Press Release
March 10, 2011

Excerpts from Kapihan sa Senado with Sen. TG Guingona

On the signatories to the partial committee report

They are Senators Frank Drilon, Chiz Escudero, Serge Osmena, Ralph Recto, Sonny Trillanes, Migs Zubiri, Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Kiko Pangilinan, Bong Revilla and Manny Villar. Then ex-oficio, Alan Cayetano. Joker signed but he said I did not participate in the proceedings as to enable him to make any kind of judgment.

On the duration of plea bargaining hearing

That's very hard to predict. As far as the plea bargaining agreement is concerned, mukhang napiga na natin ng husto sapagkat mayroon nang committee report. "Yung kay Gen. Jacinto Ligot, I still have to find out from Senator Franklin Drilon if he wants to tie some loose ends. Then after that we will go to the military reforms. What is the AFP doing or what has it been doing for the past few years. Kasi truth to tell marami na pong reporma ang ginawa sa AFP.

On whether the hearing has been stopped

Hindi. I'm just saying na may report na but if something comes up again and since hindi pa naman tapos, pwedeng magkaroon additional report kung saka-sakali. Pero sa tingin ko, na discuss na lahat ng angulo.

On the purpose of the Blue Ribbon hearing on plea bargaining

(the Sandigan bayan will have the final say) as far as the merits of the case is concerned. But this one is a Blue Ribbon report in aid of legislation.

On the rules of impeachment

The procedure is that what is stated in the charge sheet when it's transmitted, that's what we talk have talked about. It's really up to the House of Representatives. If it is not in the charge sheet then it cannot be included, technically speaking. I have not seen the charge sheet. We will know when they will transmit it officially to the Senate. Right now, we don't have the official charge sheet.

I think that is a continuing question. Can they still include even if it is not there? That is something that you have to ask them because that is their business, that is their role. It is not for me to answer that. I don't want to give my opinion because there is inter-house courtesy. I do not want to interfere in their affairs.

I cannot speak for the whole Senate and what will happen in the impeachment trial if indeed it will happen. I would still say it is up to the House of Representatives.

On being perceived as the "judge for this hearing"

That is an important point and I will answer it adequately when I am challenged. On the charges Gutierrez faces

Criminal charges. One is the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. When you do an act that is manifestly unjust to the government. Lahat sila. Pinabayaan nila itong kaso, pinahina nila itong kaso, pinagulo nila itong kaso at suma total, pinabaon pa si General Carlos Garcia at naka lusot si General Garcia.

On his stand on the impeachment

This is my stand, that there is probably cause to impeach Gutierrez based on the grounds of betrayal of public trust. We are very strong on that. The plea bargaining agreement is null and void. Walang basis.

On Senator Guingona's Stand on the Impeachment of Ombudsman Gutierrez

This is my stand, that there is probable cause to impeach Merceditas Gutierrez based on the ground of betrayal of public trust.

On Ombudsman Gutierrez's call for Senators asking for her resignation to inhibit from the impeachment proceedings

That's a very important point. I will answer that adequately when the challenge is made.

On the partial findings of the Blue Ribbon Committee

The plea bargain agreement is null and void. Walang bisa. They (Office of the Ombudsman resource persons) were absent last time when they promised to be around to answer that. If you remember, Senator Drilon asked them and they said, they'll get back next week, in the next hearing.

Ipagpatuloy ng bagong Ombudsman ang plunder case laban kay General Garcia. 'Yan ang recommended action tungkol sa plea bargaining agreement.

About the other senators, may mga comments sila when they signed. Hindi lang basta pumirma. May mga iba na basta pumirma.

Hindi makakaapekto ang findings ng Blue Ribbon Committee. Itutuloy namin 'yung kaso for impeachment.

On the Blue Ribbon Committee hearings

I doubt (if we will finish the Blue Ribbon hearings) because there is a move by Senator Osmeña in another committee, the Committee on Banks, but there is a suggestion to join the committee with the Blue Ribbon because they want to call the banks that allowed the withdrawal of P128 million by General Garcia and the P748 million of General Ligot. As you know, that is not just one bank --- several banks 'yan. You can imagine how many hearings will that take.

On the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing held concurrently with the Impeachment Proceedings

It's a possibility. It depends on how long the Blue Ribbon hearings will take and how fast the House of Representatives act on the Impeachment.

On the Removal of the Special Prosecutors under the Ombudsman

They would be in office unto themselves. They will take care of prosecution, investigation will be done by the Ombudsman but once natapos ang investigation ng Ombudsman, ibibigay na sa Special Prosecutors. Not under DOJ.

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