Santiago to conduct own probe on Enrile’s ‘cash gifts’


Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines –Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday said she would conduct her own probe into the millions of funds that Senate President Juan-Ponce Enrile gave to his allies in the Senate last year, aside from a case that she intends to file before the Supreme Court.

Only Santiago and three others in the minority group – Senate Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, his sister Pia Cayetano and Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV— did not get the  P1.6-million additional maintenance and other operating  expenses (MOOE) fund that Enrile gave to 18 senators last December.

The P1.6 million was the balance of the total P2.2 million additional MOOE allotted for each senator last year, which was sourced from the savings of the Senate.

“As soon as I am medically able, I shall call a public hearing of the Committee on Revision of Codes and Laws, which I chair, in order that we can have the benefit of your considered opinion on the constitutional and other issues that I have raised,”   she said in her letter to Commission on Audit chairperson Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan.

Santiago wrote Tan to request a written opinion on  her January 10  letter to the  COA, seeking an opinion  on Enrile’s  power  over  the  use of  the  chamber’s budget.

The senator said she feared that the COA  head might have been expressing a ‘casual opinion” when  Tan  told a television interview that the Senate leader has absolute power to realign the Senate savings into “Christmas bonuses.”

“As a student of constitutional law, I fear that you may have been expressing a casual opinion.  Hence, I take the liberty of citing certain constitutional provisions which might be of help in your written compliance on my earlier request for opinion,” she said.

Santiago said she may use COA’s written opinion on the issue as a “basis for interpellation during my proposed hearing of the Committee on Revision of Codes and Laws, which I chair” and as “proof” that she has exhausted her administrative remedies before bringing the proper case in the Supreme Court.

She insisted that Enrile committed an act “tantamount to grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, which can be questioned in the Supreme Court.”

The additional MOOE, the senator stressed, could not be used for cash gifts since she said its use is limited to the following items:

·         Travel expenses

·         Communication expenses

·         Repairs and maintenance

·         Transportation and delivery expenses

·         Extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses

·         Taxes, insurance premiums, and other fees

·         Professional services

·         Printing and binding expenses

·         Advertising expenses

·         Representation expenses

·         Subscription expenses

·         Membership dues and contributions to organizations

“Even if public officials like the Senate President are given the power to realign, that power, under the Constitution, should be exercised for a public purpose,” she said.

“And most importantly, the exercise of the power to realign should not be tainted by grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.  Otherwise, it becomes ripe for litigation before the Supreme Court.”

She said Enrile’s decision to exclude her and the three other senators from the augmented MOOE was a “shocking abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, under the Equal Protection Clause.”

Instead of using the Senate savings for other purposes, Santiago said Enrile should have just returned the money to the National Treasury.

“A fiscally responsible Senate President should be sensitive to the sources of financing – taxes and user charges paid for by the general public.  A fiscally responsible Senate President should let the amount unused (or saved) revert to the National Treasury,” she said.

“Hence, the Senate would be able to reduce the amount of money that the government has to borrow to finance its operations,” she added.

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  • JuanTamadachi

    This kind of open dissent from Miriam & Enrile is excellent for us ordinary citizens. I keenly await the results of her investigation.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    “The senate and the congress passed their own internal resolutions unencumbering themselves of the requirement to include receipts and vouchers for liquidation of MOOEs and other discretionary funds. A legislator only needs to certify that a certain amount was spent on so and so and that passes muster as liquidation.” – COA Chair Grace Pulido-Tan (from tv interview)

    “What are we in power for? Of course we can pass resolutions to empower ourselves. Checks and balances be damned.” — bubble thought of JPE

  • superpilipinas

    instead of working for us Filipinos with the FOI bill, she’s wasting our taxpayer money by bickering with another person. trapo!

    • erica

       FYI, the senate version of FOI is done.  Its the Kamara version that those Tongressman should vote today.  She has every right, as committee chair to probe Enrile’s corrupt practice.

  • efriend

    I agree that the money should have been returned to the National Treasury. It is not Enrile’s money. It is taxpayers’ money. Period.

  • Faisal salman

    he he he..tuloy ang boksing hinde na makangiti si Tatang pati Chief of staff nya nakikisawsaw na rin..

  • lolo_Jose

    Sige apo, nasa likod mo ang taong bayan dahil panahon na ilantad ang tunay na
    pagkatao ni Juan..ala na tayo sa batas militar na kung saan ang bawat naisin niya
    ay natutupad dahil siya ang promotor at protektor noon ng martial law..

  • Noel

    matagal na yun ginagawa n enrile…corrupt way…paano kaya kon UNA ang admin…ubos pera ng Pilipinas

    • levis2012

       UNA sa KURAKOT … ewww

  • AllinLawisFair

    In the past, we were dismayed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s penchant for going up against the people who appeared before the Senate as witnesses or as persons of interest.

    We thought that she was that mean and cruel to persons she regarded as underlings.

    But now that she has taken up the cudgels against an equal or superior, we think that she deserves our praise and encouragement. She may not be as sinless as Caesar’s wife or may fit Senator Lacson’s description of her but we would not mind her exposure of the corrupt, illegal or immoral activities she believes her peers in the Senate do.

  • tata_boy

    Matatapang ang apog ng mga mambabatas, mga walang delicadeza ang mga iyan, tahimik lahat iyong mga tumataanggap mg milyones. Sila  ang dahilan kung bakit ganito ang kalagayan ng ating bansa, sampu ng mga mahistrado, mga militar at mga pulis. Kumpara sa mga Hapon, Koreano at mga taga Malaysia, Singapore at Thailand, napakalayo ng ating mambabatas dahil sariling kapakanan lang nila ang mahalaga sa kanila, ni katiting, wala silang pagmamahal sa ating bansa.  Kawawa namn si Juan de la Cruz.

  • EREC

    Si Sen. Enrile ay nabuhay at nagka powesto nuong panahon pa ng dictador na Ferdinand Marcos kaya ang akala niya dahil senate president siya nasa panahon pa siya ng Dictator pag usapang pera….sen. Enrile must put in his kokote that a single penny that they spend is coming from the taxpayers pocket and it involves the economic & infrustracture and livelihood of the Pilipinos. ITS NOT YOUR OWN even a single penny! Sige po madam sa lahat naman ng senador ikaw lang naman ang may tapang at highly confident na makipag dibate at humarap kahit kanino yong iba mong kasama tiklop tuhod…. kaya nga sabi ko alisin nalang ang senate chamber sa structura ng ating government system.

  • tiriring

    Now the next chapter of battle began…. !*^# ^#!#*#$^*?!$%^&*!!!!
    Away-away portion continues….. hehehehe…
    Sabunotan na sana, with live coverage…
    For the sake of History…


    Miriam is a lady with balls. 

    Trillanes does not deserve any praise because he himself is a big spender of his PDAF and MOOE and the spending was even beyond what is allocated to him. The same is true with the cayetanos – mga engratos!

  • virgoyap

    Go ahead Senator Meriam Santiago. As a concern citizen I’m on your side. Yes, I was very much dismayed by your action during the impeachment trial but now you prove to us that your action against Enrile is very much admirable and commendable. Mabuhay ka!!

  • EREC

    Narinig ko nga sa TV si sen. allan cayetano daw ay hypocrite sabi noong staff ni sen. enrile dahil noong mga nakaraang taon hindi naman nagreklamo si sen. allan cayetano. Sa akin naman masdapat bigyan ng diin ngayon dahil marami ang nasalanta ng bagyo na pwede mapaglagyan ng pera ng bansa… halimbawa yong production ng saging, niyog at palm oil…. ang mga tao duon nagsisigaw kung saan kukuha ng pasimula in which the DA cannot give a clear financial support. That 1.6 million given by sen. enrile to the few senators is just for election purpose expenditure…. even they will not say. 

  • El_Gran_Capitan

    This is getting interesting, sige maglabasan kayo ng baho para magkaintindihan na, but i think UNA has more to lose from this

  • Mang Teban

    There is a veiled threat that Sen. Miriam Santiago was directing the COA chair not to make a “casual opinion”. The lady senator will be using COA as her shield against Senate President. Using her powers as head of a committee irrelevant to the alleged “unethical behavior” of Enrile, she will surely waste the Senate’s time again. She has a penchant to draw attention to herself.

    What has happened to her departure from the Senate towards the ICJ? Could this be her way to cover up her frustrations for actually not being officially hired by the ICJ? Was there an announcement made from her office?

    Comelec chair Brillantes has waited in vain for this lady senator to formally confirm of the vacancy  in the Senate that she said she will be gone after December (what year?) so that Comelec could have announced that there would have been 13 senatorial positions needed to be filled instead of 12 this coming May’s elections. From the looks of Sen. Miriam Santiago’s posturings, she is bound to stay until 2016…sayang, mababawasan sana ng pasaway at epal..nagpaiwan pa…

  • k

    how about the groceries and the maids’s payrol madam senator?

    • mikeyspetshow

      Don’t you get it?
      It’s only black propaganda to sen. Miriam
      To divert the issue.
      But majority of the Filipino people support sen. Miriam
      Go Miriam!!!

  • ThudOthwacker

    This will lead to nothing. This is a typical Miriam media savvy. May is five months away. Feb 20 is the start of campaign period. Half of the senate will be running for reelection. Now, how can she muster a quorum with half are busy? If she has proofs then file it at Sandigan Bayan.

  • vilmavee

    Madam Miriam, many Filipinos are behind you.  Enrile and his supporters need a public castigation for being highly immoral.  If they can be impeached, by all means, let them be impeached by recall.  I remember we have this provision by the Comelec that elected officials may be recalled when there is a signed petition (how many petitioners, I have no idea).  These evil and greedy Senators ought to know that the power to remove them rests on the people.  Let us start the ball rolling.  Lahat ng sumuporta kay Enrile, huwag iboto kung re-electionist, at kundi hindi naman, let a recall petition be circulated for their ouster.  Maski minumura sila ng taong bayan wala parin epekto.  Sobra ng kakapal.  How much longer can we stomach these leeches.

  • EREC

    If we only remember sen. enrile aspired for President of the Republic same as sen. Miriam…now we saw how sen. enrile handle the senate with always “KICKER”. But sen. Meriam never become a senate President, I hope she will have a chance in this Aquino administration for having knowledge international law as plus factor that can give big influence to our domestic laws to be pass or amended. I knew sen. meriam has some negative personal attitude(individual differences) but most I looked are her positive in intellectual and academic points. I’m confident academically, legislatively and intellectually Philippines laws will be strong and adoptable and clear to constituents and could be tantamount to international perspective if sen. miriam will handle the senate presidency. Lets not look for her political affiliation… lets look to her senate performance,sensible debates, aggressiveness, innovative political point of veiw, understanding of government system, intenational laws and each complication with other laws and domistic laws, academic and educational attainment, social groups and active participations, loyalty to the nation, nation building and activeness…. this is only a few that sen. Miriam exemplenary character have.

  • LegalJustice

    Abosolutely the Provision need to be amended – ASAP.

    This Senate President abuse the system and used it as a Christmas Bonus – no justification needed its a plain and simple – Bribery !

    I don’t think the tax payers knows that the budget of the MOOE is P1.5 Billion and NO NEED FOR A RECEIPT to submit a liquidation report. 

    No wonder these crooks is enriching themselves and I don’t think filipino people knows about this thing until it got exposed.

    Keep on raping The Peoples Money – when will this STOP ? !

    So what is the Mr. President Pnoy – The Mr. Ang Tuwid Na Daan – did with this expose ?


    • Garo Ungaro

      FOI Bill is the answer for transparencies…

  • nobadi

    “A fiscally responsible Senate President should be sensitive to the sources of financing – taxes and user charges paid for by the general public. A fiscally responsible Senate President should let the amount unused (or saved) revert to the National Treasury,” .
    “Hence, the Senate would be able to reduce the amount of money that the government has to borrow to finance its operations……   may tama naman c Ms. Santiago…  kasi pera nga naman nang mga taxpayers yun…ska maraming projects na kailangan ang gobyerno na dapat maisakatuparan, maraming pilipino ang nag oOFW dahil na rin sa kasakiman ng mga politiko… di nila na iisip ang mga hirap ng mga OFW ….at di lang yan marami pa…OFW din ako kya alam ko ang hirap na dinadanas ng mga kababayan natin sa ibang bansa.


    SIGE…birahin-ng-birahin si ENRILE….banatan-ng-banatan hanggang sa makabawi ang bayan sa lahat ng ginawa nya noong kabulastugan laban sa mamamayan.  Huwag tantanan ang pagbubuklat ng kanyang kabahuan at kabulukan…, higit sa lahat, huwag-na-huwag payagang kumalat pa ang kanyang kamandag sa pagboto sa kanyang anak.

    MABUHAY-na-MABUHAY ang lahat at bawat-isang kabayan na, sa wakas, pagkatapos ng napakahabang panahon, sisita at mag-iimbistiga sa berdugong ito na sa kabila ng kanyang mga walang-kapatawarang mga kasalanan laban sa bayan, ay nagpapasasa pa sa dugo’t pawis ng kanyang mga nabiktima.  ITO na ang panahon…..huwag natin aksayahin…huwag nating hayaan….huwag nating sayangin!

  • kontra_boohaya

    Madam, we, I and the rest of the barbershop regulars, are with you on this.  Clarify once and for all the rules and regulations on MOOE that many use as a cash cow.  Investigate your fellow senators and hopefully all the congressmen, govs, mayors and all heads of agencies who have MOOE’s.  BUT if your investigations, like most of the investigations conducted by the senate and other agencies, don’t lead to prosecution and eventually convictions, then you, too, might be guilty of wasting precious resources.  Magpagaling po kayo ng mabilisan para magkaalaman na.  Sawang sawa na ang mga tao sa mga malawakang kowrahpsyon.

  • ztefertilizerscam10

    Enrile’s only son Jackie Enrile was a notorious killer who killed several people including alfie anido.
     Let us also not forget about Tito Sotto’s involvement in the Pepsi Paloma and Guada Guarin 1982 rape scandal. 

  • ztefertilizerscam10


    change the dot

    2008: Enrile smuggling in Cagayan;

     Pajeros, BMWs
    During the first four months of the year 2008 alone, 1,773 units, including Mitsubishi Pajeros and BMW Z3s, were shipped into Port Irene

    • JuanTamadachi

      I had forgotten this issue. Your post made me remember. Thank you zte. 

    • nobadi

      korek ka dyan manoy… dika talaga nag kakamali sa sinasabi mu…

  • Fred

    Tama ka dyan Inday Miriam. Sana maisampa mo muna sa supreme court ang kaso bago ka tawagin sa international court. Tapos ang magtutuloy ng laban ay ang Cayetano siblings at si Koko!

  • Albert Nogot Santos


    • ed_nique

      can they charge this to representation expense?

  • Mel Kristian Reyes

    grabr naman ang mga expenses nila 

    ·         Travel expenses·         Communication expenses·         Repairs and maintenance·         Transportation and delivery expenses·         Extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses·         Taxes, insurance premiums, and other fees·         Professional services·         Printing and binding expenses·         Advertising expenses·         Representation expenses·         Subscription expenses·         Membership dues and contributions to organizationswala anmn pla silang bibayarang tax dahil tau din ang nagbabayad. kaya pla ang daming gustong tumakbo dhil mukhang gatasan ng kalbaw ang senado

    • ed_nique

      these expenses refer to those incurred by their office.

      i posted a comment on the  article regarding sen. pia’s giving the money she received to the DSWD. i wonder where she would justify her donation. would it be under extraordinary and miscellaneous expense?

      they still need to identify where the money will be going to in their disbursement voucher for purposes of identifying to which accounting entry it will be recorded.

  • blunderact

    Go Go Go GO Miriam!!!

  • ed_nique

    can the heads of both houses of congress realign funds whenever they want to?

    realignment involves transferring of funds from one expense account to another. this is resorted to when the account that is receiving the transfer has been depleted or is projected to be insufficient to meet a certain expenditure. i am just wondering if the senators’ MOOE needed to be replenished to justify the realignment. or is it a case of here’s additional MOOE, do what you want with it?

  • AngelMananquil

    Enlightening News article worth reading…so the people will not be misled …and the real issue revealed…waiting for a resolution soon…
    Sen. Santiago said,“As a student of constitutional law, I fear that you may have been expressing a casual opinion.  Hence, I take the liberty of citing certain constitutional provisions which might be of help in your written compliance on my earlier request for opinion.”

    • agustin

       Sen.Santiago said,..As a student of constitutional law, the constitution was written whose purpose is to protect it’s citizens from the government’s abuse of power,oppression and tyranny.
      But look ! what is happening to our country now ?

  • Janch

    Great!  Make more noise Miriam so that people will know what Enrile and past senate presidents have being doing with people’s money.  According to documents acquired by Sen. Cayetano, the senate has P1.5 billion in funds allotted for MOOE.  Incredible!  All that money just to operate 24 offices?  Really?  The Filipino people would like to know how and where EXACTLY all that money was spent. 

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