MANILA, SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 (GMA NEWS) Senator Antontio Trillanes IV on Thursday admitted that he was working to oust Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile as head of the chamber.

"Yes and I'm still working and hoping for it," Trillanes told GMA News Online in a text message.

He refused, however, to elaborate on the matter.

Trillanes issued the statement after Enrile himself revealed that the former Navy officer wants him removed from the top Senate post.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1995, Trillanes faced rebellion and coup d' etat charges during the Arroyo administration. He got his temporary freedom in December 2010 during the first months of the Aquino administration.

He had been in jail since the July 2003 Oakwood mutiny, but won a Senate seat during the 2007 polls. In January 2011, he applied for amnesty, which was approved the same month.

On Wednesday, Trillanes bolted the Senate majority bloc, saying that he has lost faith in Enrile's leadership.

He made his move after accusing Enrile of being a bully and a lackey former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Enrile has since denied Trillanes' claims.

On Thursday, he also dared Trillanes to get the needed votes to oust him as Senate chief.

"He can go around, it doesn't matter to me. I don't care if he's talking to anyone...he's not worth my while," said Enrile, a former defense minister and a veteran politician.

"Dapat sinabi niya sa akin, gusto niya maging Senate president. Bigay ko sa kanya pag meron siyang suporta," he added. — Kimberly Jane Tan/RSJ/HS, GMA News

Enrile: Trillanes lying, no phone call from Gloria Arroyo By KIMBERLY JANE TAN, GMA News September 20, 2012 11:18am

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Thursday said Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was lying when he alleged that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on the Senate chief to push for the passage of the bill dividing Camarines Sur.

"I have no phone call from GMA [Mrs. Arroyo's initials]. There was none," Enrile told reporters in an interview.

In a report on GMA News TV's News to Go, Elena Bautista-Horn, spokesperson of Mrs. Arroyo, also denied that the former Philippine leader made a phone call to Enrile on the matter. Mrs. Arroyo now represents the second district of Pampanga in the House of Representatives.

, On Wednesday, Trillanes accused Enrile of pushing for the passage of House Bill 4820, which seeks to divide Camarines Sur into two provinces and create the new province of Nueva Camarines in the Bicol region, on the request of Mrs. Arroyo.

Accusing Enrile of being a lackey of Mrs. Arroyo, Trillanes then bolted the majority in the Senate and joined the minority. "I have lost trust, faith and confidence in Senator Enrile’s capability to lead the Senate along the path consistent with the reform agenda that I espouse," he said.

But in denying Trillanes' accusation, Enrile said: "Hindi ako nilapitan ni President Arroyo o ni President Aquino tungkol sa CamSur, hindi ko alam at palagay ko walang senador na nakakaalam na interesado si President Arroyo tungkol sa paghahati ng probinsya ng Camarines Sur."

"This is strange information to us which makes me believe that Trillanes is lying and that he is using this in order to cover his ass," he added. "Siguro gusto niyang gamitin yun para lumabo yung usapan... sasabihin niya na siya ay kontra kay GMA."

Oppositors of the bill believe splitting the province is meant to create new districts to benefit political families there. Sen. Joker Arroyo, who is from Bicol, said dividing the province would benefit only the people of the province’s fourth district, home turf of Rep. Arnulfo Fuentebella, who is on his last term as congressman.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte Sr., who supports the division, was quoted in reports as saying that the bill has unified the group of Fuentebella and legislators identified with Arroyo: Rep. Rolando Andaya of the first district, a long time budget chief of Mrs. Arroyo, and Rep. Dato Arroyo, the former president’s son.

Both Dato Arroyo and Andaya had benefited from the creation of an additional district in Camarines Sur in 2010, as they were supposed to run against each other in a single district.

Friends with Mrs. Arroyo

Admitting he was friends with Mrs. Arroyo, Enrile said he has no personal interest in the division of the province.

"Kaya lamang ay dapat pagbotohan dito para malaman ang desisyon ng Senado dahil ang maghuhusga diyan ultimately ay mga taga-Camarines Sur, hindi kami, sapagkat sila ang magbobotohan kung hahatiin nila yung probinsya," he said.

"At sa aking paningin, dapat bigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang mga taga-Camarines Sur na magdecide kung gusto nilang hatiin ang probinsya nila o hindi yun lang naman sa akin," he added.

Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr., chair of the committee hearing the CamSur bill, said he only heard about Mrs. Arroyo's supposed phone call from Trillanes and another person. Marcos is the chairman of the Senate committee on local government.

"We heard that one of the people who told us was Sen. Trillanes. I don't, know it's possible. [But] I don't want to ascribe motives to anything he [Enrile] is doing," Marcos said.

But he stressed that Enrile never pressured him to do anything.

"What he has been telling me continuously... reminding me, is time of the essence. May hard deadline which is the filing, not naman madaliin, sana paabutin," he said.

"That's the only thing he would tell me about itbut he would always [say after] I'm not telling you what to do but may time element itong bill na ito," he added.

Marcos likewise said that no one from Mrs. Arroyo's camp approached him.

"Ang kumakausap lang sa akin yung proponents. Sila ang mga naglalakad dito," he said. — RSJ, GMA News


GMA sad of being dragged into JPE-Trillanes war By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News Posted at 09/20/2012 2:15 PM | Updated as of 09/20/2012 5:21 PM

MANILA - Former President Gloria Arroyo’s camp is saddened she has been dragged into the word war of Senators Antonio Trillanes and Juan Ponce Enrile.

In a statement, her spokesman Elena Bautista Horn said, “We are deeply saddened that her name is being dragged again into another controversy and this time being wrongly used to sow disrespect to a venerable and independent institution like The Senate.”

Horn stressed Arroyo is taking care of her health and her legislative work.

“As we all know, the former president's priority now is very much centered on her wellness and her health condition and utilize whatever strength is left in serving her district in Pampanga. She chose to focus on her legislative work,” she said.

Horn added, “She regrets that her name is being used to discredit and malign the name of a much respected official of the land like the Senate President.”

Trillanes has accused Enrile of being a lackey of Mrs. Arroyo for pushing the Camarines Sur bill, which would divide the province to the benefit of her son, CamSur 2nd District Rep. Dato Arroyo, and 3-term Congressman Luis Villafuerte.

No railroading of CamSur bill - senators By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News Posted at 09/20/2012 4:22 PM | Updated as of 09/20/2012 4:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Some senators on Thursday denied Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is railroading the passage of the bill seeking to divide the province of Camarines Sur, contrary to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV's claim when he delivered a scathing speech against Enrile on Wednesday.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, (photo) who is not in favor of the measure, pointed out that the bill has in fact been pending at the committee level for a long time.

"Hindi mo masasabing minamadali," he said, adding that Enrile never pressured him or other senators to vote in favor of it.

"Wala naman siyang sinabi sa akin on how to vote," Pimentel said.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan II said that Enrile's style in discussing bills is to always have "maximum consultation."

Enrile makes sure every senator is able to give his or her input, he added. "Ang importante dito, may consensus building. Wala akong nakitang railroading or bullying or imposition."

"Lahat ng mga sensitive and delicate issues, ikinokonsulta niya sa ibang senador. Never did he become a bully in the Senate," said Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada.

Enrile reiterated that he never railroaded the measure, and said he's not personally interested in its progress.

He said he simply entertained those lobbying for the measure, and denied ever getting a call from former President Gloria Arroyo to hasten the bill's passage.

Enrile recalled that when senators were discussing the bill in a caucus last July, Trillanes came in late and wanted to stop the discussion.

"Ang gusto niya hindi naman pag-usapan. Hindi puwede yun," Enrile said. "Who is he? He's only one vote."

For Enrile, Trillanes only issued the Camarines Sur issue to cover-up for what he believes is his irregular role as a backdoor negotiator with China over disputed territories.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved