Press Release
March 7, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On the new AFP Chief Oban

Q: Reaction n'yo po sa pagkaka-appoint ni General Oban?

SP: Hindi ko masyado kilala si Oban pero balita ko mahusay na opisyal.

Q: Pero hanggang nine months lang daw po ang itatagal ng appointment nya, sir?

SP: It doesn't matter. He was appointed by the President. That's the prerogative of the President as Commander-in-Chief.

Q: You think, sir, magagawa niya po 'yung mga reforms na...

SP: He can do what he can do. You can't expect him to do miracles in nine months. The AFP is too big in terms of equipment, training, modernization, and so forth.

Q: Sir, how about 'yung fixed term po ng AFP Chief-of-Staff? Ano po ang status sa Senate?

SP: I'm against it. Why should we put a fixed term? If he has a fixed term, he might get a stupid Chief-of-Staff who will defy his Commander-in-Chief. Do you want that? He will tell the Commander-in-Chief, "Go ahead and do it yourself," if you give him a fixed term. A Commander must be able to kick out any subordinate at any time when there is a reason for it. He is no Commander if he cannot do that.

On the Impeachment Case of the Ombudsman

Q: Sir, just in case, should the House transmit the articles of impeachment against Gutierrez, would the Senate adopt the same impeachment rules adopted during the Estrada hearing?

SP: We will have to review the rules.

Q: Sir, according to Ombudsman Gutierrez, may tiwala siya sa Senate. Mas dito raw siya haharap kapag naiakyat dito ang impeachment.

SP: We will do what we have to do as Senators of the Republic under our oath to do justice to people who come to us.

Q: Sir, ina-assure n'yo na magiging impartial?

SP: I don't have to assure her. That's my oath. And I'm not going to be a party to just do harm to somebody if she is innocent. If she is guilty, then so be it. That's my concept of justice.

On the International Criminal Court

Q: Sir, what is the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court?

SP: I have asked a lot of questions from the President when I met him and I have to study it very carefully.

Q: So, wala pa kayong stand, sir, kung dapat na i-ratify na?

SP: Wala pa akong stand. I'm going to ask a lot of questions.

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