Press Release
July 25, 2016

Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III after the Opening of the 1st Regular Session
of the 17th Congress

SPKP: Well actually this is just an opening statement to open up our press conference. We have a very busy day. On a personal note, I am very elated and happy that I have some personal achievement here in the Senate but the best of the pudding is in the eating, so it really now depends on what will happen in the next three years, so with the support of 20 of my colleagues, we have an overwhelming majority, so I believe that we can execute our plans at the same time respecting the rights of the minority to be heard.

Q: Sir si Senator Alan absent today. What do you make of that, will he be majority or minority?

SPKP: Wala pa yun, I will have to talk to him once I see him, kung saan siya. If you noticed, I voted for the Minority Leader, so it's not the vote, you don't look at the vote where the person voted. That is not the determining factor. I voted for Recto, Recto voted for me. That means Recto is majority, I am minority, so wala po doon.

Q: Yung mga committee chairmanships kailan po ba paguusapan?

SPKP: Tatapusin na po. Sabi sa akin ng Majority Leader, by tomorrow and by Wednesday, full agenda for that, to organize all of the committees, para po makapagumpisa na ng trabaho.

Q: Ano pong committee po yung inoffer sa Minority?

SPKP: Wala pa, kasi yung tatlong klaro ni Senator Recto, ngayon ko po sila bibigyan, si Senator Recto po ang wala nang committee, yung dalawa po ang hahanapan ko - si Senator Chiz at si Senator Trillanes.

Q: Alam niyo po ba kung ano ang reason kung bakit absent si Senator Alan?

SPKP: Hindi po. Masyado po tayong busy ngayong araw actually so hindi na po namin. Hindi na po namin tatanungin yung mga detalye.

Q: You mentioned earlier that the Senate will support the war on drugs. Can you clarify since ngayon medyo controversial?

SPKP: I hope you noticed that we will also strengthen the rule of law, and make our justice system work. Ganoon naman po iyon. When your legislators, your elected officials say something, it must be always in accordance with law. The all-out war against crime, drugs and corruption, we support as long it is conducted in accordance with law, punishments are imposed in accordance with law, and then the objective should be achieved - to lower the prevalence of drugs, the availability of drugs nationwide. If we can feel that, happy na po tayo. Basta in accordance with law po dapat ang war against crime, drugs and corruption.

Q: Tuloy po ba yung Senate probe on extrajudicial killings?

SPKP: Pagdating po sa probe, depende na po iyan sa chairman po ng committee where the specific resolution will be referred.

Q: Kailan po kayo huling nagusap ni Senator Alan?

SPKP: Last Tuesday po nagusap kami.

Q: Ano po yung huli niyong napagusapan?

SPKP: We belong to one camp, so I believe that we really belong to one camp. So I will reserve a committee for him.

Q: What committee will you reserve?

SPKP: Kung ano pa po yung hindi ko pa naco-committ. Marami pa naman po, may maganda pa diyan, andiyan pa po yung Committee on Foreign Relations.

Q: May committee po siyang dinemand?

SPKP: Wala po.

Q: Nabanggit ba niya na hindi siya a-attend ngayon?

SPKP: Ngayong umaga ko na lang po nalaman, mga 9:00. Busy na po tayo masyado, hindi na po natin tatanungin kung ano ang dahilan.

Q: Hindi ba siya nagtext?

SPKP: Wala po.

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