Press Release
February 16, 2011

Transcript of Interview of SP Enrile

On the problem between the Philippine government and Taiwan

SP That is a correct position. We cannot do otherwise. We adopted a one China policy in 1975. Established our diplomatic relations with China and then the Soviet Union. From then on we never recognized Taiwan since then as a political entity. Of course, before we recognized the People's Republic of China. We had a diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Open. We recognized Taiwan as an international person. A political entity under international law. But then, when we opened our diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, necessarily we had to recognize only one political entity representing the sovereign people of China, and that was the People's Republic of China. Now, in our time, if we had any problem like what happened with those Taiwanese that was deported to China, we have no other choice except to send them to China.

Q Ngayon po may backlash sa Pilipinas?

SP Well of course there is economic backlash because you cannot deny the fact that Taiwan is a very advanced economy and many of our countrymen are working there. The reality of life is that we have a one China policy. We have to maintain that position because we are a part of a community of nations that are governed by certain norms like what they call international laws. Without prejudice to our economic relationship with Taiwan, we value Taiwan as a friend, but not as a political entity, as an economic entity.

Q Not even a prior notice to Taiwan that we are deporting their nationals to China?

SP No. The moment that you give prior notice, you are in effect recognizing the personality of Taiwan. We have to be very careful.

Q May magagawa pa ba ang government to save the Filipinos in China?

SP I doubt it. Each country has its own criminal laws and the criminal laws of the Philippines cannot operate in China. The same is true in reverse. Chinese criminal laws cannot operate here, but in the domain of each country, their criminal laws are supreme. They go into the very core of their law and order. The stability of their society. You cannot intrude into that unless they want to agree. You can appeal, you can plead, but you cannot demand.

Q Kaya nga daw po hindi nag-attend ang Pilipinas sa Nobel Peace Prize was because of that? Can Aquino use that as leverage?

SP The Nobel Prize awardee from China who was actually a rebel as far as China is concerned? Well, it all depends upon Chinese law. Whether they have the flexibility to accommodate the request of a sovereign nation like the Philippines.

Q The appeal that's the President's last resort?

SP Yes, that is all he can do. The President, as far as China is concerned, is just a member of humanity. While they will probably be very respectful diplomatically, nonetheless, you cannot demand on a country.

Q In the past, President Arroyo has managed to stay the executions of Filipinos in similar situations.

SP Iba ang China. Hu Jin Tao. You know the Chinese people, they are quite different from others. They are very serious in implementing their criminal laws. They will even execute their own people to enforce their laws.

On Sen. Lacson's case

SP We are waiting for the motion for reconsideration to be disposed. Personally, I will tell you that I reviewed the evidence against Ping Lacson and this is my personal view, I tend to go along with the position of the Court of Appeals. There is too much doubt that you can generate out of the testimony of Mancao and the other evidence that are found in the record.

Q Di po ba sinasabi nila na dapat 'yung ganyan, hintayin na lang sa Korte?

SP 'Yung Court of Appeals is the appellate court for factual issues. They can appreciate the evidence, because the issue before them is, was there really a probable cause to charge Ping Lacson? That is the starting point of any criminal information to be filed, the existence of a probable cause. Now, if that is questioned, the Court below will decide where you will go to get a reversal. You go to the Court of Appeals and when you go to the Court of Appeals, necessarily, the Court of Appeals will review the evidence on record. That is what they did. I read the voluminous decision. They analyzed the evidence on record.

Q Until the motion for reconsideration has been disposed of, do you suggest na wag muna lumutang si Sen. Lacson?

SP He can if he wants. If I were in his place, I will come out. If they will arrest me, I will take them to the Supreme Court and petition for habeas corpus. In the meantime, while the petition is pending in the Supreme Court, he will be held in custody.

Q When do you plan to open his office?

SP When he comes back.

Q Sec. De Lima daw is willing to talk to the camp of Lacson for his possible surfacing?

SP If I were the Secretary of Justice, I would do that because the Secretary of Justice is the prosecutor. She has control over the prosecution. She is in control of the case and if in her opinion, there is a possibility of an acquittal because of the flaw in the evidence. Mind you, you have to convict a person charged with a crime. No matter what kind of a crime it is, whether it is petty theft, multiple massacre or murder, the same standard is used. You must convict that person charged beyond any shadow of doubt. Beyond reasonable doubt. Once you have doubt about the evidence, it is easy for us lawyer trained in the art of the law, you know we are trained to spot whether you have a strong case or a lousy case. I will not prolong the deprivation of liberty or limitation of liberty of a person if I am in doubt about the strength of the evidence. As Holt said, it is better for a criminal to be walking the streets, than to have an innocent person in jail.

Q Sen. Lacson just issued a statement denying the pabaon and pasalubong during his time in the PNP. Will you encourage him to come out?

SP I have already said that many times.

On whether the Blue Ribbon Hearing will still have relevance after the death of Reyes

SP Meron. We have to finish the hearing in the Blue Ribbon Committee and bring it to its final conclusion. We have to make a report, but before we do that we have to go through the unraveling of what really happened. You know, I will tell you that I would not take the revelations of Rabusa lightly. No man in his right mind, and I think Rabusa has a right mind, to go through that, expose himself to the possibility of all kinds of charges and counter-charges and risks to make a statement like that. When I read the documents, I am not accusing anybody, there is reason to believe that he knows something.

Q May deadline na po kayo?

SP Wala kaming deadline. It is up to the chairman of the Committee to handle the pace and the length of the inquiry, but sooner or later, it must end. You have to finish gathering the evidence. You cannot stop midway simply because there was a serious event that happened.

Q According to Sen. Honasan, baka 2-3 hearings na lang and then terminated na ang investigation?

SP I do not know whether it is two, three hearings, or one hearing for as long as we complete. We round-up the entire issue. Mind you the issue is corruption. Every election, the issue of corruption comes up. Every administration, the issue of corruption comes up. Now again, the issue of corruption is up. It is better that we finish this. Namatay na si Angie Reyes, 'wag natin sayangin 'yung buhay niya. Tapusin natin itong kaso na ito. Tapusin natin either way. We owe it to him to finish it either way.

Q May panawagan ang palasyo na tumulong na rin 'yung UN na imbestigahan 'yung fund na nagamit?

SP Dapat lang. 'Nung panahon ko meron ding foreign fund na binayaran ng America sa Pilipinas 'nung nagpadala ng PHIL CAG sa Vietnam but we accounted for that. There was an overpayment by the United States and I paid for it, P160,000 overpayment. That's how strict we were, even that amount we had to pay back.

Q May maitutulong po kaya 'yung UN?

SP Pera nila 'yun. They have a right to check, in the same way that the Americans checked. The comptroller of the US government checked the amount paid to the Philippines and there was an overpayment of P160,000. My attention was called by the US ambassador then, US Amb. Byron. Immediately, we issued a check, pero walang nawala. Intact 'yung pera.

On whether Lacson's office will be restored once he gets back.

SP Yes. That is why I am maintaining his staff, because of the possibility that he will be back. He will be back. There is no question about it.

Q Would it be on his best interest to come out now?

SP I cannot speak for him. You know, when it involves the liberty or person, I would not dare decide for him. It is up to him to decide for himself. As far as I am concerned, as President of the Senate, to the extent that I will not violate the ethics of my profession, and the rules of the Senate and my obedience to the court as an agent of the law, I will help him because I am the head of the Senate. It is my duty to help members of the Senate who are in distress. I may not agree with their position but at least to see to it that they are not oppressed, not demeaned, not deprived of their rights. I was imprisoned twice. I know how it is to be imprisoned. Three times already, I was imprisoned. Once during the Japanese time which was very bad, then twice by my own government.

On reports that enrollment is getting lower at the PMA.

SP That is not quite true. There are more applicants that are accepted. Hindi nagbabago 'yun. Saan ka makakakuha ng privilege na ganun, na nag-examine ka lang, kung masuwertehan mo, libre lahat ang pag-aaral mo?

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