Enrile defends chief of staff Atty. Gigi Reyes

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Thursday defended his chief of staff, Atty. Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, who earlier tendered an irrevocable resignation after he and Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano traded personal barbs against each other Wednesday night at the session hall.

Also, Enrile denied insinuation that he had any “special relationship with her.

In an interview, Enrile, 89, confirmed the resignation of Reyes but refused to accept it.

He said he will ask Reyes to reconsider her decision because she is the one more knowledgeable over administrative affairs in his office.

“I will talk to her yet. I will convince her to stay because there are so many administrative matters that I can no longer handle and which she is more knowledgeable,” Enrile said in a phone interview.

Cayetano during his emotional privilege speech brought up what he described was Reyes’ “unusual clout” in settling the Senate’s financial affairs.

Cayetano and Enrile’s heated argument is an offshoot of their verbal clash over the alleged irregular distribution of additional Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) that Cayetano, along with his sister Pia Cayetano, and Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Miriam Defensor-Santiago is questioning.

The senate minority leader in his speech revealed how Reyes acts like a senator and is even allowed to join senators during an all –senators’ caucus despite the fact the meeting is supposed to be off-limits to other staff members of senators.

Cayetano also scored Reyes for signing documents in behalf of the Senate President. He also noted that Enrile and Reyes were close to former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and husband former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo

But Enrile defended Reyes saying all her actions had his approval.

“I approved all of those. That’s how I am even when I handled the (Bureau of Customs (BOC), Department of Finance (DOF), Insurance Commission, Department of Justice (DOJ), sa Department of National Defense,” Enrile said in a televised interview in ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda.”

Enrile said that he put confidence to people whom he trust to be his administrative officer to decide on particular details of that function

“Ako lang ang gumagawa ng desisyon—in-authorize ko lang sa kanila. Dine-delegate ko ang kapangyarihan sa kanila, (I am thte one who makes decisions—I just authorize it to them. I delegate the authority to them,” he explained.

But Enrile said there is no truth to speculations that he and Reyes have an affair.

“Pinalalabas nila na siya ay girlfriend ko? Kalokohan at paninira lang ‘yon. Sa edad kong ito, kahit tumihaya pa sa harap ko eh di ko na kaya,” Enrile said.

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