Sen. Pia Cayetano on Saturday said she had no idea what hurt she had caused Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile other than opposing his views on the reproductive health and sin tax laws.
Enrile’s resigned chief of staff, lawyer Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, said Friday the Senate leader had a deep personal hurt with regard to Cayetano and her brother, Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano.
Reyes made the remark in her public apology to Alan Cayetano, whom she called a hypocrite in a radio interview after the minority leader questioned Enrile’s giving of bonuses to his allies in the Senate in December.
“In her public apology, attorney Gigi Reyes said she understood the depth of the Senate President’s personal hurt involving me and my brother. The reason was deeply rooted she hinted but did not proceed to reveal it,” Pia Cayetano said in a statement on Saturday.
Reyes said Enrile’s differences with the Cayetanos were “quite deeply rooted” but “not related to the RH bill itself, much less to local politics in Taguig.”
“In all honesty, I cannot think of any other issue, apart from the RH and sin tax laws, that may have caused Senate President Enrile to feel so strongly about me,” Pia Cayetano said.
“I know he was not happy with me regarding the sin tax because he asked for my removal from the bicameral conference committee on the sin tax. And, of course, we all know our views on RH were poles apart,” she said.
“But prior to this, my personal and professional relationship with him had always been good. That’s why in my speech last Tuesday, I asked the Senate President if I was being penalized for speaking my mind,” she said.
The Cayetanos and Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Miriam Defensor-Santiago did not receive the P1.6 million in additional funds for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) Enrile released to senators before the Christmas break.
Pia Cayetano believes all senators are entitled to the fund regardless of whether they are in the majority or minority.
“But assuming that what attorney Reyes said was true—that Senator Enrile had deeper reasons for resenting my brother and [me]—is that an acceptable reason for him to act against a colleague?” Pia Cayetano said.
“Does it mean that if any of the senators displease him in any way, he can arbitrarily act and treat us differently?” she asked.
First posted 7:25 pm | Saturday, January 26th, 2013