Senators reject Enrile’s motion to leave post
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile on Monday resigned as senate president after more than 15 minutes of privileged speech denouncing the concerted effort to malign his reputation on the release of additional Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) last December.
“Of threats and coup rumors, we have had enough. I am way too old to be threatened by anyone, least of all by cowards and hypocrites. I therefore move that the position of Senate President be declared vacant,” Enrile said in the last part of his privilege speech.
With this Enrile asked the members present to be immediately put to a vote on his motion, which Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III quickly informed the body for the said motion.
“I ask that my motion be immediately put to a vote to pave the way for Madam Miriam Defensor Santiago, Senator Antonio Trillanes, any of the Cayetano siblings, or anyone else here who may share the same sentiments against my leadership and who may be secretly interested in this job the chance to be nominated and to seek the majority’s support to be elected as the new leader of the Senate,” Enrile said.
Upon the motion of Sotto, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada put the motion to a vote, where 11 senators responded against, 2 in favor and two abstentions.
Aside from Sotto and Estrada, those who voted against Enrile motion were Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Panfilo Lacson, Teofisto Guingona III, Franklin Drilon, Gregorio Honasan, Loren Legarda, Ralph Recto, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Lito Lapid.
Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III voted in favor of Enrile. Also, the chair decided to included Enrile in the number of senators voted in favor of the motion since he was the movant.
Only Senators Joker Arroyo and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., abstained in the vote.
Enrile said that members of the Upper Chamber should not be allowed by themselves to be further derailed and distracted. “Replacing me does not have to take so much effort, planning or plotting. This seems to be the pre-occupation of some people in this Chamber and a constant fodder for the rumor mill, and it is such a waste of time and energy.”
After the voting, Enrile excused himself from the plenary and went to his office. He do not want to be interviewed by anyone, he said.