Who is Gigi?-A A +A
Saturday, January 26, 2013
ATTY. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Gonzales-Reyes is Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s recently-resigned beleaguered chief of staff.
In her public apology, she admits that calling Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano a hypocrite, along with other senators, was disrespectful. She further acknowledges that her tenor throughout the radio dzMM interview was overbearing.
I’m not sure I’d call Gigi’s tenor overbearing but I did feel that while she tried her best to put herself in the proper place, she would, at times, forget and speak like she was one of the senators herself.
Gigi’s public apology was quite humbling at the outset but after the sixth paragraph, I began to experience Gigi’s somewhat overbearing tenor. After reading through more than 30 paragraphs, you realize it’s not an apology. Rather, it’s a position paper or a privilege speech begging to be delivered at the Senate in defense of the Senate President and herself.
Gigi apologizes for having been driven by her emotional state to issue inappropriate statements, yet, in her public apology, she strays and leaps to the defense of a man she clearly loves (whether platonically or otherwise). Once more, she is overtaken by her emotions.
Would I call Gigi’s statements overbearing? I’d call them telling.
Gigi says, “I wanted Enrile to quit.” Does she wield that kind of power? She’s a mere chief of staff, not a spouse. Gigi says her resignation was hinged on a difference of opinion with Enrile on how to respond to accusations of public fund misuse. This smarts of a lover’s quarrel rather than a professional difference of opinion.
Is there any truth to the Jan. 30, 1998 Chicago Tribune report by Uli Schmetzer that Enrile’s wife, Christina, walked out on him because of an alleged tryst Enrile had with Gigi? Fifteen years ago, Enrile denied all these charges. Today, he laughs these accusations off saying that at 89, he is too old for that. Enrile and his wife have since reconciled.
Admittedly, the public is riveted. What Enrile fails to understand, however, is that the public doesn’t doubt that at 89, he is no longer having trysts with Gigi (if he ever did). What the public wants to know is if there is any truth to what Senator Cayetano claims that because of Enrile and Gigi’s history, Gigi is in fact running the Senate like she is the Senate President herself.
While Enrile admits that Gigi signed checks on his behalf, issued memos to Senate staff, mingled with senators in the exclusive Senate lounge and participated in Senate caucuses, he staunchly defends her role and contributions to the Senate.
Enrile has publicly declared that he trusts Gigi and wants her back. In not too many words, Enrile implies he can’t do without Gigi.
Enrile has cited his advancing age (89), hearing and sight (macular degeneration) problems as well as hypertension as reasons why he must delegate much to his chief of staff. We sympathize with Enrile but this is why we should set age limits to electoral posts. After all, what would be the point of holding elections if those who win are too frail or sick to serve?
Was Gigi, in fact, the 24th senator?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 27, 2013.