Transcript: Kapihan with Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV

On the alleged condo units

 

Q: Good morning everyone, for the mean time, I will be the moderator in our weekly Kapihan sa Senado. For today’s Kapihan sa Senado, it’s our pleasure to have with us Senator Antonio Trillanes, na minsan eh kinakiligan ng kaniyang kasamahan sa Senate. Sir, do you still remember, sinabi ni Senator Miriam, “The most handsome Senator standing here,” kaya lang matuto ka daw laging ngumiti, wag laging seryoso.  Anyway, I will shoot the first question, we’re wondering bakit ho pinatulan ninyo ‘yung blind item recently?

 

SAFT: Good morning Cely and good morning to the Senate Media Bureau. Thank you very much for coming over. Now to address the question, bakit ko pinatulan ‘yung blind item? Kasi hindi na siya blind actually, dahil isang letra nalang yata ng pangalan ko ‘yung hindi sinabi. Marami rin kasing nagtanong sa akin. Maraming nakarinig noon, nakabasa, at curious sila kung totoo nga. So, I needed to come up with that statement. At the same time, sa akin kung sana ganoon ka-accurate ‘yung allegation sana inantay lang nila at nag-file sila ng kaso. Pinangalanan nalang nila ‘yung ano ko para I can answer it accordingly. Kaso hindi eh, medyo tirang takot eh, kasi blind item e, parang ganoon.

 

Q: Pero do you think there is somebody behind it? Kasi parang series of blind items na kayo po ang tinutukoy?

 

SAFT:  Most definitely, alam naman natin ‘yan diyan sa industriya ng media may mga ganyang nangyayari. Pero sa akin sana ‘yung mga positive na PR operations to prop up somebody or a product or whatever. Okay ‘yun eh pero ‘yung negative may problema ako doon eh kasi wala kang kalaban-laban.

 

Q: Pero sir, there’s no such thing. Kasi sinasabi doon sa blind item parang you bought two condo units. There’s no such thing talaga sir?

 

SAFT: Wala, wala akong binili na condominium. ‘Yung dalawa ano, dalawa pa ‘yan, isa, dalawa, tatlo whatever, wala akong binili doon sa Mandaluyong or anywhere else na hindi naka-declare sa aking SALN (Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth).. Ngayon mayrooon ako I’m staying dito sa Parañaque, which I bought through a loan. It’s a 60-square meter condominium, diyan po ako nakatira during office days. So wala, wala akong nabili.

 

Q:  Sa tingin niyo may kinalaman ito sa incoming election? Considering na reelectionist ka, Senator?

 

SAFT:  Hindi lang eleksyon kung hindi dito sa Corona impeachment trial. Ang ginagawa nila siguro is dine-demonize nila ‘yung mga perceived na hindi boboto para sa kanila, parang ganun. ‘Yun lang.

 

Q: Pero still hindi ito makaka-apekto sa inyo o sa inyong gagawing pagde-decide doon sa impeachment case ni CJ Corona?

 

SAFT:  Hindi, definitely not. In a way, also konektado rin ito sa eleksyon kasi I can imagine kung hindi ko ito inaddress hindi ito hihinto, uulit ng uulit, ire-rehash ng ire-rehash hanggang eleksyon na ‘yun.

 

Q: Any related question?

 

Q: Wala po talaga kayong property doon?

 

SAFT:  Wala, wala, not in my name or any other’s name. Sabi ko nga pwede ko silang samahan eh. Halughugin namin ‘yung ano doon or sabihin kung sino at kanino ko pingalanan. Binili ko ba? Para ma-klaro. So, pero at this point in time, may basis na, ito ‘yung sa akin. Willing akong samahan sila doon, willing akong i-clarify ‘yung issue. Dineny ko ‘yung pagmamay-ari ng condominiums na ‘yan. Palagay ko it’s up to them now kung ano ba, ano ang basis ng inyong reporting. O sige, para we can confront the issue head on. 

 

Q: So you have no plan to file a libel case, considering na blind item case kasi ito eh.

 

SAFT: Kahit na hindi blind item. Kasi sabi ko nga in my statement advocate tayo ng decriminalization ng libel para nga magkaroon tayo ng free and independent media na free from harassment.  Pero may kaakibat nga na responsibilidad din ‘yun na hind mo rin kailangang abusuhin. Still, kahit na ginanyan tayo hindi tayo matitinag doon sa ating advocacy na ‘yun.

 

Q: Sir follow-up lang, if I recall right doon sa SALN niyo, you have two loans, sa BPI and Pag-IBIG yata. Okay lang ba sir na malaman kung ano ‘yung two properties na ‘yun? Baka kasi doon na-attribute.

 

SAFT: Nakalagay din naman doon sa SALN ko. Mayroon akong lote doon ano, which I bought a couple of years ago sa Antipolo. ‘Yun yung sa Pag-IBIG. Itong condo ‘yan ‘yung sa BPI na loan.

 

Q: Sir, yung sa Antipolo niyo po?

 

SAFT: Sa Pag-IBIG.

 

Q: Sa bahay niyo po?

 

SAFT: No. Lote lang ‘yun. ‘Yung bahay doon sa Antipolo is my in-laws’. They bought the place since 1992. So habang we’re still saving up nandudoon din ‘yun mga bata and my family.

 

Q: Sir, you mentioned na pwedeng related ito dito sa impeachment trial, so are you saying na mga pro-Corona ang posibleng nasa likod nitong series of blind items?

 

SAFT:  Yes, wala nang iba ano kasi we traced pati ‘yung mga PR operators nakuha namin ‘yung mga pangalan. Kung magkano ang binigay? Kung sino ang nagbigay kanino? Nahagip lahat eh. It’s a well-funded operation.

 

Q: How much money involved?

 

SAFT: Kasi itong sa akin, it’s a one-time thing. The whole pro-Corona PR operation medyo malaki ang na-set aside nila doon.

 

Q: Sir bakit kayo ang naging target? What do you think? Bakit kayo ang naging target?

 

SAFT:  E siguro mayroon tayong nasabi na medyo tinamaan ang kanilang posisyon. I don’t know. Siguro in a way konektado narin nga ‘yan doon sa political, ano? Kasi mayroon narin ibang political groups na medyo pro-Corona group as well so nag-join forces narin sila. ‘Di natin alam.

 

Q: Can this go up to the level of former President, considering ‘yung position niyo against her?

 

SAFT: I’m not ready to go there. ‘Yung information na nakuha namin hindi pa nakaabot doon. Pero it’s not possible, right?

 

Q: Malaking budget ang involved dito?

 

SAFT: Oo naman.

 

Q: Multi-million?

 

SAFT: Oo. Million, oo. It’s sad na ganun, ano? May mga nagagamit din na kasama natin sa media. Pero by large, the reporting dito sa impeachment trial has been very transparent and objective. ‘Yun ang assessment ko.

 

Q: Is it possible na may iba pang Senator-judge na pwedeng biktimahin nito?

 

SAFT: Actually marami nang nauna sa akin. Marami nang nauna. E constant ‘yun, constant.

 

Q: Sir kung well-funded operations are involved, how did you come up with that information?

 

SAFT:  Kasi may mga kilala naman tayo sa circle and meron din naman tayong konting intel capability. Pero to actually name them publicly, ‘di ko gagawin. But privately I can tell you who these PR operators are.

 

Q:  (Inaudible) what are you doing? Have you informed other members of the Senate?

 

SAFT:  Hindi kasi parang it’s part of their territory. Parang ganun ‘yan e. Kaya sa akin ang course of action ko nalang was to address the issue head-on. Ito ‘yan kung  ako ang ina-allude mo diyan this is my answer to that. 

 

Q: Sir, kung well-funded PR operation ‘yan, kasama ba kami sa ino-operate?

 

SAFT:  Makikita naman ‘yun doon kung sa how you write e, right? So I don’t know, I really can’t say. I’m not ready to say na hindi nila napasok itong Senate media or any, hindi ko alam eh.  I guess most of you would know better than I do kung ano ang scope nito.

 

Q: Sir, kung bakit kayo ino-operate kasi ang magiging boto niyo is anti-Corona?

 

SAFT: Siguro ‘yun ang kanilang perception. Parang uunahan nalang parang ganun o makabawi lang. Hihilain nalang pababa, parang ganoon.

 

Q: May verdict na ba kayo?

 

SAFT: Wala, kasi nagpre-prepesent pa sila e, hindi ba? Si Chief Justice Corona, who knows kung ma-explain niya lahat, matahi niya lahat, ma-ano niya lahat. Even ‘yung taumbayan maliliwanagan, actually.

 

Q: Sir anong assessment nyo sa impeachment trial kay CJ Corona?

 

SAFT: Sa ngayon, swabe naman ‘yung takbo. We’re on schedule and I really believe the Chief Justice is given a fair trial and the Senate President has been very fair on both sides. So, walang pwedeng magreklamo on this point.

 

Q: Pero kabilang ka ba doon sa na-disappoint na nagsasabing pipitsugin ang mga witnesses ng defense panel recently?

 

SAFT:  Sa akin lang, I really believe the Chief Justice deserves a better strategy than what they have presented so far. I am not a lawyer but I’m a judge in this case and I’m saying to them na hindi tinatamaan ‘yung kailangang tamaan. Hindi matumbok ‘yung kailangang tumbukin.

 

Q: ‘Yung mga defense lawyers are now saying that CJ Corona is ready to bare all, so are you expecting na dapat humarap siya sa impeachment trial talagang magsasalita na siya including doon sa dollar account niya?

 

SAFT: Hindi.

 

Q: Why?

 

SAFT: Palagay ko haharap siya, pero to bare all I doubt it. I seriously doubt it, mukhang sa ngayon that’s not in their cards to do that. So this is going to be another media play. Lalabas siya to make it appear na ito na lalabas na. He was true to his word, but did they actually reveal everything? Palagay ko hindi. Ang gagawin niyan mag-iinvoke ng isang legal rule that would prohibit him from answering all the questions.

 

Q: By making statements like that, so parang pinangungunahan niyo ‘yung mga lawyers ni Chief Justice Corona?

 

SAFT: Hindi, I was just asked. Sinasabi ko lang kung ano ‘yung nakikita ko na he will reveal all? Hindi ‘yun ang nakikita ko.

 

Q: (Inaudible) kanina when we were talking, you said about the moral issue?

 

SAFT: Hindi naman. Ang kwan ko kasi dito is part of what we are presiding on is the moral fitness of Chief Justice Corona to hold his office. Ang sa atin dito ‘yung pinresent nila the other day. Parang ang approach ng defense was to explain kung saan nanggaling ‘yung P34 million. Pero na-reveal nila kung papano nakuha ‘yun e, so may problema yata doon.

 

Q: With all the witnesses the defense panel already presented, sa tingin nyo nasagot na ‘yung mga allegations against CJ Corona or mas lalong nadiin si CJ Corona?

 

SAFT: Walang nasagot at lalong napalala ang sitwasyon. ‘Yun ang assessment ko.

 

Q: So ang challenge ng marami, talagang si CJ Corona himself lang ang pwede talagang humarap at mag-testify? So the mere fact na ang inyong impression na hindi pa rin siya magsasalita, ano ang magiging basis niyo ngayon?

 

SAFT: ‘Yun na nga kailangan nilang tanggapin dyan all the different scenarios kapag pinresent nila si Chief Justice Corona. Pero at this point in time sabi ni Senate President, there is a case against him. Maraming mga discrepancies na hindi masagot na only the Chief Justice would be able to answer. So ‘yun ‘yung hinihintay natin at this point.

Q: So, you say by remaining silent about a lot of issues that would not help him acquit himself?

 

SAFT: Definitely.

 

Q: Sir, ano ‘yung malaking issue na gusto niyong masagot ni CJ Corona?

 

SAFT: ‘Yung discrepancy sa SALN. ‘Yung P32 million as opposed to P3 million and, of course, itong mga dollar accounts na in-admit ng PSBank. Sinabi nila they will open it so interesado tayo tanungin ‘yun.  Sa akin, ‘yun lang naman ang kailangan niyang linawin. All the rest nai-present at nalinaw ng defense mismo kung ano ‘yung pagkatao niya.

 

Q:  Sir, dun sa pag-subpoena kay Cong. Risa Hontiveros, Walden Bello, ‘yung mga complainant doon sa Ombudsman, it would seem na walang maasahan kasi they are now saying na wala silang personal knowledge regarding doon sa $10 million bank account. They are claiming na hindi raw galing sa kanila ‘yun. So sa tingin nyo sir wala kayong makukuha?    

 

SAFT: Sa akin kasi, yung $10 million na ‘yan, hinde ko siya kino-consider. It was never presented in court, so as far as I am concerned, it’s just propaganda. Ngayon, nakita ko yung five dollar accounts na mismong in-admit ng PSBank. So ‘yun ‘yung aking aantayin.  Hindi ko maintindihan itong approach ng defense that they’re going to subpoena these people to address the $10 million issue. No, ang i-address nyo ay ‘yung five dollar accounts on record! 

 

Q: And once magtestify si CJ Corona, you are not expecting na sasagutin nya iyon, at ipapalabas nya ‘yung mga dollar accounts nya sa PSBank?

 

SAFT: No.

 

Q: Because of the TRO?

 

SAFT: I don’t know. Basta, he will invoke something. I feel na ganun yung mangyayari. He won’t be as candid as what everybody would expect if he appears as a witness.

 

Q: Are you saying na ‘yung amount na $10 million as alleged by some quarters would be immaterial? Ang kailangan niyang sagutin ‘yung five dollar accounts?

 

SAFT: Yun. Dahil judges kami sa trial hindi naman nakalagay ‘yang $10 million na yan e. So we’ll just have to set that figure aside in the meantime.

 

Q: So, ‘yung kailangang sagutin ni CJ Corona ay ‘yung five dollar accounts niya whatever amount ang nandun?

 

 

 

SAFT: Dahil nga we are judges of this trial hindi naman nalagay sa record ‘yung $10 million na ‘yan. We’ll just have to set aside that figure in the meantime.

 

Q: Sir, hindi po ba waste of time ang pagpatawag doon sa ilang mga personalities considering that there is no such thing or there is no evidence regarding the $10 million account?

 

SAFT: Even among the senators walang may nag-consider doon (referring to the $10 million account). Bakit mo naman papatulan ang issue na hindi naman namin pinatulan ito to begin with. Sabi nga ni Senate President hindi niya binuksan ‘yung envelope containing those (dollar accounts). Wala ‘yun as far as the impeachment trial is concerned. Kung baga, bakit ‘yun ang ina-address nyo?

 

Q:  But is it still important or something to be concerned kasi even the Ombudsman reacted to this issue kahit na it’s out of the impeachment trial?

 

SAFT:  Yes, sapagkat hindi siya naipasok dito (sa impeachment trial). Wala ‘yun. Anybody can just get the figure and float it to the media. Wala pa ring value ‘yan sa impeachment trial. It should be inserted. If papatawag si Ombudsman then dalhin niya ang mga records na hawak niya and we could start that matter sa impeachment trial. On the assumption that he will be acquitted, doon sa susunod na impeachment trial niya kasama na ‘yan. Kumbaga, we will go through the whole exercise again and more kasi may mga madadagdag na information.

 

Q: Sir ang pinaka crucial talaga is ‘yung 5 dollar accounts na mahalagang kailangan na ma-explain?

 

SAFT: Yes, kasi that’s the main search sa records.

 

Q: Sir, paano po ‘yun?  Bale pampagulo lang po ang appearance ni Ombudsman kasi hindi naman kasama ang issue sa article?

 

SAFT:  Hindi ko masasabi kasi I don’t have any idea kung ano ang hawak o ano ang gustong mangyari ng Ombudsman. I am willing to wait kung ano ang sasabihin ni Ombudsman Morales before I will make an assessment kung may value siya o wala.

 

Q: Sir the statement of Congressman Bello and Risa Hontiveros will not matter parang ang pinahalagahan lang sa subpoena ay si Ombudsman?

 

SAFT: Ombudsman Morales? Kasi siya ‘yong nag-initiate nung investigation based on the complaint filed by these personalities.

 

Q: Sir, what can you say na na-serve na ‘yung subpoena sa ilang mga witnesses? Pano na po ‘yong pagdating ng trial itself, iba-block niyo po ba sila from testifying?

 

SAFT: Palagay ko hindi na. Sige gusto ng defense sila i-subpoena, sige i-subpoena natin. Pero kung ang intention lang ng defense is pahiyain lang itong mga personalities na ito palagay ko we’ll do something about it also.

 

Q: Sir, makakaapekto po ba ‘yung pagharap ni CJ Corona sa target date ng Senado na matapos ito. Sa tingin niyo, kaya po bang tapusin?

 

SAFT: Makakaapekto kasi kung mag-a-appear siya kaagad I believe makikita na natin lahat. Wala na sigurong testigo na mas may value pa kay CJ Corona and determinado ang Senado na tapusin ito before the end of May. The verdict should be at the end of May, not the presentation.

 

Q: Sir do you feel somehow conditional about sa pag-appear ni CJ Corona, kasi kailangang parang humiling muna sila ng maraming subpoena bago siya haharap?

 

SAFT: In a way, parang ganun. Pero sige lang, we’re willing to accommodate that dahil this is for his own good. His appearance will be for his own good.

 

Q: Sir, this is from Senator Lacson the other day, parang mirror to conviction ‘youg posibleng maging decision ‘pag hindi humarap si CJ. Ngayon ba na haharap na siya, mas malaki ‘yong chance na maa-acquit siya?

 

SAFT: Not necessarily, depende nga kung anong sasabihin niya sa witness stand. So nandun ‘yun kung he will survive or fall in this trial based on his own testimony.

 

On Scarborough Shoal

 

Q: Sir on the Scarborough Shoal stand, kayo po bilang former (official ng) Philippine Navy na-assign po ba kayo nun sa Scarborough? Did you experience ‘yun?

 

SAFT: I was once assigned there and have my own experiences from Chinese fishermen and surveillance ships.  But this (situation) is nothing new. Ganyan na ‘yan in the past three decades. However, wala muna tayong sasabihin that will further aggravate the situation. We will stake our claim and raise it at the proper forum and that is all there is. What happens doon sa ground, it will resolve itself and I understand there are efforts to resolve this diplomatically.

 

On experiences with Chinese vessels

 

SAFT: It happened in 1998 when we inspected a Chinese vessel according to the rule book. We issued them a boarding certificate then we left. But afterwards, the Chinese embassy complained and filed a diplomatic protest, claiming that we harassed and fired shots (at the vessels) at binanga raw namin. But what really happened was that we boarded the ships and inspected them according to the rule book. Marami kami na onboard, maraming incidents from the East Coast sa Pacific dito sa Anson shoal to the West Coast dito sa Scarborough shoal, sa may Batanes area.

Ito sa pagpa-block ng mga vessels ay common hindi lang naman sa territory natin. When we went to Japan onboard two vessels more than a hundred of their maritime auxiliary vessels blocked and surrounded our ships. So, umiwas na lang namin. Sa mainland China ‘yun but way beyond their territorial seas, on our way to Japan. We sought help from the Chinese embassy and they advised us to maneuver our way out of the situation because according to the embassy, these are maritime auxiliary ships and they have no control over them.

 

Ang mapapaworse sa (scarborough) situation is the way we report it and the way we respond to those reports. There have been incidents in the past na mas daring kaysa dito and there were also incidents in the past hindi na lang na-report sa media pero we stood our ground and defended our territory. `Yun na lang masasabi ko.

 

On Enrile’s statement to prepare a war with China

 

SAFT: Dapat ginawa na natin ‘yan kahapon pa. There is an Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization law which was passed in 1996. Sadly, pinakitaan lang. Walang nangyari. Pinabayaan ang Armed Forces so dito tayo ngayon, where we are.

 

Q: Meron ba tayong capability na komprontahin sila? Ano ang nangyari doon sa AFP modernization program na supposedly 10 years ago modernized na ang AFP pero hanggang ngayon, “gunless” ‘yung mga gunboat natin?

 

SAFT: Wala tayong capability to engage China or other foreign navies. What we can do is maritime law enforcement, limited sea-lift capabilities and counter-insurgency. Pero itong AFP modernization law precisely walang nangyari. Hindi pinondohan. At the same time, ‘yung limited na pondo na nakuha ng Armed Forces ay pinagkakitaan. So that’s where we’re at right now.

 

Q: Sir sino yung kumita?

 

SAFT: Marami na. Mga nag-retire na siguro.

 

Q: Yung ’92 to ’98 administration?

 

SAFT: Not necessarily. Hindi ko masabi.

 

Q: Sir may lumabas sa China Daily News na sinabi raw po ng isang high official ng China na “the Philippines continues to make mistakes” and that we are escalating the tension knowing that dehado tayo sa dami ng barko.

 

SAFT: Sabi ko nga parang “he said, she said” ang nangyayari. Imagine ngayon sa Chinese media, they are reporting kahit na isang konsehal natin na magbigay ng comment about sa Scarborough; and they’re riling up the Chinese populace. Kaya nga sinasabi ko, na ito na i-raise na natin ito sa ITLOS and that’s it. We don’t need to say anything anymore. Kasi baka mangibabaw ang passion dito at ‘yung reason matabunan na.

Q:  Sir, parang strong yung panawagan nila urging the Philippine government to withdraw yung vessels natin, and ‘wag pakialaman yung vessels nila.

 

SAFT: ‘Yun ang kanilang posisyon. Mayroon din naman tayong nagsasalita na national leaders na nagsasabing paalisin na sila. Ganun lang ang nangyayari. Walang mare-resolve sa issue kapag ganyan. We just have to be more objective about the situation. Let’s transcend over this particular issue and focus on the bigger benefits of having strong relations with China.

 

Q: So if we turn from reactive to proactive, would you say na ‘yung Scarborough issue should be brought as a significant topic during budget deliberations ng AFP?

 

SAFT: Yes. It’s one of the issues that can justify the modernization of the Armed Forces. Pero alam na natin ito e. Hindi na kailangan na mangyari ito. ‘Yun lang kailangan lang na gawin na.

 

Q: Do you think it’s about time na i-consider ng government ‘yung joint-exploration as a possible solution? Kasi may report si Manny Pangilinan na may ine-explore na siya for joint exploration dyan sa Scarborough?   

 

SAFT: Sa Scarborough hinde pa definitive ‘yung findings dyan if there are gas resources down there. Sa Spratlys, definitive. Actually, I’m pushing for the joint-development and exploration of the area by the claimant countries. So lahat mag-uusap-usap, kasi pag-stalemate nobody gets to benefit from the resources down there.

 

Q: Sir mukhang ngayon hinde lang word war kundi cyberspace na ang labanan. ‘Yung ilang government websites hinack ng Chinese hackers gaya nung sa PAGASA and sa PNA yata ‘yung latest. Nakaka-worsen po ba iyon sa situation, itong war sa cyberspace?

 

SAFT: Ito ‘yung situation natin. What’s happening right now sa cyberspace is just a preview of what can happen ‘pag nag-escalate pa ‘tong situation. Gusto natin mangyari dito is maresolba ito peacefully and diplomatically so that makapag-launch na itong ating economic progress through the partnership with China, the United States and other Southeast Asian countries.

 

On China, owning not only Scarborough but the whole Philippines

 

SAFT: They’re just being on the safe side. Hindi natin alam how the Chinese media reporting all these things kasi right now medyo politically tricky ‘yung situation sa China. Baka nagagamit for political purposes din ‘yung Scarborough issue. Kailangang maging objective din tayo sa pagtanggap ng mga ganyang balita.

 

Q: Meron daw Chinese TV network na nagbroadcast na Philippines belongs to China.

 

SAFT: ‘Yun na nga. Ngayon if somebody will react to that ang mangyayari nito ay ilalabas ang statement na iyon sa China out of context. Sasabihin without any provocation, this guy would claim something. Imagine ‘yung reaction ng Chinese people. Mainit na ang sitwasyon. It’s not as heated as it is here. ‘Yun ‘yung danger nito. Ngayon ang sa akin, pag may na-provoke na isang Naval commander dyan ng Chinese Navy at binira tayo, what do we do? Iiyak lang tayo sa international community. We should be very careful not to agitate ‘yung sa kanila dun and ‘yung sa atin din dito. Meron na agitate din. Kung may mag-react ng ganun, what will happen? It will be beyond our control. Nobody will be able to control this situation. Alam nyo ‘yung sinasabi kong situation na pinalibutan kami? We already declared general quarters so our naval gun was pointed at the Chinese vessel dahil ‘yun ‘yung rules of engagement. ‘Yun ‘yung standard operating procedure. What if ganon ang mangyari sa ground?

 

Q: Sir, what can we do?

 

SAFT: Which is why we advised the President to leave it up to the courts to resolve. Then let’s move on to other governance concerns. Basta ganun ang ating magiging advice. Andun na e. Mag-iinit lang ang sitwasyon. Hayaan mo na dun.

 

Q: Sinabi ni Gazmin na tutulong daw ang US?

 

SAFT: I doubt it. I believe ‘yung mutual defense treaty concerns actual invasion. Siguro kapag nag-landing na dito sa Luzon. ‘Yan that’s the time. Pero any conflict that will arise from sovereignty conflicts or territorial disputes, hindi yan sila pwede pumasok.

 

Q: Hindi ba actual invasion yun?

 

SAFT: Parang may territorial dispute. So ‘yun na nga kung mag-landing sa Luzon. Wala na siguro ang dispute dun kasi atin talaga ‘yun. So that’s the only time.

 

Q: Sir, ibig sabihin parang alanganin pa din tayo dun sa Scarborough?

 

SAFT: Hindi, may dispute. As far as the United States is concerned, disputed ‘yan. Sa atin klaro ‘yan. Sa China, klaro din ‘yan. Pero for any third party, sino yung susundin nila? It will only be resolved through the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

 

Q: Sir you mentioned that ‘yung Chinese officials are strictly monitoring all appearances made by the Philippine officials on the Scarborough issue. Would you agree na they are using the Scarborough issue to deflect from the tension brought by their own political problems?

 

SAFT: I won’t comment on that kasi medyo complicated internal issue sa kanila.

 

On US helping the Philippines against China

 

SAFT: Depende kung saan. Kung sa Luzon, makakaasa tayo dapat. Pero for dun sa mga lugar na disputed ‘wag tayo dapat umasa ng buong-buo ang loob. Kasi right now, the US has internal problems of their own. Marami silang problema. Ito nga they are just wrapping up the front dun sa Middle East tapos they cannot afford. Tapos mag-eeleksyon pa sila ngayong November. They cannot afford to open another front especially with China who is their biggest trading partner. Wala naman tayong tropa doon. It’s a rock. ‘Yung mga coast guard vessels, of course, it’s their job to patrol those seas. Pero we should not be complacent that they can just antagonize anybody thinking that the US 7-fleet will come to the rescue. Ang rules of engagement natin in that particular area should be reviewed and reassessed kasi iba yung situation doon.

 

Q: Are you saying na maiiwasan sana yung ganitong standoff kung ginawa nila ‘yung kapag pinapalibutan ay umiiwas nalang kayo?

 

SAFT: Hindi e. Andun kami sa may lugar nila. Kaya kami umiwas. Sa akin, nobody is stopping us from sending all our fishermen there also. I believe the Philippine Navy left alone will know what to do. Kasi kami when we were faced by those situations, we did what is according to the rules of engagement.

 

Q: Sir you used to be with the Philippine Navy. When you were active, mga ilan bang Navy ship ang kailangan natin para at least magkaroon naman tayo ng konting laban at least dun sa border?

 

SAFT: If you’re going to prepare for a surface naval engagement with somebody like China, wala. Hindi talaga tayo kasi they have nuclear submarines. Huwag na tayong umasa dun. Ang atin lang ay border patrol for the pirates. Limited naval surface warfare engagement lang ang capabilities. Pwede tayong kumuha ng submarines sa mga deterrence and maritime patrols pero hindi pa rin natin mapapantayan ang China.

 

Q: Sir may nakita na ba silang correlation between news about kidnapping and next year’s elections?

 

SAFT: I have to check on that. Hindi ko pa nakita ‘yan.

 

Q:  Is it normal na kapag ganitong papalapit ang elections ay nagkakaroon ng series of kidnapping?        

 

SAFT: Hindi naman. Ang alam ko ay ‘yung bank robberies ang normal. I don’t know, hindi ko gaanong nabigyan ng ano ‘yan.

 

Q: Recently sir may series of kidnapping sa Las Piñas at mga bata ‘yong victims.

 

SAFT: Palagay ko, it’s related to the rise in criminality in general brought about by the loose firearms and poverty. If there is abundant poverty and loose firearms, there you go: bank robberies, assassinations, and all that.

 

Q:  Ano pong dapat gawin ng authorities?

 

SAFT: We filed this bill Gun Control Act that would raise the penalties for the possession of loose firearms. And particularly, ‘yung mga government officials na engaged in gun-trafficking and running mas mataas pa sila. It should be non-bailable para maging deterrent.

 

Q:  Sir nasa committee level pa lang?

 

SAFT: Yes.

 

Q: Sir, it’s definite you’re running under administration party, Liberal Party?

 

SAFT: I was invited and I accepted it, so I expect to be running with the administration.

 

Q: Sir, ready for acceptance na po ba ‘yung condominium unit niyo?

 

SAFT: Wala. Wala akong binili. Wala talaga. I’m willing to accompany the doubting media personalities to go there. Pwede ko rin silang samahan kung saan ako tumitira ngayon. Pwede kong pa-buksan lahat at ipakita ang bank accounts ko sa kanilang lahat.

 

Q:  Sir, are you satisfied sa initial line up ng LP candidates, possible senatorial candidates?

 

SAFT: Yes. Consistent tayo with the advocacy of the President ‘yung mga nakita natin. Kailangan ngayon kung may plano siyang maging productive sa second half no’ng kanyang administration.

 

Q: Sir mabagal daw ang Liberal sa paggawa, considering si Erap…

 

SAFT: Nasabi natin ‘yan nung una pero nakahabol naman. And we’re waiting for them to firm up ‘yung line up by the time na mag-file sa October 1. ‘Yun na.

 

Q: Sir anong info mo, makikipag-coalition rin ba ang LP sa ibang political party or LP lang?

 

SAFT: Hindi naman tayo privy sa goings-on sa LP but I would advise them to do so as long as consistent dun sa advocacies ng administration…

 

Q: ‘Yung UNA walang offer sa inyo na i-adopt kayo as senatorial candidate?

 

SAFT: Wala.

 

Q: Kung magkaroon sir, are you willing to accept?

 

SAFT: Hindi.

                                                                                 

 

Q: Why?

 

SAFT: Lihis kami ng pananaw sa advocacies in general.

 

Q: Na-settle na ba ‘yung line-up nila?

 

SAFT: Sobra na nga raw sila.

 

Q: Pero kasama ka sa line-up ng LP?

 

SAFT: Ng administration ticket, yes.

 

Q: Kumpleto na ba ‘yung line-up ng LP?

 

SAFT: Di ko pa alam. Di pa ako privy pero they have floated names. They have floated around 15 names. Hindi naman ako privy dun sa selection.

 

Q: Pero andoon ka?

 

SAFT: Yes, I was invited and I accepted.

 

Q: Sir, considering ‘yung mga lumalabas na possible candidates ng UNA at LP, ang sabi ng iba malalakas daw ‘yung mga nasa UNA…

 

SAFT: Definitely mas malalakas if we go by the surveys. Mas malalakas ‘yung nasa UNA line-up.

 

Q: Aminado kayo doon, sir?

 

SAFT: Yes.

 

Q: So, you’re not afraid na madadala ka ng mga mahihinang kasama sa LP senatorial line-up?

 

SAFT: Hindi naman kasi when I first ran napakahina ko rin. In fact, nobody gave us a chance pero kaya naman ‘yan. Nagbabago ‘yan.

 

Q: Senator, reaction nyo lang po na umabot na sa MTRCB ‘yung awayan ng mga Tulfo at Santiago…

 

SAFT: That’s within their mandate. Sa akin, dito sa Raymart-Claudine-Tulfo thing, let’s say pinanood ko ng tatlong beses ‘yung video and siguro sa sitwasyon ngayon, it’s sad. ‘Yung mga nangyari sa airport, particularly sa Cebu Pacific, talagang kukulo ‘yang dugo mo. You can put yourselves in the shoes ng mag-asawa na pagdating mo na offload ‘yung bagahe mo at tapos palaging delayed ‘yung mga flights. It’s chaos. Hindi ‘yun ang idea natin of how airlines should be ran.

Q: So, kasalanan ng airline sir kung bakit…

 

SAFT: Oo, kasi kung malalamig ang ulo doon, wala namang insidente. Ganun ‘yun.

 

Q: Sir, dahil dun sa incident na-expose tuloy na ‘yung mga CCTV cameras hindi pala gumagana. Do you think the Civil Aviation should explain considering na may budget sila?

 

SAFT: Definitely. That is a serious security breach. Kelangan ma-find out kung sino ang responsible diyan.

 

Q: Sir, do you have any information magkano ang budget na binigay ng Congress para sa CAAT?

 

SAFT: I’ll check.

 

Q: So, part ng budget dun dapat magkaroon ng enough CCTV sa lahat ng…

 

SAFT: Dapat. Lahat ng airport sa buong mundo paranoid na sa security. Tayo CCTV lang wala pa. It’s a serious offense.

 

Q: Sir, were you speaking from experience dun sa flight?

 

SAFT: Mga nade-delay na flights. People I know, may mga naka-cancel na flights. Ako, na-cancelan na ng flight. Tanggap mo pero grabeng inconvenience. It’s not gonna make your day. ‘Pag nangyari sa’yo ‘yun talagang mainit ang ulo mo. Tapos may maka-engkwentro kang ganun. Everything can flare up in an instance.

 

Q: Sir, ‘yung mga ganitong problems sa services ng mga airlines dapat ba maimbestigahan na ito, i-address ng DOTC? Nag-start po ata ‘yan noong nagkaroon ng mga budget fares, promos, then ganyan ‘yung klase ng serbisyo na binbigay ng mga airlines…

 

SAFT: From what I heard itong DOTC, si Sec. Mar Roxas, pinulong na niya ang mga different local airlines at they intend to limit the number of flights kasi kahit marami ‘yung flight mo at on time ka umalis, pero naglo-loiter ka sa ere kasi hindi ka maka-land, nagco-consume sila ng more fuel. Tapos ‘yung iba nandiyan sa runway nag-aantay, nakapila. Hindi nila na-factor in ‘yun sa kanilang flight schedules.

 

Q: Sasama na po kayo sa LP?

 

SAFT: Hindi ako manunumpa sa LP.

 

Q: Independent kayo, sir?

 

SAFT: Oo. Adopted candidate sa administration slate.

Q: Sir saan po napupunta ‘yung terminal fee?

 

SAFT: Supposedly sa development ng airport.

 

Q: Pero sir sa ticket may mga surcharges na…

 

SAFT: ‘Yun ang claim nila pero it’s worth to find out. Ipa-imbestiga natin ‘yan.

 

Q: Sir, anong prinomise sa inyo ng administration para mag-join ka?

 

SAFT: Wala naman kasi I am an ally of the President. It is but natural for me to be a part of his slate, so walang promise.

 

Q: So walang utang na loob?

 

SAFT: Hindi kasi iba nga ‘yung sinuportahan kong Presidente, remember? But ‘yan na ang pinili ng kababayan natin. Might as well help him out until matapos ‘yung term niya, until magkapilian ng next president. Pagalingan ulit tayo ng kandidato. That’s how it goes pero after manalo na ulit everybody should come together and help the newly-elected President. That’s my concept of a democracy.

 

Q: Sir, okay kayo sa pagkakaroon ng common candidates kasi parang may mga UNA senatorial candidates na isasama rin sa line-up ng LP?

 

SAFT: It’s up to the candidates themselves kung okay lang sa kanila na namamangka sa dalawang ilog.

 

Q: Pero ikaw, hindi ka pabor doon?

 

SAFT: Hindi ako pabor doon. ###