Enrile resigns as Senate president, Senate rejects motion

(UPDATE) Embattled Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has moved to vacate the Senate's top post but instead got a show of support from his colleagues.

In a privilege speech, Enrile nominated some of his critics – Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Pia Cayetano to take his place.

"I ask that my motion be immediately put to a vote to pave the way for Madam Miriam Defensor Santiago, Senator Antonio Trillanes, any of the Cayetano siblings, or anyone else here who may share the same sentiments against my leadership and who may be secretly interested in this job the chance to be nominated and to seek the majority’s support to be elected as the new leader of the Senate," he said.

Enrile also took the chance to answer his critics.

"The honor of this chamber must be spared from the rapacity and the sly, cunning and ruinous machinations of some people among us who only have their political ambition and self-interest in mind.

One Senator is so desperate that he has repeatedly and shamelessly invoked and sought Malacañang’s involvement and intervention just to get enough support to oust me. He continues to make a mockery of the Senate as an independent institution.

Of threats and coup rumors, we have had enough. I am way too old to be threatened by anyone, least of all by cowards and hypocrites.

I therefore move that the position of Senate President be declared vacant," Enrile said in his privilege speech. SEE FULL SPEECH HERE: Enrile's speech

But Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto objected while Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson moved to divide the upper House.

Eleven Senators, including Senate pro tempore Jinggoy Estrada, voted against Enrile's motion while Senators Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel and Antonio Trillanes IV voted for Enrile's motion to vacate the post. Senators Joker Arroyo and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. abstained from voting.

"The motion of the Senate president is lost," Estrada said.

Related slideshow: Scenes from the Senate

Enrile delivers his privilege speech. Seen during a session at the Senate in Pasay City, south of Manila, on 21 January 2013. (Joseph Vidal/PRIB/NPPA Images)
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Mon, Jan 21, 2013 7:00 PM PHT

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