MANILA - The United Nationalist Alliance on Thursday described former US Ambassador William Sullivan as "tsismoso" or a rumormonger after leaked diplomatic cables showed the envoy relayed information that Jack Enrile killed the son of a Philippine Navy chief in 1975.
In a statement, UNA secretary general and campaign manager Toby Tiangco said the former US Ambassador to the Philippines did not provide any evidence to support his allegation that the young Enrile was responsible for the murder of Ernest Lucas Jr.
"He admitted it was based on rumors circulating at that time. In short, tsismis lang, and the former ambassador was being 'tsismoso' when he passed on to Washington this piece of gossip,” Tiangco said.
Enrile himself also dismissed the reports.
"Please note that Sullivan states that the basis of his report were rumors and hearsay. I believe I have answered this before thoroughly in print, TV, radio and the internet and would like to move forward talking about my advocacies and what we together can and should do for our country and our people," he said.
The Sullivan diplomatic cables are part of declassified diplomatic cables published online by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Monday.
In one leaked cable, Sullivan said the young Enrile did not even appear in person at the hearings in the Lucas case since he was "attending classes."
"While taking sworn statement accords with recognized Philippine procedure, in cases of this importance material witnesses are normally interrogated in person by investigating fiscal," the cable read.
It also noted that government prosecutors relied on Enrile's deposition and decided not to press charges against him.
The US ambassador, in cable 1975MANILA13806_b, said unnamed "NBI sources have told us unequivocally... that Enrile's son did the shooting."
"We also understand that chief prosecuting attorney Nocon believes that NBI investigation results provide adequate basis for legal action, charges unspecified," he said.
The younger Enrile, who is now running for senator in the May midterm elections, has repeatedly denied any involvement in the death of Lucas.
Enrile told ANC earlier that Lucas' death was accidental after his bodyguard, Danilo Cruz, accidentally shot the Navy chief’s son during a party.
Meanwhile, Tiangco noted the use of the WikiLeaks report from the 1970s is part of a “demolition” job against UNA candidates.
“The malicious insinuations of the PCIJ report on JV Ejercito, the personal attacks on Nancy Binay, and the resurrection of an old issue that has already been addressed by Jack Enrile have all been timed during the homestretch of the campaign,” he said.
He said their opponents, led by the Liberal Party, are getting desperate.
“Clearly, these attacks on our candidates expose the desperation of our opponents. They will stop at nothing to achieve their 12-0 target in May, even if it means mounting demolition jobs on our candidates and subverting the will of the people on election day,” he said.