Enrile: I’ve been waiting for my replacement
MANILA, Philippines—Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said there are now two senators disgruntled with his leadership but couldn’t “face me squarely and frontally to accuse me to my face.”
Addressing fresh rumors of a plot to oust him as Senate president, he suggested that one of them is Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and the other one, he left unnamed.
“I don’t know who he is. He is not important in my life,” he said.
Enrile reiterated his earlier statement that he is ready to be replaced if majority of his colleagues want him to step down as Senate President.
“If they have 15 signatures, I should already be removed,” Enrile said in reference to the reported 15 senators who already signed a resolution for his ouster.
“I have been waiting for so long. From the moment I sat as Senate President, I have been waiting for my replacement every day,” Enrile said.
He added that he respects his colleagues’ decision and does not see the need to ensure their loyalty.
He also brushed aside suggestions that a coup in the Senate leadership has yet to succeed because there are no takers for his job. “That’s not my fault,” he said.
Enrile said he was seated across President Aquino when the senators were invited to Malacañang for dinner earlier this week.
“I was invited by the President. I was across him so I know exactly what was being talked about. Nobody was talking there about coup,” he said.
“I have no reason to feel that the President was deceitful or treacherous or anything but if ever there was such a plan, I will not consider it a treachery because we understood each other when I took over the helm of the Senate in 2010,” he added.
Enrile recalled that he had dinner with President Aquino, then political troubleshooter Manuel Roxas II and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad at Roxas’ residence in Cubao.
“I was already asked by the majority to take over again as Senate President and I told the President, ‘Anytime, Mr. President, if you want to have your own people to run the Senate, just tell me and I’m ready to quit,’” he said.