Sen. Estrada ready to mediate between Enrile and TrillanesBy Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada has said that he’s willing to help Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV patch things up between them when the mutual animosity dies down.
Estrada told reporters before the Congress went into recess he felt hurt when Trillanes, whom he called the Benjamin of the Senate, attacked Enrile, the oldest senator.
“We are all called honorable gentleman and I am still hoping they can patch up their differences,” Estrada said.
“As a close friend and an ally of the Senate President and also as a colleague of Senator Trillanes, I am also willing to mediate,” he added.
Asked if it was too soon to expect the two senators to reconcile, Estrada said: “Of course, the wounds are still fresh and the situation is still rather hot. Perhaps, we should let a few days pass.”
“I’m rather hurt because Senator Trillanes is the Benjamin of the group, being the youngest member of the Senate, and he fought with the oldest member of the Senate, Senate President Enrile” Estrada said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, in an interview, said Trillanes was part of the bloc that included Enrile, Estrada, Sotto, Gregorio Honasan and Panfilo Lacson.
“All his grievances, all his accusations against Senate President Enrile are totally untrue. He said that the bills, especially dividing Camarines Sur into two provinces, are being railroaded. That’s totally untrue,” Estrada said.
Trillanes accused Enrile of being a lackey of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for allegedly pushing for the bill creating Nueva Camarines. Enrile denied the accusation.
Enrile countered by accusing Trillanes of siding with China while engaging in backroom negotiations with Chinese contacts over the country’s territorial dispute with China.
Estrada and Enrile ran alongside each other in the senatorial slate of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino in 2010. Their standard bearer was former President Joseph Estrada and his running mate, the eventual winner Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Estrada said he also saw on television that Sotto and Senator Franklin Drilon were willing to mediate between Enrile and Trillanes.
Estrada said he did not expect that sanctions would be taken against Trillanes.
“I don’t think any sanction will be posed against him. First of all, there should be a member of the Senate who should file a complaint against him. But I don’t really think there will be a senator who will file a complaint against him in the ethics committee,” Estrada said.