Press Release
September 23, 2013

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

On the Janet Napoles

Q: Sir, paano po 'yung subpoena ng Blue Ribbon kay Janet Napoles?

SP: I referred it to the Ombudsman upon the advice of Secretary Yabes because there is already a case pending in the Ombudsman. So, we sought the advice of the Ombudsman given the fact that under their law, publicity is to be avoided or prohibited where in her judgment, it can prejudice the case.

Q: Kelan expected, sir?

SP: I asked that the matter be acted upon immediately given the proximity of the request for a subpoena.

Q: Sir, historically mayroon na bang pinapayagan na mag-witness dito kahit na may pending case sa Ombudsman?

SP: Hindi ko alam but the law is there and rules are there.

Q: Sir, to clarify, you signed the subpoena?

SP: No, I requested the comment of the Ombudsman first. I sent it to her this afternoon.

Q: You don't know when they will give their reply?

SP: Well, it was requested that the reply be done as quickly as possible because of the proximity of the date. I released copies of these to the press because under their own rules the Ombudsman have to determine the confidentiality of the proceedings whether or not it can adversely affect the case. So, that is for the Ombudsman to determine.

Q: Sir, pwede ba iyong magsasalita siya in public?

SP: Well, that's precisely what I'm asking the Ombudsman to comment on because that's the Ombudsman law. It's not the law of the Senate.

Q: It would preempt the hearing of the case...

SP: The law says, the Senate secretary advised me on this, "...pending final action, no publicity shall be made of matters which may prejudice the safety of the witnesses or the disposition of the case or unduly expose persons complained against to ridicule or public sensor." This is the Ombudsman law. So, I asked for her comment on the request for a subpoena.

Q: So based on that sir, most likely, hindi...

SP: I don't express my opinion. She is supreme in interpreting her Charter, the Ombudsman law.

Q: Sir, under the power of the Ombudsman na ba si Napoles after masampa doon ang complaint?

SP: That's correct. The law says once a case is filed, the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction.

Q: Iyong mga whistleblowers din sir?

SP: There is no request for a subpoena on the whistleblowers.

Q: Does the Makati court has a say since she has a separate case on serious illegal detention?

SP: I haven't thought of that but she is under the custody of the Makati court and any movement must be cleared by the Makati court. That's the logical consequence.

Q: How relevant is Napoles' testimony to the investigation of the Senate?

SP: I would not know. That is a matter for the chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee.

Q: But personally sir what's your stand? Would it be helpful?

SP: I have no opinion precisely that's why I ask the Ombudsman because beyond the relevancy and non-relevancy of the case is the power of the Ombudsman.

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