Pia questions depth of Enrile's 'personal hurt'

Posted at 01/26/13 3:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Pia Cayetano on Saturday reacted to the apology issued by the chief of staff of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Atty. Gigi Reyes.

Cayetano said that in her statement, Reyes hinted on Enrile’s “personal hurt” involving herself and her brother, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, but noted that Reyes did not elaborate.

"In her public apology, Atty. Gigi Reyes said she understood the depth of the Senate President's personal hurt involving me and my brother. The reason was deeply rooted, she hinted, but did not proceed to reveal it,” Cayetano said in a statement.

Reyes issued an apology on Friday for calling Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and other senators “hypocrites” in relation to additional funds that were not given to them.

In her public apology, Reyes said the “depth of the Senate President's personal hurt involving Senators Alan and Pia Cayetano” is “quite deeply rooted” and is not related to the sides’ opposing views on the Reproductive Health bill.

But Senator Pia said she sees no other reason for the alleged grudge.

"With all honesty, I cannot think of any other issue, apart from the RH and Sin Tax laws, that might have caused Senate President Enrile to feel so strongly against me. I know he was not happy with me regarding Sin Tax because he asked for my removal from the bicameral conference committee on Sin Tax. And of course, we all know our views on RH were poles apart,” the senator said.

Senator Pia further said that her personal and professional relationship with Enrile “had always been good.”

“That's why in my speech last Tuesday [January 22], I asked the Senate President whether I was being penalized for speaking my mind. But assuming that what Atty. Reyes said was true - that Senator Enrile had deeper reasons for resenting my brother and I - is that an acceptable reason for him to act against a colleague? Does it mean that if any of the senators displease him in any way, he can arbitrarily act and treat us differently? 'Pag di sya happy sa 'yo, pwede ka nyang api-apihin?” she said.

Senator Alan Peter, in his privilege speech on Wednesday, said he had long been maligned by Enrile and Reyes, whom he accused of having a personal grudge against him.

He said both Enrile and Reyes are close to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband, Mike Arroyo.

Reyes has filed her resignation as Enrile’s chief of staff.