Press Release
May 16, 2017

Transcript of Ambush Interview of Senate President Koko Pimentel III

On the appointment of Sen. Cayetano as Foreign Affairs Secretary

SP Pimentel: Because he has been busy in international affairs in preparatory to his appointment, we have been missing his presence. But whenever he is present in the Senate he always participates in discussions. He contributes his ideas to the discussions. He is going to be a big loss. Now that he has developed an expertise in foreign affairs and foreign relations and he is our chairman of the committee, we will also lose him because he will now be Foreign Secretary. He will be a big loss to the Senate.

SP: If Alan is now secretary, our quorum will be based on 22.

Q: Stable pa rin po pagdating sa majority?

SP: Walang problema sa majority, but for example, a super majority is needed, let us say there is a question where the Constitution requires a super majority, more than the ordinary majority, baka mahirapan na. Minus one na. Sana nga hindi. Theoretically.

On the information reaching the UN international body coming from the Liberal Party and other NGOs with respect to the drug war.

SP: I need to process that report.

On Senator Alan Cayetano not needing to formally resign yet.

SP: Once he accepts the position of Secretary of the DFA he will be considered resigned. Automatic po yun. Ngayon, he has been nominated, wala pa, he is still a senator.

On the LP complaining of being victims of fake news.

SP: Wala tayong personal knowledge nyan and currently there are no rules regarding trolls so if trolls is now the new political strategy, then being a political party, they develop their own strategy.

Q: Can we safely say that none of them are being engendered by the administration?

SP: Wala akong malay diyan, hindi ko rin kasi namomonitor yung fake news about them. Siguro, while there is still media like you, then they can now use mainstream or genuine media to tell their version of the story. That is the way to fight fake news.

Q: Nakita nyo ba yung growing concern about fake news? Dapat na ba siyang i-address?

SP: We will have to study that matter of trolls and propagation of or invention of fake news, pag-aralan po natin, pero a word of caution, hindi po lahat ng problema sa mundo ay kayang i-solve ng batas. Not all problems can be solved by enacting a law. Tingnan natin if this is one such problem which a law cannot possibly address. Kasi, nandito po yan sa cyber world, nandito po yan sa free speech, nandiyan po iyan sa anonymity, so, whatever law we enact, who are going to be liable? Who are they? How are we going to find them? How are we going to catch them? Pag-aralan po natin yun. Maybe, since this is a product of technology, maybe the solution is also using technology. Tingnan natin, pag-aralan muna natin.

Q: Kayo personally, hindi kayo na-aalarm sa existence ng trolls?

SP: Masakit nga actually. May mga nababasa ka rin, kaya dapat pag-aralan. Ako kasi alam ko na hindi naman lahat ng problema ng mundo curable by by a law. Pag-aralan muna natin. Hindi ko sinasabing hindi kaya ng batas ito but hindi ko rin sinasabing law is the solution. Maybe it is a combination of law and technology.

On the process of voting with only 22 senators

SP: Yun na nga. Kapag super majority na, yun na, may absolute number na yun. For example, 16. Sana nga, hindi pero yun lang ang nakikita kong questions na posibleng magkaroon kami ng problema. Sana hindi.

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