4 December 2008
TRANSCRIPT OF KAPIHAN SA SENADO WITH SENATOR KIKO PANGILINAN On LP Status after Sen. Mar Roxas join SP Enrile group in the Senate:
SFNP: Well, obviously we do have a difference in views regarding how we are to position ourselves in the Senate. And we are currently threshing it out with our fellow party members. And hopefully we will have a breakthrough in terms of the current disagreements in the Senate reorganization. So, of course it’s no open secret that for the last year and a half, they opted to, well in fact, even during the May 2007 elections, Sen. Roxas and Sen. Noynoy opted to align with the Genuine Opposition and I ran as an Independent. And so there are differences. We hope, however that differences can be threshed out, especially through our party mechanism, which is what we are doing now.
On his clout on LP or on the Wednesday Group:
I think what is most clout to me is that I am an Independent. I ran as an Independent. I am a member of the party but I resigned as party chairman. So it’s not about whether it’s LP or the Wednesday Group. It’s about my decision to a brand neither with the Administration nor the Opposition in 2007. And I continue to believe that the country will be better off if we have genuine alternative to politics as usual.
On his label as Independent member of LP:
Independent LP would be more appropriate, that’s right.
On committee assignments for the Minority Group:
Wala pa. But yung realidad ng leftovers is a political reality. We’ll have to accept. In a constitutional democracy, the majority prevails over the minority. So, ganoon yon. And we will have just to accept that. Sabi nga nila: ‘You play the hand that dealt you’. Because of the Budget debates we have been unable to sit down with the Minority again. We sat down twice. But with respect to committee assignments we are still in the process of putting together our preferences.
On the submission of the Minority list of committee membership:
Wala pa. Hopefully by next week. Well, meron ng ilan. Yung Blue Ribbon Committee, for example. Kaya yan nakapagpulong at nakapag hearing dahil nga isinumitE ng Minority ang aming mga miyembro. I think the Defense Committee as well.
Hindi pa namin napa- finalize yung membership sa iba pang mga committees, I think including the Ethics Committee. So hopefully by next week we’ll be able to put together our preferences sa mga committees, sa Senate Electoral Tribunal, sa Commission on Appointments as our Minority representation.
On the alleged perception of delaying submission of Minority list of committee membership as an act of delaying proceedings, especially in the Ethics Committee, where Sen. Villar will supposedly be investigated:
Wala akong alam sa ganoon. Hawa-hawa lang iyon dahil lahat … hindi gannon kadali kasi to be able to determine yung 35 committeees , tapos kami, ilang mga miyembro. In fact, may issue pa nga, eh. Di ba kiini- question yung hindi raw sila Majority . Independent daw sila. So, iyan ay ni- refer sa Rules. But if you ask me, my position there, is there can no be independent. It’s either you are with the Majority or the Minority. But I think, even pending the finding of the Rules Committee, na nominate na itong mga independents as belonging to the Majority Bloc. So, for all intents and purposes they are with the Majority.
On the effect of his abstention vote on Enrile’s presidency:
Well in effect, ang magiging resulta niyan is you are not part of the Majority, and therefore, you are with the Minority. Because by tradition and by practice, dalawa lang naman ag grupo sa Senado. And also, there’s constitutional provision that provides for proportional representation. So the proportional representation, as I see it would be by virtue of coalitions put together or alliances or parties. An in this case, it’s a coalition of political parties or individuals supporting the Majority and the senate presidency of Sen. Enrile.
On Sen. Nene Pimentel’s abstention vote and as Minority Leader:
I don’t think so. He did not support the Majority position. And therefore he aligns with the Minority. By tradition, by precedent and by our Rules, if you are not with the Majority, then you should be with the Minority, which is where he is, and which where we are , and where I am. Although, if I recall, Sen. Miriam did not vote for Senator Drilon, in the 13th Congress, but decided to stay with the Majority, anyway.
On the impression by the Majority that the Minority is slack in its participation in Senate proceedings:
Sino ang hindi nagpa- participate sa Senate inquiry? I don’t think so. It’s not true that we are delaying. I was there in the first hearing of the Bolante fertilizer scam. And I do attend the Budget hearings. In fact, I will be raising questions later sa Ombudsman. So unfounded yung sinasabing we are delaying.
Well, think we need just a little more time to put things together. So we hope they understand. I’m not even sure if they are already complete with theirs. Sa Commission on Appointments, and sa SET. Hindi pa rin ata sila kumpleto. So, ganoon talaga. Kailangan ng konting panahon para mailagay sa ayos yung pagko- konsulta. E, relaks lang sila.
Gusto nila tapusin ang Budget. Gusto nila mag- reorganize kaagad. Nasa Majority sila, yun ang gusto niula. Pero nasa Minority kami, humihingi kami ng panahon para mailagay sa ayos yung aming membership.
On Sen. Trillanes and Sen. Aquino as Independent Group:
Again by practice, by precedent and precisely by our Rules, there are only two groups in the Senate- the Majority and the Minority. So personal preferences cannot be accommodated because, over personal preferences are the Rules. So they’re with the Majority. In fact, the records will show that the Majority Leader has been nominating them as members of different committees representing the Majority. So for all intentions and purposes Majority sila.
On Jocjoc Bolante
Alam nyo, simple lang ang problema ni Former Under Sec. Bolante. Siya lang naman ang nagpapahirap sa sarili niya. Magsabi lamang siya ng totoo, he will purge himself from the contempt order, and therefore he will be a free man.
If Bolante will stay long under Senate Custody:
That is a possibility. But he can be out of here tomorrow if he says “I will now tell the truth and I will cooperate.’ …
On the issue of Bolante’s “double arrest”:
I think he should stop pointing his finger at anybody else or at any institution. Tinuturo niya ang Senado. Bawat daliri niyang nakaturo sa Senado, tatlong daliri niya ang nakaturo sa sarili niya. Kay siya nakakulong dahil sa sarili niyang gawa, at sarili niyang desisyon. Kung gusto niyang matanggal siya sa kulungan o sa detention, magsabi siya ng totoo.
What if Bolante is not lying:
Well, somebody is. And as far as the Senate is concerned, based on the evidence and the testimonies of the witnesses, which I, myself has been monitoring, obviously there are inconsistencies. So someone is lying. And the Supreme Court has ruled in a criminal case that a testimony to be credible must be consistent with human experience. His testimony is not consistent with human experience, and is not consistent with the testimonies of the regional directors. So as far as the Senate is concerned, the committee is concerned, he is lying.
On the performance of the Blue Ribbon Committee with the new chairman:
Well, I’d like to think that under the previous leadership, we were able to stop the ZTE- NBN contract. So, kanya-kanyang interpretasyon yan sa performance. But in terms of result, I think the previous leadership had made headway in investigations in aid of legislations, and in addressing issues on public accountabilities.
On Bolante’s longer stay in the Senate:
It is only as definite as he chooses it to be. Kung gusto niya pahabain ito, nasa kanya yun. Kung gusto niyang pabilisin ito, nasa kanya din ito. So there is no persecution. It is self- inflected.
Whether SFNP signed Bolante’s warrant of arrest:
I signed the Resolution citing him for contempt. I haven’t signed the arrest warrant. I was here yesterday, but I did not see. I think iniikot pa. … Well, he will argue it and let him bring it to the court. And let the court decide.
On Bolante’s claimed of his “double arrest”:
I beg to disagree.
On the status on JBC open vote:
That’s right. 15 senators signed the Resolution before it was filed. So, that is as good as passed. That is the sense of the Senate na dapat open voting. I think that there is a public clamor na dapat malaman ng mga taong bayan ang boto ng mga miyembro ng Judicial and Bar Council, dahil sila ay mga opisyal ng pamahalan. Sila’y mga public officials. At meron tayong mga constitutional requirements of transparency. Therefore , given itong pitoN a iboboto ng mga miyembro ng ating JBC, magandang malaman talaga kung paano bumoto ang bawat miyembro.
On instances where JBC rejected Palace nominees:
Marami. During my term, there were a number of nominees who were being pushed by Malacanang, but did not make it to the Court.
Yung CHACHA, ako pabor sa ConCon, pero hindi ako pabor sa ConCon na open ended. Ibig sabihin na kapag may ConCon Resolution na ipapa- file, given na ang kapangyarihan naman ng Kongreso ay ang budget, dapat i- fix ang budget only for a period of six to nine months after which ma- terminate na yung Concon debates, at masumite na yung mga proposals for a plebiscite.
Open ended yan. They can cover any topic as aConCon. But I am wary of an open- ended ConCon, because the experience in 1970, yung ConCon of 1971, mag 1973 na hindi pa rin tapos yung ConCon . So mahigit dalawang taon nagde- debate. Kung magdadada tayo ng dalawang taon ditto sa Pilipinas tungkol sa ConCon, palagay ko maiiwanan na tayo. Wala ng mamumuhunan dito. We will become economically … because of the political and economic uncertainty because of a prolonged debate on the fundamental law. So I will only support ConCon if the timetable is clear. Otherwise the political uncertainty will be more harmful for our economy kung mag ConCon tayo na bahal na kung kalian matatapos.
Well that is constitutionally provided. That is also an option. But precisely I feel, to free it from the incumbents.. ConCon is preferable but with a definite timetable. Can you imagine kung dalawang taon g nade- debate, kung tayo ba ay parliamentary o tayo ba ay presidential, bubuksan ba natin ang ownership to foreigners o hindi. Magkakaroon ba tayo ng Federal. Kung dalawang taong hindi natin alam kung saan tayo pupunta dahil sa debate na mahaba, eh, kawawa ang ekonomiya, kawawa ang bansa. So hindi pi- pwede sa akin yung open ended ConCon.
On ConAss with limited topics/issues:
Well, kung sa larangan ng possibilities, pwede yun. Pero kung merong humirit at sabihing ayaw ko ng economic provisions lamang, walang magagawa ang sinumang senador o kongresista kapag lumakad na ang ChaCha train. Dahil hindi pi- pwedeng ilimita. Ililimita lang iyan kung magkakasundo lahat na ililimita at walang mag- object. Pero oras na nagkaroon ng objection, at magkaroon ng proposal, pwede sigurong pagbotohan iyon. Pero, yun nga ang agam-agam, e. Kung ang pagbobotohan ay term extension, e baka matuwa yung napakarami at sabihing ” sama-sama na tayong pabor”. O di ba?.
On Sen. Roxas’ ConCon Resolution:
Well, i-re- refer naman yan sa Constitutional Amendment Committee, sila na ang magrepaso kung anuman ang recommendation nila. But in the previous Congresses, it has always been a Resolution. … I will support it with amendments. That the ConCon has a definite time table. It cannot be open- ended. … I haven’t seen the bill. But in principle, I support ConCon that is not open ended.
If ConCon takes place after 2010, will it take effect in 2016?
It depends on what the provisions of the amendments write. It can take effect upon its ratification, the plebiscite.
Will it cut the term of whoever is elected president in 2010?
In the realm of the possible, legally, pagka iyon ang nagging provision ng wording at iyon ang na- ratipika, then it will be effective immediately. But there has to be provisions for the transition, etc. Assuming again na iyon ang maging proposal.
On the threat of Mike Velarde if Malacanang pushes ChaCha:
Indication yun na dapat maging mapagbantay ang taon bayan at hindi basta- basta mapagpaniwala sa bitiw ng salita ng administrasyon.
Based doon sa mga proposals n gating mga economic planners, we should provide programs for re- training. That’s one. And two, we should be able to provide safety nets to cushion the impact in terms of supporting them and allocating the necessary funding to be able to provide those safety nets. Stop gap measures lamang. So, re- training, then providing them with… building their capacity. In the sort run also, looking for new markets abroad. But in the long run, palaguin ang ating ekonomiya sa pamamagitan ng pagsuporta sa agrikultura. Palaguin an gating ekonomiya sa pamamagitan ng pagsuporta ng turismo. Yan, engines of economic growth yan, na dapat na bigyan pansin at pagtuunan n gating gobiyerno.
On LP ConCon Resolution:
Ang LP ay matagal ng ConCon ang position. Hindi pa senador si Senador Roxas, nag file na rin ako ng ConCon Resolution noong 12th Congress. Tapos, nag desisyon ang NECO noon na ConCon. So this is consistent with the previous position of the party.