Press Release
May 23, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On the Postponement of the ARMM Election

Q: Ano po decision sa Rules kung 'yung Committee ni Senator Marcos would recommend against postponement?

SP: If he will recommend against postponement, five senators will have it archived and then five senators will bring it out from the archive. Then, we will discuss it on the Floor.

Q: Tapos sir, magkakaroon ba ng substitute Bill or is it going to be the same Bill?

SP: We can amend the Committee Report on the Floor.

Q: Is there enough time to do that, sir?

SP: Yes. We have until June 7.

On the Leviste case

Q: Sir, satisfied po kayo sa pag-leave ni Diokno habang ginagawa ang investigation?

SP: With that situation, I think, if I were to make a decision, he has to go. When I was Secretary of Justice and there was a riot in Muntinlupa, I immediately relieved the head of the Bureau of Corrections.

Q: So, huwag na hintayin ang investigation na ginagawa ng DOJ?

SP: What is to be investigated? It's very clear that the guy went out on his own.

Q: So, basically, command responsibility kahit wala ng...

SP: Not command responsibility. It's a question of who is responsible for the Bureau, something happened, he cannot pass it back to anybody. I'm sure that has been going on.

Q: So, diretso na siyang mag-leave of absence?

SP: Hindi ko alam. Wala ako sa Executive. I'm in the Senate.

Q: Sir, reaction niyo lang sa caso ni Governor Leviste. Maluwag daw sa Bilibid kasi nakakalabas-pasok si Leviste.

SP: Kung ako ang masusunod, I'll fire everybody there. That's about it. I'll relieve everyone.

Q: Sa tingin niyo, nagkulang talaga sila Diokno dun, sir?

SP: Pwede bang makalabas sa kulungan, hindi lang sa kulungan kung hindi sa labas pa ng kulungan. Nakakalabas pa sa Compound ng Bilibid Prison na napakalaki-laki na may mga gwardiya 'yung isang bilanggo. Anong klaseng prison 'yan na walang permiso? Dahil mayaman siya? Dahil maraming pera siya? Dahil dating gobernador siya? Ganoon ba?

Q: Do you think, sir, na dapat magpatawag ang Senate ng inquiry?

SP: Hindi na. Maraming inquiries. Walang mangyayari diyan kung panay inquiries. Kailangan dito aksyon. Pukulin ang ulo ng mga nagkakamali.

Q: So, nasa Executive Department ngayon ang bola?

SP: Yes. The buck stops here.

On the Spratlys' dispute

Q: Sir, doon sa ginawa ng China sa may Spratlys...

SP: Initially, anything with respect to our relations with other countries must pass through diplomatic channels. Whether you make a protest, or you say something, it hast to be through diplomatic channels. Now, we are treated that way because we are bull-headed. We do not want to improve the military capability of the country. Now, why should we be complaining if we are not willing to spend money on our defense and security? As long as we are not willing to provide an adequate, suitable and capable defense for this country, we will be oppressed, demeaned and dishonored. We will be the stepping mat of every country in this region. It's about time we wake up and strengthen our military capability even if we have to spend money.

Q: So, patuloy tayong ibu-bully ng China?

SP: Natural. Hindi lang China. Maski na maliit na bayan kung mas malakas ang military nila kaysa sa atin, they will bully us.

Q: Dapat sir bigyan ng Congress...

SP: Kailangan we will appropriate money to increase the capability of the Air Force. I assure you, if you have a strong Air Force, none of those people will come nearby.

Q: Paano sir kung may corruption sa AFP?

SP: Huwag mo ng isipin 'yang corruption. Palagi na lang may rason, dahilan para hindi tayo gumawa ng karapat-dapat na hakbang. Ikulong natin ang mga corrupt pero gagawin natin dapat 'yung gawin.

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