Miriam at the Kapihan sa Senado (Photo by Joseph Vidal)
On COMELEC Chairman Brillantes and MDS reporting to the ICC
MDS: We have always been friends. In fact, I consider him a decent person, but I feel that he is under pressure by certain political enemies, so he has to answer these planted questions of whether I should resign, and when. The thing here is, number one, there is no law that allows a public official or even the collective Senate to compel a Senator to resign. There is no such legal basis. Number two, I cannot report to the International Criminal Court at my discretion. They have their own rules there and they have to obey it. So, that is the end of the story. I just remain as a Senator until the ICC calls me to duty. You see, ang ICC, iba siya ating domestic courts. Sa ating domestic court, pati sa Supreme Court, pag dumating na ang retirement age mo, basta iwanan mo lang lahat ng kaso mo alis ka na, wala ka nang pakialam. Pag dumating na yung petsa ng retirement mo, wala ka nang magagawa pa, o wala silang expectations na may gagawin ka pa, basta iwan mo na lang sila lahat diyan, bahala na. Sa international tribunal, iba ang patakaran nila. Kung merong incumbent judge, at may limit ang number of judges, for example, ICC, ang limit ay 18 judges at any one time. Now kung may incumbent judge that is now due for retirement, even if his retirement date has already arrived, he is prohibited from leaving the court until he has finished all the trials and all the appeals in which he has participated.
Nakita ninyo na mas logical ang sistema sa ICC, dahil sa ganung paraan, sigurado ng mga partido na matatapos ang kaso. Kasi kung iwan mo yan, if you are working as a collegiate group of three, for example in every chamber in the ICC, pag iniwanan ninyo yan, di kailangan kukuha sila ng panibagong judge at yung judge na yun, kailangan umpisahan na naman sa simula ang buong kaso. So, to waste the time of the other two judges and of the parties. It simply wastes the time and expense of the ICC. Iba sila sa atin.
Nagkakamali itong mga kalaban ko, dahil akala nila basta may retirement date ang incumbent judge sa ICC, basta magpapakita ka at aalis. Hindi pwede yun. Kami namang mga bago, hindi naman kami pwede mag-report dun sa kagustuhan namin, dahil pag nandiyan pa ang incumbent judge at tinatapos pa niya ang bista niya at magreport kami, di sobra na kami sa 18. Kaya maaari na kung ang incumbent judge whom I am scheduled to replace needs three or four more years to finish his trials and appeals, I cannot report for duty there. I am not considered as employed by the ICC until after I have been called to duty. Kung kailan man yun, pati ang ICC, hindi nila alam.
I would say that all of these questions about my resignation comes only from the same source that conducted black propaganda against me during the impeachment trial. Naalala ninyo nung impeachment trial, meron sa internet na nag-umpisa daw siya ng kampanya para matanggal daw ako sa ICC. Hindi pa nga ako nakapag-report doon, gusto niya patanggal niya ako because of my alleged mental instability as evidenced by my outburst during the impeachment trial. Ngayon, siya na rin ang nag-umpisa ng black propaganda sa akin nung 1992, nung tumakbo akong presidente. Itong tao, nagpapanggap na abogado pero the Supreme Court of San Francisco found him guilty of malpractice of law and ordered him to pay a fine of about US$135,000 to a Filipina whom he defrauded. He did not have enough money, so he declared himself bankrupt. Kaya maski-sino, pwede mag-upa ng taong ito. Malalaman ninyo yan sa internet kung hanapin ninyo ang pangalan niya. Manira maski kanino, yan ang paninira niya. Gusto niya na idisqualify ako sa ICC. Ngayon naman, yung nagsuhol sa kanya, nanunuhol na naman ng ibang tauhan, na kailangan, magreport na ako sa ICC. I tell my enemies, pwede ba? Make up your minds. Should I report, or should I be disqualified? Kung anu-ano ang mga imbento ninyo sa akin. Magbasa muna kayo ng statute of the ICC. This is all the result of overwhelming ignorance of the law. Kaya I tell all my enemies, ayaw ninyo talaga sa akin, then treat me like a nuisance. If that is the way they look at me, I propose that they should read the provisions on abatement of a nuisance under the Civil Code. Kung may puno ka, pwede mo patayin. Kung de-kuryente, pwede mo ihinto. So, I tell all my enemies who just want to get rid of me, after I was voted by millions of Filipinos to serve a six-year term, I tell my enemies, stop molesting me.