Press Release
September 12, 2012

Transcript of Ambush Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On Rice Smuggling

Q: Sir, you were saying po kanina na this issue is beyond rice smuggling...

SP: We are conducting this investigation to really find a remedy to the incidences of smuggling in our country. There is smuggling in rice, meat, including palm oil now in our country which is killing the coconut industry and the national palm oil industry in the country.

Q: Sir, si Marfil po 'yon, 'yung may connection sa mga ganoong operation?

SP: Aba'y nagsisinungaling.

Q: Sir, convinced po kayo na 'yung Vietnamese rice ay intended also for Philippine distribution?

SP: Siguro nga. They're using the import permit ng mga kooperatiba.

Q: Marfil was caught lying kanina...

SP: It was so obvious to me that he's lying.

Q: Is he in collusion with the exporter?

SP: He's the importer. Marfil is the owner of Masagana.

Q: Sir, mae-establish niyo ba niyo ba 'yung involvement ni Ramirez kasi you were saying na you got this information that he was involved dito sa Vietnam rice.

SP: Kaya ko tinanong sa kanya kung involved siya. Hindi pa naman namin alam 'yun. Tinanong ko lang 'yung importasyon kasi nasa peryodiko 'yun and we're conducting an investigation for this rice importation. Tinanong ko kung totoo 'yung balita ko na kasama sa rice cartel 'yung importasyon na 'yun.

On the investigation on Undersecretary Puno

Q: Sir, regarding the investigation on Undersecretary Puno, tama po bang ipatawag ito ni Senator Santiago this Friday?

SP: Pinag-aaralan namin 'yan. Pinag-aaralan ng Rules Committee because walang resolution, walang privilege speech, walang pending bill regarding that. We want to find out what is sought by the lady Senator could be done. Normally, there is an oversight of that committee. That oversight can function to conduct evaluation of the performance of the offices involved. Pero walang oversight ata 'yung committee. Hindi naman naming pinagbabawalan pero pinag-aaralan namin 'yun.

Q: Pinag-aaralan po Senator, matutuloy kaya 'yung sa Friday?

SP: Kung itutuloy niya, okay lang sa amin pero 'yung Rules Committee kailangang pag-aralan nila 'yan. Titingnan kung, motu proprio, any committee in the Senate can just call a hearing to evaluate an office because that is normally a function of the Executive Department. We might be going beyond our mandate because we will be treading in the domain of the presidency since the Executive Department is under the President. He has control and supervision over all departments of government.

Q: Sir, 'yung result ng pag-aaral niyo before Friday?

SP: No. It's not dependent. It's up to Senator Santiago.

Q: Sir, paano kung ma-schedule siya without a ruling from the Rules Committee?

SP: Well, if somebody will raise a question then I do not know what will happen.

Q: Pero once na lumabas na ang resulta, sir, pwedeng i-stop?

SP: I will not stop but pinag-aaralan lang namin because we're anticipating that some people will raise questions about it.

Q: Sir, pero hindi ba magiging exercise in futility 'yon kung walang jurisdiction ng committee?

SP: Huwag niyo na akong tanungin sa opinyon.

On the UNA senatorial slate

Q: Sir, how close is UNA in convincing Senator Loren to ally herself with your coalition?

SP: My understanding is that Loren is a candidate of UNA and also Chiz. So, is my son, Jack. They belong to NPC.

Q: So, there's no more need to convince Senator Loren to be part of the UNA coalition because she is already part of it?

SP: As far as I know, they're already included in the list of candidates of UNA.

Q: Pero sir, wala pong restriction na bawal silang tumakbo rin under kabila...

SP: In the case of Jack, he will campaign in the stage of UNA. In the case of Chiz and Loren, I don't know about them.

Q: Sir, sa interview kanina, you mentioned that about more than a month ago you received information na mayroong unhappy about your leadership...

SP: There are always people who are unhappy with the leadership of anybody.

Q: Pero you specifically mentioned about a Senator na talagang nagsabi na may plan...

SP: I got the information from a reliable source but I will not discuss that.

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