MANILA - Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday defended his record during the martial law years as well as his former chief of staff, Gigi Reyes, following a stinging attack from his political nemesis, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.
In a short speech, Enrile said he stands by his previous statements about Santiago's character and mental state, and said he has proof that the female senator used to see a psychiatrist.
He said Santiago refused to answer his accusations point-by-point but resorted to "ad hominem personal attacks."
"I thought she would answer them point-by-point but truly she did not because everything I said is covered by documents that I have here especially when I said about her confirmation hearing regarding her previous consultation with neuropsychiatrist," he said.
Enrile defended his record as defense secretary during martial law but did not dwell on the issue. He also did not touch on Santiago's accusation that he signed arrest warrants of opponents of martial law that led to the deaths of at least 4,000 people.
"My record about martial law is open to the scrutiny of anybody. Even historians can check them," he said.
"As I said in my speech, I walked throughout this country in the daytime and nighttime and I feel safe because I have never oppressed anybody," he added.
He also defended his former chief of staff, Gigi Reyes, who has left the country after being linked to the P10 billion pork barrel scam. He said Reyes is innocent of all the charges against her.
Enrile also denied having an affair with Reyes.
"You know, Mr. President, even my maids, even my security, I treat them like my buddies. I eat with them. I do not consider them as my maids or my security," he said.
"This is the way I treat even my people here in the Senate and maybe they mistook that for something else," he added.
However, he also joked that some women might still find him desirable and teased Santiago for saying that he still had "asim."
"Siya mismo ang nagsabi na ako ay maasim kaya kung may napilantikan sa aking asim, siguro naman ay dahil mayroon pa naman akong magandang tindig, di ba," he said.
Enrile denied any interest in the operations of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), saying the Senate is open to scrutinize the operations there. He said the law creating the CEZA was passed by both houses of Congress.