Press Release
July 9, 2012

JPE denies reports he asked Pnoy to include son's name in LP lineup

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile today denied newspaper reports that he asked President Benigno Auqino III to include his son, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, in the administration Liberal Party's (LP) senatorial slate in the May 2013 elections.

"That story was a surprise to me and probably it's also a surprise to the President. I never talked to President about politics when I was invited to see him," Enrile told reporters during the weekly Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel news forum this morning. "We talked about national problems but never about politics."

"The last meeting with I had with him was during a Cabinet meeting held last week. I was invited to Malacanang to attend a special meeting on the Cabinet where the Department of Foreign Affairs briefed the Cabinet on the special problem of Panatag (Scarborough) area. We did not discuss politics," Enrile added.

Enrile said he did not even had a chance to talk to the President during the Malacanang meeting because when he arrived at the Palace, the President was not yet around and when the President arrived, the meeting was immediately started.

"When the meeting was over, I went to the comfort room which was located at the back of the State Dinning Hall where the Cabinet meeting took place. When I came back, the President was gone. So, I could not have possibly talked to him about anything else because I did not see him," Enrile stressed.

Quoting an anonymous Malacanang source, newspaper reports today said Enrile, who was invited by President Aquino to attend a Cabinet meeting on Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal issue last July 5, sought a dialogue with the President and asked that his son, Rep. Enrile, be included as a guest LP candidate. The younger Enrile is listed in the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial ticket.

However, responding to reporters' questions, the Senate President said he was not opposed to the idea of Rep. Enrile being adopted as a guest candidate of other political parties.

"Jack wants to run for the Senate. He has been a member of the House of Representatives for more than 10 years and he wants to aspire for a higher responsibility," Enrile said.

"He's an adult. He's no longer my dependent. He's 54 years old. So, he's ready to run under the umbrella of UNA," Enrile added. "As far as I'm concerned, if the Communist Party of the Philippines would adopt my son as their candidate for the Senate, who am I to say no?"

He said he would not object if the LP or the Nacionalista Party would adopt his son as a guest senatorial candidate next year. "As I said, addition is the name of the game in politics."

The elder Enrile noted that Rep. Enrile was a member of the National People's Coalition (NPC), one of the political parties the LP is currently holding talks for a possible coalition next year. The newspaper reports quoted the Malacanang source as saying that Enrile personally asked the President if he or the administration party can still accommodate the younger Enrile in the LP slate. The source, however, said he had no idea whether Aquino was amenable to include the congressman in the LP lineup.

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