Enrile rejects top aide’s resignation-A A +A
Thursday, January 24, 2013
MANILA -- Lawyer Gigi Reyes will still continue to be the chief of staff of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile after her resignation was rejected on Wednesday night.
“Atty. Gigi Reyes submitted her letter of resignation but Senate President Enrile did not accept it,” said a text message from Enrile’s office.
To shield her boss from further criticism on the issue of additional P1.6 million funds given to 18 senators last December, Reyes turned to a radio station on Monday and expressed her disgust over the minority camp’s continuous attacks on Enrile’s decision not to give a fair share of the extra allotment for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
She even branded Enrile’s critics--Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Miriam Defensor Santiago and Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano—as hypocrites for complaining why Enrile made a distinction between the majority and minority in distributing additional funds culled from the chamber’s savings.
In response, Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano accused Reyes of having a free hand in co-running the Senate since she was allowed to attend and speak at senators-only caucuses.
Meantime, Cayetano said the Senate president should explain how the chamber’s funds are used by opening its books and providing liquidation documents.
He has since moved for a private audit on Senate funds, a suggestion welcomed by Enrile.
The Senate leader also tried to answer points raised by Cayetano on the use of funds.
On the P250,000 “cash gift” received by all 23 senators, Enrile said on Wednesday he used the official cheque of his office charged to an account with state-run Lank Bank of the Philippines.
"They must know that this is money of the people that must be used for public purposes. I do not have to educate them about it," he said.
Enrile, meanwhile, refused to elaborate why he only gave the first tranche of MOOE worth P600,000 to his four perceived enemies compared to the P1.6 million given to the rest of the senators in the next two tranches.
"Nobody complained when I gave additional MOOE in 2008. I also gave them cheques. Same in 2009, 2010, 2011, nobody complained. It's only now it happens simply because I made the mistake of differentiating between the majority and minority. Maybe if I did not do that, there would be no hullabaloo about this whole thing,” he said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)