Press Release
June 6, 2011

Transcript of SP Enrile's Interview before session

Comments on the caucus during the hearing of the alleged share-swap deal between PLDT & DIGITEL

We will prepare a committee report. There's no need for a congressional approval. That will depend upon the franchise of DIGITEL because they are the ones transferring. If that is a requirement then they should comply. But if there is none, or there is an exemption, then they enjoy the exemption. As far as the market power, we do not yet have a law prohibiting market power. If we are going to apply market power, then we'll deal with MERALCO. Pareho lang 'yun.

Comments on prohibition against a buyer

There's no prohibition against a buyer. There's no requirement of approval for a buyer to buy. The approval is given to the person selling.

Comments on the alleged PLDT merger

They said that PLDT cannot merge. PLDT is not merging with anybody. People who understand the term "merger" know what it is. When two corporations exist and you take that together as one unit, that is a merger.

On the opinion of the majority of the committee members present during the caucus

Ang sense nila ay we have to wait for a law that deals with issue of market power. That is the national good that we are talking about. First, there's no question that Congress has the power, according to the Constitution, to repeal, amend, revise, or define, when there is need to serve a national good. Now, what is the national good that requires an action by Congress under the Constitution? We have not defined that. Second, there's no need for a franchise. DIGITEL, PLDT, & Smart have franchises. Then who is to be given a franchise? Nobody. Is there a need to approve the transaction? Then, that depends upon the franchise of DIGITEL. They said they're authorized to sell their controlling interest without having to go to Congress.

Comments on Section 16 of the Franchise of DIGITEL

There's also a Section 18. You must read Section 18 in relation to Section 16. You cannot just isolate one section from the other. Ang sinasabi sa Section 18, kung merong sumunod na mga prangkisa na nagsasabi na 'yung ipagbili ng may- ari ng korporasyon na may prangkisa ay di kailangang pumunta sa Kongreso, that will also be applied to the prior franchise grantee.

On whether they can proceed with the deal

Yes, they can. That's why I told them that if they have any question about the validity of the transaction or any other interest, go to court, not Congress. It's the court room that will decide. There's no need for Congressional approval. This is purely a private transaction. Mind you, there are already contracts entered into. Payments may have been made. Are you going to unlock a 74 billion transaction? If Congress will say 'no you cannot do that,' who will come and invest here? That's a greater interest involved here.

Comments on the ARMM election

We postponed that. We are respecting the Constitution, the highest law of the land. The trouble is that we are confusing so many things. We are not reducing or constricting, restricting, limiting the autonomy of the Muslims. Autonomy is one thing. Autonomy deals with power exercise. If you are an autonomous region, the bigger entity cannot interfere with you, except to the extent authorized by the Constitution. What we are dealing with yesterday was in connection with the power weilders who will exercise the power of the autonomy. Their election, the way they are going to be selected. We said that the Constitution must be followed. The Constitution says that all national national and local officials must be elected on the second Monday of May and that they assume their positions on the thirtieth Day following the election, and that their term of office shall be either six years in the case of the president and the vice president and the senators, and three years in the case of the congressmen and local officials. That's what we are doing to synchronize. What happened is that the local government, which is the ARMM, was separated from this general concept of election. That is against the law. Our theory is that if they could not hold the election this August, those people are not holding those positions legally, they may be holding their positions de facto. If there's no one holding the position legally, who else will appoint? It has to be the President of the Philippines.

On whether the ARMM appointees can run for election in 2013

Yes. That is the provision that is taken out.

On Mar Roxas' appointment as DOTC secretary

I'm happy for him. That is wise move. Sec. De Jesus was a very able administrator and executive officer. He left. You have to put there an equally able and knowledgeable executive officer because the DOTC is one of the key departments of the government.

On the perceived power struggle in Malacanang

Hindi ko alam kung may power struggle doon. I'm not a part of Malacanang.

Whether you are away physically from the Palace, if you are close to the power, then you are close. You have the ear of the President.

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