Press Release
September 26, 2013


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago accused her political enemy, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, of diverting public outrage over his alleged plunder by fuelling the privilege speech of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada last Wednesday, and by financing the Zamboanga rebellion, which has reportedly cost P40M.

"Enrile is so desperate that he is like a crocodile, who has left his maritime kingdom and is flapping around on land, still hoping to kill his prey. I am morally convinced of his culpability in trashing the COA and its chair, as well as in engulfing Zamboanga City in an expensive rebellion," she said.

Santiago was keynote speaker at the annual postgraduate course of the UP Department of Emergency Medicine yesterday (September 26) at the Diamond Hotel.

The incensed Santiago said Enrile was behind Estrada's speech which, among others, asked for COA investigation of Enrile's enemies, namely, Santiago, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, and Sen. Manny Villar.

"Estrada's speech was 14 single-spaced pages long, but I was already implicated as early as page 3, with Enrile's usual cloying malice. I was named No. 1 on the list, because Enrile is seething at me for exposing his P2M Christmas bonus last December. Whenever I am involved, he becomes obsessive-compulsive or OC," said Santiago, using street language.

Santiago said that a COA special audit report included her in the list of senators, some of whose PDAF-funded projects were improperly implemented.

"It is the implementing agency, not the senator, who bears responsibility for the project. The reason for listing the senators is to alert them that the agency is falling down on the job. If so, then the lawmakers should reprimand the agency and require full compliance. That is the intent of COA Resolution No. 97-006," Santiago said.

The senator said she is also convinced that Enrile is the mastermind of the Napoles pork barrel scam, because he was Senate President at the height of the scam activities by phony Napoles NGOs.

"Enrile has moral ascendancy over his colleagues in the political opposition, namely, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Sen. Bong Revilla, and Sen. Gregorio Honasan. They could easily have entered into a conspiracy, just as there appears to have been a conspiracy between Enrile and his ill-starred chief of staff, Atty. Gigi Reyes," Santiago said. (See accompanying story on Reyes.)

Santiago noted that according to the Magdalo group of military officers, some P40M has already been spent on the Zamboanga City caper of Nur Misuari and his MNLF faction.

"According to the whistleblowers, Enrile reportedly gave some P400M of his PDAF to Napoles NGOs. Thus, in the buzzing public mind, Enrile could easily afford to spend P40M on the Zamboanga rebellion as a diversionary tactic. The public should consider his background as defense secretary during martial law, with a proclivity for coddling former police and military officials, and a feckless ambition to rewrite history," Santiago said.

Santiago said that according to Estrada, every senator who voted for the impeachment of ex-Chief Justice Renato Corona received P50M each from Malacañang.

"Again, the mastermind in the distribution of the P50M bribe could have been Enrile because he was Senate President, and blatantly pro-impeachment at that time," she said.

Santiago said that each senator who allegedly received P50M, including Enrile and Estrada, should return the money to the government.

"Since the crime has been admitted, the money should be returned to the government. We have to apply the concept of restitution, meaning the compensation paid by a criminal to the government as the victim of plunder, usually as part of a criminal sentence," she said.

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