Press Release
November 28, 2016

Transcript of ambush interview of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III

On the meeting with the leaders of the House regarding Senator De Lima

SP Pimentel: Tatanungin ko si Senator Sotto kung meron nga, kasi tatapusin namin ang budget ngayon.

Q: Ano po yung stand ng Senate? Can the House cite Sen. De Lima in contempt? Can they arrest her?

SPKP: Anyway pag-aaralan natin ito kasi novel question ito, but principle sa ating batas, no one is above the law, kaya parati kong sinasabi sa inyo yan. But then, if the Constitution grants an immunity or grants a benefit to a member of Congress or to someone else, we have to also respect whatever the Constitution grants. Pag-aralan muna natin ito. Anyway, the question is not yet before us, wala pa naman ding arrest warrant or whatever.

Q: Inter-parliamentary courtesy sir, will that apply?

SPKP: Parati namang iniinvoke yang parliamentary courtesy but as I have stated, it is not expressly provided for in the Constitution. It is not expressly provided for in any law as far as I know. So it is a matter of practice or strategy. If you want smoother relations, or working relationship with your fellow Congressional chamber, then you better observe some courtesy.

Q: So the decision kay De Lima to appear before the House, sa kanya na yun, hindi na makikialam ang Senate leadership?

SPKP: I have not seen any communication before me, I will ask her kung nakatanggap na ba siya ng order.

Q: Pero sir, sa inyo po ba dapat idaan yung show cause order?

SPKP: Wala rin po sa rules yun na lahat ng communication sa Senador dadaan sa Senado, wala rin po sa rules namin yan. Tingnan po natin. Basta dumaan sa Office of the Senate President, it will be referred to the Plenary, in the reference of business.

Q: So if an arrest warrant will be issued, hindi po mao-offend ang Senate leadership doon?

SPKP: Wala pa naman tayo diyan, so wag natin pangunahan.

Q: What does the Constitution say about arresting a Senator?

SPKP: While in session, we are immune from arrest if the crime is not punishable in more than six years as far as I know.

Q: Yung obstruction sir, punishable by what po?

SPKP: Below six years yun.

Q: So hindi pwede maaresto?

SPKP: Wala pa tayo roon, at saka yung arrest warrant na minemention doon is the regular arrest warrant which is issued by courts.

Q: Ibig sabihin misinformed si Speaker?

SPKP: Tsaka na natin pag-usapan.

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