Press Release
September 20, 2012

Cayetano: More than the JPE-Trillanes clash, there is also an issue of National Security
and compromised confidential processes

Reporter: Will the minority accept Sen. Trillanes?

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano (ASC): The minority, of course, will accept Sen. Trillanes, but there are bigger issues here. On the issue of whether or not one has faith in the leadership of a person, that is normal in any group even in the House of Representatives or here at the Senate.

Unfortunately, what were mentioned in the Senate floor involving national security and negotiations connected to diplomatic and foreign affairs are big issues that may have huge implications.

Ang problema, nauna ang mga emosyon ngayong hapon kaya siguro hinayaan muna na mailabas ang damdamin ng bawat isa. But sooner or later, the Senate as a whole has to figure out how to protect things or information that are covered by executive sessions - those things that are part of national security.

We're discussing here in Senate the Freedom of Information Bill, but even in the Bill, negotiations between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the different countries are also protected for obvious reasons.

I think, more than a scuffle between politicians, more than a discussion on who is right between Sen. Enrile and Sen. Trillanes, there may be more important issues that happened that could be damaging to the country - like a possible revelation of how we handled a crisis and how we handled relations with a foreign country.

Reporter: Pwede po bang magkaroon ng action both on the Senate President and Sen. Trillanes?

ASC: Well, in the Constitution, you cannot hold a senator for speeches or official actions that we do in the Senate. But then, we do have an ethics committee. But it really depends on the feelings of the majority and the minority.

Allegedly, there have been talks about a Senate coup, or about replacing the leadership, so one cannot help that sometimes actions like these are not judged based on what really happened in the Senate floor. Nagkakaroon ng kampihan din based on the majority and the minority.

That is what I'm saying that it is a good thing it's the last day of the session, beacause after this, we have to very soberly, very responsibly, discuss among ourselves how to avoid situations where one has to protect his personal integrity (at the expense of national security matters).

I mean, I understand that the Senate President felt that he has to protect his personal integrity, hindi ba? Prinsipyo 'yon at feeling niya nabastos siya. But whether or not feeling mo nabastos ka, again, national security ang pinag-uuspaan.

It's not a matter of "what you see is what you get". It wasn't a simple issue of one member losing faith in the leadership of another member of the Senate, and then the other one defending himself. May collateral damage dito sa nangyari.

Since this is a matter concerning foreign affairs, a relationship with a foreign nation, and how we deal with a crisis, this becomes a bit of a "blackeye" because certain confidential processes may have been compromised.

Reporter: Sir, mas possible na ba ngayon ang pagpapalit ng leadership ng Senado?

ASC: We are only four in the minority. A change in leadership needs a majority. Talks started when the Nacionalista and the Liberal party announced a coalition for the upcoming elections. But we've clarified so many times that the coalition is for the 2013 elections and this coalition is still a work in progress especially when it comes to having a common platform.

Hindi napag-uusapan sa kahit anong level sa coalition ang liderato sa House o sa Senate.

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