MANILA -- Senator Pia Cayetano called Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile "very unprofessional" following his statement that her father, the late Senator Rene Cayetano, still owed Enrile P37 million for putting up a law office.
Enrile on Wednesday brought up the issue after Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia's brother, castigated Enrile and his chief of staff, Gigi Reyes, for dragging him and Pia in a word war over Enrile’s use of Senate funds.
In his privilege speech, Alan again called for an independent audit of Senate's funds, particularly Enrile’s use of half a billion pesos in discretionary funds.
Instead of directly addressing the issue, Enrile pulled out a piece of paper and said Alan's father still owed him P37 million.
Speaking with radio dzMM, Pia said it was very unprofessional of Enrile to bring out a personal matter in the Senate.
Both Pia and Alan said they did not know of any debt that their father owed Enrile.
"Matagal niyang nakasama ang tatay ko... They were law office partners for many years, ba't 'di niya siningil sa tatay ko? Bakit niya ngayon babanggitin 'yun sa panahon na ang kapatid ko ay naglabas lang ng importanteng issue tungkol sa paggamit ng pondo?" Pia asked.
"It's very personal and it's very unprofessional," she added.
She also said that if her father was indeed indebted to Enrile, Enrile should have asked him to pay for it years ago.
"If meron silang kung anumang personal na issue eh dapat matagal na nilang na-resolve 'yun. Nung alam niyang may cancer na ang tatay ko, eh 'di sana siningil niya na habang buhay pa," Pia said.
During the word war between Enrile and Alan, Enrile also asked Alan who paid for their house. Alan said it was paid for through a loan in the bank.
Enrile then asked, "E 'yung mga kahoy?"
During the interview, Pia jokingly said she already asked her mother to check if Enrile's initials are engraved in their house.
"Sinabi pa niya na 'yung kahoy daw sa kanya galing. Sabi ko nga sa nanay ko, ungkatin niya 'yung kahoy, tingnan niya kung may initial ni JPE. Aba, malay ba namin," Pia said.
Pia said unlike Enrile, she and Alan have never talked about personal matters in public.
She said she did not even speak to the media when Enrile returned her gift last year.
"As far as Alan and I are concerned,...we have never brought up anything personal."
"Sa lahat ng isyu pati ho dun sa pagbabalik ng regalo wala ho kayong narinig sa akin kahit na offensive po sakin 'yun," she said.
The Cayetano siblings also accused Enrile of changing the issue so that he would not be forced to answer how Senate funds are being used and liquidated.
"The issue is the use of the funds, and 'yan ho talaga ang gustong mangyari ni Senate president na maiba na ang issue," Pia said. -- With a report from David Dizon, ABS-CBNnews.com