Press Release
February 13, 2014

Transcript of Interview with Sen. TG Guingona

Napaka-simple lang itong nangyari today, 'yung pinaka-essential...what happened today is very very important for the prosecution of the case. For the first time, we have a witness giving testimonial evidence that she personally handed over kickback money to a senator. Dati-rati 'yung mga testigo, 'yung mga whistleblowers nagsasabi na sila napag-hand over mga pera sa mga chief-of-staff, hangang dyan lang. But for the first time, we have someone who has testified that she handed money personally, and that is a very important point, personally handed over money to a senator.

Q: What do you think of the testimony?

Well, that would be up to the Courts but in my opinion it is very, very strong evidence. To top it all, she even pointed out the faces of two of the personnel, the staff of Sen. Estrada, 'yong mga sumasalubong sa kanya pagdating siya dito. Remember what Sen. Miriam Santiago said, general denial vs positive assertion. What are these assertions? Details, faces of security personnel.

Q: Sir, is it possible that the Blue Ribbon Committee would recommend charges against your colleagues?

We still have to finish the hearings so let us finish the hearings. My point really being, malakas ito, matindi ito. May ebidensya eh, siya nagsasabi. She was already in the States, away from the clutches of the law here in the Philippines, bumalik pa siya, she came back.

Q: Sir, hindi pa magwo-work against her that she can't remember the details, the dates?

Come on, how many of you remember details about mga lakad n'yo six years ago? Four years ago, kung saan kayo pumunta? This is not an exercise in memory, this is an exercise in finding out the truth and what is clear is that she distinctly remembers handling over money. Of course, she doesn't remember how much, of course she doesn't remember the dates. She might be a robot if she remembers everything. And she already said she does record. You don't record everyday transactions in your lives, four years ago? I'm sure you won't be able to remember them also.

Q: Sir, regarding her testimony on Enrile, wouldn't it be considered weak because she said she did not hand it over to Enrile himself?

In my opinion, it is clearly establishes it was going through to the chief of staff...

Q: But not to Sen. Enrile?

Wala siya sinabi ganoon eh. Sinabi pa nga n'ya na hindi sila naguusap tungkol ganun.

Q: So, Sir, kay Sen. Jinggoy lang?

That's the way it seems to me. That's the way she was putting it but you must take into account the circumstantial evidence in the case of Sen. Enrile. But please bear in mind these testimonies are still unfolding. This will not be the last hearing because we are still going to call so many names and people as requested by some senators.

Q: Some are saying that Ruby Tuason is somebody who is trying to cut a deal with the government to save her own skin. What do you think of that?

I don't think so. That's the beauty of having Senate Blue Ribbon hearings, you could see for yourself nung sinabi niyang 'My conscience. I could not take it. I cannot die with 80 million Filipinos hating me.' And she was near tears. I don't think that was acting. That was an honest act of contrition. I think she really wants to make a clean break. Imagine she's even willing to return the money? And she was in the States. I don't think so. I'm sure the people who saw the footage on the TV during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee can tell. Makikita niyo naman eh. Masasabi niyo naman kung totoo yung tao or hindi. Dito sa nakita natin tingin ko, totoong tao itong si Ms. Ruby Tuason.

Q: Can you tell us what is the end game of this investigation?

Of course, a committee report for legislation and we're a committee of accountability, we do recommend prosecution as we do have done before. And even file it in the Ombudsman.

Q: May efforts pa din ba ang committee to find Atty. Gigi Reyes?

There is a motion of Senator Cayetano to subpoena or to call all the Chief-of-Staff. Ang committee ay hindi pero I'm sure the NBI, yes.

Q: What do you think of the fact that she does not have documentary evidence because she has no record of the transactions and some Senators said that it might become a he-said, she-said scenario?

Its corroborated by the testimony of Benhur Luy and Marina Suna . So there's a lot of corroboration. Yes, it can be he-said, she-said kung silang dalawa lang. Pero ito hindi, meron itong corroboration. May details. May mga mukha pa nga ng mga security na sumundo sa kanya eh. Its not a he-said, she-said. It's a positive assertion corroborated by several witnesses and that makes it highly credible.

Q: Sir, kahit walang documentary evidence, pag tinurnover yung testimonial evidence...

Yes, it can stand alone. In fact, that is the strongest mode of evidence is testimony. Kasi yung tao mismo ang nagsasabi. Hindi yung dokumento. Yung dokumento pwedeng i-fake. Yung tao makikita mo kung nagsasabi ng totoo kung maccross examine mo. You can find out whether he is telling the truth. 'Ako mismo nagsasabi na ako nagbigay'. That is the strongest mode of evidence. Kaya nga babalik ako sa punto ni Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, yung dinidiin niya na 'personally' nagbigay.

Q: Without the participation of men from the DBM, COA, kailan po ba kayo tatawag from these departments?

We called them already before. They have come here several times already. So, wala namang lumitaw na ganoon. I am sure there is, of course, imposibleng hindi pero there is no evidence yet. We can ask Benhur next time. You know, I think, those whistleblowers will see more whistleblowers from time to time.

Q: Sir, I would just like to ask what is the process here. Ang mga state witnesses po ba required to return all? Ano po ang mga tradeoffs if there are?

Well, that's up to the court, ang final decision. What Ms. Ruby is saying that she's willing to return what she has received voluntarily without any court telling her na, "Hoy, Ibalik mo 'yan." Walang ganoon. Sinasabi niya na, "Ako, mismo, magbabalik sa tinanggap ko."

Q: Sir, considering na mayroon ng directly nag-testify against kay Senator Jinggoy Estrada, may mga panawagan na mag-leave of absence. May necessity po ba? Ano po ang gagawing action ng Senate leadership?

That's for Senator Estrada to address. Siguro, hindi ako dapat ang magsabi doon.

Q: Sir, doon sa observation ni Senator Miriam, 24 senators pero nine lang ang nag-attend today parang hindi interasado 'yung other senators.

Siguro ang dapat tanungin niyo 'yung mga hindi nag-attend. In all honesty, I cannot speak for them.

Q: As chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, how do you feel?

Well, frankly speaking, the quality of the hearings is more important than the quantity.

Q: When is the next hearing, sir?

We have to evaluate ulit. Go through the list. Makikipag-ugnayan kami sa NBI with regards to Matt Ranillo and the others.

Q: Sir, 'yung recommendation ninyo is subpoena na, hindi invitation kina Ducot, Matt Ranillo...

We will see. We have to evaluate it pero I don't see any reason why we shouldn't subpoena them.

Q: Sir, 'yung staff?

We have to study that also. You must remember that whenever we have to call somebody, we have to make sure where we send our summons to or the invitation or the subpoena. What we will do here is ask the NBI to locate the address of the persons.

Q: Sir, lahat po ba ng whistleblowers dumating na?

Lahat ng tinawag naming today dumating.

Q: Sir, clarify ko lang, 'yung staff po ba covered ng parliamentary courtesy?

I don't think so, no.

Q: Pwede sila i-invite?

Pwede then later on subpoena.

Q: Sir, what do you say to Senator Jinggoy's statement na 'yung testimony nila Luy tsaka ni Tuason na-fabricate na kasi nag-usap sila beforehand. Twice sa NBI. Hindi ba 'yon indication?

Makikita niyo naman. The best judge of it is the people. Kayo mismo nandoon kayo, nakita niyo. Nakita niyo ang pagkakatugma ng mga testimonies. Nakita niyo ang pagkakatugma ng time and events. At makikita niyo sa demeanor, sa asta nila kung gawa-gawa lang o tapat 'yung tao.

Q: Sir, kasi crucial 'yung figures dito. Kapag hindi siya nakaabot ng P50 million, hindi siya plunder. Hindi nga natatandaan ni Tuason...

Eh di if hindi aabot ng P50 million, Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

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