Press Release
November 16, 2011

Transcript phone patch interview
with Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV

On the Supreme Court's TRO

David Nye: Welcome back to our program, Senator Antonio Trillanes. Senator, good morning. There have been quite a bit of reaction from Congress, both sides of the issue here regarding Gloria Arroyo's departure, the TRO (temporary restraining order) which the Supreme Court issued, and the barring, preventing her from leaving by Aquino administration. What's your take on all these, Senator?

SAFT: Well if she was an ordinary Filipino, I will really be outraged about the whole thing. But the thing is she is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and she is right now the biggest offender. She is a plunderer as far as I am concerned and oppressor of the Filipino people for the past 10 years. I believe it was right that the immigration people prevented her from leaving.

David Nye: But Senator, what you're saying is that there is an exception on the rule of law but the Supreme Court did issue a TRO. Are you saying in effect that the Executive Branch is above the Supreme Court?

SAFT: No, no. I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is let's look at the whole context, even the issuance of the TRO. First of all, this Supreme Court that we have right now is the same Supreme Court that she had. Practically she appointed these people there and the Supreme Court is not infallible. Remember when they kicked out President Erap in 2001? No matter how you looked at it, that was not the rule of law, but they designed it as such. So it cannot be that the Supreme Court can just do that and show that. I beg to disagree. Let us look at media for example, that's how they treat dictators and tyrants and here we are, we're going to let somebody like her goes abroad at her own desire, no. As a self-respecting nation we should not allow her to leave this country. But the thing is, this Aquino Administration is not blameless, particularly the Department of Justice. She (Sec. De Lima) could have prevented this situation from happening, had she done her job and filed the necessary cases in court.

David Nye: So the fact is, Senator, there are no formal charges against Mrs. Arroyo in court, that is a fact. You're saying and you're conceding that it is the shortcoming of the Aquino administration, that after a year in office they still haven't filed any charges in court despite their media blitz of demonizing Mrs. Arroyo. So having said that, we should not be denying her rights as a citizen as well as other citizens of this country. So again the question that should be asked is, if this can be done to Mrs. Arroyo and her husband, what's to stop from Aquino administration from using this as a precedent to prevent other citizens of this country from leaving for abroad as well?

SAFT: Well, that's the predicament of this Aquino Administration. But what I'm saying is it is right in the case of GMA. But if they did that to anybody else I would resent definitely. So now it's up to their lawyers to find a legal technicality of how, right now they're saying they have yet to formally receive the order that's why they can't. As far as the lawyers are concerned, they say that's technically legal to bar anybody because they just can't go to the airport and bring any document. It has to be thru official channel. For now, it's still in the bounds of the so called rule of law. I tell you, you know how lawyers are, they can find justifications of all their actions either way. As I mentioned, EDSA 2 was clearly a mob rule, not the rule of law. Since it was convenient to everybody to define it as a part of the rule of law, so they did, that was it.

David Nye: Are you implying Senator, forgive for suggesting this that in the case of Mrs. Arroyo we just ignore the decision of the Supreme Court and go back to a different form of mob rule?

SAFT: No, that's not what I'm suggesting. Like I said, lawyers right now and even during that particular incident are saying it is still part of the rule of law to deny GMA from leaving because they said the order has to come thru official channel.

David Nye: What if the Supreme Court says that the decision of Justice Department of the Aquino administration is contempt of court, will you buy that?

SAFT: It's up to the Aquino administration to buy those charges.

David Nye: If after a motion for reconsideration is denied by the Supreme Court, would you say that it is within her legal rights to leave the country?

SAFT: Well, no. I still maintain that she (GMA) has to stay here. Imagine a situation where in all of us were raped by somebody, we all know that for a fact. Then here she is, using all the legal loopholes in our legal system just to leave the country and not made to account for her actions, so that's what happening. Even a legal crime, not only she plundered and raped the country; she's even using or bastardizing the corrupt legal system that we have.

David Nye: So you're saying Mr. Senator that under no circumstance should Mrs. Arroyo be allowed to leave the country even it's her constitutional right to do so?

SAFT: I think GMA, when she plundered and raped this country, has raped any constitutional right. She can't explain right now that she is an ordinary Filipino, she can never be. She's just trying to fool everybody that she's an ordinary Filipino, she's not. Everybody heard that "Hello Garci" tape, we are (inaudible) to more serious crimes than that, and it is very difficult for us to accept that she is an ordinary Filipino who deserves those constitutional rights.

David Nye: And as far as you're concerned Senator, even if the Administration missed filing any formal charges against her, you so believe that she shouldn't be allowed to leave?

On Leila de Lima should be fired

SAFT: Yes. As a policy, she should not allow to leave. Now, it's up to the lawyers to find any technicality so that she'll remain here. That's what I'm saying. I'm not saying that we go away from our legal system or our justice system, that was not what I am saying. That's why I kept on pounding this Leila de Lima fellow because everyday she's on the news, she's been conducting press conferences left and right, she's doing everything except her job.

David Nye: Right. I'm glad you mentioned Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Now on that score, apparently you are not satisfied with the performance of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, do you believe she is the right person for the job?

SAFT: No, definitely not. I believe she could be a better senator than a secretary of justice, but definitely this is not her thing. She can be an effective spokesperson but not a secretary of justice because she could have prevented the predicament of the Aquino administration had she filed these cases in court earlier.

David Nye: So you believe Senator, that Secretary de Lima should be fired or resigned?

SAFT: Yes. She should be fired because apparently resignation is beyond her. She can't seem to admit the fact that she missed her duties. She is the sole responsible for putting the Aquino administration on the spot, on a very tight bind. Now, they have to extricate themselves from this dilemma, so she has to be fired.

David Nye: That was Senator Antonio Trillanes.

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