Is Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile losing his grip on leadership?
A Senate insider, who requested anonymity, believes the Senate president may be on his way out, following dissatisfaction in his leadership from "a formidable bloc" of senators.
"There are three from minority. Then (Senator Antonio "Sonny") Trillanes (IV) plus the group of (Senator Manuel "Manny") Villar that becomes a formidable group," an influential source said.
"(Senator Ramon "Bong") Revilla makes eight plus four (members) from Liberal (Party). That's already 12 (senators) who can make JPE (Enrile) gone," he added.
The source claimed these senators have begun to wonder why Enrile was "lording over them" when he only had a small group to rely on for support in the Senate.
Enrile has been in alliance with Senate President Pro-Tempore Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, and Senators Vicente "Tito" Sotto III and Gregorio " Gringo" Honasan.
In a separate interview, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. confirmed discontentment among senators with the how Enrile is handling matters in the Senate.
"Everyone has something that did not go their way but whether or not they blame it on the leadership is different. We all like things to go like what we want them," Marcos said, refusing to name fellow senators.
"But that is a natural consequence. So whether or not those expressions of dissatisfaction translate into a desireable change in leadership is different. We haven’t really talked about it in any serious way," he noted.
But Marcos, a member of Villar's Nacionalista Party (NP), doused cold water on the probability of a coup, saying that nobody wants to be the new senate president.
"I don’t think that there is a plot underway. I don’t think the change is imminent but you know things move very very quickly when this things are beign spoken of," he said.
Senator Franklin Drilon, whose name has always been floated to replace Enrile, denied any knowledge on the issue.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a member of minority bloc, denied his group's involvement with new talks of initiatives to unseat Enrile that resurfaced late Wednesday.
"I don’t see a reason why there has to be coup jitters. I think it’s really brought about by (the fact that) we’re approaching a break, this is naturally brought to light," Cayetano said.
He explained the upcoming battle between Enrile's United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's LP coalition with NP in May 2013 polls may have also been reviving coup talks.
Denying minority bloc's involvement, Cayetano noted the possibility that rumors were coming from Enrile's camp, in a bid to preempt a hushed move to replace him as senate president.
"Here in the Senate, there are three or four senators that can be considered experts in coup. They also know how to counter a coup so it's possible that this is just part of a psychological war," he explained.
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