Enrile: I've never been known for betrayal


Posted at Sep 23 2013 04:42 PM | Updated as of Sep 24 2013 03:42 AM

MANILA - Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile on Monday finally responded to the statement of his former chief of staff that she felt "betrayed" by the statements coming from the Enrile camp.

In an interview with reporters, Enrile dismissed Atty. Jessica "Gigi" Reyes' statement that she felt betrayed by the senator with regard to the ongoing investigation on the P10 billion pork barrel.

"I’m not up to betray any of my people. I've never been known for that," he said.

He refused to comment further on the alleged transactions between Reyes and fake non-government organizations linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

He said: "I will not discuss my case, if you don't mind. I’ll face the music in the courtroom."

Enrile is one of three senators facing plunder and malversation charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly funneling millions of pesos on their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations to fake NGOs set up Napoles. The other two senators are Senators Bong Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada.

A total of 38 individuals, including Reyes, are facing charges before the Ombudsman due to their alleged links to the PDAF scam.

During the weekend, Reyes said she felt betrayed following statements by Enrile's lawyer that the senator "did not give his blessings" to the actions taken by Reyes with respect to his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

"If indeed these statements are sanctioned by or coming from my former boss, then nothing can be worse than this kind of travesty and betrayal," she said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Reyes, who served Enrile for 25 years, said she has lost contact with her former boss, adding that "this very tragic development is beyond my comprehension." 

She said that the last time she spoke with Enrile from abroad, "he maintained that he will stand by the authority he issued to me and that all that I did was faithful and pursuant to his instructions. He even told me to be strong; that we will fight together to prove the accusations against us are false and fabricated."

Reyes left the country last August 31 ahead of the filing of charges before the Ombudsman.

Kidney stones

Meanwhile, the senator admitted he was hospitalized last September 14 after kidney stones caused his blood pressure to go up.

Enrile said that on the day he was hospitalized, his BP shot up to 220/100 prompting him to rush to the emergency room of the Makati Medical Center upon the advice of his doctor.

He said he was not in pain but could not urinate.

"They controlled my blood pressure. They thought I was passing stones because I have a history passing stones. But I said I had no pain. And I could not pass my water. So that aggravated the whole thing,"

He added: "I have already passed 13 pellets over the years."

He said he was discharged last Wednesday, September 18.

Enrile said he will not make a privilege speech about the pork barrel scam.

He has previously denied knowing Napoles personally or even meeting the businesswoman, saying he only saw her face in news reports.

He has also denied any knowledge of the Napoles NGOs or dealing directly with any supplier or contractor.