Jinggoy, Cayetano battle over pork, Sexy, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – “Now you know I am sexy physically!” “Sexiness is like beauty, it’s in the eyes of the beholder.”
The exchanges between Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano hit gutter level and turned personal on Wednesday – sparked by a privilege speech that had Estrada taking a swipe at Cayetano for supposedly using the pork barrel scam to “advance his political agenda.”
After Estrada’s hour-long speech against witnesses Dennis Cunanan and Ruby Tuason on Wednesday, March 12, Cayetano started another drama on the Senate floor by responding to Estrada and engaging him in a heated discussion.
Cayetano accused Estrada of having a double standard, saying the senator – accused of involvement in the pork barrel scam – asked tough questions of witnesses in past corruption hearings but now criticized his colleagues for doing the same. Cayetano named the late Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes and former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot.
Cayetano said, “Bakit tayo may double standard? 'Pag ibang tao hindi double standard. Pero pag tayo ang akusado, ia-accuse lahat ng trial by publicity.”
(Why do we have a double standard? When other persons are involved, we don’t have this. But when we are the ones accused, we accuse everyone of trial by publicity.)
Estrada shot back, “I believed the Reyes hearing was in aid of legislation. Sa blue ribbon, lahat ng gusto tumakbo, nagpapasikat at our own expense.” (In the blue ribbon hearing, all those who want to run grandstand at our own expense.)
Cayetano took exception. “This is not about Senator Jinggoy, Alan Cayetano, 2016. This is about the people's money….I don't intend to run and win in 2016 with this case. Plataporma at programa, Mr President.” (Platform and program, Mr President.)
Estrada said Cayetano used the hearing to pin him and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr down, even referring to their supposed nicknames in the scam “Sexy,” “Tanda” and “Pogi.”
Cayetano said he had no inkling Estrada was “Sexy.” “No offense, Senator Jinggoy, I didn't think that's you. I thought it was a woman.
Estrada said, “Bago ang committee hearing, lumabas na sa dyaryo ang Sexy, Tanda, Pogi. Pwede bang ‘di mo malaman iyan? Dati mataba ako, pumayat ako, natural Sexy ako. Ngayon alam mo na sexy ako, physically.” (Before the hearing, that already came out in the papers. How can you not know it? Before I was fat, I lost weight so naturally I am Sexy. Now you know I am sexy.)
Cayetano replied, “Sexiness is like beauty, it’s in the eyes of the beholder.”
Estrada faces a plunder complaint for allegedly funneling his pork barrel funds to fake non-governmental organizations of scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in exchange for kickbacks.
Watch the full speech here:
Binay, Erap, GMA named
In defending himself, Cayetano repeatedly brought up the name of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who had announced his presidential bid for 2016.
Cayetano said Binay and his ally Estrada were guilty of a double standard in crying “trial by publicity” in the pork barrel case when they did not do the same during the time they were opposing former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Natutuwa siya dati, sabi, 'Sige bata, banatan mo.’ Ngayon, wala na,” Cayetano said of Binay. (He even told me before, "Go ahead, attack GMA." Now, you don’t hear that.)
This annoyed Estrada. “Let’s limit the discussion to my privilege speech. Huwag na nating isama si Vice President Binay at si GMA. Wala silang kinalaman sa speech ko.” (Let’s limit the discussion to my privilege speech. Let’s not involve Vice President Binay and GMA. They have nothing to do with my speech.)
Estrada recalled an incident during a Senate caucus when Cayetano told him, “I feel very bad because you've been good to me. I have a role to play.”
Cayetano confirmed this and even brought up the impeachment complaints against Arroyo and Estrada’s father, former President Joseph Estrada.
“Nung impeachment ng inyong ama, pinirmahan ko. Si FG ninong ko, pinirmahan ko ang GMA impeachment. Sinasabi ko kahit kaibigan kita, 'di ako pwede magbago ng role sa Senado.” (The impeachment of your father, I signed that. FG, even if he’s my godfather, I signed GMA’s impeachment. I said, even if you’re my friend, I cannot change my role in the Senate.)
He added, “Nag-iba ba si Alan Cayetano sa lahat ng hearing?” (Did Alan Cayetano change in all the hearings?)
Yet Estrada insisted he, Enrile, and Revilla were victims of “trial by publicity.”
‘Give us something’
Cayetano maintained that as a public figure, Estrada owes it to the people to respond to the charges against him instead of “diverting the issue” and attacking witnesses.
“Give us something naman. ‘Di ninyo rin pinaliwanag magkano, saan ninyo nilagay [ang pork barrel].” (Give us something. You didn’t explain how much your pork barrel was, or where you put it.)
“You're answering Cunanan even if it’s not in court. What about accusations you are close to Napoles? Doesn’t that deserve answers?"
Estrada, however, insisted the Senate was not the proper forum. He said he already responded to the charges in his counter-affidavit before the Ombudsman.
Enrile also took to the podium to say he gave the blue ribbon committee a copy of his own counter-affidavit.
Estrada said, “Hindi in aid of legislation ito eh, in aid of 2016 na ito.” (This is not in aid of legislation, this is in aid of 2016.) – Rappler.com