Fate of Enrile up to Aquino–TrillanesBy Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The fate of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will be decided in the next two weeks, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Tuesday.
Trillanes said he and his allies would decide on what to do about replacing Enrile and see if Malacañang would support their move.
“We will know that hopefully within the next two weeks. (By then,) the direction of the administration and this coalition would be clear … if Sen. Enrile would be replaced or not,” Trillanes told a media forum in Manila.
Enrile should be removed because his continued stay as Senate President would be detrimental to the Aquino administration’s senatorial candidates in the May elections, said the coup-plotter-turned-senator.
As Senate President, Enrile will be able to strengthen the chances of candidates of the rival UNA (United Nationalist Alliance), of which Enrile is one of the three leaders, he said.
The other two are Vice President Jejomar Binay and deposed President and convicted plunderer Joseph Estrada.
“His position and its resources might be used and we’ve seen how these resources have been used,” Trillanes said.
According to Trillanes, Enrile could be replaced by Sen. Franklin Drilon. He said Sen. Manuel Villar was another possible replacement but Villar is on his last term at the Senate.
“If the change in leadership only happened earlier, Sen. Manny Villar might have replaced (Enrile). But now, the more appropriate choice would be Senator Drilon so that he could be carried over until the next Congress,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes said neither Drilon nor Villar was aiming for the Senate presidency.
At the same media forum, Trillanes called on Binay to show his true political colors.
With the midterm elections approaching, he said Binay should come out and declare himself as a member of the opposition, noting that he was fielding his own candidates in the UNA against the coalition led by the ruling Liberal Party.
“Let’s be true to ourselves. Show your colors and say that you are with the opposition,” Trillanes said.
“But these politicians are shrewd and they will not go against an administration that’s still popular,” he said.
Trillanes said it is for President Aquino to decide whether to keep Binay in the Cabinet.
“But if you are opposition, you have no business being in the Cabinet,” he said.