Press Release
February 10, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On the AFP corruption hearing

Q Will the Senate moderate the hearings for the AFP corruption?

SP We will moderate our conduct in the hearing matters that are to be heard in aid of legislation but it is all addressed to the individual senators to frame their questions, to address their questions and use language that could not offend unnecessarily the dignity and self-respect of the resource people.

Q Sir, as an institution, dapat po bang mag-apologize ang Senate sa nangyari?

SP Well, I'm not prepared to apologize to anybody. So, I think, if there are lapses done by other members, let the public judge them and let the media chastise them.

Q Sir, are you going to visit the wake? When.

SP Yes. I will not tell you. I would go there in the middle of the night or early in the evening or whatever time available to me.

Q Sir, ibig niyong sabihin, if there are other members who should be judged by the public. So, may mga ibang senador kaya na who went out of line?

SP Huwag niyo naman akong pilitin to judge my peers.

Q Sir, may criticisms lang 'yung mga ibang political analysts na may punto raw noong mga nakaraang hearings na nabastos na po ng Senado ang resource persons.

SP Sino ang nagbastos at paano binastos?

Q Sir, 'yung behavior daw ng ibang senador. Bakit daw sinisigawan ang resource persons. May ganoong pagkakataon na dapat na daw baguhin po.

SP Sino sa kanila ang nagsalita ba? Na merong ginamit ng characterization?

Q Sir, para po kasing sinasabi na nadedemoralize ang mga resource persons dahil tumataas minsan ang boses ng mga senador, na minsan hindi sila nakakasagot ng tama at gusto nilang isagot kasi nga po tumataas na ang boses ng iba.

SP Halimbawa, tatanungin mo 'yung tao. Very obvious na nagsisinungaling. Ako tinanong ko si General Ligot, "Totoo ba na pumunta kayo sa bahay ng Chief of Staff na sinabi ni Colonel Rabusa?" Limang beses, hindi raw niya natatandaan. Pagkatapos, when I pressed him, sabi niya, "I remember once." What did you do there, he did not say.

Q Sir, sinasabi natin na hindi kailangang baguhin ang anumang pamamaraan ng pagtatanong po ninyo?

SP Ako, hindi ko alam kung paano ko babaguhin ang style ko sa pagtatanong. Di ba? I have my own way to try to ferret out the truth by addressing the witness and confronting him. You know, actually, there is a little book that I used in cross-examining witnesses. That is the same book that was used by a famous trial lawyer in the country, Jose W. Diokno. And this was written, by the way, by a lawyer who never practiced law. He'd analyzed the techniques of many law practitioners over the centuries. How they framed their questions. How they tried to bring out the truth from lying witnesses from expert witnesses to all kind of witnesses.

Q Sir, kasi 'yung ibang pumupuna kay Senator Trillanes, the behavior towards a more senior officer.

SP I would have to pardon Senator Trillanes. He's new and you have to consider the fact that he had been incarcerated for seven years precisely because they mounted their military effort to denounce the practices inside the organization at the time when some of the witnesses or resource people in the Senate where administering the institutions of the military.

Q Sir, when you say you will moderate the next hearing, what specific measures po? Mas magiging mahinahon ba?

SP I cannot define to you how will we moderate. Don't press me for that because I will not control my people in the Senate. As I said, if anyone of us go out of line, chastise us. Put us on the block. I'm used to it. It's a part of my freedom to act as a human being depending upon the situation.

Q Sir, sabi po ni Senator Chiz, possible raw po na may syndicate sa AFP comptrollership.

SP 'Yan din ang sinasabi ng mga iba. Pero we will have to find out if indeed there is. I'm not going to talk about speculative things. I'll always assume that the world is not perfect, that some people succumb to some weaknesses.

Q Sir, may ilang grupo po who are calling for the Senate na ipatawag sa hearing si former President.

SP Hindi ko alam. Hindi ako ang chairman ng committee.

Q Pero sir, possible bang ipatawag si former President Arroyo sa hearing?

SP Why should we involve President Arroyo? What does she got to do with the operations of the Armed Forces other than being the Commander-in-Chief and she's now removed?

Q She should not be called at this point, sir?

SP Well, they have to establish the predicate first as we call it and that is if they have any evidence of any connection of the former President in what have been said to have happened in the military, then maybe. But we cannot just call anybody out of hearsay of anybody. There must be clear connection, linkage to the issue involved.

Q Sir, ano po 'yung take niyo sa civilianizing the comptrollership, putting civilians in the comptrollership of the AFP since hindi naman daw po military-related job 'yun?

SP How can you do that? Pareho rin 'yun. Nasa administrasyon din 'yun. I've been in that organization for 17 years. Noong panahon namin, wala namang ganyan. I approved the expenditure program of the military every quarter for 17 years and I checked their financial operations. It's a question of management and exercise of authority of the people managing the defense and military establishment.

On the Survival Fund

Q Sir, how close are we to approving the survival fund bill?

SP Well, I leave it to Senator Legarda to conduct the hearing and report out the bill for debate on the floor.

Q Is there a specific amount included in the bill?

SP You cannot quantify the amount needed to address the impact of a typhoon, flooding, drought, earthquakes and all kinds of calamities. There's no way. We just have to build up a fund and use it wisely.

On the Apology warranted by Taiwan

Q Sir, ano 'yung reaction niyo na humihingi ang national government ng Taiwan ng apology mula sa national government ng Pilipinas regarding sa maling pagdedeport ng mga Taiwanese sa China?

SP Well, we maintain a One China Policy and I think the Philippine government is correct. If we are going to deport anybody, then we have to deport him to the country that we consider to be the political entity representing a group of people like the Chinese. It is regrettable that some of these nationals of Taiwan happen to commit infractions of our laws and we could not possibly openly and officially deport them to Taiwan because we have no open formal diplomatic relations with an entity called Taiwan. Of course, for economic reasons, we establish some kind of liaison offices in their country and in our country for them. But from a political international law viewpoint, we recognize only one entity, Chinese entity, political entity that represents the Chinese people and that is the People's Republic of China. We've maintained friendship with Taiwan. Not as a state within the concept of international law.

Q Sir, do we need to say sorry? Pero sir, apektado po...

SP We do not. So be it. We are not living in a perfect world. They can all drive our people back to the Philippines and we will also drive their people out of the Philippines.

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