MANILA, SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 (GMA NEWS) KIMBERLY JANE TAN, GMA News - That is how former President Joseph Estrada described Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a day after the junior lawmaker waged a war of words with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Trillanes has history with the former President: he successfully ran in the senatorial race as a guest candidate under the Genuine Opposition (United Opposition) coalition in 2007. Estrada had been a ranking official of the coalition.

Estrada has an even longer history with Enrile, who is chairman emeritus of the Estrada-led Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) party. Enrile was one of the 11 senators who blocked the opening of the "Jose Velarde" envelope during Estrada's impeachment trial, and was at Estrada's side during the latter's plunder trial.

"I think that Trillanes is really a liar...when he says something he should prove it," Estrada told reporters in a phone interview on Thursday.

Estrada made the statement after Trillanes on Wednesday bolted the Senate majority bloc, saying he has lost faith in Enrile's leadership.

He specifically accused Enrile of being a bully and a lackey of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

On Thursday, he even admitted being behind moves to oust Enrile.

Estrada, however, said that Enrile "will not allow himself to be a lackey of anybody."

"As I've said I have a high regard and respect for the Senate President and he will not allow himself to be a lackey of anyone. How can he be lackey of GMA? That's impossible," he said.

Enrile has also denied Trillanes' accusation.

Estrada also said that Trillanes was an ingrate.

"I was the one who recommended him to be included in the senatorial lineup [of the Genuine Opposition but] after he won he forgot [all about us]," he said.

"His mind is not stable. He won under the GO and then [during the] last presidential election without telling us he joined the NP, now he's with the Liberal [Party]. You see the character of that guy? Ungrateful, ingrato that's what I can say and that's proven," he added.

"That’s one of my biggest mistakes...['yung] suportahan ko 'yang ganyang klaseng tao, I really regret supporting him," he said.

Estrada also belittled the senator's accomplishments as a soldier and as a lawmaker.

"Who is he? Who is that, who is he? Wala naman 'yan, e! He’s not even respected by his fellow soldiers akalain mo. I have talked to many military officials and they don't like him," he said.

"He has not done anything as a senator. Meron na ba? Meron na ba siyang nagawa?" he said. "Lumaki 'yung ulo ng wala sa lugar. Buti nagkakasya pa sa elevator 'yung ulo niya," he added.

Because of these, Estrada said he doubts that Trillanes will be successful in his reelection bid next year.

"He cannot fool the people. He can fool the people once but not twice, but not all the time," he said.

In defense of Trillanes

Meanwhile, Trillanes' partymate — Sen. Pia Cayetano — came to his defense.

"Sen. Trillanes may be many things to different people. But a coward and a traitor to the Filipinos? Never," Cayetano said on her official Twitter account.

She did not, however, elaborate on the issue. GMA News Online also could not reach her as of posting time.

Both Trillanes and Cayetano are members of the Nacionalista Party headed by Sen. Manuel Villar.

Cayetano herself has had her share of disagreements with Enrile, most of which were over the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

For his part, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said they will gladly welcome Trillanes to the minority bloc.

"The minority, of course, will accept Sen. Trillanes," he told reporters in an interview.

But he quickly stressed that "there are bigger issues here."

"I think, more than a scuffle between politicians, more than a discussion on who is right between Sen. Enrile and Sen. Trillanes, there may be more important issues that happened that could be damaging to the country – like a possible revelation of how we handled a crisis and how we handled relations with a foreign country," the younger Cayetano said. — BM/RSJ, GMA News


Pangilinan: Trillanes a liar By Gil C. Cabacungan Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:41 am | Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan (photo) called Trillanes a “liar” for insinuating that he has instigated the anti-China tirade to protect his business interest.

“I can tell him this to his face ‘you’re a liar,’” Pangilinan said in a phone call from Tokyo late Wednesday night.

Pangilinan admitted that Trillanes came to see him asking him to ask Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario to tone down his rhetoric against China. “I told him I will tell him (Del Rosario) but he is only my friend and I cannot dictate on him what to do,” Pangilinan told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He also denied as “rubbish” Trillanes’ claim that he funded a lobby group to prod the US into siding with the Philippines against China on the territorial dispute.

Pangilinan said he was one of only several prominent businessmen who formed the US-Philippine Society in order to enhance ties between the two countries with no “sinister plan.”

“I do not meddle with Del Rosario’s business or schedule nor does he meddle in mine,” said Pangilinan.

Pangilinan also dismissed as pure speculation Trillanes’ claim that he wanted to create a diversion to prevent China from releasing its findings that the Recto Bank find of Forum Energy was not as big as advertised. Trillanes had claimed that fueling the anti-China sentiment would allow Pangilinan the time to look for another buyer to sell the rights to Recto Bank.

Pangilinan said that Forum has only stated that the Recto Bank could possibly be the biggest gas find in the country based on initial studies but nowhere did the company claim that this was the “bible truth” as this was subject to further studies.

Enrile calls Trillanes a ‘coward,’ a ‘fraud’ By Maila Ager

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile exposed Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s alleged ”quiet, secret and clandestine” meetings with Chinese officials on the Scarborough Shoal issue, including the latter’s alleged visit as the Philippine negotiator to China where he supposedly called the Department of Foreign Affairs chief a “traitor.”

Taking the floor on Wednesday, Enrile revealed that Trillanes met with Philippine ambassador to China Sonia Brady in Beijing sometime in August this year where he supposedly said things against Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario.

“You went to China, you asked the ambassador of the Philippines there, Madam Brady, for a meeting and you said, ‘Don’t take notes during our conversation’ and you called the Secretary of Foreign Affairs a traitor. In fact, you told me that he committed treason,” said the Senate leader.

When Trillanes tried to stop the Senate leader from reading the alleged notes of the envoy during their meeting, Enrile cut him and said: “Don’t teach me on parliamentary proceedings. I’m not answerable to anybody about what I’m saying in this court.”

Senate Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who was presiding over the session, allowed Enrile to read Brady’s notes, prompting Trillanes to walk out of the session hall.

“He can’t take the heat. He’s a coward,” Enrile said as Trillanes was leaving the hall.

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano tried to pacify the Senate leader, saying that the latter was “entering the emotional phase” of the discussion.

“No, I’m not emotional. The truth must be told. I don’t start this. You start a fight with me, I’ll take you on,” said Enrile.

Enrile then started to read the notes.

Based on Brady’s notes, Enrile said it appeared that Trillanes was protecting China and even suspected the United States behind the Scarborough Shoal dispute.

“When there was a simultaneous withdrawal, he thought to himself this is not the arrangement,” Enrile said, reading the notes .

“He was protecting the Chinese,” the Senate leader commented.

The notes also revealed that the release of a picture of man planting a Chinese flag on the disputed island was from an old photo from 1980s.

“So this was rehashed,” Enrile said.

Trillanes, Enrile said, also wanted everything that was happening in Scarborough to be made secret to protect the interest of China.

“Senator Trillanes has been quietly, secretly clandestinely meeting with the Chinese about Scarborough or the West Philippine Sea,” he said.

“Pnoy (President Benigno Aquino III’s nickname) did not know of the arrangements being made by the senator. Imagine talking to an enemy, a potential enemy of this country 16 times? What did he discuss with these people? Who initiated the discussion? Did he or did they? Did they pay for his trip to Beijing?” he said, referring to President Benigno Aquino III.

“My God, this guy is a fraud,” Enrile said.

Trillanes, Enrile said, also told Brady that in the Philippines, no one cares about Scarborough Shoal.

“He said to Mrs. Brady sa Pilipinas walang may gusto na sa atin yung Scarborough Shoal. Yan ang sinasabi nya, Filipino ba ‘yan?Makabayan ba yan? (in the Philippines no one likes to have the Scarborough Shoal. That’s what he said. Is that being a Filipino?)

“My god what kind of a senator is this?” Enrile said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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