TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines – Based on his own “reading,” Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce “Jackie” Enrile Jr. said the vote in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona can still go either way.
“Sa ngayon, wala pang number sa nababasa ko. Huwag ninyo nang tanungin sa akin. Base sa pag-iisip ko, yung sure na alam na medyo for conviction ay nasa 13. Yung sa acquittal, nasa 7—base sa basa ko,” said the son and namesake of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile in a rare interview with the media on Friday, May 18. He invited reporters to an Enrile property in this city.
A two-thirds vote of Senate—16 votes—is required to convict Corona.
“Wala pang numero sa ngayon po. May mga swing vote…. Base po sa nakikita po natin,” he said. (They don’t have the numbers yet. There are swing votes.)
“It can go either way pa rin. That was a snapshot last week. Wala pa ang revelation ni Ombudsman [Conchita Carpio-Morales on Corona’s alleged dollar accounts]. It can go other way. Very fluid ang sitwasyon sa aking pagbabasa,” he added.
Rep. Enrile was among the 188 lawmakers who voted to impeach the Chief Justice on Dec 12, 2011.
However, he said it would have been better if the prosecution panel included Corona’s alleged 82 dollar accounts in the original complaint. Concerns about the records coming out only now are valid, he said.
‘I won’t sway my Dad’
But don’t expect that the father and son necessarily share the same opinion on Corona. Rep. Enrile said they are both independent minded.
“Kapag kilala nyo po ang pamilyang Enrile, malalaman nyo po na puro kami matitigas ang ulo. Very independent minded,” he said. (We’re all independent-minded in the family.)
“Hanggang ngayon po, hindi ko po nababasa ang aking ama. I don’t know know which side he may lean toward…. He has his own mind, which you see is very formidable. I also have my own,” he said.
Rep. Enrile said the prosecution is “doing its job” but added that he will not do anything to “sway” his father to favor his colleagues in the House of Representatives.
“He will continue to provide fair and balanced proceedings. As the nation is witnessing right now, he has been doing his best to ensure that each and every side has the opportunity to present their case and that whatever evidence that can be admitted will be allowed to be presented. Those that are not admissible will not be allowed to be presented,” he said.
Rep. Enrile said he and his father only talk about the impeachment in a “shallow way.” But he did narrate to the Senate President how the House of Representatives voted on Corona’s impeachment on Dec 12, 2011.
Rep. Enrile also explained to his fellow lawmakers that the Senate President’s occasional berating of the prosecution panel is “nothing personal.”
2013 Senate bid
Rep. Enrile is preparing for his senatorial bid in the 2013 elections. He acknowledged that the Senate President’s reputation as a presiding officer in the impeachment trial of Corona is helping his bid.
His father’s vote, he said, will surely affect his senatorial bid, too. But as long as it is based on evidence, the people will accept it, he said.
He will use the slogan “Gusto ko everybody happy,” which is very similar to his dad’s “Gusto ko happy ka.”
Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) listed Rep. Enrile as one of its senatorial candidates. Rep. Enrile is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition. He said he is not leaving NPC.
But Rep. Enrile said he is also open to become the Liberal Party’s guest candidate.
If he wins, Rep. Enrile and his dad will be together in the Senate for 3 years. The Senate President’s term ends in 2016. – Rappler.com