CALAUAN, Laguna — The recent word war between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano was an “unfortunate” incident, according to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Binay was reacting to questions about Wednesday’s incident in which Enrile and Cayetano traded barbs that turned personal.
Enrile is one of the pillars of UNA.
In a chance interview here after the UNA’s pre-campaign sortie, Binay said that he supported Enrile and that it was “unfortunate, nakakalungkot na binigyan ng ganung interpretasyon ang Christmas bonus na iyon.”
Tension rose during session at the Senate on Wednesday when Cayetano, in his privilege speech, urged for an independent audit of Senate funds.
Enrile, who has been criticized for the “cash gifts” to several senators, brought up the late Senator Rene Cayetano’s P37 million debt.
Binay said that their coalition would defend what they thought was right.
Enrile said he did not regret engaging in the verbal war with Cayetano and said that he could do without his foes in the Senate. He said the majority could pass legislation on its own.
But Enrile brushed aside questions on whether he planned to take further action against the Cayetanos.
“Wala na. Hayaan mo na yun,” he said, adding that he left it to the people to judge. “I will go to the people.”
He also denied having an illicit relationship with his chief-of-staff Gigi Reyes, saying that he fully trusted his staff to sign documents for him. Reyes has been working for Enrile since 1998, he said.
Reyes’ resignation Wednesday night was irrevocable but Enrile told reporters that he sought to convince his chief of staff to reconsider staying.
He said he has always trusted his staff to know him well, telling reporters that he was close to his employees in his office at the Senate.
Cayetano questioned Reyes who called him and several other senators hypocrites over a radio interview.