Enrile nixes possible reconciliation with Cayetano

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THE HONORABLES Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (right) and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano engage in a heated debate during a stormy session at the Senate Wednesday. RAFFY LERMA

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile on Thursday closed the door for any possible reconciliation with Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano after their bitter exchange of words inside the session hall of the Senate on Wednesday.

“Bakit pa? Ako, pag ayaw ng tao sa akin, e hindi ko pinipilit yung sarili ko (I don’t think there’s a need. If people don’t like me, I don’t force myself on them),” Enrile said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s morning news program “Umagang Kay Ganda.”

“E yang mga yan noong araw, hindi sila magpa-party kung wala ako. Inaantay ako ng mga yan pero ngayon dahil hindi na ako kailangan at meron na silang

mga ibang koneksyon, iba na ang ihip ng hangin (Before, these people won’t hold any party without me. They wait for me but now that they no longer need me and they have established other connections, they have changed)” he added.

Enrile admitted that he got mad when Cayetano claimed that his father, the late Senator Rene Cayetano, had made the Senate leader rich.

Enrile denied this, saying that it was the senator’s father who had actually begged him to create a new law office after he was kicked out from another office.

In fact, he said, the late senator asked his forgiveness before he died.

During their heated word exchange on the floor Wednesday, Enrile also claimed that the late senator still owed him P37 million.

The argument still stemmed from the controversy over how Enrile used the savings of the Senate, which was the source of the P2.2 million that Enrile gave to senators last year as additional funds intended for maintenance and other operating expeses (MOOE).

Only Cayetano and three other known foes of the Senate President–Senators Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV– did not get the full amount except for the P600,000 that each of them received last November and another P250,000 each last December.

Enrile maintained that he had not done anything wrong.

In fact, he said, Cayetano himself should be asked how the operation of the Senate budget was being done when he was chairman of the committee on accounts during the leadership of then Senate President Manuel “Manny” Villar.

Cayetano and Villar belonged to the Nacionalista Party. Villar was ousted and replaced as Senate President by Enrile in 2008.

“E dapat tanungin sa kanya, paano ginagawa ang operation ng budget sa Senado noon. Yung ginagawa ko, ganun din ginagawa nila noong araw (He [Caeytano] should also be asked how the Senate budget was done before. What I’m doing now is what they were doing also during their time),” Enrile said.

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Tags: Alan Peter Cayetano , confrontation , Juan Ponce Enrile , News , senate cash gift

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