Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon

DRILON: The Ombudsman has confirmed that she has concurrent jurisdiction with the DOJ insofar as Kian's killing is concerned. But, because of the MOA, it's the DOJ that's assuming jurisdiction. She is, in fact, conducing a fact-finding investigation on the same case, on a number of issues. She told me that she's conducting a fact-finding investigation and she confirmed that indeed she has concurrent jurisdiction. The fact that all the respondents have salary grades below SG 27 affects the jurisdiction of the Sandigabayan; in other words, the case must be filed before the RTC and not in the Sandiganbayan. But insofar as preliminary and fact-finding is concerned, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction. That's constitutional so you cannot remove the jurisdiction in the Ombudsman. In fact, if the Ombudsman can investigate impeachable officers, they conduct investigation only that they cannot file cases against an impeachable officer, they can in fact conduct preliminary investigation. If the Ombudsman can conduct preliminary investigations on impeachable officials, how much more of an ordinary policeman? That only indicates the erroneous interpretation of the justice secretary in the desire to just assume the jurisdiction over the investigation.

Q: Some are asking Sec Aguirre to inhibit

DRILON: Yes, I read that. That is consistent with the provisions of the law and also better policy.

Q: Paano n'yo ipaglalaban si Kian kung yung parents niya nagpunta na kay president?

DRILON: It's not a question of ipaglalaban, it's a question of the investigation being done properly. This is a criminal case. Ang importante rito ay yung testigo. Hindi naman private issue ito, where the parents of Kian can, for example, even if they desist, theoretically, that will not affect the case because this is a People of the Philippines vs. the policemen. This is not a private case, so even if the parents of Kian, after talking to the president file an affidavit of desistance, ang importante rito yung witnesses, who witnessed the incident. It can be prosecuted independent of what the parents feel, because this is a case involving the public.

Q: Senator Gordon said sumulat na raw si SP Pimentel sa Chinese gov't for them to explain whatever their position in the shipment of shabu. Is it about time to ask Chinese government for their position?

DRILON: We can ask them but they need not response to us. They are a sovereign nation. We can always ask, nothing wrong with asking, baka sakaling sumagot. Pero kung hindi sumagot, wala tayong magagawa.

Q: Sabi ni Sen. Gordon, we have to revisit our relationship with China if they don't answer us?

DRILON: China is a sovereign country. They promulgate foreign policies in accordance with what is best in their national interest. If they believe that it is not with their national interest to reveal anything out of China, that's their prerogative. We cannot do anything.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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