Old, personal issues surface amid Cayetano-Enrile rift

Old and personal issues surfaced as a verbal spat over allegedly withheld funds blazed Wednesday between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

While challenging Enrile to subject his office to an audit by a private firm, Cayetano decried how the Senate president seems to hold a personal grudge against him.

"Let's call a spade a spade, bakit ba kayo inis at galit sa akin personally (why do you hold a grudge against me)?" Cayetano asked, even venturing as reason Enrile's close ties to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, of whom he was a staunch critic.

Related story: Cash gifts were 'lambing' not bribe, Enrile says

The rift stemmed from Enrile's December release of P1.6-million additional funds to senators except Cayetano, his sister Pia as well as Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Antonio Trillanes.

Cayetano also dragged into the debacle Enrile's chief of staff Gigi Reyes, who he said commanded authority in the Senate as if she herself were senator.

Enrile, in response, brought up a P37-million debt which Cayetano's father allegedly brought to the grave unpaid.

The Senate President and former Senator Renato Cayetano had been partners in a law firm.

Also read: Enrile resigns as Senate president, Senate rejects motion

During a break upon the motion of Senator Franklin Drilon, the Senate President reportedly had to be given oxygen as his blood pressure shot up to 180/100.

Enrile took the floor with an apology after the break, however, adding that he does not object to an independent audit.

This, even as he noted that he is allowed by law to augment savings as Senate President, a claim attested to by the Commission on Audit Tuesday.

Senator Allan Peter Cayetano delivers his privilege speech during a session at the Senate, Jan. 23, 2013. (Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images)
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Wed, Jan 23, 2013 9:00 PM PHT

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