Press Release October 8, 2012 - Trillanes: Enrile caught lying again on baselines law claim

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV on Monday presented Senate records to prove that he was the principal author of the baselines law in the Senate, debunking claims by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile that Trillanes merely copied his version of the archipelagic baselines bill, which was later enacted as Republic Act No. 9522.

According to the official records of the 14th Congress of the Senate, Trillanes filed the first version of the baselines bill, Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1467, on 14 August 2007.

The other senators who filed their versions of the bill were former Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel (SBN 2144, filed on 26 March 2008) Senator Edgardo Angara (SBN 2184, filed on 22 April 2008), former Senator Rodolfo Biazon, (SBN 2215, filed on 29 April 2008) and Enrile (SBN 2216, filed on 29 April 2008).

"This clearly shows that Sen. Enrile was only the fifth senator to file a similar bill, eight and a half months after I filed my baselines bill. The substitute bill, SBN 2699, which was sponsored by the Committee on Foreign Relations, further acknowledges the fact that I am the principal author of the Philippine Baselines Law at the Senate," Trillanes added.

The young senator further noted that it was the Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, which sponsored the baselines bill, contrary to the claim of Enrile that he sponsored the measure.

"These records do not lie. Once again, Senator Enrile has been caught lying on an issue just so he could destroy other people's reputations and divert the public's attention, "Trillanes said.


Enrile accuses Trillanes of copying bills By Maila Ager 3:24 pm | Sunday, October 7th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines –Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile on Sunday accused Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of copying the bills that he filed in the chamber, saying the latter could not even pass a bill of his own.

In response to Enrile’s attack, Trillanes challenged the Senate President to file an ethics case against him.

Enrile made the allegation in an interview over a radio station when told about Trillanes’ claim, through his chief of staff, Reynaldo Robles, that the former rebel-soldier was the principal author of the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law.

In an apparent attempt to justify his boss’ role in the back-channel negotiations between the government and China over the disputed Scarborough Shoal, Robles claimed that Trillanes was the principal author of the law.

“Sya? E ako ang gumawa ng baseline law. Kinopya pati nya yung ang anti-trust law ko na hindi man lang humingi ng permiso sa akin e. Kinokopya lang nya yung mga bills na pina-file nya (Him? But I was the one who made the baseline law? He even copied my anti-trust law without getting my permission. He only copies other’s bills and files them as his own),” Enrile said.

“My God, who is this guy? Why don’t you look at the record? Ang gumawa ng baseline law na ini-sponsor ko, si Tito Mendoza, hindi Trillanes. Ibinasura yung kanyang baseline law (It was Tito Mendoza, who made the baseline law that I sponsored, not Trillanes. His baseline law has been rejected). This guy is presumptuous,” he said.

In fact, Enrile said Trillanes could not pass a bill in the Senate without the help of his colleagues.

The two used to be allies in the Senate but they parted ways when Trillanes accused the Senate leader of railroading the passage of a bill that seeks to divide the province of Camarines Sur.

In retaliation, Enrile accused Trillanes of protecting the interest of China during the back-channel negotiations.

Despite their differences, Enrile said he would not use his position to unseat Trillanes from his committee chairmanships, which he acquired while he was member of the majority bloc.

“Hindi ako ganun e, magtatanggal dahil may alitan. E di magtrabaho sya, tingnan natin kung makakapasa sya ng bill (I’m not kind that person who will unseat him because we have differences. But he should work, let’s see if he can pass a bill),” said the Senate leader.

“E kilala ko ang kakayahan niyang tao na yan e. Ano ba ang naipasa niyang bill kung hindi nakiusap para maayos, tinulungan syang maayos na mga palpak na bills na ini-sponsor nya, hindi nya masagot-sagot na mga questions,” he added.

Enrile also doubted Trillanes’ efforts to have him ousted from his post.

He also questioned Trillanes’ competence to launch an ouster move against a Senate President, warning the senator that he could be booted out.

“Ok lang yun. E kung gusto nilang ilagay si Trillanes na president ng Senado, salamat sa Diyos (That’s OK. If they want Trillanes to be Senate President, thank God),” Enrile said.

Trillanes reacts

In reaction, Trillanes said Enrile should file an ethics case against him if he has issues with the bills that he filed in the Senate.

“Just to educate Senator Enrile, in public policy making, there is no such thing as copying since best practices are supposed to be emulated. You don’t always reinvent the wheel,” Trillanes said when sought to comment on Enrile’s allegation.

“If Singapore managed to curb corruption in a certain way, it would be wise for us to imitate them,” he said.

In both houses of Congress, Trillanes said, legislators may re-file bills that would reflect advocacies and could solve socio-economic political problems.

It is common place, he said, to see several senators filing the exact same bill.

“If Senator Enrile doesn’t know this yet, I’m willing to conduct a seminar for him. Otherwise, he can file an ethics case against me and he’d expose his ignorance to the whole world,” Trillanes added.


What that Enrile-Trillanes tussle was all about AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo (The Philippine Star) Updated September 23, 2012 12:00 AMComments (0)

[photo of the writer William Esposo]

Immediately after the tussle in the Senate last Wednesday between Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile and Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, inquiries poured from friends — asking what that face off was all about.

It started as a debate on the Camarines Sur (Camsur) Bill but developed into an explosive expose in the area of national security and diplomacy. From a local topic, the session transformed into charges of “treason” and “leaking top secret documents” if Trillanes is to be believed.

The confusion is understandable. Many Filipinos don’t care to follow geopolitical developments.

To begin with, it’s hard to follow what our showbiz and scandal addicted media hardly cover.

Make no mistake about it — this Trillanes caper as a back channel to China in settling the conflicting claims in the South China Sea is serious business. This concerns the possible loss of Philippine territory and sovereignty.

For the enlightenment of those who were confused by last Wednesday’s Senate showdown, let me share my take on the whole thing:

1. Trillanes had serious issues to discuss on the Senate floor against the Camsur Bill. His mistake — and this is typical of his characteristic rashness — was to attack Enrile instead of arguing his points on the downside of the Camsur Bill.

Trillanes looked like a little boy riding on skates, with a wooden stick on his hand, taking on a tiger tank.

2. Enrile — and this is typical of the characteristic short-tempered Enrile — hit back at Trillanes on an area where he felt Trillanes was most vulnerable. Enrile simply denied accusations made by Trillanes that he was forcing the Camsur Bill on the pleadings of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA).

Trillanes might have been telling the truth but he had nothing to prove his assertions.

Sans any proof that Enrile is in communication with GMA and accommodating her so-called appeal to pass the Camsur Bill, Trillanes cannot press this issue any further. He might score points by banking on the lack of merits of the bill and why the Senate shouldn’t treat it as a priority piece of legislation.

Enrile’s shift to question the back channel negotiator role of Trillanes in the current row with China over Panatag Shoal was a masterful stroke. It diverted attention from the Camsur Bill. The shift to the China problem now pits the credibility of Trillanes with that of Enrile and former China Ambassador Sonia Brady.

Unfortunately for Trillanes, he is going up against Enrile at a time when the Senate President is enjoying an all-time high in approval ratings, a lot of it delivered by the impeachment trial of Renato C. Corona where Enrile is credited for steering it to a 20-3 vote for conviction.

Unfortunately for Trillanes, he also cannot hold a candle to Ambassador Sonia Brady — a well-esteemed diplomat and considered a China expert. Even in comparison with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Trillanes lacks the credibility and stature to be taken seriously.

In other words, just like his past misadventures at Oakwood and the Manila Pen, Trillanes went to war without a clear strategy for winning. Isn’t it amazing that a military officer like Trillanes didn’t apply the most basic lesson of Sun Tzu — that you shouldn’t start a war that you can’t win.

Neither the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) nor Ambassador Brady have denied authenticity of Enrile’s notes. Enrile confirmed with media that the Brady notes were acquired from the DFA during a meeting at the Palace. My Palace sources revealed that other cabinet secretaries felt offended during that meeting by the know-it-all mentality that Trillanes had displayed.

The reported Brady notes are very disturbing. Trillanes allegedly told Brady that Sec. de Rosario has been junked by the US and he went as far as saying that Sec. del Rosario committed treason. That’s a lot of venom for a Senator of the Republic to spew against our Foreign Secretary.

Per the Brady notes, as read by Enrile, our country is internationalizing the issue because of Sec. del Rosario. By this, Trillanes suggested to keep it bilateral, just between the Philippines and China.

This has to be taken as the personal opinion of Trillanes because the pronouncements and actions of the Philippines have been to involve other claimants and ASEAN.

Again, Trillanes’ lack of sober judgment comes under question. How can he defend a bilateral approach when we have nothing to bargain with — no real defense capability, a miniscule economy when compared to China’s and so forth?

Enrile cited Trillanes for saying to Brady that Filipinos don’t want the contested Panatag/Scarborough Shoal. Enrile underscored this by asking if Trillanes is a Filipino and if he has any tinge of nationalism at all.

How could Trillanes have asserted that? Filipino passion has been stirred when China encroached on Panatag Shoal. That passion represented national will to keep what’s rightfully Philippine territory.

If Trillanes cannot debunk what Enrile had read as notes of Ambassador Brady, this could mark the end of his public service career. This cannot be debunked by a mere denial by Trillanes but by an outright denial by Ambassador Brady and the DFA of its authenticity and context.

Last Wednesday, Trillanes was all over media, after Enrile had delivered his bomb, and he kept claiming that President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) asked him to perform the back channel service.

Spokesman Edwin Lacierda denied this last Wednesday and categorically stated that it was Trillanes who offered to mediate with China.

Trillanes not only shot his foot with a powerful handgun while the foot was stuck inside his mouth — he also became an embarrassment to the Aquino administration.

All over social media, even those who admire and support P-Noy had questioned the fitness of Trillanes to be entrusted with such a sensitive function, with such high stakes on the negotiating table.

This is the genuine concern of Filipinos who cannot shake off their impression of Trillanes as an unpredictable factor, a reckless adventurer and a loose cannon.

During World War II, the Americans posted warnings that loose lips sink ships. Over here, we have a loose cannon of a Senator who can singlehandedly sink our national interest in the South China Sea.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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