Press Release
October 30, 2013

Transcript of Ambush Interview of Sen. Serge Osmeña

On the DTI Budget

S: Sir, approved na po ba pati yung P548 million na budget ng DTI for poverty reduction programs?

Serge: That's the livelihood component of a bigger program, which is poverty intervention program gaya ng CCT. 'Yung CCT umaabot na sa P40 billion. This one will amount to about P20 billion, pero depende po sa... they put P548 million in the budget of the DTI because that takes care of the livelihood program of this particular department.

Q: What about the implementation?

Serge: The implementation will be done by the local government. Local government po ang mamamahala dito, although they have an Anti-Poverty Council at the local government level. Sila po ang pumili ng mga activities and programs para dito po.

On Napoles Senate appearance

Q: How are you preparing for the appearance of Napoles? Pupunta po ba kayo?

Serge: Yes, I will be attending. November 7 po iyon.

Q: What will you ask her?

Serge: Alam naman ninyo... I will ask her the questions that you ask me. I'll ask her what does she know about the so-called use of PDAF that have been given to her NGOs. Pero sa loob ko, hindi naman niya sasagutin iyon. I am pretty sure she will protect herself because she knows that it may and will be used against her.

Q: Nag-resign na daw po si Atty. Kapunan as lawyer ni Napoles sa illegal detention case. Will that weaken the defense of Napoles?

Serge: Oo, hindi maganda 'yun, kapag in-abandon ka ng abogado mo. That means that you're not united in the strategy to be carried out. And that's probably the reason why Atty. Lorna Kapunan resigned. But again, I am only guessing. You just told me that she resigned. I would assume that there is some disagreement in the strategy.

Q: According to Sen. Miriam, malamang maging political circus lang ang hearing pagharap ni Napoles, dahil 'yung mga nag-a-aspire for the 2016 elections ay baka samantalahin lang ang hearing para sa kanilang political cause?

Serge: Anong ibig sabihin niya na magkakaroon ng political circus? Every time she's here, it's always a circus, anyway. I don't know what she means by that.

Q: Sir, ang sabi mo nagiging political circus kapag nandito siya?

Serge: Yeah. She would deliver a speech, and she would blow her top, that's a political circus to me. So, I don't know what she means by political circus. It is a valid exercise of the Senate prerogative to investigate matters that have been in violation of various criminal laws, exercising the jurisdiction of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee. If she calls that a political circus, that's very sad to hear that.

On the Impeachment of former CJ Renato Corona

Q: Any comments on the statement of former CJ Puno na puwede daw ma-declare na void 'yung impeachment trial kung mapapatunayan na nagkaroon ng bribery?

Serge: Yes, I think that is true. If there was intervention, if there was bribery, it can be declared void. I guess the Supreme Court will be the one to do that. But first prove it.

Q: Paano 'yun sir, kailangan may mga senator na umamin na nasuhulan sila?

Serge: Yes.

Q: Meron bang aamin?

Serge: No. As far as I know, there was no bribery. There was excess fund and they offered it to the senators to be part of their PDAF. I know that they are not gonna offer me P50 million for my vote, I will throw it back on their face. As a matter of fact, nakita naman ninyo, 2003-2007, wala akong PDAF sapagkat kalaban ko si Gloria. They couldn't bribe me.

Q: Sino magde-declare ng void? Considering that the Senate as an impeachment court is an independent body. Under the Constitution, sila lang ang binigyan ng power to...

Serge: Alam niyo, dependen iyan eh. That's why we're going to a very fine of law there. And there are certain cases that the Supreme Court can say yes, we can take jurisdiction on that. Pero maghahanap sila ng esoteric reasoning that lawyers are usually able to do, in order to justify throwing this to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Magaling naman sila diyan.

Q: Mababalik pa ba si Corona?

Serge: I doubt that.

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