Press Release
September 24, 2013

Transcript of Press Briefing of Senator TG Guingona
after the Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing

Opening Statement:

The best statement I did was what I said in the ending. I will not allow powers of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to be diminished by anyone. The powers of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee are found in the Constitution and upheld by jurisprudence, a long line of jurisprudence. I will not allow anyone to diminish the stature and the power of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

Q: Kanina po you issued a subpoena for the whistleblowers pero kahapon when you issued a subpoena for Napoles, Senator Drilon referred it to the Ombudsman. Hindi po ba ganun din yun mangyayari ngayon?

I cannot speculate as to what the Senate President will do with the new subpoena.

Q: Since you believe that the Ombudsman's rules of procedure cannot be invoked in this case, would you urge Senator Drilon to sign the subpoena for them?

There is no need to urge him. The fact that I issued it is a very clear signal of my intent. My intent is tawagin mo yung whistleblowers at papuntahin dito. Yun ang intent ko. Second, si Secretary Leila mismo ang nagsabi kanina. Kaya pinaulit ko sabi ko ' You cannot invoke that. Do you agree?' Kasi hindi naman siya yung Ombudsman. Sabi niya ' Yes, I agree.'

Q: What will happen next?

We'll issue the subpoena and it will be forwarded to the Senate President for approval.

Q: Do you smell something fishy in the refusal of Secretary de Lima to bring the whistleblowers here to testify? What about the possibility that they could identify or naming other senators involved in this scam?

Whatever it is, I would not like to speculate. The point is, the jurisdiction of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee and the powers have been attempted to be undermined. I will not allow that.

Q: How far will you assert the right of the Blue Ribbon Committee to summon all these whistleblowers?

As far as I can and the furthest of my powers as the head of the committee is to issue a subpoena.

Q: Paano sir kung hindi yun pirmahan ni Senate President Franklin Drilon?

Maybe you should ask Senator Drilon that.

Q: Ano yung consensus ng mga members ng Blue Ribbon committee with this?

Right now, hindi pa kami naguusap tungkol dito. If you noticed, it just happened so suddenly. We still have to talk about this.

Q: Last night hindi niyo na naconsult yung mga members?

Hindi na kami nakapagkonsulta sa isa't isa.

Q: Bakit hindi niyo na binigyan si Secretary de Lima to explain further?

Wala nang explanation na kailangan. Ang kailangan gawa hindi salita. Ang gawa dalhin yung whistleblowers dito. So gawa hindi salita. Tama na yung salita, gawin mo na.

Q: Pano po ito irereconcile sa situation ni Janet Napoles kasi si Senate President Drilon mismo sabi niya yung pagpapatawag kay Janet Napoles ipakokomentaryo niya muna sa Ombudsman? How will you differentiate or compare the two situations?

There is no differentiation. When I issued a subpoena, it will go up to the Senate President for his approval. Let's not speculate. Wala pa sa kanya yung subpoena pero pagdating dun sa paghingi ng opinion ng Ombudsman, hindi ako sangayon don. Mali yun sa pananaw ko at hindi dapat ginawa yun.

Q: Disappointed din kayo sir?

Disappointed ako.

Q: Kasi dun sa kay Janet Napoles, ang sabi dun ay hihingin muna yung comment ng Ombudsman. Kung ganun din po kay Napoles, pag nagbigay din kayo ng request para i-subpoena si Secretary de Lima and for the whistleblowers, ganun din po, Ombudsman din ang magsasabi? Antayin muna natin bago mangyari. Let's not speculate. Hindi pa nangyayari yun so antayin muna natin.

Q: Possible po ba na magsabay si Napoles at whistleblowers sa Huwebes?

Possible na possible.

Q: Magmamanifest po ba kayo sa floor na during the break you will continue the Blue Ribbon committee hearing?

There is no need. There is a standing resolution always that the committees can function even during the break.

Q: Nasurprise din ba kayo na hindi niya pinirmahan yung subpoena and si Senate President Drilon wanted a comment from the Ombudsman?

Yes. I didn't see that coming and I was surprised this morning that was the action done.

Q: Nangako siya na dadalhin niya dito yung mga whistleblowers pero mag-isa siyang dumating, tingin niyo nagulangan kayo?

Ang words ko 'dun ' You have attempted to diminish and undermine the Senate Blue Ribbon committee. I will not allow that and I am very disappointed with you. Therefore, issuing a subpoena which is an order directed towards you and have the whistleblowers come here on Thursday.'

Q: Sir, indication ba ito ng possible clash between the Senate and the DOJ?

There is no need for a clash because ang Konstitusyon, Saligang Batas at ang mga rulings ng Korte Suprema, time and time again, nagsasabing na ang kapangyarihan ng Senate Blue Ribbon is supreme. Kahit yung kaso andyan na sa Ombudsman, sabi ni Supreme Court, hindi pwedeng pigilan yan. Kailangan pumunta pag may subpoena. Meron pa ngang mga kaso ng Supreme court sinasabi nila na kahit na andyan na sa korte, pwede pa din tawagin. Pwede pa rin ma-subpoena yung tao. Kung maalala niyo, yung panahon na naghhearing tayo kay General Garcia, meron nang kaso nun sa Ombudsman at Sandiganbayan. Yet, tinatawag namin, walang nagkwestyon nun. Bakit ngayon, magkkwestiyon sila, hindi pwede yun. Hindi ko papayagan yan under my watch.

Q: Is this a special case kasi dun sa mga previous hearing ng Blue Ribbon committee, you don't need to ask the Ombudsman for the whistleblower to appear in the Senate Blue Ribbon committee?

This is not a special case. This is an unprecedented case. Hindi pa nangyayari ito. This is the first time at hindi ako sang-ayon sa paghingi ng opinion ng Ombudsman.

Just in case may resolution ang Ombudsman not to allow any whistleblower to appear on the Blue Ribbon hearing?

Let us not speculate. Wala pa naman yun so let's not speculate. Let us just talk about what is there already, huwag muna tayo pumunta sa paano nangyari ito, paano nangyari yan, kasi endless yan.

Nasumbit daw sa inyo yung mga affidavits ng mga whistleblowers. Kung dumating ba yung apat na yun ay marami pang nalaman sana ang publiko na mga pangalan na hindi nalaman before?

Hindi ko masasabi kung ano ang sasabihin ng whistleblowers pero ang importante, may usapan na na dalhin yung whistleblowers dito at ngayon nagsabi sila na iniinvoke nila yung rules ng Ombudsman. Pagdating dito, sinasabi hindi pala pwedeng iinvoke yung rules ng Ombudsman. Hindi pwede yan. Dapat sila magcomply sa subpoena.

Paano kung hindi pa rin dalhin ni Secretary De Lima sa Huwebes yung mga whistleblower?

Let's not speculate. Iiissue ko muna yung subpoena, iakyat pa yan kay Senate President Drilon for approval, and then ifo-forward yan to the Department of Justice.

Hindi po ba ito reminiscent ng EO 464?

Noon, may EO. Ito wala namang EO. Yung nagsabing iniinvoke niya yung Ombudsman Rules, ngayon nagsabi na wala siyang karapatan pala na mag-invoke ng Ombudsman Rules. Hindi ko maintindihan kung saan nanggagaling ito pero ang importante nito, hindi ko papayagan ito.

Si Senate President Drilon, gusto niya ng comment from the Ombudsman, and Secretary De Lima wants the same. Will you consider inviting the Ombudsman?

Hindi na. unang-una, hindi ako sang-ayon na kunin ang comment ng Ombudsman. The power of the Senate is supreme. Hindi pwede ang opinion ng ibang sangay ng gobyerno ay makialam dito. Hindi pwede. Hindi ko tatawagin sapagkat hindi ako naniniwala at hindi ako sang-ayon na dapat hingin ang opinion ng Ombudsman.

On whether Secretary De Lima's confirmation in the Commission on Appointments will be affected.

I would like to judge the approval of appointments on the merits of the person. I don't think we should be part of it. She may have made a mistake, a grievous mistake, and I did express my extreme disappointment at her but then, when it comes to the Commission on Appointments, I will base it on the merits.

Ano po yung implication problem kung hindi i-aassert ng Blue Ribbon Committee yung authority ninyo?

Well, ang mangyayari niyan, kung hindi natin i-assert ang kapangyarihan ng Senate Blue Ribbon, sasabihin lang ng tao, mag-file ka ng kaso sa Ombudsman. Once may kaso ka na sa Ombudsman, hindi ka na pwedeng galawin ng Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. Hindi ko papayagan yan. Mali yun, at hindi dapat yan lalong-lalo na under my watch. That will never happen.

Do you think that you are supported by the majority of the Senators?

Suportado ako ng taong bayan sapagkat ang taong bayan ay naghahanap ng katotohanan. Katungkulan ko lang ito, ginagawa ko lang ang trabaho ko and I will be betraying the trust imposed on me by the people of the Philippines if I do not stand up for the institution of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and this institution called the Senate of the Philippines.

Kung may subpoena daw, papayag naman si Secretary De Lima na pumunta at dalhin yung mga whistleblower?

I did state that I will issue a subpoena.

The subpoena for the whistleblowers and Napoles will have to go through Senate President Drilon?

Yes, and that being stated, I would like to state that I do not agree totally. I totally disagree with the action of the Senate President on that matter.

Do you intend to talk to the Senate President and discuss this?

Nandiyan na yan. Hindi ito dalawa, isa pa lang ang inissue. Ang pakiusap ko, let us not speculate on something that is not yet there because you are not sure really what will happen.

Before you issue the second subpoena, do you intend to talk to the Senate President?

No more. I have already stated in public that I am issuing it. I will issue it. No need. He has his prerogatives, I have my duty.

Secretary De Lima said that she does not intend to undermine the authority of your committee and that she is willing to apologize?

Of course, I will accept the apology wholeheartedly. Everybody commits mistakes.

News Latest News Feed