Press Release
August 6, 2009

Transcript of interview with Senator Pia S. Cayetano Kapihan sa Senado (Excerpts)

Q: You are going to run for reelection, aren't you?

SPSC: Yes I'm a re-electionist this coming 2010.

Q: Are you under the ticket of Sen. Jamby?

SPSC: Not that I know of, as far as I know I'm under the ticket of Sen. Villar.

Q: Can we talk about NP. Do you think you can put a complete lineup for the 2010 senatorial?

SPSC: To be perfectly honest, I am not a Nacionalista Party member so I don't really know, I am not involved in the planning, to answer your question, a complete lineup, I'm guessing yes, but don't take my word as the official word from the party like I said I'm not really involved in the details of the political planning. The best person to ask would probably be Sen. Alan or Adel Tamano or Gilbert Remulla

Q: You don't intend to be sworn in as a member of the party?

SPSC: A of now, not yet. I'm enjoying being an NP, "No Party." And I'll tell you why. If only for sentimental reasons, I would love to be a Nacionalista. My father was a Nacionalista. But I'd really like to see the party strengthen and go beyond personalities because sadly, I still believe in the Philippines, politics is still personality-based. And I may have complete respect and value the leadership of one person, but when that one person is gone, if I do not know who is remaining there it may create a problem. And I would like to see new politics in the Philippines which is really based on principles and not just personalities. So for that reason, I am happy being party-less, but I am also extremely happy to be affiliated with the Nacionalista Party.

Q: Inaudible...

SPSC: I think the idea of having Pres. Cory as a national hero is well-grounded and well-deserved. Our concept of "heroes" are people from the past, and many people especially the young ones cannot relate to the lives of many of our heroes. The usual heroes are like based on legends. These were during the times na naka-kabayo pa sila, may mga espadang hawak, etc. So I think it would be wonderful to have a present, modern-day hero, and I am extremely pleased that the person we are considering for recognition as a heroine is a woman. I think it is high time that we recognize her and I can't think of any other person befitting of that honor and title. I do support these moves to recognize her as a national hero.

Q: Ano po ang proseso noon?

SPSC: I understand that there has not been any legislation officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as our "National Hero," including Rizal and Bonifacio. But because of their significant contributions to nation-building, there were laws enacted and proclamations issued honoring these heroes. This may be the first. If Pres. Cory is actually proclaimed a national hero, then she would be the first. She will not be just honored as a national hero, but also officially proclaimed as a national hero.

[Note: Even Jose Rizal was not explicitly proclaimed as a national hero. The only other hero given an implied recognition as a national hero is Andres Bonifacio whose day of birth on November 30 has been made a national holiday. Currently, of the 15 national holidays, only three (3) were named after a singular historical figure: Rizal Day, Bonifacio Day and Ninoy Aquino Day.]

Q: By proclamation you mean that it's an executive action?

SPSC: I mean it more as a legislative action. I believe it could be done through executive action too, because like I said there are still no existing guidelines here. There have already been moves in Congress and I'm quite certain that lawmakers would want it to be done as a legislative action as well, which is in a way is more binding. An executive action can be overturned by future executive heads. But legislation is harder to overturn, so I would recommend that it be done through Congress.

Q: Do you think Pres. Arroyo would really approve of such law?

SPSC: It would be probably politically incorrect of her if she doesn't, so probably she would. But like I said, I doubt that there won't be any resistance whatsoever, if not there will be one hundred percent support in Congress so there's no doubt. To me its almost a given that this will happen.

Q: Wouldn't it be awkward if husband and wife would be proclaimed or legislated...

SPSC: Let's see how it unfolds. I always believe that if a person is deserving of honor and recognition, it doesn't really matter what affiliation they have with the present, past or future personalities. It's really a matter of honoring them for the deeds they did and not for the relations they have.

Q: Inaudible

SPSC: The massive of outpouring of affection, the physical presence in the streets is definitely a strong indication of expression of their love for Cory, but clearly it is also a strong indication of what Cory represented: which was a moral government, compassion for the people, and paulit-ulit din niyang sinabi, when she was still in power and later on, that when it is your time to step down, you must step down. So the people honored Cory for that message. And I believe that message will be one of her legacies and something that people will fight for. So that if there is any move on the part of anyone to keep the incumbent in power, I think that would trigger a massive outpouring of rejection and indignation from the people.

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