Press Release
October 27, 2016

Transcript of Sen. Leila M. de Lima at Kapihan sa Senado

De Lima: Good morning. Maraming salamat sa pag-imbita niyo sa's the Undas. I'm looking forward to this weekend to visit my father. I decided to oblige your long standing request for me to guest here sa Kapihan sa Senado. So magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. I'm familiar with everyone here. Thank you.

Q: Ma'am, now that there's no more House inquiry and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights did not recommend any charges against you, and it seems the President is now busy attacking US, so how do you feel now, medyo na-relieve ho ba kayo temporarily?

De Lima: Eh sabi ko nga, busy pa rin ang Pangulo sa kaka-attack sa akin, I'm always on top of his mind, even if he was in Beijing, even if he was in the airport about to leave, or when he arrives, kasama ako palagi sa nababanggit niya. So attitude ko, I still try to live as normally as possible. Although, my attitude is I live by the day. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang mga susnuod na ibabato sa akin on a daily basis. But I cannot allow that to stymie or to control my daily life. I need to continue, number one, living; and number two, fulfilling my job as a senator.

Q: Ma'am, recently Justice Sec. Aguirre admitted that until now walang documentary evidence to prove that you have millions or billion pesos in your bank account...

De Lima: Kasi wala naman talaga. So kahit anong hanap nila diyan, even if they have to employ every investigator in this country, or any other country, even if they have to continue bugging my phone-again, with the help of another foreign country, in his own words-they will find nothing about the so-called drug money.

Why? The answer is very simple. Because I'm not at all involved. Kasi yung mga lumabas sa House inquiry na yan na tinuturo ako na recipient ng drug money di umano, ay talagang malaking kasinungalingan. So they will not find any money trail because there is simply none. Ilang beses ko na pong sinabi, I have no millions, I have no billions. Wala po akong ganung resources, wala po akong tinatanggap kahit isang kusing diyan sa so-called drug trade na yan.

So no matter how they try to look for that so-called money trail, they will not find anything-unless, again, they fabricate such evidence.

Q: But, ma'am, are you considering any legal action, considering before na si Sec. Aguirre said na meron nang pruweba, na meron ngang billions or millions sa inyong...

De Lima: Meron naman talagang pinaplano na ang legal team ko. Although, I was advised na huwag na muna ko sabihin exactly kung ano yung mga legal actions na yan. But we have managed to already constitute the volunteer legal team. Although, meron pa pong iba na nagpasabi na they would also would want to be part of my legal team. But there has been preliminary talks with the volunteer lawyers and some of them are already working on the legal offensives that I intend to undertake while waiting dun sa mga summons nung na-file na na mga kaso because meron nang na-file sa DOJ, correct. And also, sa Office of the Ombudsman, Visayas, siguro.

But I have not received anything yet. I have not received summons. I have not received copies of those so-called complaints. Basta kung matanggap na ho namin yun, then gagawin naman yung karampatang hakbang ng aking legal team diyan sa mga kaso na yan.

Pero yung ginagawa ngayon, yung pine-prepare ngayon ay yung mga legal offenses. But I'm not authorized by my legal team to be announcing at this point exactly kung ano yung mga legal actions na yan. We will announce once those legal actions are filed.

Q: Ma'am, kung na-constitute na yung legal team, sino po yung head ng inyong legal team?

De Lima: I'm also not authorized yet to disclose who they are. In due time, in due time. Kapag ipa-file na yung first petition.

Q: Ma'am, sabi ni Tarra, taga-San Beda ho ba?

De Lima: May ilan-ilan na mga taga-San Beda, mga brods ko sa fraternity, and sisters ko sa sorority. But the others are from the other schools like UP and Ateneo.

Q: Ma'am, the House Minority bloc filed or presented a dissenting report wherein they said that charges should have been recommended against you. What can you say to that and why do you think these congressmen are so bent on bringing you down?

De Lima: Yung so-called minority na yan, House Minority, these are the so-called House opposition. Pero hindi naman ho yun genuine na minority. Hindi naman ho yun genuine na opposition. May mga pagka-ano yan eh, company union. Kunwari lang yan, mga opposition na yan or minority, with due respect to them. May mga sariling ano rin yan, agenda.

And some of them were so passionate about vilifying me in the course of the House inquiry na talaga naman ang bilis nilang maniwala kaagad doon sa mga kasinunganlingan, lalo na ng mga drug convicts. And they did not bother at all to really probe seriously into the apparent inconsistencies and self-contradictory points in the testimonies of some of them.

Kasi ang gusto nila marinig yung gusto nila marinig yung gusto nilang marinig. Yung gusto nilang marining ay yung sinasabi palagi ng Pangulo na ako daw ay nasa sentro ng drug trade. So yun ang gusto nilang marinig palagi, by the so-called minority or opposition lawmakers. Yung mga tunay na opposition, yung grupo po nila, for example, of Cong. Edcel Lagman. Yun ang tunay na opposition diyan. Walo lang ata sila, sila Cong. Edcel Lagman, si Cong. Gary Alejano.

Gary Alejano somewhat participated in the House committee inquiry and narinig niyo naman siguro yung sinabi niya in one interview that he does not believe those testimonies and that he believes that I am innocent. At alam ko naman na si Cong. Gary Alejano, he has his own sources within and outside Bilibid, so na-validate niya yan. Na-validate niya na kasinungalingan ang mga yan, at na-validate niya na wala po akong kinalaman diyan sa drug trade na yan.

Q: Ma'am, kahit na terminated na yung hearings sa House, ongoing pa rin yung manhunt operations against Ronnie Dayan. At ang latest report, from P100,000, nag-increase na to P200,000 yung reward money para nga sa ikaka-aresto ni Ronnie Dayan. May mga...wala na ho kayong communication?

De Lima: None, wala na kaming communication with hm mula nung sinabi ko was two weeks before the...remember that presscon sa Quezon City, yung Kamuning Bakery? Yun, that was the last communication sa kanya, sa kanya ha, through the cellphone. Although, there was about one or two instances na yung anak niya nag-text din sa akin and sinasabi nga na nahihirapan na ang kalagayan ng papa nila dahil nagtatago. But I don't know where he is. I didn't know where he is and I don't know where he is now.

Q: Ma'am, but do you have any concern, considering na P200,000 na yung reward money na malamang maglagay pa sa kanya in danger?

De Lima: Well, that has always been yung apprehension nila, niya at ng family niya, na under constant danger siya because even before nga yung House inquiry, ganun na yung mga, ganun na yung mga dumadating na impormasyon sa kanya, yung sinabi niya sa akin during that last communication with him two weeks before that presscon, ay may mga information siya na talaga daw na target siya, na ire-raid siya sa bahay at merong mga papalabasin na meron siyang mga ano dun, may firearms siya, and then aarestuhin siya, and then pipilitin siya na maging state witness against him. And worse, meron ding apprehension na baka patayin siya. So yun ang sinabi niya sa akin during that last communication with him.

So that is why he said na talagang magtatago ako kung ganyan ang gagawin nila sa akin na ire-raid ako, aarestuhin ako, paplantahan ako o tataniman ako ng firearms, and then worse, pipilitin siya, iko-coerce din katulad nung mga ibang nag-testify, for example, si Jaybee Sebastian, si Joenel Sanchez. Alam ko naman na mga napilitan lang sila. Ganun din ang gagawin sa kanya. Because there are many ways to coerce a witness, to convince a witness to lie even under oath. It could be through threat, physical safety, threat of you know, may gagawin sa kanya, o iba-blackmail kung meron mga makitang kasalanan, iba-blackmail. And then in exchange for immunity, pipilitin na mag-testify against me. So ganun din siguro ang balak gawin sa kanya, kaya hindi ho natin siya masisisi kung hanggang ngayon ay ayaw pang magpakita.

At isa pang dahilan, pakiwari ko lang po ito, siguro alam din niya, naiisip din niya, katulad ng iniisip ko, na baka naman ang pinakagagawin sa kanya kapag nag-appear siya sa House inquiry ay-do you think that they would genuninely look into the so-called proliferation of drugs diyan sa House inquiry na yan. I think the real target lang there is to just further vilify me personally, it's to just further downgrade, or to further destroy yung character or reputation ko. In other words, pagpipiyestahan lang ho siya diyan sa House inquiry na yan. Pipilitiin siguro na papaaminin na merong so-called sex video and all that. So just again, to further the agenda of the President na talagang sirain ako, at sirain ang pagkatao ko, at sirain ang pagkababae ko. So siguro yun ang naiisip niya, aside from yung threat sa kanya kaya hindi siya, ayaw niyang lumitaw.

Q: Do you feel na after the House probe and no charges were filed, do you feel somehow that the worse is over?

De Lima: I don't know if the worse is over. I've always...I've been preparing myself psychologically for the worse whatever is the worse. Although, sa tindi ng mga ginawa na sa akin, sa tindi ng mga paratang nila sa akin, sa frequency ng pagvi-villify sa akin, by no less than the President, and also some of his men, what more can they do to me? Yun na lang ang iniisip ko. So nothing shocks me anymore.

The worse thing, of course, would be to completely eliminate me from the face of the earth. But sana hindi naman nila isipin yan or gawin yan. That is the worse thing, of course.

Q: Yung sa legal team, you have said before that you're planning to include the President in the suit. Have you discussed that with your legal team, the feasibility of it, and are you going to pursue that?

De Lima: Definitely. That one is settled already, yung mga kaso na ipa-file kasama ang Pangulo. Because he's on top of all these. Kagagawan niya itong lahat. Do you think sila Sec. Aguirre, yung mga imbestigador sa NBI, yung mga agents sa ISAFP, yung mga congressmen sa House, lalo na yung sa House committee, yung mga nag-actively participate in vilifying me publicly on national TV, si Speaker Alvarez, the committee chair, my fraternity brod and the godfather of my eldest son, do you think they will do all these kung hindi yan ang kagustuhan ng Pangulo?

Of course not. So siya ang principal respondent ko palagi sa mga kasong ipa-file ko. But as to exactly what are the courses of action, hindi ko pa ho puwede yang i-disclose because my lawyers do not want me to do that prematurely.

Q: Pero yung mentioned before amparo and writ of habeas data.

De Lima: Nasabi ko na yan but I won't further confirm it.

Q: Ma'am, pero before the year ends maipa-file po kaya yan?

De Lima: Yes, yes. It's sooner than you think.

Q: Ma'am, reaction niyo lang po, right now nasa DOJ po ang VACC filing supplemental evidences against you.

De Lima: Bring them on. Ano na naman ba yan? Supplemental? Saan na naman kaya nila napulot ang mga so-called evidence na naman? Because, you know, I have not seen the first complaint filed kasi wala pa nga akong natatanggap, anything. And from media reports, the basis of that original complaint was yung mga so-called testimonies na yan diyan sa House inquiry. So kung supplemental complaint yan, probably meron silang nakalimutan, hindi naisama dun sa una, o kaya, maybe new so-called witnesses or new so-called evidence. I really do not know.

Pero tignan niyo who are behind VACC. And tignan niyo kung sino yung mga abogado na nag-a-assist sa kanila.You will see the connection. And you would see na kasi nga, yung dati ko na hong sinasabi-hindi ko alam po kung natatandaan niyo po ito-na since alam niyo naman na ang ating Pangulo, meron talagang dinidibdib na personal vendetta against me since 2009. So here he is, naging Pangulo. Vindictive as he is, kaya pagkakataon niya ito na balikan ako.

And then there are other personalities who are just too happy that they have a President like that who is hell bent in destroying Leila de Lima, and therefore, they're exploiting that part of the President, that weakness in the character of the President of being vindictive, to their own benefit also to serve their respective agenda.

And I'm referring to those other personalities, especially the powerful once na mga natapakan ko po nung ginagawa ko yung trabaho ko as Secretary of Justice. at alam niyo naman po kung ano yung mga high-profile cases na yan na hinandle ko. And then some people keep on blaming me until now doon sa pagharang ko nung lalabas ng bansa yung dating pangulo. Di ho ba, they always say that.

And even the President is now saying na nung sinabi niya na I will suffer daw the same fate of that former president, GMA. In other words, I would be locked up in jail and rot in jail. Those are the exact words of President Duterte, dahil nga magkakampi na sila ngayon. May mga political alliances sila, GMA forces.

And then yung mga PDAF senators. Alam ko meron silang mga tao na mga inuutusan diyan to also make my life difficult. Kaya tignan niyo yung mga personalidad na iyan: yung nag-assist kay Sec. Aguirre in the course of the House inquiry. Sino ba yung mga nagbi-briefing doon sa mga convicts na mga nag-testify against me? Sino ba yung mga nagre-represent sa kanila? May abogado diyan na alam ko dating abogado ng dating pangulo, and even for a powerful religious bloc. Alam niyo naman po siguro kung ano yung religious bloc na nagalit din sa akin noon.

So itong mga ito, these are the forces na may alliances na sila ngayon with the President, nakapasok na sila sa Pangulo, naka-access na sila sa kanya politically, and therefore, ginagamit nila yung galit sa akin ng Pangulo para tulungan ang Pangulo for their own respective agenda, which is also to get back to me. Payback time ang nasa isip nila. And why is that? For simply doing my job as then Secretary of Justice.

And when I raided Bibilid, I was also doing my job, pero bakit binabaliktad na nila ngayon lahat? So look at the situation. Is there anything fair, is there anything just in what they're doing to me? Because as I've been telling you, up to my last breath, I will maintain and profess innocence because that is the truth. I have nothing to do with the drug trade-either within, or outside Bilibid.

Q: So, Senator, you're explicitly saying that even GMA is behind this?

De Lima: I think so. The fact na ISAFP is also actively involved in getting those so-called evidence and convincing those so-called witnesses in turning against me. And sino ngayon ang National Security Adviser? Analyze all of those things.

Q: Going back to Ronnie Dayan, because his family niya has called on him to surface, especially that he has not done anything wrong. Would you also do the same?

De Lima: It's his personal decision. It's his personal decision. Hindi ko siya iimpluwensiyahan siya diyan because in the first place, I don't even know where he is now. There's zero communication from him. Let him decide for himself. Pero yan ang nababasa ko rin kasi sa kanya, aside from yung takot niya, and then that's it. Ang naiisip niya, what good will it do, na pagpipyestahan lang siya doon, or worse papaaminin lang siya, bago siya i-presenta doon, baka i-interrogate siya katulad ng ginawa nila kay Sebastian at saka kay Sanchez na ultimately, napilit nila na magsinungaling. Baka ganoon din gawin sa kanya na ituturo na naman ako.

Q: So in case na maaresto, you're not confident na he will not testify against you?

De Lima: I really do not know. The whole point of getting him, through this so-called arrest warrant, is precisely to force him to turn against me. I have no doubt about that. What is the whole point of all these efforts? Tapos na naman dapat yung House Inquiry na yan, tinerminate na. So kung may mga kasong dapat ipa-file, nai-file na nga yung mga kaso-I think respondent din siya diyan sa mga kaso na yan finile sa DOJ. So bakit pa intresado sila ngayon na kunin siya? Saka na lang, later na lang kung meron na tunay na warrant of arrest, rescinding from any proceedings after the DOJ or after the Ombudsman. But not in connection with the House inquiry. So what is the whole point na naman? Para lang idagdag ulit, dagdagan ulit yung panggigipit sa akin. That's the whole point.

Q: Ma'am, bukod doon sa GMA forces, sino pa yung mga powerful personalities na sa tingin niyo behind dito sa mga harassment against you?

De Lima: Maybe one or two of the PDAF senators. I received information also, but of course I cannot validate conclusively

Q: Yung mga naka-detain pa ngayon o nakalaya na?

De Lima: One or two PDAF senators.

Baka naman hindi yung tatlo, baka naman hindi lahat ng tatlo. Baka dalawa lang, isa o dalawa lang. Based on my own information, but as I said, I cannot validate fully or conclusively. Kasi even noong sa confirmation hearings ko, sa Commission on Appointment, yung isang nag-oppose sa akin doon at nagbanta rin na ipapalabas daw yung alleged sex video. Alam ko na ginamit yung ng isa sa kanila, doon sa tatlong PDAF senators. Because yung character na yan, hindi naman talaga yan gagalaw, hindi naman talaga yan mag gaganyan kung walang gumagamit sa kanya because mercenary siya. We don't have to name. I think you know.

Q: Ma'am, yung sa itong report about the Chinese firms that are banned by the World Bank. And I understand that you're going to file a resolution.

De Lima: Yes, I intend to file a resolution on that, parang parallel din or some sort of a complementary to the one filed by Sen. Bam Aquino. Di ba si Sen. Bam, which the rest of us supported, I mean, the LP bloc senators supported, yung calling for an inquiry, a hearing, to clarify itong mga deals na ito, yung mga in-announce nilang deals and the foreign policy also, yung pronouncements ng Pangulo nung nandun siya sa Beijing. So what are the ramifications to that diplomatically, militarily, and economically?

Now, yung sa akin naman, kasi the fact na may mga pinangalanan na mga ilan-ilang na Chinese firms and may mga in-identify na sila na projects, I'm willing to bet na baka may mga tide loans na naman yan.

Oo, pinapautang tayo ng isang foreign government, pero sila ang mayroong karapatan na pumili kung sino ang bibigyan ng kontrata na yan o ng project na yan. So in other words, yung pinapa-utang sa atin ay hindi naman sa atin talaga kung hindi doon maibibibigay, mapupunta doon sa kung sino man yung contractor or supplier. Iyon ang essence ng tide loans. And tide loans are unconstitutional and illegal under our laws kasi unang-una, ay kailangan klarado na dapat dumadaan din yan sa public bidding or any other procurement process recognized under our laws, specifically, the procurement law, the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The fact na executive agreement yan-kasi baka yun ang gagawin nila na justification that it is an executive agreement and therefore puwedeng hindi na dumaan sa tamang proseso under domestic laws-ay hindi po yan sapat na dahilan.

I can only refer you to the dissenting opinion of Justice Carpio doon sa NBN-ZTE case. Ang sabi ni Justice Carpio, tide loans are unconstitutional lalo na kapag hindi dumadaan sa public bidding, lalo na kung walang appropriation law, and kapag walang appropriation cover, certificate of appropriations, and availability of funds. These are mandatory requirements at sakop sa mga requirements na yan, even mga foreign funded projects.

So itong mga intended projects nila, is it 13 billion or 24 billion dollars? So we expect these to be foreign funded, funded by China, Chinese government, or any instrumentality or entity of the state of China. Pero, malamang nga, ang mga contractor din, ang mga supplier din ng mga projects na iyan, would be Chinese firms, so tide loans. So kailangan i-scrutinize ho natin.

So I join the call of Sen. Ping Lacson na kailangan tingnan yan nang maigi. Alamin kung ano yung mga background ng mga projects na iyan, ano na yung mga pinaka-status, MOU pa lang ba? Even if it's just MOU, MOU is the first step. Memorandum of Understanding is the first step towards the appropriate project, or the execution of the appropriate contrac-whether it's a supply contract, loan agreement, or both. So kailangan busisiin po nang husto yan because diyan din ang mga nagiging ugat ng mga corrupt practices.

Q: So yung resolution niyo po, is it also going to call on for an investigation or call on Malacañang, just like what Sen. Ping said?

De Lima: We're still crafting it. It is an inquiry into those intended projects.

...I wouldn't know yet. We're still drafting it. It's a work in progress. But we hope to file it by next week.

Q: Sen. Trillanes filed a resolution, asking for a Senate inquiry para doon sa involvement ng mga pulis sa extrajudicial killings. May necessity pa ba to conduct a separate investigation on this or na-cover na noong hearing ng Committee on Justice and Human rights?

De Lima: It really depends on the final form of the committee report, on the scope, on the findings, and recommendations, in the committee report, from the EJK hearings and that is the Committee on Justice and Human Rights and jointly with the Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs.

Depende yan, pero naiintindihan ko yung perspective ni Sen. Trillanes, because I agree with him na premature naman talaga yung pagkaka-terminate ng proceedings, kahit hindi pa nga lahat ng mga CHR witnesses na matagal naghintay, naka-abang na tatawagin sila, because dalawa lang yung na-present so far. So premature pa.

And then there were very significant and substantive points raised during the last hearing of the committee, yung mga tungkol nga dun sa, rinaise mismo nga yun ni Sen. Lacson, yung nangyari doon sa Mimaropa, yung the chair of the anti-crime group there, and then na-unmask yung riding-in-tandem na mga pulis pala sila. And then yung sinabi ko rin about the article in The Guardian about the revelation of an anonymous police officer saying na meron daw mga secret police death squads.

Those points, even if these are mere reports at the moment, are very serious that need to be pursued seriously. So dapat meron pang ilang hearings and to try to validate yung mga ganung reports. So depende ho yan sa magiging findings and recommendations ng committee report, and also subject to the final form of the committee report if approved by the majority. I'm inclined to submit a dissenting report.

Q: Have you seen the committee report?

De Lima: Not yet that's why I cannot decide yet whether I'll be submitting a concurring or dissenting report. Under the rules, a member can file a concurring and/or dissenting report within 72 hours from the approval by the majority of the report.

Q: So dapat ba muna hinintay muna ni Sen. Trillanes yung committee report before siya nag-file ng Senate resolution?

De Lima: Hindi naman siguro. Kasi naiintindihan ko nga yung perspective ni Sen. Trillanes, is alam niya na marami pang points na dapat pinursue, pero hindi pinursue, at dahil hindi nga prinisenta yung mga CHR witnesses, ay paano magkakaroon ng substantive conclusion on the police involvement in the EJKs, and especially on the issue of whether or not these killings are state-sanctioned.

Malamang, yun ang magiging conclusion, in-announce na nga po nila yan, including ng Pangulo, na yung resulta daw ng Senate inquiry did not reveal any evidence that the killings are state-sanctioned. Eh paano, premature pa, kulang pa so there shouldn't be any such conclusion that it is not state-sanctioned. No basis to say anything on the issue of whether or not it is state-sanctioned dahil premature pa nga yung termination, kulang pa nga. Hindi naman tunay na pinursue yung issue na yan.

Q: Ma'am, the President said sa laki ng problema sa illegal drugs, he needs help from the Senate and House of Representatives.

De Lima: Definitely, and whether or not he says it, mandato rin ng Kongreso-both the Senate and the House-to help him out kasi talaga namang alam natin yang lahat na may problema tayo yung drug menace at alam naman natin na tama lang naman na sinusugpo yung drug menace. So within our own capacities, within our own mandate as lawmaking and oversight mechanism ay malaki rin ang magiging tulong ng Kongreso.

Kaya nga may mga ganito, mga inquiry, hindi lang naman into the EJKs, kung hindi mismo doon sa capacity of government to really battle the drug menace. And there have been a series of hearings doon sa Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs, kaya nga meron nang bill na ini-sponsor si Sen. Ping Lacson as chair of that committee, and I'm referring to the Anti-Wiretapping Law, which provides for, as among the exceptions, yung mga violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. Malaking tulong po yan diyan sa war on drugs.

But of course, under safeguards always, under proper safeguards because pagdating kasi sa usapin ng mga anti-wiretapping law, we're always confronted with trying to strike a healthy balance between empowering the law enforcers to fight criminality, including drugs on one hand, and lalo na drugs, terrorism, mga organized crimes; and then on the other hand, how to protect, safeguard the rights of individuals, particularly right to privacy. Kasi puwede naman na inaabuso yung kapangyarihan na yan na mag-tap, mag-intercept, mag-record ng mga communications or conversations of certain suspected criminals.

Q: Ma'am, yun lang sa Scarborough Shoal, hindi ho ba dapat i-clarify ng Presidente kung ano yung mga agreements kasi nung umuwi siya, sabi lang niya soon puwede nang mangisda dun yung mga fishermen na parang...

De Lima: Alam niyo, ngayon pa lang dapat puwede na silang mangisda, lalo na nung paglabas nungg ruling ng Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. It's very clear na klinarify nila yan na that's a common fishing ground, not just of the Philippines, but also some neighboring countries. Hindi yan pag-aari ng China, hindi rin pag-aari ng Pilipinas, pero may common rights to really fish and to utilize, exploit the resources in the Scarborough Shoal. Hindi iyong tinataboy yung ating mga fishermen ni kanino man, lalo na ng China. So dapat, walang permiso. We don't need the permission or the authority of China for our fishermen to go there and exercise their rights which has been explicitly recognized by the International Arbitral Court.

So bakit kailangan pang kausapin ang China at hingin ang permiso para po gawin iyan? Wag ho nating waldasin iyong gains na nakuha natin, iyong victory, iyong triumph natin in that monumental case na nabilib sa atin ang buong mundo, na ginawa natin iyon at nanalo tayo doon at tayo pa mismo ang magmamaliit doon sa significance ng ruling na iyan just to appease China.

Q: So it weakens our claims.

De Lima: Yes, ang unsolicited advice ko po sa Pangulo is mag-ingat sa mga pronouncements niya at sa mga moves and actions niya in so far the West Philippine Sea issue cases are concerned because under international law, there is jurisprudence on that, international law, the pronouncements by public officials, state officials, particularly the head of state itself can be binding.

So hindi niya alam siguro, hindi niya nare-realize na meron siyang mga nagiging statements na ngayon that China will just be too happy to invoke against us diyan sa kaso na yan. Of course tapos na iyong kaso may desisyon na na hindi iginagalang ng China pero dapat nasa period tayo ng enforcement and assertion of the ruling. Pero ginagawa ba natin? Hindi po. Kung si President PNoy pa din ang pangulo, iyan ang ginagawa niya ngayon. To enforce, to try to enforce, try to seek and solicit the support of the international community, rallying the international community to put heavy pressure on China to recognize the ruling of the arbitral tribunal. Eh hindi eh, parang baliktad ang ginagawa ngayon ng kasalukuyang Pangulo. Siya mismo ang nangunguna in trying to dilute, if not weaken, the import and significance of that ruling. Ingat po siya diyan, there are consequences. He may be held accountable for that under the Constitution.

Q: So puwedeng basis ng impeachment? ...betrayal of public trust?

De Lima: Nagbigay na ng ganyang warning si Justice Carpio and tama siya. He's a legal luminary in international law. Malaki din ang naging contribution niya noong pinursue natin yung arbitration case na iyan. So he certainly knows what he is talking about and I agree with him completely.

Q: Ma'am, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said that na once China will open Scarborough to our local fiserhmen, nothing is in there anymore, wala nang taklobo, wala nang isda. Is there any possible way for us to actually check kung tayo rin mismo ay hindi makapunta?

De Lima: Hindi ko siguro masasagot iyan kasi unang-una, that is within the realm of the executive functions of the government headed by the President as the head of state. Dapat meron na talaga sila ngayon mga concrete moves and actions on how to assert iyong mga karapatan natin na ibinigay na sa atin, ni-recognize na ng arbitral tribunal kasi nga isa sa mga naging grounds din natin doon sa kaso ay tungkol nga doon sa pagsisira din ng marine environment dahil merong mga resources doon na hindi na dapat kinukuha. Di ba merong mga...yes, these are endangered marine resources pero talaga naman na kinukuha nila so isa iyan sa mga naging grounds natin na damage to the marine environment. So malamang, baka ganoon nga, baka nakalbo na ang Scarborough Shoal.

Q: Ma'am, you filed Senate Bill No. 1227 seeking repeal of antiquated Revised Penal Code. May we know the salient provisions of this bill?

De Lima: Yes. I just filed this morning a bill, actually nire-file ko nalang ito. Dati ko na itong finile noon. Prinopose ko ito noong DOJ, particularly the Criminal Code Committee which I constituted and headed by DOJ. And it was about two years or more than two years' work and the output was a draft of new Criminal Code which would seek to supplant, or repeal, overhaul the existing 84-year-old Revised Penal Code. Iyong Revised Penal Code po natin ay 84 years old na ito, 1932. So marami nang naging obsolete na provisions diyan. Hindi na siya angkop.

So we try to come up with an updated, simple, or simplified, modern Criminal Code. So nire-file ko po kanina. I first reviewed it and meron lang kaunting changes doon sa unang version na finile noon ng Criminal Code Committee. It is Senate Bill No. 1227 which seeks to ordain and institute a new Criminal Code of the Philippines that will modernize, update and codify the country's basic penal law.

So there is a corresponding press release issued by my office at nakalagay dito sa press release iyong mga salient provisions of the bill. Please take a look at it and sana ho magkaroon ng makabuluhan na consideration of this bill this 17th Congress. Kasi noong 16th Congress, I think hanggang committee level lang or TWG level lang at hindi na siya gumalaw. So hopefully this time around mas magiging seryoso at mabilis ang pag-tackle ng bill na ito.

I remember that this was also a subject of the first SONA of former President PNoy na gusto na rin niyang i-overhaul iyong existing Revised Penal Code. So following that announcement by President PNoy noong first SONA niya, I constituted the Criminal Code Committee.

Q: Senator may dahilan po doon sa halos everyday po ninyo na pag-punta sa mga schools and communities. May mga nagsasabi po kasi na you are seeking audience and sympathy from students and...

De Lima: Siyempre, talaga pong sinasadya ko iyan na nagkakaroon ako ng mga ganyan na mga fora, mga campus tours, and also with various women organizations and other organizations as a forum for me to say my piece, to express my side. Kasi ayaw ko po kasi na marami sa ating mga kababayan na maniwala o naniniwala doon sa mga kasinungalingan na lumabas sa doon sa House inquiry.

Hindi po ako nag-participate and that was deliberate kasi it was futile for me to participate dahil alam ko naman na ang pinaka-objective ng House Inquiry na iyan is talagang i-demolish iyong pagkatao ko, ang aking reputation, and aking credibi

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