Press Release
July 5, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On the Coco Levy Fund

SP We are exploring the possibility of passing a law declaring the value that came from the coconut levy public fund and earmark it for the coconut farmers.

Q May recommendation din po na pwede ito ipasok sa general appropriations?

SP Pag-uusapan 'yun. Titingnan namin kung what is the most feasible concept so that it will benefit the very people intended to be benefited in the first place.


SP I do not know what the agenda is, I have no idea.

Q But would you like to add some bills in the priority list?

SP No. The policy is developed by the Executive. We translate it into legislation.

Q Would you push the sin tax to be included in the priority list?

SP That has to be done by the people in the House. We are not the initiator of revenue.

Q Would you ask for new bills to be included in the priority list?

SP Not from me. I leave it to the younger people to think about the country. I will just help.

On the PCSO scandal

SP We will have a hearing. I will not anticipate what I will do tomorrow. I will not tell you today. Just come tomorrow and hear about it.

Q Masasagot naman po ng mga Bishop?

SP Palagay ko. We will give them the benefit of the doubt. I don't think na we should be cynical and suspicious about the conduct of our religious people. Let us try to be objective about it, and preserve our institutions otherwise we will break up as a society. We will always accuse everybody as crooks. I don't think that those prelates receive this money and pocket it. They are not politicians. They are not businessmen, and they are not worldly people. They are supposed to be religious people to minister to the needs of their countrymen.

Q Sa tingin po ninyo nabawasan 'yung moral ascendancy ng mga Bishops?

SP Hindi naman. You know, it is normal for anyone, Bishop ka man o pulitiko ka, to transfer to the responsibility of government a request for assistance in terms of poverty alleviation, health problems, and so forth and so on. Siguro naman, kung may humingi sa kanila ng tulong, titingnan natin kung saan nila dinala 'yung pera, kung tumanggap sila ng pera. Saan nila ginamit 'yung mga sasakyan, kung tumanggap sila ng sasakyan? Let us not immediately jump and say o, they are also raiding the treasury of the government.

Q Do you think there are other motives in the issue?

SP Wala 'yan. Let us not connect that with any pending legislation. 'Yung RH Bill is a separate matter. Mababaw masyado na pag-iisip 'yan.

Q If ever na mapatunayan na may fault nga 'yung mga Bishop sa pagtanggap?

SP If. Maski sino mananagot dun. Sa aking paningin naman, hintayin natin na mapaliwanag nung mga Obispo kung saan nila ginamit 'yung mga sasakyan. Kung totoo nga na bumili sila ng Pajero, unang-una. O kaya, bumili sila ng pick-up, bumili sila ng mga ambulansiya, bumili sila ng mga karo para ilibing 'yung mga taong walang kakayanan ilibing ang kanilang mga katawan o sariling pamilya. Tingnan natin. Hintayin natin. Kung pera man ang natanggap nila, di hintayin natin tanungin sila kung saan nila ginamit 'yun. Baka naman sa humihingi ng limos 'yung pera na 'yun. O kaya itinulong sa may sakit, o ipalibing ang mga walang kakayahan na ilibing ang sarili.

Q Si Guingona daw nakipagkita sa mga PCSO officials?

SP Okay lang 'yun. There is nothing wrong with that. You prepare the case and find out what's the issue. I don't think they will fabricate evidence against anybody or rig up a charge against anybody.

Q Hindi po 'yung magdudulot ng any doubts?

SP No.

Q It is a normal practice?

SP Yes.

Q Would the other local officials named in the anomaly be invited?

SP We will invite except when there is a problem in the entire departmental courtesy, like the relationship of the Senate with the House. We cannot. Pare-pareho lang kami. We cannot invite the members of the House here, and they cannot invite us in their investigation.

Q Pending the hearing of the documents, would you say that the Bishops have been unfairly tried by the media?

SP I am not making any judgment. The media exercises its prerogative according to their best lights and they are responsible people, they can make their own conclusion or analysis. As far as I am concerned, I will not say that people are guilty until I hear them.


SP Sa 12 ang LEDAC. I don't expect anything, I just attend these meetings.

Q Will you be asking them to prioritize some bills?

SP I am not asking. I go there, I attend, and I participate in the discussion. I have very little knowledge of what has to be done.

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