Press Release
September 1, 2014

Transcript of Interview with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the suspension order of Sen. Enrile

SPFMD: Today I will implement the order of the Sandiganbayan on the suspension of Senator Enrile. I have no recourse but to implement this, as we received the order of the Sandiganbayan denying the motion for reconsideration of Senator Enrile. The suspension will be effective today, and the suspension will be automatically lifted after 90 days. This is the order of the Sandiganbayan and we have no recourse but to implement it, consistent with the decision of the Supreme Court in the case involving a member of the legislature.

I read in the papers that the Sandiganbayan has also denied the motion for reconsideration of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada. Again, I have no recourse, but the moment I receive this order, we will also implement it and we will report to the Sandiganbayan because we are required to report within five days from receipt of the order. So this is what we will do today, the suspension will be effective as directed by the Sandiganbayan as of September 1, 2014. As I said, we have no recourse but to implement this, in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Santiago versus Sandiganbayan in 2001, when the court expressly ruled that the anti-graft law is applicable to elected officials of the Philippine legislature.

Q: So officially sir, si Minority Leader pa lang ang suspendido ngayon?

SPFMD: Because yun pa lang ang natatanggap ko. Nabasa ko lang sa pahayagan over the weekend, that meron na ring order ang Sandiganbayan. Hindi pa namin natatanggap, but the moment we receive it, it will be implemented in the same manner that we have implemented the case of Senator Enrile because the order of the Sandiganbayan is immediately executor, unless restrained by the Supreme Court.

Q: Ano po ang mga bawal sa kanila while suspended sila?

SPFMD: Hindi sila pwedeng mag-file ng bill, hindi sila pwedeng pumirma ng mga Committee Report. Sa committee chairmanship, they will be acting chairs sa Committee on Labor, in the Minority Leader post, but even before all of this, as manifested by Senator Jinggoy during the session before his case was acted upon, pinagbilin na po ni Senator Jinggoy kung sino po ang hahawak at with accordance with the rues, ang hahawak po ay, halimbawa yung mga Committee Reports na pending sa plenaryo, ang acting chairman ay si Sen. Sonny Angara ang siyang magdedefend.

Q: Paano po yung mga sweldo? Yung mga empleyado?

SPFMD: When they are suspended, walang sweldo. Yung staffare employees of the Senate, hindi po apektado yan. In fact these are employees of the Senate. Ang mag empleyado, empleyado ng Senado, at sa kanila naka-detail. Yung co-terminus, empleyado ng Senado yan. Hindi empleyadong personal ng mga senador.

Q: On the P1 billion DAP funds

SPFMD: This is a blatant lie, and I will not dignify these characters with a response. If you look at it, these are pure speculations and I would like to caution that we should not give credence to these speculations as it does not help our already toxic political environment. Hindi po naman nakakatulong itong mga spekulasyon na ito, eh wala naman pong sinabi kung hindi spekulasyon lamang. Let us go on and work so that we can continue on with good governance.

That is why I am saying na ingatan din sana. Yung ating mga kasamahan sa media, wag po sanang kagatin yung ganitong mga spekulasyon o kasinungalingan. Hindi naman po ito nakakatulong sa ating objective, which is to provide better governance for our country.

Q: Rep. Tiangco has coined the term "MAD".

SPFMD: I would not comment on those.

Q: On the ice bucket challenge?

SPFMD: I will donate to the PGH Neurology Center. Sa ngayon, I will challenge Tony Meloto of Gawad Kalinga. Why? Because we have a common advocacy. Nagpatayo po tayo ng 1,000 low-cost housing sa Iloilo for 1,000 families and the village is managed by Gawad Kalinga. Second, I wish to challenge my good friend Gina Lopez. Again, we have a common advocacy, they are cleaning up the Pasig River while we are cleaning up the Iloilo River. We have exchanged ideas on practices and good methods on how to clean up those rivers. Third I would like to challenge Alfonso Siy of the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry where I had a project with them where we built 1,600 classrooms with the help of my PDAF allocations around P250 million. We were able those classrooms at half the price of government contracts. These are people with whom I have common causes. Sila po ang aking chinachallenge.

Q: On statement of Sen. Arroyo on unfairness of Blue Ribbon Committee

SPFMD: You know these are the same rules that Joker utilized when he was the chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee and these are the rules that enabled the Blue Ribbon Committee to find out the truth with the PIATCO, to discover the anomalies in the North Rail Project, and the ones used in the Fertilizer Scam. Those rules have been there for a long time, and I am not in favor of amending the rules. First of all, the rules are proven to work. We must remember that the Blue Ribbon Committee is not a judicial proceeding, nor is it a criminal investigation. It is primarily in aid of legislation and of in seeking the truth. The rules have been there, and they work well, and they continue to work well.

Q: Will the suspensions affect the Senate's work?

SPFMD: Hindi naman. Nakita niyo naman sa mga nakalipas na buawan, patuloy pa rin ang trabaho sa Senado at patuloy ang mga debate sa mga iba't ibang panukalang batas.

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