Santiago set to respond to Enrile ‘insults’

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SENATOR Miriam Defensor Santiago said she will deliver a privilege speech on Wednesday to counter the tongue-lashing she received from Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile last week.

The senator urged her supporters to come early to the Senate session hall as the seats are on "first come, first serve basis" or just tune in to live coverage either on television or radio.

Santiago said her illness will not stop her to take the floor.

"I have already asked Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano to schedule my privilege speech. I will answer him (Enrile) point by point," she said.

In her letter to Cayetano, Santiago stated: "This is to confirm in writing my request— conveyed verbally by my chief of staff – for time to deliver a privilege speech this Wednesday, December 4, 2013, immediately after Reference of Business."

Santiago said that although she is suffering from chronic fatigue, there is no way that she will stop this speech, which she said was "specially made for Enrile."

Immediately after Enrile finished his speech where he called her a "bitter and obsessive hater," Santiago said she had ordered her staff to secure a copy of the Senate Journal of Enrile's speech to enable her to reply immediately.

Enrile confirmed Tuesday that he will attend Wednesday's session, although he did not say if he will be interpellating Santiago.

Santiago earlier tagged Enrile as a "murderer," "mastermind of the pork barrel scam," "financier of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebellion" and many more names.

Enrile said he had enough of the baseless and vicious accusations of Santiago as he confirmed that all his friends convinced him to speak the truth and defend his honor and that of his family.

The former Senate President during his speech "unmasked" the alleged corrupt practices of Santiago and even divulged that she admitted having undergone psychiatric treatment at the Makati Medical Center.

The minority leader dug up some of Santiago's alleged dirty past, the issues he himself raised during her confirmation proceedings nearly three decades ago at the Commission on Appointments.

Meanwhile, the colleagues of the two senior senators have expressed mixed reactions on the verbal tussle between Santiago and Enrile.

"They're old enough and they know what they are doing. Kaugalian natin sa atin kultura na ginagalang natin ang matatanda," Majority Leader Cayetano said.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a known nemesis of Enrile, refused to say anything but maintained that she knows Santiago as a decent and kind person.

Senator Francis Escudero had reportedly expressed dismay over the renewed public bickering of his colleagues.

Escudero said both senators happen to be the most senior members of the Senate as he explained that their verbal fighting is very unfortunate.

He said that not even Senate President Franklin Drilon can prevent the two senators or intercede into their personal and deeply-rooted attack against each other. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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