Palace denies hand in Senate coup rumors
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday denied it had anything to do with alleged moves to unseat Juan Ponce Enrile as Senate President.
"Walang kinalaman ang Office of the President sa sinasabing ugong na di umano'y magpapalit ng liderato sa Senado,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a text message.
Trillanes earlier confirmed he wants Enrile out as Senate chief over his alleged links to former President Gloria Arroyo.
Trillanes said Enrile is railroading a bill to divide Camarines Sur province at Arroyo's behest, based on newspaper reports.
Trillanes also said confidential information from a fellow senator confirmed Arroyo and Enrile are allies.
"Nakakatawag si GMA, solid ang samahan nilang dalawa (ni JPE), nagpapadikta kay GMA. He's being held by the balls. I don't know, baka may utang na loob. Bakit mo isasagasa (ang CamSur bill), 4 months ago inakyat itong CamSur bill. Talagang si Senate President, napepressure ni GMA," Trillanes said.
Asked if he will move to declare all seats in the Senate vacant, Trillanes said: "Not yet. He (JPE) should leave, lalo pa ngayon iimbestigahan si GMA (over the Bridges program)."
The senator said he walked out of Enrile's interpellation on Wednesday because Enrile was talking about state secrets. Trillanes said, as a former defense minister, Enrile should have known better.
Referring to former Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady's notes on the recent diplomatic issue with china over Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal, Trillanes said
"what he (JPE) presented (Brady's notes) was a diversion."
Trillanes said Enrile never denied links to Arroyo.
Trillanes said party mate Senator Manny Villar and Liberal Party stalwart Senator Franklin Drilon can take over as Senate president.
"Kapag puno na ang salop. Dapat kalusin," he said. With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News