Cayetano: Enrile originally wanted to give all senators 2nd tranche of MOOE
MANILA, Philippines—Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile apparently planned to give all senators at least the second tranche of additional maintenance and other operating expenditures later withheld from four colleagues he did not see eye to eye with.
Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano showed a copy of Enrile’s supposed memo on television on Monday. The memo dated December 5 gave instructions to release P1.3 million “to each senator” from the “unutilized budget” for 2012 amounting to P29.9 million.
In an interview by ANC host Karen Davila, Cayetano showed that Enrile addressed the memo to Senate secretary Emma Lirio.
“You are hereby authorized to release as additional MOOE to the respective offices of the senators the sum of P1.3 million for each senator,” part of the memo read.
Davila then showed to the camera a voucher that Cayetano provided indicating he was among the supposed recipients of the second tranche of additional MOOE worth P1.3 million each.
“So, it’s safe to assume na pati sina Sen. Miriam (Defensor-Santiago) ay mayroon (that even Senator Miriam has allocation),” she surmised.
Minority leader Cayetano, Santiago, Senators Pia Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV did not receive the second and third tranches of additional MOOE that were released in December. The third tranche was P318,000 per senator.
The four only received the first tranche of P600,000 given to the senators’ offices in November.
Looking at the memo, Davila noted that Lirio “gave a voucher to everyone of P1.3 million.” Cayetano added that Lirio “even prepared the cheque” for all senators.
“The reason why (the second tranche) was released in the first week of December is so that you can still use it sa buong December (in the whole December),” Cayetano said.
Eventually, however, the checks meant for the offices of the four senators were not signed and not issued at all.
Enrile’s refusal to give the four senators the second and third tranches of additional MOOE has become an issue in the chamber.
Santiago called Enrile’s omission “unconscionable” and “unconstitutional” and asked the Commission on Audit to review whether the law allowed the Senate president’s conversion of savings to MOOE.
Cayetano said it appeared that Enrile changed his mind about giving additional MOOE to the four senators especially after they disagreed with him on key issues that hounded the chamber that time.
Pia and Santiago were the principal sponsors of the reproductive health (RH) bill that Enrile and his allies in the Senate opposed.
Trillanes’ word war with Enrile started with the bill creating a new province out of Camarines Sur that the Senate president allegedly tried to pressure his colleagues to approve.
The minority leader believes that in his case, Enrile frowned at his move of questioning some rulings the Senate president made as presiding officer of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Cayetano noted that the memo to Lirio was made “before we voted on the Sin Tax and the RH (bill).”
But after Enrile apparently failed to stop senators from voting on the two controversial measures, Cayetano said, “Obviously, nagalit siya sa amin (he got mad at us) because (Enrile and company) were trying to delay the fight for the two bills.”
Cayetano asserted that Enrile’s decision to withhold the additional MOOE of the four senators who displeased him “could affect the independence of the Senate.”
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