MANILA, Philippines - Two senators on Monday said the Senate is not railroading a proposal to divide the province of Camarines Sur, an accusation Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV hurled against Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who supports the bill, also belied Trillanes' claim that congressmen pushing for the bill like Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte were pressuring senators. She said he was merely lobbying for it.
"I think he's approaching everybody," she told reporters. "He's very open about it. But we are used to this. We are used to having congressmen come to our offices."
Meanwhile, Sen. Vicente Sotto III denied that he and Estrada called Trillanes to pressure him about the Camarines Sur bill.
Sotto said he merely explained to Trillanes over the phone a "win-win solution" both for senators who will vote on the bill and congressmen lobbying for it: Senators will approve the bill on second reading just to show congressmen that they're not sitting on it, but will reopen the period of interpellation for Trillanes.
He said he was insulted by Trillanes' reply to him that they have a "game plan" to railroad the measure.
"I hope next time he chooses his words well," Sotto said.