Transcript of Interview of Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the deferment of the approval of the budget of DOJ

Drilon: Yes, because we just touched on what topic, and there are a number of topics we would want to raise. We want to avoid asking these questions on the floor. We'd rather ask these in the committee, because when the budget is presented without all these questions being asked, this leaves us with no choice but to ask them on the floor. That will delay the approval of the budget.

Q: Are you disappointed na hindi na-provide yung numbers na hinihingi n'yo?

Drilon: I'm disappointed but I think there is a deliberate attempt to be less than transparent, to keep these from the public. From the testimony, maliwanag na mahigit sa 4,000 ang namatay dahilan sa drug operations at iyan ay inamin ng kalihim ng kagawaran ng katarungan. Out of over 4,000, 3,050 arose from legitimate police operations and over 1,000 as vigilante killings, exactly 37 are being investigated by the NBI. Out of which, exactly three was recommended for prosecution and terminated.

Q: What does it say of their performance?

Drilon: What performance? Do you call that performance? Of the over 4,000 cases related to drugs, exactly 37 cases being investigated and out of 37, 24 are pending, three have been recommended for prosecution. Dismal.

Q: Gusto lang daw nilang maging accurate?

Drilon: Yes, they want to be accurate and I want to be accurate too. I'm just basing my statements from what they said, and that's why we'll have another hearing on August 31.

Q: Will that affect the budget that they'll get?

Drilon: I do not know. It's up to the committee. We're the minority. Let the committee decide on that.

Q: Yung ganoong inaction or lack of it, ano yun sir?

Drilon: This is a part of the culture of impunity.

Q: May intention to hide kasi masisira yung...

Drilon: I don't know but obviously...I'm citing issuances that they issued, wala naman akong tinanong na bago, galling sa kanila lahat iyan.

Q: Yung figure na 4,000, iyon na po ba yun o may madadagdag pa?

Drilon: Just to be clear, out of the 4,000, 3050 are killings arising from legitimate police operations, and from the mouth of the secretary of justice, mahigit sa 1,000 ang vigilante killings. I'm taking these figures at face value. So doon sa mahigit sa 4,000 namatay, 37 ang iniimbestigahan at sa 37, tatlo ang nasampahan ng kaso.

Q: Definitely hindi lulusot ngayong araw na itong ang budget?

Drilon: Definitely no. Ang sabi ko naman sa chairperson namin na we should gather these data so we do not ask it during the budget debates otherwise the whole budget will be delayed. If the data is already with the committee, we do not have to ask it on the floor except probably to put it on record.

Q: Not even believable kasi sa PNP more than 10,000 na?

Drilon: I'm not even debating on that. I'm stating as I heard it and you heard it.

Q: Yung P33.3 million na proposed budget for the inter-agency, warranted ba ito?

Drilon: Hindi ko maintindihan yung inter-agency na yun, hindi nila maipaliwanag kung ano ang trabaho nila. Gumastos sila nang mahigit na P33 million na pera ng taumbayan, hindi ko maintindihan kung ano ang ginagawa nila.

Q: Yung sa customs, Kenneth Dong is being considered as state witness?

Drilon: The admission to the witness protection program is a matter that is within the prerogative of the secretary of justice. Bug certainly this is subject to abuses and public scrutiny. Initially I don't want to make a comment until we see what he will do and on what basis he will consider that, where the conditions are very strict: number one, he must not be the most guilty; number two, there is no other evidence that is available to prosecute. They should make an assessment and until he makes a judgment I don't want to comment.

Q: In the name of transparency, sana raw isapubliko ang reason kung bakit na-reject si Sec. Taguiwalo?

Drilon: Hindi ko alam, siguro tanungin ninyo iyan sa nag-reject, ako nag-confirm.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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