Press Release
May 21, 2024

Transcript of Interview of Senator Joel Villanueva

Q: Kumusta po kayo?

Senator Joel Villanueva (SJV): We've been in politics for quite a long time I can honestly admit na Seasoned politician na po tayo and in fact getting ready for retirement. So these are usual naman itong mga nangyayari na to and walang dapat emosyon pero also human beings dahil may mga malalapit tayong kaibigan, may mga kaibigan tayo na talagang grabe yung alaga natin more than the others. Medyo surprising pa rin. Siguro talagang hindi ka masasanay kahit anong experiences mo na but it is what it is.

Q: Sir, did you know na Senator Bato signed the reso?

SJV: I was surprised. I was surprised. Really, really surprised. I think that's the biggest surprise kasi parang dinner na kami kahapon nung nalaman namin eh.

Q: Paano nyo nalaman sir?

SJV: When Sen. Bong Go's talking about it. So he was, you know, friendly talks inside the lounge paalis na kami and then he said tatlo silang nag sign. So parang nagulat kami na parang hindi ah, hindi nag-sign eh. Tapos actually baka nga hindi pa rin totoo so talagang kinonfirm pa namin but it would not matter anyway. Klaro sa amin na our service in the leadership is based on the trust and confidence of our colleagues. So if you don't have the numbers, it's automatic dapat.

Q: Sir, did you talk to senator Bato?

SJV: No, not yet. I saw him kanina pero we didn't get the chance to talk. Sir,

Q: Nag-decide na ba kayo kung lilipat kayo sa minority?

SJV: Well, still, you know, we're still studying. We're studying all possibilities. Ang daming options available for us. Especially for me. On my end, I could only speak for myself of course na pwede eh, pwede akong mag-minority. Pinag-usapan din namin ni Sen. Koko yan. If others will join me, what's gonna happen and also I think we have enough time to decide on it. Mag-aano na rin lang, magbe-break na rin lang ng 2 days. So yeah, we have enough time.

Q: Sir, klaruhin ko lang, minority leader ba ang pinag-usapan Sir?

SJV: Everything is a possibility.

Q: So it's possible na pwede kayong maging minority leader?

SJV: It's been, ano, talk about. So hindi na bago para hindi man galing sa akin. But everything is possible. There are some committees being offered to me as well by the new leadership. I'm also studying that option. At the end of the day, sinasabi ko nga na ang pipiliin pa rin natin maglingkod sa bayan. Dahil ito ang sinumpaan nating tungkulin. Ito yung dahilan bakit tayo dinala ng Diyos dito sa Senado. And that is to serve the best interest of our people. So yung dinadala natin dito sa Senado, ano ba yung strengths natin? Ano ba yung pwede nating maitulong sa ating mga kababayan? Dahil we love this institution so much that we are more than willing to sacrifice. Kung anuman yung dalhan sa atin na anumang pangkat tayo mapunta. Minorya man, mayorya man, independent man. Because so far, as SP Migz made mention yesterday, as far as we are all concerned, we are seven independent Senators as of this time.

Q: Sir, si Sen. Migz, anong options for you?

SJV: I cannot talk about his ano, you know. I can only speak for myself. I wish him well. I told him we had a good run despite all the noises and the lies and everything. And I think history will judge us kindly. And I'm more concerned about that. Siguro wala na rin makaka-question nung ginawa ng leadership in so far as fighting for the institution and ensuring that the Senate will still exist and will still do its part in nation building.

Q: Sir, nag-formal na yung ano, parang pag-uusap nyo ng minority bloc? O in passing lang yung napag-usapan nyo ni Sen. Koko?

SJV: Puro in passing. Tama ka na hindi formal but in passing and may mga konting biro. I don't want to play those jokes but napag-usapan yun. And again, wala pang final decision. In fact, yesterday, last night, we had a dinner nung kaming pito. Isa yun sa aming napag-usapan. And we don't want to rush things. Mahirap din mag-decide na mataas yung emotion kasi hindi naman maikakaila na mataas ang emosyon and of course yung pagod and all. Right now ang gusto naming mangyari magawa ang pwede naming magawa in the next two days before break.

Q: On Sen. Bato?

SJV: I think that's the greatest surprise of all probably in the history of leadership change. But it is what it is. We respect everyone's judgement, opinions, decisions. It's kind of weird of course but it is what it is.

Q: You feel betrayed?

SJV: Feel betrayed? I think betrayal is an underrated word. Siguro you just have to think about your job, be professional about it. Be disciplined in dealing with your emotions. Mahirap, it's not easy but you just have to go through with it. And I'm sure it will make us all better individuals, better public servants. Sabi ko nga at the end of the day, saan mo mas magagawa ang tungkulin mo bilang empleyado ka ng Senado, ng mga mamamayan. Yung best ang gawin mo.

Q: What do you think umiiyak pa si Sen. Bato tapos�

SJV: I don't know what I think matters. It matters siguro sa family ko lang siguro. As a public servant it doesn't matter whatever I think. You put yourself in my shoes, I'm sure you already know how you're going to feel. That's why I said it's probably the greatest, biggest surprise of all. Parang it's funny as well dahil it came out after 5, 6 hours of the incident. But you know, I think it's just a footnote anyway. It's just weird.

Q: Sana inabisuhan man lang niya kayo?

SJV: Kahit doon sa mga kaibigan syempre. Sa mundo ng pulitika mahirap talagang hanapin ang tunay na kaibigan na talagang open sa iyo. There are some na nag-reach out even before pero at the end of the day ganun talaga if you look at the history of the Senate, ganoon naman ang change of leadership. Siguro wala lang yung sinasabi mong huli. it's nothing new but natural yung mga pangyayari, kaganapan na ating nasaksihan.

Q: Inoffer ba ni Sen. Koko position niya?

SJV: Mag-uusap na lang kami. I sincerely respect and even if I join the minority na siya ang minority leader I don't think I will have problems with that. I have so much respect for the man and I think masaya rin ako na na-acknowledge niya yung kontribusyon namin ang trabaho naming dalawa na mabigat. Maraming tao and sometimes even senators have no idea how it is like to be a majority and minority leader. Everyday ung agenda, every single bill na pinapadala from the other house you have to scrutinize and all. Mabigat mabigat ang trabaho and I am happy andyan pa rin si Sen. Koko.

On the Housekeeping NC II Graduation Ceremony for 125 Philcare Janitorial Staff

SJV: Hindi ko madescribe yung kakaibang galak at kasiyahan bilang isa sa mga instrumento na ginamit ng Diyos para itouch ang buhay ng mga janitorial services natin na naririto. Kayo mismo nasaksihan kung ano ang feeling nila magkaroon ng National Certification. Ito na ang pasaporte nila hindi lang para magkatrabaho sila kundi para magkaroon ng dignidad ang kanilang pagiging isang dekalidad na manggagawang Pilipino. So for me, it's such a great honor and blessing to be part of it. And you know very well na kapag lumipat na kami doon sa kabilang building ng Senado, hindi sila pwedeng ma-hire uli kung wala silang National Certification. I'm sure most if not all of them will be part of our would be new employees in the new Senate Building. So I'm happy about that. To God be the glory.

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