Miriam claims JPE behind Zambo, COA attacks
MANILA - Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is accusing Senator Juan Ponce Enrile of being the culprit behind the attacks in Zamboanga City and Commission on Audit (COA) office in Quezon City.
In a statement, Santiago said her political enemy “is so desperate that he is like a crocodile, who has left his maritime kingdom and is flapping around on land, still hoping to kill his prey. I am morally convinced of his culpability in trashing the COA and its chair, as well as in engulfing Zamboanga City in an expensive rebellion.”
She alleged Enrile did this to divert attention from his alleged culpability in the pork barrel scam.
She cited information from the Magdalo group of former military rebels that some P40 million have already been spent for the Zamboanga City caper of Nur Misuari and his MNLF faction.
“According to the whistleblowers, Enrile reportedly gave some P400M of his PDAF to Napoles NGOs. Thus, in the buzzing public mind, Enrile could easily afford to spend P40M on the Zamboanga rebellion as a diversionary tactic. The public should consider his background as defense secretary during martial law, with a proclivity for coddling former police and military officials, and a feckless ambition to rewrite history,” Santiago said.
ABS-CBN News sought Enrile's reaction to Santiago's allegations, but his lawyer, Enrique dela Cruz, declined to comment.
Santiago also believes Enrile is behind the privilege speech of Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who questioned the alleged irregularities in the disbursement of her pork funds including those of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, and Sen. Manny Villar.
“Estrada’s speech was 14 single-spaced pages long, but I was already implicated as early as page 3, with Enrile’s usual cloying malice. I was named No. 1 on the list, because Enrile is seething at me for exposing his P2M Christmas bonus last December. Whenever I am involved, he becomes obsessive-compulsive or OC,” said Santiago, using street language.
She said it is the implementing agency that is responsible for the projects financed by the legislators’ pork funds.
“The reason for listing the senators is to alert them that the agency is falling down on the job. If so, then the lawmakers should reprimand the agency and require full compliance. That is the intent of COA Resolution No. 97-006.”
This is contrary to the case of Enrile, whom she alleged is the mastermind behind the pork scam. She noted Enrile was Senate President at the height of the activities of the bogus NGOs.
“Enrile has moral ascendancy over his colleagues in the political opposition, namely, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Sen. Bong Revilla, and Sen. Gregorio Honasan. They could easily have entered into a conspiracy, just as there appears to have been a conspiracy between Enrile and his ill-starred chief of staff, Atty. Gigi Reyes,” Santiago said.
She noted that it was during Enrile’s time that Chief Justice Renato Corona was ousted from office.
Estrada claimed senators who voted for the ouster of Corona received P50M each from Malacañang.
“Again, the mastermind in the distribution of the P50M bribe could have been Enrile because he was Senate President, and blatantly pro-impeachment at that time,” she said.
She said both Enrile and Estrada should return the money.
“Since the crime has been admitted, the money should be returned to the government. We have to apply the concept of restitution, meaning the compensation paid by a criminal to the government as the victim of plunder, usually as part of a criminal sentence,” she said.