Transcript of Interview of Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon

Drilon: The hearing showed that there's a cover-up. If anything, the hearing this morning proved that there's a cover-up on the liability of Marcos. Instead of being able to explain what happened, it is obvious from the hearing today that there's a deliberate cover-up to allow Marcos and his group to be reinstated and to allow Marcos and his group to be able to post bail. To me, what the hearing today confirms is a conspiracy to cover-up.

Q: The DOJ standing by downgrading the case despite the NBI, the Senate earlier and DOJ resolution saying na it's murder, what do you make of that?

Drilon: It's part of the cover-up, particularly in the case of USec. Orceo. Maliwanang naman na talagang nagkasabwatan para hindi mailabas ang katotohanan. Ang sinabi ng NBI, murder; ang sinabi ng Senate, murder; ang sabi ng Secretary of Justice sa Senado, murder; ang sabi ni Orcero, hindi ko narining lahat 'yan, wala sa record 'yan. Kaya maliwanag na may cover-up. Ang nangunguna rito siguro ang pinumo ng Department of Justice.

Q: Your earlier question why SOJ is not here?

Drilon: That's correct and we'll leave it to the chair and the committee why he did not attend. Maybe to avoid the difficult questions, where he agreed earlier that it was a premeditated killing. A first year law student would know that premeditation is a qualifying circumstance and therefore, a killing that is premeditated is murder. And yet, his undersecretary said it's homicide and I disregard the opinion of the secretary of justice.

Q: Dapat bang ipatawag ulit si SOJ?

Drilon: He should be. I would recommend that he should be compelled to attend.

Q: May pananagutan ba si Orceo dahil hindi niya ma-explain yung reversal?

Drilon: I am studying kung mayroon siyang pananagutan sa ilalim ng anti-graft law. We will still study that. I'm not coming into a conclusion, but if there's basis I would not hesitate to recommend to the committee that we file an anti-graft case against Orceo, at the very least, because, obviously, he's lying. His testimony is not credible at all. It's part of the cover-up.

Q: Involved kaya si Secretary?

Drilon: I don't know that. I don't want to jump into a conclusion.

Q: You yourself said that you find it hard to believe na hindi niya kononsulta ang boss niya?

Drilon: Yes. The statements of Orceo are not credible and therefore, there is obviously a basis to question this in the appropriate forum.

Q: Sir, to cover up for what or the benefit of whom?

Drilon: For the benefit of Marcos.

Q: But why?

Drilon: Because they do want to charge him with murder and they downgraded the charges. Obviously he was reinstated because of his finding that there was no premeditated killing, that there was no act committed, which would warrant dismissal. If the finding was murder, there could have been a dismissal from service. Because of the cover up, he would stay in service.

Q: Yung sinabi ni Gen. Bato na based on the repeated statements daw ng Pangulo kaya ni-reinstate niya si Marcos? Legitimate ba yun?

Drilon: I was not here when he said that.

Q: Question inaudible

Drilon: I do not want to make conclusions at this point. I am basing my assessment on the basis of what I've heard...Maniniwala ba kayo na ang ginawa ni Orceo ay walang basbas ng kaniyang sekretaryo? Maniniwala ba kayo that Orceo did this on his own? Is it credible?

Q: Yung sinabi ni Senator Lacson, could it be reversed? Yung recommendation?

Drilon: An appeal must be made from the resolution of the prosecutor. I don't know if that is still feasible. But the problem is, the NBI cannot do that, even if they're the complaining party, because the NBI is under the control and supervision of the DOJ secretary. Maybe the relatives of Yap and Espinosa can file a petition for review before our regular court system.

Q: The PNP chief said that he reinstated Marcos and the others based on the action of the president, what do you say to that?

Drilon: I was not here. Was there a testimony?

Q: Yes.

Drilon: I will go back there to confront Dela Rosa.

Q: But what do you say to that kind of action that he did?

Drilon: Hindi naman siguro siya robot. He should have his own assessment. He can say that I'm under the control and supervision of the president, but that is a matter that he should consider in relation to the existing laws.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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