Miriam demonizes JPE
SENATOR Miriam Defensor Santiago on Wednesday skewered the 89-year-old Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile in a privilege speech, denouncing him as “the Prince of Darkness,” a psychopathic hypersexualized serial womanizer” and “the poster boy for stem cell treatment.”
Clearly angered by Enrile’s attack on her last week, Santiago frequently jabbed her finger towards Enrile as she spoke, while the senator played a game of Bejeweled on his tablet computer.
|Take that and that and that. Senator Miriam Santiago iterates one of several accusations she made against Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile (foreground) who didn’t seem to be affected at all during the Senate privilege hour on Wednesday. LINO SANTOS|
Cristina was reported as saying “that she no longer could tolerate his chasing after other women, including domestic helpers, cooks, and assistants,” Santiago said.
“This is eyewitness testimony that Enrile is psychopathic and urgently needs treatment for his sex addiction,” she added.
At one point “in his glittering career as Senate President,” Santiago continued, Enrile “had the audacity to throw a birthday party at a five-star Makati hotel for his concubine, to which he was able to drag President Aquino.”
She said photos of the decadent party were splashed in the front pages of top newspapers.
“And this libertine pontificates about morality? “ asked Santiago.
Enrile merely smiled at this question. Oftentimes, he was seen smirking and shaking his head at the allegations raised by Santiago.
Shooting back at Enrile’s attacks on her mental health, Santiago said it was the opposition senator who needed to see a “shrink” for psychiatric treatment because “his mind is sick, sick, sick.”
In her speech entitled “Navigating the Crimes of the Plunder Mastermind,” Santiago denied all the accusations hurled against her character by Enrile and branded him the “icon of shameless lying.”
“The Prince of Darkness, having no means of demolishing innocent, law-abiding, God-fearing people like me, has recycled rumors against me that were aired, and which I answered, more than 20 years ago, when I ran for President. Maybe he is suffering from age-appropriate dementia again,” said Santiago.
But Enrile dismissed Santiago’s angry speech, saying it proved his point about her mental state.
“I just laughed at her speech because I thought she will answer point by point all the issues I raised in my privilege speech (last Nov. 27). I was able to prove true all what I said in my speech, especially her state of mentality,” Enrile told reporters after Santiago’s speech.
Immediately after Santiago finished her 12-page speech, Enrile continued playing “Bejewelled” on his iPad Mini.
In his privilege speech, Enrile described Santiago as “fabricator of lies” with “her inane and bitterly hostile mind.”
Santiago called Enrile the “mastermind of the biggest plunder case in Philippine history,” the “king of a smuggling empire,” the “anticipated king of a gambling empire,” “the king of a Martial Law illegal logging empire” and a “psychopathic hypersexualized serial womanizer.”
She urged Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to order an investigation into alleged crimes committed by Enrile, mostly during Martial Law when he was the powerful Defense secretary.
She called for criminal prosecution of Enrile for the following crimes under the Penal Code: command responsibility for death and disappearance of some 4,000 people during Martial Law and being the mastermind of the biggest plunder case in Philippine history, having received from 2005 to 2013 pork barrel of P1.189 billion, of which P641.65 million went to dummy corporations owned by Janet Lim Napoles.
Santiago also accused Enrile of running a smuggling empire in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, for which Enrile insisted on an appropriation in the 2014 budget of P80 million; running a gambling empire in CEZA by promoting so-called “interactive gaming” and claiming that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has no jurisdiction over Cagayan’s Port Irene; and running an illegal logging empire during Martial Law, when he obtained from President Ferdinand Marcos the largest logging concession covering 95,770 hectares, which was guarded by the so-called “Lost Command” who were allegedly responsible for the massacre of 45 people.
When Santiago said that Enrile should also be investigated for psychopathic adultery and concubinage, the Senate Minority leader merely shrugged his shoulders and smiled.
She pointed out that Enrile, whom she believes will soon be automatically suspended from the Senate by order of the Sandiganbayan over the pork barrel scam, should also be charged for tax evasion.
She said Enrile’s properties are either abroad, in the names of others, or in the name of corporations.
She revealed that 1975, during Martial Law, Enrile built his residence in an exclusive Dasmarinas Village. Two years later, he built a house in Valle Verde, registered it in the name of Jaka Investments Corp., his family’s company.
In 1985, she said Enrile built a huge beach house in his prime beachfront property in Natgipuan, Nasugbu, Batangas.
“But in his SALN 2012, belying his wanton lifestyle, including corrupt minions and a private army on his payroll, he declared a net worth of only P118 million. His legal expertise is obviously tax evasion,” said Santiago.
Santiago said that Enrile was smarting because during her televized interpellation of Napoles at the latest hearing of the Blue Ribbon Committee, she showed that he and not Napoles was the real mastermind behind the plunder case.
She referred to Napoles as Enrile’s BFF or Best Friend Forever.
She also recalled that Enrile, a former Customs commissioner, had once tried to pressure her husband, former Customs collector Narciso Yap Santiago, to release a smuggled Toyota car that had been forfeited by the bureau for failure to pay Customs duties.
Santiago again raised her 2012 dispute over the P2 million Christmas bonus that Enrile gave to each senator except for his political opponents, including her, calling this a “grave abuse of discretion.”
Santiago said Enrile did not accept her challenge to a debate, but instead called on former senator Panfilo Lacson to attack her.
Referring to him as “Pinky,” a nickname she coined to cast doubts on his manhood, Santiago called Lacson “Enrile’s attack dog.”
Santiago revealed it was Lacson, who was then chief of the Philippine National Police, who gave her a dossier on then Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno, whom Lacson sought to replace.
Santiago exposed the Puno scheme to order mandatory drug testing for all police personnel, but only at an exclusive laboratory, which turned out to be a cheap, dilapidated apartment.
While Santiago and Puno fought bitterly over the issue, Lacson flew to Hong Kong and hid there, until the fight died down.
“What a jerk,” Santiago said of the former senator.
Santiago also recalled that Lacson was a fugitive from the law for a year, and that many had suspected that Enrile gave him safe haven in Cagayan.
“That is why these two men are so close that it can only be called a relationship with feelings,” Santiago said.
“Enrile demands that I should answer the charges of his attack dog... Mr. Dementia has forgotten that the Senate legal office this year promptly upheld me in a written opinion. The Senate as a matter of policy allows senators to maintain satellite offices in premises owned by the senator. The legal opinion revealed that the amount I charge – P70,000 monthly for 403 square meters on the fourth floor of the office building – is one of the lowest in the Senate,” she said.
The other charge, Santiago said, is that she owned the multipurpose hall of the Rizal provincial government.
“Together with a few other senators, I gave a modest amount of pork barrel to help fund its construction, undertaken by the Rizal provincial government. This charge is asinine. Lacson, like his mastermind, seems to be approaching dementia, too,” she added.
Santiago also said Enrile should be held liable for using offensive and improper language in attacking her, but senators said they cannot act on this because the Senate has yet to constitute the Ethics Committee.
She also reiterated that Enrile as Defense secretary faked his ambush in order to declare Martial Law, a confession he first made during the Edsa uprising then recanted years later in his memoirs.
But Enrile said the records of Martial Law are open to anybody, even to historians.
He debunked allegations of any illegality in the economic zones mentioned by Santiago. He insisted he has no interests in them, and that they were established to provide jobs to people.
Enrile also said he was saddened that Lacson and other people were being dragged into his word war with Santiago.
“I hope this will be the last,” said Enrile who had also defended his resigned chief of staff, lawyer Gigi Reyes, who was also charged before the Ombudsman in the pork barrel controversy.
“I’m sad that she attacked some innocent people who are not here, especially my chief of staff, who I believe is innocent of all the charges made against her,” said Enrile.
Santiago said she will not be cowed into silence by Enrile’s usual bluff and bluster.
“That is not going to happen. He made no mention at all of the sizzling talk of the town that he is the real mastermind of the pork barrel plunder. Enrile should get real,” she said.
The senators had varying reactions to the word war between Enrile and Santaigo.
Senator Sergio Osmena III said it was a waste of the Senate’s time and did nothing to move legislation forward.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada said he will ask his father, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to mediate between the two, who are both his close friends.
But Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto believes there is no need for anyone to mediate.
“It’s their lookout,” said Recto.
Senator Vicente Sotto III agreed, saying they had seen worse exchanges in the past, and they got over it.