Enrile relates how he became Senate President

February 28, 2009 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

jpeBy Brando Cortez

ROSALES — At a breakfast hosted by former Agrarian Reform Minister Conrado “Tata Condring” Estrella here, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile narrated the events that led to his ascension to the Senate presidency.

Enrile also said that it was easy to run the Philippine government.

“It is easy to run the Philippine government if only the President has the the national good as his foundation of governance,” said Enrile.

He said he quit the Aquino administration during its early years because, he said, it appeared that it was not President Corazon Aquino who was making the decisions.

A good President is someone who makes a decision even if it is unpopular, Enrile said.

“If the national good is in your heart you can hire and fire without political considerations,” he added.

Tata Condring asked Enrile to relate how he became Senate President.

Enrile said he was beholden to no one in his ascension to the Senate presidency.

“I did not dream of becoming Senate President nor did I work for the Senate presidency,” declared Enrile. “I was not part of the group that ousted (Senator) Manny Villar.”

“I am a friend of Manny Villar and I supported him to become the Senate President and I even told him about all the instances when I was approached on different occasions regarding moves to unseat him and reorganize the Senate,” continued Enrile.

“In one occasion, a Senator approached me and said they have 11 Senators who are for a Senate reorganization and thay were asking me to be the next Senate President. But I told them to produce 13 Senators who are for the move,” said Enrile.

“I immediately told Manny about this move from the Senators and told him to approach the group and talk things over so that he will not be unseated,” said Enrile. “But he did not make any effort to talk to the group.”

On one Sunday, Sen. Loren Legarda called me up and said that they were offering me the Senate Presidency.

“Do you have thirteen?” Enrile asked.

“Yes, we have the numbers,” answered Loren.

“I required 13 Senators, because I did not want to be the thirteenth,” explained Enrile. “If I was the thirteenth vote, that would imply that I was the key to the change in Senate leadership.”

“I asked Loren to submit to me a resolution signed by all the thirteen Senators asking for a Senate reorganization,” Enrile recounted.

“I called up (Senator) Miriam (Defensor-Santiago) but she did not answer my calls,” Enrile said. “I called up (Senator) Joker Arroyo and you must admire this guy because he was loyal to Manny as he said that he was not moving over to the other group but he will support any bill that I will file.”

“The next day, with the signed resolution, I and (Senator) Greg Honasan went to Manny Villar and asked for his resignation,” Enrile continued.

Manny demanded to see the names of those who signed the resolution and was very much surprised on seeing the names of (Senators) Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla and others.

“This guy is really crafty, you can foresee what kind of presidency we will have if he becomes President,” Enrile cautioned.

“Manny negotiated that he will submit his resignation with the condition that the committee chairmanships be retained!” Enrile exclaimed. “Of course, I denied his conditon because the very purpose of the group that moved for Manny’s ouster was for a Senate reorganization.”

So, on that Monday afternoon Manny Villar resigned even before the resolution for reorganization was submitted as Sen. Panfilo Lacson nominated Enrile while Sen. Richard Gordon supported Lacson’s nomination.

Enrile took his oath of office shortly after the motion was passed.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile vowed to strengthen the integrity of the Senate under his leadership.

Entry filed under: News.

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