Miriam: Womanizer Enrile seduced Gigi Reyes

Ayee Macaraig
She asks the justice chief to probe Enrile for 7 alleged crimes, including disappearances during martial law, smuggling, and under-declaration of wealth

MANILA, Philippines – “Nagpa-birthday party para sa querida niya, and this libertine pontificates about morality?” (He held a birthday party for his mistress?)

Imitating Katniss Everdeen’s killer archer pose in the movie The Hunger Games, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago shot down her arch-nemesis Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, on Wednesday, December 4, highlighting his alleged extramarital affair with his former chief of staff Gigi Reyes. Santiago called Reyes Enrile’s “concubine.” Read the full speech here. Watch the video here

In a privilege speech on Wednesday, December 4, titled “Navigating the Crimes of the Plunder Mastermind,” Santiago tore down Enrile, calling him a “psychopathic hypersexualized serial womanizer,” “the icon of shameless lying,” “incorrigible liar,” “the prince of darkness,” “gambling and smuggling king,” and “the drama king of corrupt politics.”

On November 27, Enrile delivered a privilege speech – in response to earlier attacks by Santiago. He called her a “cuckoo, inane and bitter mind,” “the grandmama of all falsehood fabricators,” and a “spiteful and bitterly hostile mind” for accusing him of being the mastermind of the pork barrel scam, a murderer, and for supposedly funding the Zamboanga City siege.

On Wednesday, Santiago responded to Enrile’s privilege speech with her own personal tirades against Enrile’s alleged personal and professional shenanigans dating back to the Martial Law regime. The senator cited a 1998 Chicago Tribune report on Enrile’s supposed affair with Reyes that angered his wife Cristina.

“Cristina was reported as saying ‘that she no longer could tolerate his chasing after other women, including domestic helpers, cooks, and assistants. Walang pinapatawad! Kaya ayokong tumabi sa kanya eh, baka magka-HIV ako!” (He does not discriminate! That’s why I don’t want to be near him, I might get HIV!)

Santiago detailed how Enrile supposedly schemed to attract Reyes, who is 30 years his junior. He said Enrile appointed Reyes’ ex-husband lawyer Rodolfo “Inky” Reyes to the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). 

“Sineduce niya ang babae, ang lalaki pinapunta niya sa malayo eh ‘di naghiwalay! (He seduced the woman and the man he sent to a far place and so they broke up!)

“At one point in his glittering career as Senate President, Enrile had the audacity to throw a birthday party at a 5-star Makati hotel for his concubine, to which he was able to drag President Aquino. Photos of the decadent party were splashed in the front pages of top newspapers.  And this libertine pontificates about morality?” 

Responding after Santiago’s speech, Enrile said he was saddened that Santiago chose to drag “innocent people” like Reyes.

“I’m sad she attacked innocent people, especially my chief of staff, even my maids, security. I treat them like my buddies. Siya mismo nagsabi ako ay maasim kaya baka kung may napilantikan lang sa aking asim, siguro dahil may magandang tindig pa ako.”

(She said I still have appeal. If there were some people drawn to that appeal, may be cause I indeed am still appealing.)

‘He’s like female llama surprised in bath’

While Enrile focused on Santiago’s low bar exam grade and psychiatric consultations in his privilege speech last week (read the full text here), Santiago retaliated by mocking Enrile’s looks.

“In Cagayan, it is said that when he was a baby, his mother dropped him on his head.  Now he is the poster boy of stem cell treatment that has long gone past its expiry date. He looks like a female llama surprised in her bath.” 

She went on: “He reminds me of nothing so much as a dead fish, before it has time to stiffen. If he has the courage, he should switch place with me: He should be funny, and I’ll be the asshole.”

Santiago even quoted a passage to describe her foe. “He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad.”

At one point, Santiago stared Enrile down but the 89-year-old senator just laughed and shook his head. While Santiago was talking, he played Bejeweled on his tablet. 

AMUSED ENRILE. Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile laughs off Santiago's privilege speech, telling reporters before the session he will just play Bejeweled on his tablet. Photo by Ayee Macaraig/Rappler

In his speech, Enrile said the root of Santiago’s “deep-seated animosity” was his opposition to her confirmation as agrarian reform secretary during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, and refusal to include her in the majority bloc when he was Senate President in 2008 and 2010. 

In turn, Santiago said Enrile is mad at her because the Supreme Court sided with her when she was a Quezon City trial court judge and she ruled against Enrile’s order to arrest student protesters. 

‘Probe smuggling, global gambling lord’

Santiago ripped Enrile’s privilege speech, saying he could have proven his innocence but instead targeted her, “rehashing black propaganda invented against me during the 1992 presidential campaign.”

She said, “His speech amounted to verbal violence against a woman confined to her sickbed, while he preened in the Senate, demonstrating his skill as the Drama King of corrupt politics.”

She called on Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to probe Enrile for the following “crimes”:

1.     Command responsibility for death and disappearance during martial law

2.     Mastermind of the biggest plunder case in Philippine history

3.     King of smuggling empire

4.     Anticipated king of gambling empire

5.     King of martial law illegal logging empire

6.     Psychopathic hypersexualized serial womanizer

7.     Under-declaring his net worth at only P118 million in 2012

Santiago scored Enrile for facilitating smuggling in Port Irene in Cagayan, his home province, and defying a partial ban on the importation of used cars. Because of Enrile, Santiago said, CEZA was able to award “master licenses” to foreign entities to operate online gambling even if only the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has the mandate to operate legal gambling.

“CEZA promotes online gambling…. The CEZA administrator has boasted abroad that First Cagayan “offers state-of-the-art Internet data center facilities in Cagayan and also in Manila,” and that there is “direct connectivity to the US and Europe.” 

She exclaimed: “Aba ang galing. Global gambling lord siya!” (He is the global gambling lord.)

Santiago also addressed criticism about her bar exam grade, saying she did not pay attention because she wanted to study in Russia, contrary to her father’s wishes.

On the Toyota car that she allegedly refused to return to the owner, Santiago said it was a smuggled car that was given to her husband, then a customs collector, as an official vehicle.

“Enrile kept threatening to oppose my confirmation as agrarian reform secretary, unless my husband released the smuggled car to the smuggler. As a former customs commissioner, Enrile wanted to bend the law for his illegal clients. In time, my husband and other senior staff returned the smuggled cars to the BOC.”

The two legal luminaries have had a long-running feud, which worsened during the debates on the reproductive health law last year and the Senate fund controversy in December 2012. Santiago had described their relationship as “ice-cold.”

‘Enrile-Lacson relationship with feelings’

Santiago also did not spare former Senator Panfilo Lacson, who defended Enrile at the height of the Senate fund controversy. She derisively called him “Pinky Lacson,” again reviving rumors that he is gay

“Why is Enrile so close to Lacson?  When a Manila Regional Trial Court issued a warrant of arrest against Lacson, he jumped bail and became a fugitive from justice.  TV repeatedly showed a footage of Lacson leaving the airport.  But many believe that Enrile provided safe haven to Lacson in Cagayan.  That is why these two men are so close that it can only be called a relationship with feelings.”

Santiago also hit Lacson’s recent appointment as rehabilitation czar. 

“This early, Lacson’s propaganda team is already touting him as a presidential candidate for 2016.  His credential is that he has been given an administrative job in disaster relief efforts in the Visayas.  Malacañang issued the appointment, just to abort the endless stream of his self-serving press releases whenever there was a vacancy in customs, immigration, or even in the non-vacant post of anti-crime czar, already held by the Executive Secretary.” 

Santiago closed her speech by challenging Enrile to a public televised debate at the UP College of Law.

“On my side, I have university students, social media netizens, Metro Manila and Visayan communities, and the crowds in the major shopping malls who instantly gather and urge me to continue the good fight.” 

“On his side, he has the corrupt journalists in his payroll, corrupt military officials who constitute his private army, his minions in the customs bureau and the internal revenue bureau, both of which he used to head and consider to be his fiefdoms, as well as key appointive officials in local government and the diplomatic service, who serve as his sycophantic spies.” 

“I hope that this clash of titans in the Senate will lead to an Armaggedon in Philippine politics.” – Rappler.com 

Watch the video of Sen. Santiago’s privilege speech below: 

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