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Enrile-Trillanes word war heats up

Posted at | Updated as of 09/20/12 11:29 AM

Enrile says Trillanes a security risk

Trillanes raps Enrile for revealing state secrets

MANILA - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile accused Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday of being a national security risk because of allegedly interfering in high-level diplomatic talks between the Philippines and China over disputed territory.

Enrile, in an interview on TV Patrol, said Trillanes should explain some of his alleged secret visits to China.

"Trillanes is becoming a security risk in this country. Anim na beses pumunta sa China pero wala sa record ng Senado. Bakit sikreto?" he asked.

"Pagkatapos makipag-usap sa mga Chinese, kinausap niya si [former Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia] Brady at sinabi 'wag kang gagawa ng record,'" Enrile said.

"Anong pinagusapan nila? May nakakaalam ba niyan?" he added. "Ignorante siya. Hindi gumagawa ng report, maski sa Malacañang kung talagang siya ay inutusan ng Presidente."

"Dapat may written report sa Malacañang kung talagang inutusan si Trillanes (pumunta ng China) para may record kung anong pinag-usapan," he said. "Sa lahat ng tribuna sa buong bansa, magpaliwanag siya."

"Ang sabi sa akin ng Malacañang, siya [Trillanes] ang nagprisinta na makialam sa isyu ng Scarborough Shoal," Enrile said.

Trillanes delivered a privilege speech earlier in the day attacking Enrile over his alleged efforts to railroad the gerrymandering of Camarines Sur province. 

He claimed Enrile was receiving orders from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose son is a congressman of the 2nd District of Camarines Sur.

Enrile denied Trillanes' allegations and in retaliation, accused him of allegedly pushing for China's interests in the territorial row over West Philippine Sea.

He reiterated his denial that he is a "lackey" of Arroyo.

"Kasinungalingan yun. Hindi ako nakakausap ng dating Pangulo. Anong interes niya dun?" Enrile said.

Elena Bautista-Horn, spokesperson of Arroyo, also denied Trillanes' allegation. "Former President Arroyo never called Senate President Enrile," she said in a brief statement Wednesday.

Trillanes: Ochoa asked for my help on China


Trillanes, in a separate interview on TV Patrol,  said he was authorized by President Aquino to help in the backdoor talks.

"Noong Mayo, medyo mainit po ang sitwasyon, marami pong barko [ang China] doon sa Scarborough Shoal, tapos mainit po ang exchange," he said.

"I got in there with the authority of the president, tapos for the next 3 months hanggang July, ginawa ko po iyung trabaho ko quietly. Na-defuse naman po natin iyung tension," he added.

Trillanes said that while 3 Chinese boats have remained in the Scarborough Shoal area, the vessels are in international waters.

"Si Presidente lang po, through the DFA, ang source ng ating foreign policy. Ako po ay nabigyan lang ng task to help de-escalate the situation," he said. "This is a result of the collective effort of everybody, especially the President."

Trillanes said DFA Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez was "not privy" to the backdoor talks he held with Chinese officials.

"Hindi ho issue na iyan. Hindi ko naman magagawa lahat ito, si Presidente naman ang nagdedecide," he said.

He said Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa asked him to help solve the China dispute.

"Siguro nagkataon lang na nag-uusap kami ni Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa na lumabas iyung issue ng Scarborough. Sinabi niya na concerned siya sa rising tension and gumagawa sila ng iba't ibang bagay kung papaano ito humupa," he said.

"Doon niya sinabi na kung baka makakatulong daw ako kung may kakilala ako doon sa China. Ang sabi ko, puwede nating subukan. We tried it out," he added. "At that time, I would imagine the executive secretary and the President na concerned sila sa welfare ng ating bayan."

He said there was no quid pro quo with China to end the dispute. "Anuman ang peace na meron tayo ngayon, wala tayong ipinalit, ibinenta sa China."

Trillanes declined to comment on Brady's notes that were read by Enrile earlier in the day.

"Hindi ko pwede iconfirm or deny kasi state secret yan. We'll have to wait until these documents are declassified," he said.

He said nothing was irregular about the backdoor meetings.

Trillanes said 15 meetings were held in the Philippines and abroad. He refused to name names, but said the meetings involved high-level officials.