Enrile hurt, angry over treatment by colleagues – Sen. Estrada | Inquirer News

Enrile hurt, angry over treatment by colleagues – Sen. Estrada

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Acting Senate President Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said on Thursday he would have tried to prevent Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile from resigning as Senate President had he known that Enrile’s privilege speech would go beyond summarizing the accomplishments of the leadership.

“I would have told him, ‘Manong, it might be useless to resign there being only two session days to go…. We will just fight it out until July 22 [when the next Congress starts],” Estrada told reporters in the Senate media’s weekly news forum.


“Perhaps, the man just had enough.  He is already 89.  I don’t think he deserves that kind of treatment,” Estrada added.


Estrada, a party mate and a close ally of Enrile’s in the Senate’s so-called macho bloc, said he didn’t have any idea that Enrile was resigning when he rose to deliver a privilege speech at the start of the Wednesday’s session.

“I called one of his staff and asked his staff what was the content of the privilege speech of the Senate President and he just answered me ‘he’s just going to thank the people and the senators.’ I thought that was it,” Estrada said.

Estrada said he was on the verge of tears when he walked Enrile down to the Senate’s basement parking lot while the session was still ongoing.  Enrile had left the hall after delivering his privilege speech.

“I can feel that he was really hurt, angry.  He told me, ‘Jinggoy, now that you are acting Senate President, I know you can do it.  Do your job and I will still be here to guide you’,” Estrada quoted Enrile as telling him.

“Until now, his critics have yet to stop that’s why he deemed it best that he just resign from his post so that they could stop talking.  In fact, he dared all the senators to open their books and divulge to the public how they were spending their funds and those of their committees,” he added.

Estrada said going through the motions as acting Senate President was not new to him as he had always presided over sessions and overseen administrative matters in the Senate if Enrile was away.


“It’s nothing new,” Estrada said.

Estrada indicated that he had no illusions of holding on to the post beyond July 22, the day of the election of new Senate leaders.  He has accepted that the new majority that will presumably be led by Sen. Franklin Drilon have enough votes to elect Drilon the new Senate President.

Estrada said he would not join the new majority.

“Time and again, I have been saying that.  Wherever Manong Johnny goes, I will go with him.  When he goes down, I will go down with him,” Estrada said.

Estrada said Senate employees lined up to say goodbye when Enrile left the building on Wednesday.

“The employees and his Senate staff, not only those in the Office of the Senate President, they were really on the verge of tears,” Estrada said.

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“[It’s] also painful for them that the Senate President resigned,” Estrada added.

TAGS: News, Politics, Senate

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