Transcript of Interview of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on the Articles of Impeachment and Commission on Appointments

Senator Juan Ponce EnrileImage by roger_alcantaraA press release by the Senate of the Philippines, March 23, 2011

On the articles of impeachment

Q Sir, ipapadala daw dito ng prosecutors ng House 'yung articles of impeachment ngayong hapon? What happens next?
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile: We are going to formally receive the articles of impeachment then we will formally refer it to the Senate and then let it go to the proper committee, I think to the Justice Committee. In due course, we will notify the respondent.

Q Pagbalik ninyo na po?
SP Oo, dahil ico-convene muna namin 'yung Impeachment Court. Hindi pa namin na-approve 'yung rules, so pagbalik namin, the first thing that we will do is to convene ourselves into an Impeachment Court. Then we will send a copy of the articles of impeachment to the respondent formally and then we issue the summonses, and accept the lawyers. Then we schedule the trial after giving the respondent a period to answer the charges.
Q Pwede po ba mag leave of absence si Ombudsman Gutierrez while nasa paglilitis?
SP No need. Constitutional office 'yun.

Q Is she required to attend all the trials?
SP Not necessarily. It is her right to appear or not to appear. She has no duty to. That is a matter of right. There is no arraignment. I don't think we have an arraignment system here.

Q The rules of evidence will apply?
SP Yes.

Q Is the budget of the impeachment allocated in the budget of the Senate?
SP We will take it from our savings if we have any savings.

Q How much will it cost?
SP I don't know. Hindi naman masyadong malaki 'yun.

On the Commission on Appointments

Q Sir sa CA, last day of session na ngayon, 'yung hindi na-appoint na mga Secretaries, kailangan i-reappoint ng President?
SP The President will reappoint them. Sandali lang naman 'yun, during recess, the President can appoint people ad interim.

Q Paano 'yung mga katulad ni Robredo?
SP Hindi na kailangan i-reappoint 'yun. They are only performing the job as acting members of the Cabinet.
Q Hindi ba sila nakakalusot sa strict requirements?

SP Hindi naman kailangan 'yun. 'Yung acting, that is within the power of the President to do.

Q On the impeachment

Q As presiding officer, will you be voting?
SP I do not know yet. The rules are silent. We will discuss that maybe this afternoon.

Q 'Yung power ninyo as presiding officer, pwede nyo ba'ng idelegate 'yun?
SP No. Only for a temporary time to have somebody to preside but when a ruling is going to be called, I have to take over and make the ruling.