, may mga impression na indication daw yun na posibleng maging result ng botohan pagdating sa Articles of Impeachment?

SP No. That is not an indication of anything yet. That was just an issue. So, when we go on the merits, there is a distinction between the merits and decision of interlocutory matters. Ano yung mga interlocutory matters? Yung mga pangyayari in the course of the trial na dapat ay sundin ang batas. Kung halimbawa, pu-puwersahin namin ang isang tao na magtetestigo contra sa sarili niya, pwede ba yun, na lalabagin namin ang Bill of Rights? Kayo ba ay papayag, kayong taong-bayan na nakakarami sa amin, na lalabagin namin ang Bill of Rights? Palagay ko walang makakasagot n'yan, na oo, dapat labagin. Pilitin mo yung tao na pumatay ng tao para lamang gusto mo masunod yung kagustuhan ng nakakarami sa amin dito sa Senado. Tama ba yun? O ikulong namin yung tao dahil lamang hindi namin mapasagot sa kagustuhan namin? Kayo ba, sa inyong pananaw, tama ba kami? O kaya, labagin namin ang batas? Ibalewala na namin ang batas, ibasura na namin? Ipalit namin ang aming akala na discretion namin yung aming sariling kaisipan? Hindi na batayan yung batas? Kayo ba, ang mga taong bayan, papayag diyan?

Q Yung issue sa fake documents, kailangan pa ba resolbahin yun?

SP Tinanong ko lang para malaman kung totoo o hindi totoo yung dokumento sapagkat yun ang batayan nila na humingi ng subpoena duces tecum. I have a right to inquire because I don't want to be deceived into issuing a compulsory process like a subpoena duces tecum based on false evidence.

Q Mababalewala po ba yung mga binulatlat na bank accounts kung mapatunayang fake documents yung naging basehan nung subpoena?

SP Hindi ko na sasagutin yung "if" dahil speculation yun.

Q Pakiramdam n'yo po ba, nadeceive kayo ng prosecution?

SP Kaya ko tinatanong kung genuine yung dokumento na ginamit nila. Hindi nanggaling sa aking bibig o dila yung sinabi ng testigo. Nakita naman ninyo, nagtatanong lang ako.

Q Pwede n'yo po ba bawiin?

SP Pwede. That is under my control as the issuing authority.

Q Pero marami na kayong based on that subpoena, napatawag na witnesses?

SP Well, we will appreciate those things at the proper time.

Q Masastrike-out yun sa testimony?

SP I don't know yet. I cannot tell.

Q Sabi po ni CJ Corona, parang inquisition daw yung nangyayari dito?

SP I will not comment on the statement of the protagonists.

Q May liability po ba yung prosecution kapag napatunayan na fake yung document na inattach nila?

SP Depende kung it can be shown that they were a part of the machination.

Q Pero malinaw naman na sinabi sa petition nila na it came from an anonymous source?

SP I don't know. You know, if I am going to discuss that, may masasaktan because I was not born yesterday.

Q Pero walang small lady?

SP I am telling you, if I pursue the question and cross-examine, I am sure that I can bring out the truth.

Q Will you sir? Bakit hindi ninyo ipursue?

SP It's not my job. I am a judge, but if I were an opposing lawyer and cross-examine, I am sure I can crack the story. The easiest thing to crack is when there is falsehood.

Q Paano po kung paulit-ulit na yung explanation na it was given to him by an unidentified lady? How are you going to end this?

SP I will not tell you what I'll do if I were a lawyer on the floor.

Q Sa CCTV walang small lady, so malinaw na nagsisinungaling sila Umali? Ano ang liability niya?

SP Baka unano yung nakita. Small is relative. How small is the lady?

Q Ano po ang possible sanction kung lumitaw na gawa-gawa lang siya?

SP Alam ng lahat ng abogado kung ano ang sanction. Hindi ko sasabihin, mag-aral tayong lahat.

Q Hindi naman masasabi na at fault ang Impeachment Court because they approved it without reviewing first the document that the prosecution attached?

SP We presume good faith but it is the responsibility of the party asking the help of a court to see to it that the ethics of the profession must always be there to guide.

Q Hindi ninyo namislook sa umpisa?

SP Ako, ministerial yung pag-issue ko. Ang nagsusuri nun, yung Clerk of Court. I will not pass the buck. I assume responsibility for issuing the subpoena but I have no time to go beyond. I did not expect the witness to say what she said.

Q Do you feel now that the Senate was mistaken when it approved the subpoena?

SP Hindi ako nagkamali based on the document presented to me. I will find out whether there is deceit in the request.

Q If there is?

SP That is why I asked the prosecution to submit to the court an explanation in 24 hours.

Q If there is deceit, ano ang mangyayari?

SP I will determine whether... I will cross the bridge when I get there.

EDSA Revolution

SP It was an event that was done by the people at the time of extreme social torment in the country. It was cited in the return of the right of the people to elect their leaders. Although, I must tell you that during Martial Law, the people who are in it from 1970- onwards were elected. Although between 1974 all the way to 1977, there was no one elected but the people who remained in office as mayors, councilors and governors were elected. Only the elections of senators and congressmen and the periodic elections of local officials have been suspended during that period. If you remember, we had the first national election for all local officials in 1980. There was a reason why that happened. It did not happen just like that. It happened as a consequence of a clash of ideas inside the administration. Let historians find out.

Q What other lessons from EDSA could we apply today?

SP I think I would say that we should not be precipitate in our action because through EDSA, we restored democracy. There is no question about it. But it set back the country for at least 10 years.

Q Bakit sir?

SP Diba nagkaroon tayo ng disunity and social spasms. I'm not saying that it could not happen again. In the life of a nation, you cannot tell what would happen. You are peaceful today; tomorrow you may be in turmoil. In turmoil today, tomorrow maybe like a typhoon that passed you have calmness.

Q Sir, ang sinasabi n'yo ang lesson should be reunification?

SP The lesson is that we should follow the laws of the land meticulously.

Q If they will not follow the law of the land particularly the current administration, maaari bang maulit ito?

SP I will not answer that question.

JPE Birthday

SP It's too late to regret. It's too late to say I was happy. I was sorry. I was sad. Just be happy that you have a life. You have to be thankful to your Creator that you are living in day to day maybe because of Him.

Q Pagpapasalamat pa rin sa Diyos?

SP Siyempre yun ang paningin ko.

Q Birthday wish?

SP I wish the country will be happy. The country will be peaceful. The country will be stable. And the people will go their ways happily acting according to the laws of our country to pursue their individual desires, ambitions, plans and dreams.

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