Press Release
November 17, 2011

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On the DOJ blocking GMA from leaving the country

SP I think it is better to leave that to the Supreme Court. The case is pending, so let the Supreme Court make a final resolution about the issues.

Q Was it right to defy the TRO considering that it was final and executory?

SP The Executive Department of the government objected to the immediate implementation of the TRO on the claim that they have not received actual notice of the decision of the court. That is an issue that must be resolved by the Supreme Court itself, whether indeed, even in the absence of an actual notice to the party of the disposition of the case to the Supreme Court, their order will become effective and immediately implementable. As I said, there are gray areas in this particular issue, let the Supreme Court decide it finally, all the aspects of this very troublesome incident.

Q Guilty po ba sa contempt si Secretary de Lima?

SP Yun nga ang one of the issues, whether she committed a contemptuous act in defiance of an order of the Supreme Court in spite of the fact that she has not received actual notice. That is one of the issues. When is a decision or order of the Highest Court of the land effective on the other party?

Q Is it an impeachable offense against President Aquino?

SP I do not know whether we can impeach him, whether that is a culpable violation of the Constitution, they have to prove it. If the Executives, through the Secretary of Justice, honestly believe that they are within solid, legal ground to object to the departure of the party, so this is a justifiable issue, which only the Supreme Court can ... Now, if the court said that well, there is a culpable violation of the Constitution, then maybe an impeachment case will stand. Until that time, it is a debatable issue.

On Hillary Clinton's pronouncement of the US standing by the Philippines

SP They have made those kinds of pronouncements in the past and at least my experience over a period of 17 years as Secretary of National Defense is that whenever we have a security problem and we try to call upon the United States to help us, there are a lot of arguments that are being raised. So, we will take the statement at face value. The arrangement between the Philippines and the United States does not call for automatic assistance by either party to any problem arising against the others.

Q When she said that they were in the Philippines' corner, what does that mean?

SP That means, of course they have to support us, they have to be on our corner because of our Mutual Defense Alliance.

Q Kailangan na po ba i-review yung Mutual defense Treaty?

SP Sa akin, kailangan na i-review na natin yun. Pati yung Visiting Forces Agreement kailangan bisitahin natin muli dahil matagal na yun. That is why we have an oversight committee, Congressional Oversight that we created to review the implementation of all of these treaties. So that if there are any disadvantages that we suffer, then we should correct them.

Q Magiging priority kaya yun po?

SP Kailangan. Kailangan ang mag-initiate niyan ay ang ating Executive Department.

News Latest News Feed