Enrile, on his 90th birthday, advises Senator Estrada to be strong
That’s Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s advice to Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.
Enrile celebrated his 90th birthday with a dinner with family and close political allies on Thursday.
Estrada spoke about it to reporters on Saturday.
“Stay strong, he said. He said he was already going home [but] I was just on my way up,” Estrada quoted Enrile as saying.
“He said he had experienced triumphs [and] failures, and he told me I [was] still on my way there, that’s why I had to be strong,” Estrada added.
Enrile, Estrada, Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. and several former members of the House of Representatives and government officials are facing plunder charges in the Office of the Ombudsman over the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly engineered by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Enrile and Estrada made the headlines again last week after new whistle-blower Ruby Tuason returned from the United States, publicly acknowledged her role in the scam, and disclosed that she personally delivered kickbacks from Napoles’ racket to Estrada and to Enrile’s former chief of staff, Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes.
Estrada said his father, former President Joseph Estrada, who is now mayor of Manila, also had words of encouragement for Enrile.
“You can never put a good man down. He’s the best lawyer the Senate ever had,” Estrada quoted his father as telling Enrile.
Estrada said the dinner guests serenaded Enrile.
“Manong Johnny said in his impromptu speech that our singing for him made him think it was already his despedida (farewell) party,” Estrada said.
“I told him, ‘No, no, no. Of course, not,’” Estrada added.
Estrada wouldn’t say where the dinner was held, but said the guests included Vice President Jejomar Binay, some members of the minority in the Senate, Enrile’s wife, Cristina, daughter Katrina and sisters Armida Siguion-Reyna and Irma Potenciano.
Asked about Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s remark on Friday that Enrile could be dropping with Tuason’s testimony pinning down Estrada but seemingly exonerating Enrile, Estrada said, “I don’t believe that.”
“Manong Johnny’s not like that,” Estrada said.
First posted 1:09 am | Sunday, February 16th, 2014
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