Press Release
Transcript of press conference with Sen. Pia S. Cayetano
September 8, 2006


Opening Statement

Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. Noon pong nangangampanya ako, ako po'y miyembro ng K4 coalition. At nung panahon na yun, bagama't po unang beses kong mangampanya, ang ginawa ko ay kinampanya ko ang sarili ko, kinampanya ko ang mga kasamahan ko, kasama po dun ang Pangulo natin.

Marami ho kaming narating na lugar, minsan kumpleto kami. Minsan kasama po natin ang Pangulo. Minsan nakakasama po natin ang First Gentleman. Naibigay ko po lahat ng kaya ko para ikampanya at tulungan din ang mga kasamahan ko. Noon pong natapos ang eleksyon at nanalo po ako, nagpasalamat din po ako sa mga kasama ko, including the President.

Nakalulungkot lang po ngayon na isinusumbat po sa amin na nagkukulang daw po kami sa pasasalamat. Kung yun po ang pananaw nina Tito Mike (Arroyo), ako po ay humihingi, gusto ko pong ipaalam sa inyo, na ako'y nagpapasalamat sa K4, sa Presidente, sa kanyang asawa, si Mr. Mike Arroyo, sa tulong na ibinigay n'yo sa akin noong kampanya.

Nakakalungkot lang po na isinusumbat sa amin na yung suportang binigay sa amin ay hindi (raw) namin binigyan ng pansin. Ito po'y binigyan ko ng pansin at pinahahalagahan at ko po'y nagpapasalamat.

Q: Parang nagiging personalan na po 'yung banatan ng dalawang kampo?

Well as far as I am concerned, I have a job to do, my brother has a job to do, and I don't think it's proper to make this a Cayetano versus anything. Our people deserve more than that. They deserve legislators who work for the best interest of this country, and my brother is doing his part and I'm doing my part. I would like to avoid personal issues to the extent that we must be transparent in our work then by all means, make us accountable. But beyond that, let's keep the issues to the work that we are all supposed to do.

Q: Ma'm nung 2004 po si Rep. Alan ay admin din?

My brothers (along with Muntinlupa Coun. Renren Cayetano) and I were all administration candidates, although alam n'yo naman sa local, maraming factions d'yan. Both my two brothers, si Cong. Alan Cayetano sa Taguig-Pateros, and my other brother, si Councilor Ren Cayetano sa Muntinlupa naman, belong to the K4-Lakas wing coalition, pero may mga factions din yan sa local, so iba rin yung sa kanila. But we all supported the President during the 2004 elections.

Q: Mam, ano po ang naging kuwento, bakit si Cong. Alan e naging oposisyon?

I prefer that you ask my brother questions that relate to him because I don't really keep tabs on what he does everyday. But I do know for a fact that he was being supportive of the administration and the President, and then there were some issues that he felt strongly about until it came to a point na kumalas siya sa administration. But he was still supportive of the President, I remember sometime in, I think, I was not too sure if it was late-2005, nagpahayag pa rin siya ng pagsuporta sa Presidente bagama't kumalas siya.

Pagkatapos, nung lumabas na ang ibang issue, he took a strong position about the President's involvement in the allegations now contained in the impeachment complaint. And so I leave that to him, I precisely did not want any involvement in this kasi iba naman ang role ko, and as you all now, kung ang impeachment case ay ma-elevate sa Senate, we sit as judges, and so I don't even discuss these details with my brother e. Para I remain unbiased as much as I can.

Q: Totoo po ba na indebted kayo sa First Gentleman, in terms of campaign money?

I'd like to say that I am forever grateful to all the people who supported me during the campaign. There are so many people, some of whom I come across and say, I will forever remember you for all the help, and of course the First Gentleman is part of it. Sino ba naman yung gustong kulitin 'yung standard bearer nya? Ako nga, pag may gustong lumapit sa kin, ang kinakausap yung staff ko o mga kamag-anak ko. So ganun din pag mayroon din akong ipaparataing minsan sa administrasyon, hindi na kay Pangulo mismo, although madalas ko siyang nakakasama sa kampanya. If I have access to the First Gentleman, which I had, because we were in the campaign together, or to our campaign manageralam nyo naman po ako I'm very candid about things, and I never hesitated to say, "Ay, kulang ang pondo." Kahit sino namang kandidato, siguro walang magsasabing "marami akong pondo, okay ako." Lagi naman po kaming kulang.

Q: Magkano po yung pondo na naitulong sa inyo ni FG?

I don't really know for a fact. As a candidate, and you can ask any candidate, we're like walking zombies: we eat, we sleep, we give a speech, and then we eat, we sleep, and we give another speech. I'm sure that there are records that could bear this out, we can check the Comelec records.

Q: So lahat ng tulong na naibigay nila sa inyo ay nakalagay sa records ng Comelec?

Definitely the K4 Party supported us. In what ways, I don't know how they itemize these. When they pay for our campaign sorties, the food, accommodationI don't know how these are accounted for, but to the extent that the records will bear them out. Like I said, I did not get involved personally in the accounting of these funds. I knew that there were funds coming in from the Party, not enough, but I'm not complaining now. But that's the reality: we're always looking for more funds.

Did you expect that the issue between the First Gentleman and Cong. Alan will boil down to this? That the two of you are being made to look ungrateful?

When I decided to enter politics, I told myself to expect anything. I still get surprised about what I read in the papers. As long as I know where I am coming from, and I know where my family is coming from, we walk with humility always remembering that we carry the name of our father, which we will always try to keep intact as he had left it with us.

Q: Pero sa sinabi mismo ng Presidente, sinabi na parang "I thought yung brother n'yo ay maglilive-up sa legacy na iniwan ng kanyang father"?

Well, with respect to my dad and my brother, let me just say that my brother, Alan Peter Cayetano, is our father's son. He has fought for what he believed in, in the same way that my father did.

Q: Nag-iisip po ba kayo na pumunta na lang ng oposisyon to be with your brother?

Maganda na 'yung upo ko sa tabi ni Sen. Flavier no? Huwag n'yo na kong palipatin sa ibang lugar! (laughs)

Q: How do you wish this exchange of barbs be resolved?

Like I've always said during the campaign, and even now, this country has so many problems. There are many economic and social issues that need to be addressed. But we also have political issues that are equally important. And so legislators and other public servants all do their part in this. My brother is fighting for political justice in this country. I am fighting for social justice by way of legislation, and so if we stick to these issues, I think we'll move forward quicker.

Q: Did they try to contact you at one point, nung medyo nagsisimula pa lang maging opposition yung brother ninyo?

Being an administration senator, siyempre my lines are always open naman to Malacanang. Nagkaka-kwentuhan din naman kami. Siyempre nagkukumustahan about the family. Sinasabi ko naman, mula't mula pa, na may respeto ako sa trabahong ginagawa ng kapatid ko. Kilala ko siya. Hindi gagamit ng isyu 'yon for personal gain. I trust him and to the extent that I can help resolve issues, of course I always will. We can do away with a lot of personal issues if meron tayong mapinpinpoint kung anong mga political issues na pwedeng mapag-usapan. So kunwari ngayon, may issue sa House ngayon tungkol sa impeachment nila, yun yung issue di ba? We have administrative and legal processes, that if we respect them, then let's just let the courts do their job, let legislators do their job, then media can do the same without too much fanfare.

Q: In all these, do you stand by your brother?

I stand by my brother. I proudly stand by my brother.

Q: Did you think it will come to this point? After filing libel charges against your brother, the First Gentleman filed a complaint in the ethics committee and now disbarment?

When I was in college and my dad first ran for MP sa Batasan, yun ang ayaw ko e, kasi siyempre mabigat sa loob ko kung makikita kong may hindi magagandang sinasabi laban sa pamilya ko. Pero ngayon, 20 years na rin akong exposed sa ganito, I have to "thicken" my skin and understand the process. And as long as I understand in my heart what the people I respect have done, and I maintain respect for them, then it's part of the job that I have to do and it's part of the job that my loved ones have to do.

Q: How do you describe yourself now? Are you still with the administration?

Well if you look at the Senate, you can ask any of my colleagues that, at the moment where are we all ba? At the moment, I think we are banded as one in our efforts to still have a Senate as part of the legislature in the next few years. We have really been working, and we have not been really distinguishing who's administration and who's opposition in the Senate if you look at what we've been doing in the last few months.

Q: What's your advice to your brother?

My brother, I always ask him, if he's prayed about it, if he and his wife are well. I'm his older sister so my first concern is his well-being. And then I will come in and talk to him on the more political and legal side, and then I'll ask him: "O pinaghandaan mo ba 'to? Alam mo ba sinasabi mo? Okay fine." In fact, I'll probably just spend a minute asking him on his work-related (concerns), because he's done his research. My brother has been a congressman for three terms, he's a lawyer and he's careful with the things he does. I think history will bear us out that he does his homework at hindi naman siya basta-basta nagsasalita, e.

Q: Do you know for a fact if he has hard evidence?

I don't ask him for details. I truly do have a lot of work on my plate, and I think my brain can't take to take on his job as well. So I really don't ask him for details. I just ask: "O, okay ka ba?" I don't need to know the details. Kasi I will get involved if I know too much e. Hindi ko kaya na konti lang alam ko, so pabayaan ko na lang siya sa trabaho n'ya. In the same way na ang mga bill sa Senado, may ibang Chairman d'yan, kayo na muna yan, makikinig na lang ako. Di ko kayang akuin ang lahat ng issues.

Q: But you are saying that he will never come out nang wala talaga siyang

Hindi ganyan ang kapatid ko. Never ko pa siyang nakita na naglabas lang na walang katuturan o para lang may masangkot. Hindi po siya ganun. Hindi ko siya nakilalang ganun. Lagot din sya sa akin pag gumawa siya ng ganun. (laughs)

Q: How do you see this ending? Are you going to reach out? Will there be a reconciliation?

My colleagues know that I'm the kind of person who's always available to help settle personal differences. We each have our own job to do, kahit sa Senate, pag iba-iba yung pananaw sa mga issues, siyempre minsan palalamigin muna ng konti ang ulo, and then find a common ground. I don't know if there's a common ground here. And I don't want to speak for the opposition congressmen in the House, but they have their reasons for making statements about evidence they say they have. It's not my job to take on their case, so I leave that to them. But to the extent that I can help in making cooler heads prevail, I'm always available.

Q: On your personal ties with the First Couple, do you have any plans to help reconcile with them?

I don't really know what you can reconcile. I guess kahit sabihin mong trabaho lang to, siyempre, merong hindi. Sabihin na lang natin, let's go back to the old Garci issue para hindi na lang mainit na mainit ang ehemplong ibibigay ko. Dun sa basis ng impeachment nila, the opposition keeps on harping about the Garci tapes and the involvement of the President. Of course at some point, people in Malacanang are not happy about it. I mean how much can I intervene, no? The opposition, it will always be their job to want the public to now what's going on, and Malacanang would want (things) to be quiet. So there's not much intervention on my part that can really help.

Q: So you think so serious na yung issue, na hindi n'yo na maaarbitrate kung baga

The issue itself is serious, now if I arbitrate, then maybe we can on the personal side di ba. Marami pa namang nangyayaring ganun e. Let our democratic system take its course.

Q: Pero Mam, yung brother n'yo, parang hindi siya 'yung taong nahihilot, o napapakiusapan, halimbawa, through back-door negotiationsganun ba siyang klaseng tao?

I'd like to think na maprinsipyo kaming tao. There should always be reasons to compromise for the sake of looking for a solution that will work for everybody. But you don't compromise on principles. You can compromise and say, "O, wala na tayong banatan in public ha? File your case, I'll file my case." Pwede rin siguro yung ganun no, then that's a compromise. But on principles, I don't think you should compromise your principle.

Q: Ma'm kumbaga you're being hit by friendly fire, naiipit kayo dito

Oo nga e, busy ako nagtatrabaho. (laughs) Meron tayong presyo ng gamot at oil spill liability fund na ginagawa e. Pero kailangan kong magsalita dito dahil siyempre alam kong gusto ring marinig ng mga tao kung ano ang pananaw ko. Ayaw kong dagdagan ang apoy na ito, dahil lahat tayo maraming trabahong kailangang gawin.

Q: Na-offend po ba kayo?

Naoffend ako? Hindi naman. In fact, kung nagkulang ako sa pasalalamat, minsan pag busy tayo baka naiisip ko rin yun, lahat ba ng mga taong nakakatulong sa trabaho ko napapasalamatan ko? So wala ho akong hinanakit na magpasalamat muli at iparating na lubus-lubos ang pasasalamat ko sa K4 at sa Unang Pamilya.

Q: Do you still support the President?

I've always said from the first few contentious billsI've opposed some bills that the President supported because I felt it would be in the country's best interest to do things a different way. But any time that there's a good bill, I will always support it.

Q: You're not going to apologize to the First Gentleman?

Wala pa naman yata ho akong pagkakamaling nagawa. So kung meron ho akong pagkakamali, kilala ako ng mga kaibigan ko, hindi ako nahihiya kahit mag-sorry paulit-ulit.

Q: Will you advise Cong. Cayetano to apologize to the First Family?

I think he's made a statement on that already, so wala na naman akong maibibigay na advice sa kanya about it.

Q: Kailan po kayo huling nagkausap ni FG?

Basta shortly after the campaign siguro. Kasi nakasama ko lang siya during the campaign, e.

Q: So talagang "Tito Mike" ang tawag n'yo sa kanya?

Lahat naman e, kahit naman sa Senate di ba? Lahat ng mga kaibigan ng tatay ko, "Tito" talaga ang tawag namin sa kanila lahat.

Q: Before po ba, yun po bang First Family parang close family friend ng Cayetanos?

Ay hindi po naman kami close family friend, kaya lang parang bilang respeto po di ba? Kaya Tito po ang tawag ko sa kanila

Q: Gaano po ka-close yung father n'yo kay FG?

Ay hindi rin po. I'm not aware that they were friends.

Q: Does Alan Peter call him "Tito" also?

Lahat kasi kami ganun e. Yung ibang congressmen na colleagues ni Alan, pag lumapit ako "Tito" rin. It's just a sign of respect, I have to be honest, it does not really connote (any) degree of closeness.

Q: But how do you call him now?

I haven't seen him, but if I see him, I'll still call him "Tito." Ganun naman ako e.

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