‘I’m afraid,’ quips Enrile on Santiago’s presidential run
“I AM afraid.”
That was Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s reaction on Wednesday to Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s announcement that she will run for president in 2016.
Asked why during an ambushed interview at the Senate, Enrile said: “She’s too brilliant.”
Asked again during a sit down interview why he was afraid of Santiago’s presidential run, the Minority Leader said:
“Well, she’s been running for president for so many times already. This is the second time.”
Santiago first joined the presidential race in 1992 but she lost to former President Fidel Ramos.
But Enrile later told reporters that he was just joking when he said that he was afraid that Santiago will run for president.
The two senators had been at odds since the issue of the Christmas bonuses that Enrile allegedly gave to senators when he was still the Senate President.
“I was just joking. I thought she’s (stage 4) cancer,” Enrile said.
Asked if he was surprised by Santiago’s presidential run, the Minority Leader said: “Hindi ako nagugulat…”
Asked again if he thinks the country would be in good hands if Santiago wins the 2016 presidential race, “I’ll not be here anyway. I will not be here so bahala na kayo,” Enrile said, followed by a hearty laugh.
He refused to answer , however, a reporter’s question how Santiago’s presidential run could affect the present political landscape.
“Huwag na nating pag-usapan yun, that’s not important to me,” Enrile added.
So far, Enrile has publicly showed his support for the vice presidential bid of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. He said he would just disclose his bet for president during the campaign.
And while he had already endorsed Marcos for vice president, the opposition leader said he can still support another vice presidential bet, Senator Gringo Honasan, who is running with Vice President Jejomar Binay.
All three — Enrile, Honasan and Binay — belong to the opposition’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
“I did not know that he (Honasan) was going to be a candidate for vice president,” he said.
Enrile said both Marcos and Honasan are close to him, saying the former even calls him “Tito” while the latter treats him like a father.
Asked then if he would also raise Honasan’s hands just like what he did when he endorsed Marcos last Saturday, Enrile said: “Oh yes, I have raised his hands many times.”
“Lahat sila itataas ko..lahat sila. Kung gusto nilang mag-pataas, itataas ko lahat ang kamay nila,” he said in jest.
Asked if he would also raise the hands of his nemesis, Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV,? Enrile said: “Ah ibang salitaan yun. Maski ko na itaas yung dalawang kamay nya, walang mangyayari. Hay naku…”
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