Press Release
March 23, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On the articles of impeachment

Q Sir, ipapadala daw dito ng prosecutors ng House 'yung articles of impeachment ngayong hapon? What happens next?

SP We are going to formally receive the articles of impeachment then we will formally refer it to the Senate and then let it go to the proper committee, I think to the Justice Committee. In due course, we will notify the respondent.

Q Pagbalik ninyo na po?

SP Oo, dahil ico-convene muna namin 'yung Impeachment Court. Hindi pa namin na-approve 'yung rules, so pagbalik namin, the first thing that we will do is to convene ourselves into an Impeachment Court. Then we will send a copy of the articles of impeachment to the respondent formally and then we issue the summonses, and accept the lawyers. Then we schedule the trial after giving the respondent a period to answer the charges.

Q Pwede po ba mag leave of absence si Ombudsman Gutierrez while nasa paglilitis?

SP No need. Constitutional office 'yun.

Q Is she required to attend all the trials?

SP Not necessarily. It is her right to appear or not to appear. She has no duty to. That is a matter of right. There is no arraignment. I don't think we have an arraignment system here.

Q The rules of evidence will apply?

SP Yes.

Q Is the budget of the impeachment allocated in the budget of the Senate?

SP We will take it from our savings if we have any savings.

Q How much will it cost?

SP I don't know. Hindi naman masyadong malaki 'yun.

On the Commission on Appointments

Q Sir sa CA, last day of session na ngayon, 'yung hindi na-appoint na mga Secretaries, kailangan i-reappoint ng President?

SP The President will reappoint them. Sandali lang naman 'yun, during recess, the President can appoint people ad interim.

Q Paano 'yung mga katulad ni Robredo?

SP Hindi na kailangan i-reappoint 'yun. They are only performing the job as acting members of the Cabinet.

Q Hindi ba sila nakakalusot sa strict requirements?

SP Hindi naman kailangan 'yun. 'Yung acting, that is within the power of the President to do.

Q On the impeachment

Q As presiding officer, will you be voting?

SP I do not know yet. The rules are silent. We will discuss that maybe this afternoon.

Q 'Yung power ninyo as presiding officer, pwede nyo ba'ng idelegate 'yun?

SP No. Only for a temporary time to have somebody to preside but when a ruling is going to be called, I have to take over and make the ruling.

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