Enrile: Cash gifts were 'lambing' not bribe

He did play Santa Claus and he is standing by his "naughty list," Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said, adding that any amount he had "given" senators are not bribes.

This, as Enrile admitted that he authorized the release of P1.6-million additional funds to 18 senators before Christmas and only P250,000 to four others.

Related story: Senators get cash gifts for Christmas

The P1.6-million release was the balance of the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) funds allowed per senator, which totaled P2.2 million as of year-end 2012, Enrile said in a statement Wednesday.

The first tranche of the MOOE, which amounted to P600,000, has earlier been released to all 23 senators in November, Enrile said.

The second and third tranches, however, have been withheld from Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Antonio Trillanes.

In other News: VIEW: Countdown to Aquino's decline?

Enrile said he had also authorized the use of the withheld MOOE funds "to be used by the Senate for its other expenditures."

Saying that "it is time to call a spade a spade," the veteran senator also noted that he was merely exercising his "sole discretion" over MOOE funds in refusing to release amounts to the four senators.

"I confirm that I gave the instructions to my chief of staff to exclude me and the four other Senators in the succeeding releases of any further additional MOOE," Enrile said.

Not friends?

Enrile noted that except for Santiago, the senators who did not receive additional funds are members of the minority who nonetheless chair committees and thus receive hefty budgets.

As for Santiago, the Senate President said her "supposed membership in the Majority is questionable, to say the least, as she has publicly and repeatedly denounced and attacked me."

"She does not consider me a friend and I do not think she considers me as the head of the Senate and that is fine with me," Enrile added.

The rift between Enrile and Santiago took a turn for the worse in December when the Senate President returned the fierce lady senator's Christmas gift of biscuits from Iloilo.

But Santiago was not the only senator among the four with whom Enrile has had clashes.

Trillanes made headlines in September when he claimed that Enrile had been "bullying" his colleagues to approve a bill that would split Camarines Sur into two provinces.

Enrile hit back with accusations that Trillanes jeopardized talks on the West Philippine Sea dispute through "back-door negotiations" with China.

Meanwhile, Pia Cayetano, along with Santiago, has been a strong Senate advocates of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, which Enrile opposed.

'Lambing', not bribe


The Senate President also admitted that he had given checks worth P250,000 from his office to all senators, including the Cayetano siblings, Santiago and Trillanes.

"[T]hat was a result of the 'lambing' of some Senators who I will no longer name, if I had some 'pamasko' for them," Enrile said.

"I decided to give to all, not only to those who were teasing me about 'pamasko', out of my own office's savings and not from the Senate President's discretionary funds," he added.

Enrile, however, said he received a check for the same amount from Santiago's office Monday, with a note saying the check from the Senate President had been "inadvertently deposited."

"So Sen. Santiago gave back my gift, as I gave back hers. Fair enough," Enrile said.

Election stories: Purple Thumb 2013 

He also hit comments that the released funds were "bribes" amid rumors of a plot to oust him from the Senate leadership due to his stand on the RH bill, among other issues.

"Those Senators who think that I am bribing anyone with additional budgets in order to keep my post as Senate President must have a very low opinion about their own colleagues," Enrile said.

He added that he had been elected as head of the Senate twice and can thus "look at anyone straight in the eye in saying that I did not buy this position."

"Not one single centavo of the people's money is spent just to enable me to cling to this office," Enrile said further.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia informs convicts of execution, Frenchman excluded
    Indonesia informs convicts of execution, Frenchman excluded

    Indonesia said Saturday it has officially notified eight foreign drug convicts that they will be executed, but a Frenchman was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta. The eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where they will face the firing squad along with an Indonesian prisoner, despite strident international criticism. "Today, just now, we just finished …

  • Double Celebration
    Double Celebration

    Ropali Corporation, one of the top multi-brand motorcycle dealers in the Philippines, now holds two Guinness World Records. In the span of four days, Ropali Corporation broke two records, namely: The Largest Parade of Motorcycles with Sidecars and The Largest Simultaneous Motorcycle Burnout. As such, it also became the first motorcycle dealer in the Philippines to become a two-time Guinness World Record holder. The record for The Largest Parade of Motorcycles with Sidecars was previously …

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options