Press Release
August 24, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On the RH Bill

SP Gusto namin malaman ano ba ang mga sakit ng babae na pinanggagalingan ng pagkamatay dahil sa pagdadala ng bata, panganganak at pakikipagtalik sa asawa.

Sotto Ayaw ko daw pag-usapan, mag-apologize daw ako.

SP Sino ang may sabi?

Sotto Akbayan.

SP Sasabihin ko, nasaan ang statistics ninyo? Patunayan ninyo sa amin.

Q Sinasabi ninyo walang ganung statistics?

SP Hindi namin sinasabi, gusto namin malaman. Patunayan ninyo. We are ignorant about these things, we want to learn from them. Sila marurunong, kami mga mangmang.

Q Bakit kailangan nila patunayan yun?

SP We cannot accept just the numbers of anybody. Why should I accept their numbers? I can also manufacture a number. Will they accept it?

Q Once na makapag-submit sila ng figures, pwede ba yun maging dahilan para makumbinsi kayo?

SP Maraming dahilan kung bakit ako pro-life. From the very beginning, it has always been my position that I am pro-life. I believe in my faith. Only God can create life. Only God can take life. No one else.

On President Noynoy's trip next week to China

SP He is entitled to be treated as a head of state. He is the head of state, if he is invited by China.

Q What do you think are the concerns na dapat malinawan natin?

SP Marami. Marami tayo. China is our growing market, a part of our history. A part of our culture. We belong to the same area of the world. At saka you cannot ignore China. It is a growing power in the world, in economics, in business and politics and in the military.

Q You are hopeful that the contentious issue of the Spratlys...?

SP Those are contentious issues among nations but they can be discussed diplomatically, in a friendly and peaceful way.

Q You think Amb. Domingo Lee can already join the president?

SP If he has already an agramént (agramént is a French diplomatic term for agreement--PRIB), why not? Ang importante lang sa other side is that he was accepted, that he has an agramént already. When he comes here, I am sure there is no objection to have him confirmed.

Q Sen. Chiz says he hasn't been confirmed, so hindi pa niya pwedeng gampanan yung kanyang posisyon.

SP He is not yet an ambassador of the Philippines until he is confirmed but if the President wants to bring him along, as an adviser, as a member of the business sector to visit China, there is nothing wrong with that.

On the peace talks between the government and the MILF

SP I expected that it will bog down, and I expect that it will always bog down. I never had any doubt that it will bog down. How can you negotiate something when in effect it will violate your Constitution? Lahat tayo siguro, we do not want our Constitution to be violated.

Q So in effect, yung meeting ni PNoy sa Japan is for naught?

SP Hindi for naught, because he wanted to reach out to them. Maybe, they wanted to reach out to him but they wanted a neutral area. Each person has a way at looking at things. The precepts are very different.

Q The moment they demanded a sub-state...?

SP No self-respecting President of this country will accept a dismemberment of the country during his watch, or any violation of the Constitution. The President could expose himself to a possible impeachment if he will violate the Constitution.

Q They even demanded two seats in the Senate?

SP By what right do they have that? And then we will also demand 100 seats in the sub-state. Ano yun?

Q Pero kailangan pa rin ng peace talks kahit na may mga demands?

SP Well, kung talk lang, pwede, sige talk.

Q You believe that at the end of the day, kung ano man ang mapagkasunduan ng GRP at ng MILF, kailangan pa rin dumaan sa Senado?

SP You cannot settle an internal conflict unless one side will give way and I don't think that a Filipino will agree to surrender the government, to surrender the prerogative of the Filipino people.

Q Is the President risking possible impeachment?

SP No, I am not saying that. I don't think, any president, including President Aquino, would be willing to violate the Constitution.

Q Yung sub-state essentially violation na po?

SP It does not exist in our Constitution. The Constitution talks of the city, province, barangay. Nothing more, and the Republic. Nothing more. The republic, provinces, cities, municipalities and barangay, that's all. There is no sub-state. There is no such thing. And autonomy, of course. That's specified, the Cordillera Autonomy, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. I have not read any word of sub-state in the Constitution.

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