After fund issue, Trillanes, Cayetano staff recalled

(Updated 4:16 p.m.) DAVAO CITY — After being deprived of additional funds, Senate Minority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday bared that some of his and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's staff are being recalled by the Senate allegedly without explanation. "We received a memo that ang staff namin ni Sen. Trillanes that belong to the [Senate] secretariat are being recalled, walang reason na nakalagay," Cayetano told reporters at the sidelines of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines' (IBP) Convention here. The memo, which Cayetano said was sent last week, seeks to recall two of his staff and two of Trillanes' staff.

In a text message to GMA News Online, Sen. Antonio Trillanes confirmed that two of his staff were being recalled. In a statement, Enrile said he had the staff recalled because the assignments for their detail had expired already and it was "only proper that these high-salaried personnel should be sent back to and be utilized by their respective mother units." "Those two employees detailed to the office of Senator Alan Cayetano are actually from the Blue Ribbon Office, and those two employees detailed to the office of Senator Trillanes are from the Senate Economic Planning Office and the Office of the Senate Secretary," he said. Enrile said he gave the instruction to the Office of the Senate Secretary as early as December 6, 2012, which was even before news of the additional funds broke out.

"The Office of the Senate Secretary signed and issued such recall order last 3 January 2013, and effective only yesterday, 15th of January," he said.

He also said that when these employees were recalled, two other Senate secretariat employees remained with Cayetano and one remained with Trillanes. Suspicious timing Cayetano, however, said the timing of the recall was suspicious since he and Trillanes had recently criticized Enrile for giving additional operating expenses to all senators except his perceived foes. "Sa amin lang dalawa ni Sen. Trillanes samantalang maraming naka-detail na iba't-ibang staff sa buong Senate sa iba't-ibang senators. So again, what's unique about me and Sen. Trillanes?" he said. Cayetano and Trillanes are both members of the minority, which Enrile cited as the reason why they weren't given additional funds. Enrile also said the two have enough funding for their committees, which they weren't even supposed to head as members of the minority. Cayetano, however, asked why Sen. Joker Arroyo was given the same funds like the majority. "Is it because mas mabait sa kanya (Enrile) si Sen. Arroyo? Is it because they see eye to eye on many more issues than us?" he asked. In the same manner, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a member of the majority, was among those who weren't given the second tranche of the additional operating funds. Enrile, who had been a subject of several coup rumors in the Senate last year, has accused Santiago of pretending to be a member of the majority. Cayetano likened what Enrile did to “martial law” and to the “type of tactic” allegedly practiced by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was accused of withholding the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, of her critics in Congress. "If I was Senate president pupuntulan ko ba siya ng pondo if I don't agree with her? That's the type of Senate we are turning into, that's why I said it's a martial law GMA (Arroyo's initials)-Enrile type of tactic that I hope the majority puts a stop to," Cayetano said. "We're throwing to them (majority) the question because the minority cannot outvote the majority but the majority whether behind closed doors or whether in session can talk to the Senate president and say hindi pwedeng ganyan...hindi ka pwede mamili eto gusto mo eto gusto kung hindi," he added. Cayetano also said that he wishes to "dispel" any notion that the Senate president has complete authority over all Senate funds. "Sen. Enrile cannot do it by himself even if he is Senate president but if the majority allows him to do it, bahala sila that's the kind of Senate they want but in the past it's always been pantay-pantay lahat ng senators regardless kung ano ang position nila that is changing now," he added. Santiago has earlier wrote to the Commission on Audit (COA) asking for an audit of the Senate funds. Cayetano, however, said the audit should be conducted by an independent firm. "Althought I believe in the chair of the COA and the independence of the COA, kung senador o COA ang mag-imbestiga, siyempre may influence at may subjectivity pero 'yung private firm reputation nila is on the line," he said. Enrile has said that he welcomes any audit. — KBK, GMA News

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.

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options