MANILA, Philippines – The resigned chief aide of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Friday said she wants an end to rumors that she and Enrile had an affair.
In a statement released Friday, Jessica “Gigi” Reyes publicly apologized to Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and other senators who felt maligned when she called them “hypocrites” in a radio DZMM interview.
However, she also noted that Cayetano, in his privilege speech “went on the attack, mainly aimed against me and my role as Chief of Staff, and insinuating something else on the side.”
“It may be wishful thinking, but I still wish that the Senate President's family and my own family could be spared from the hurt brought about by malicious insinuations and imputations regarding my personal relationship with the Senate President- just to whet and feed the public's appetite for gossip, to gain political points, and to inflict more pain as if the pain and ugliness we have all witnessed and suffered were not already enough,” she said.
“My family, especially my mother and my children, continue to suffer in silence the horrible and distasteful comments they read and hear about me in the media and all over the internet,” she added.
Enrile: I’m too old for that
Enrile, meanwhile, denied rumors that he had an affair with Reyes.
“If they’re implying that she’s my girlfriend, well, I’m too old for that, my God!” Enrile said in a television interview yesterday. “I do not look old at all. But from my waist up I am still doing very well, but from the waist down, well, I do not know about that – maybe once in a blue moon, if ever.”
He said he was ready to have his office funds audited by any private auditing firm, and to subject himself to a test for erectile dysfunction.
“Yes, yes. Oo, I’m too old for that,” Enrile told Winnie Monsod in her TV morning show “Unang Hirit.”
Enrile also resumed his potshots against Cayetano, whom he suspected to be responsible for insinuations that he and Reyes are having an affair.
“Gurang na gurang na ako pero tsinitsismis pa na umiibig pa daw. Siguro mga nagsasabi, di makagawa ng anak (I am already very old but I am still rumored to be in love. Perhaps those who are saying it cannot have children),” Enrile was quoted as saying at a political sortie in Laguna.
He rejected any reconciliation with Cayetano, a son of his long-time friend and law partner Rene Cayetano, saying, “Enough is enough.”
The Senate chief, under fire for releasing P1.6 million as gifts to each of 18 senators, ostensibly as additional maintenance, operating and other expenses (MOOE) in the final weeks of 2012, admitted he did not expect Cayetano to bring up issues against Reyes in a privilege speech on the Senate floor the other day.
Cayetano, along with his sister Pia and Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Antonio Trillanes IV, were given P250,000 each. All four are critics of Enrile.
“I never expected that. Nobody is a saint in this world, you know,” Enrile said, as he noted that he had been linked romantically to several of his staff members in the past. He said this might have been because he did not treat his staff as servants.
He said dragging Reyes into the controversy was an attempt to destroy his name.
1998 adultery rap
Rumors of an alleged relationship between Enrile and Reyes started as early as 1998. A Chicago Tribune article in January 30, 1998 revealed Enrile’s wife, Cristina, had walked out on him after charging adultery.
“The ‘other woman’ is reported to be Gigi Gonzales-Reyes, chief of staff of his Senate office and about 30 years his junior,” the report read.
Enrile later told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the rumor was part of an "incidental trigger" to dissolve his marriage.
A story by Manila Standard columnist Joem Macaspac in 1998 also focused on the alleged affair. It said Reyes worked for the Ponce Enrile, Cayetano, Reyes and Manalastas law firm right after law school and had made many enemies.
It said Reyes and her husband were set to file libel charges against a tabloid that came out with the story.
Reyes' husband also told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Enrile was "decent in his dealings with my wife, myself and our family."
Cayetano on Wednesday chided Reyes for calling 4 senators “hypocrites” in a radio DZMM interview. He said Reyes enjoyed special privileges including being allowed to attend Senate caucuses and being the signing authority for the disbursement of funds.
Reyes tendered her irrevocable resignation to Enrile, saying that she has a difference of opinion with the Senate President about how to respond to the mess. With The Philippine Star