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Enrile confirms moves to oust him as Senate President


(Updated 4:22 p.m.) - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday confirmed rumors that there are moves to replace him as head of the chamber.
 
"I got the information from a reliable source but I will not discuss that," Enrile, a veteran politician, told reporters in an interview.
 
He did not elaborate on the issue but noted that "there are always people who are unhappy with the leadership of anybody."
 
In a radio interview earlier in the day, Enrile said he has known for a long time that there are senators who are unhappy with how he handles things in the Senate.

just last month, a senator whom he refused to identify directly said they have a plan to remove him.
 
The revelation came following rumors that members of the ruling Liberal Party were trying to snag the Senate leadership.
 
On Tuesday, however, LP vice chairman Sen. Franklin Drilon denied having any knowledge about the plan.

Another LP member, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, told GMA News Online in a text message that he was not aware of any impending shake-up in the Senate leadership.

'It's personal'
 
In a separate interview on Wednesday, Enrile said he was not referring to the LP, the party of President Benigno Aquino III.
 
"To be fair to the Liberal Party walang move [from them]. Pati 'yung Nacionalista Party, walang move. Personal 'yun, personal," he said, although he refused to name anyone.
 
Enrile and Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III had earlier been accused of delaying the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill in the Senate. They have both denied the accusation.
  
However, Enrile said the alleged discontent regarding his leadership was not related to his stand against the RH bill, which President Aquino is pushing as a priority legislation.
 
"To be fair dun sa mga sponsors ng RH wala [move from them]. Mga mature 'yun," he said.
 
The sponsors of the RH bill in the Senate are Senators Pia Cayetano and Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
 
"Siyempre hindi ko naman pwedeng magiging kasama lahat ng mga senador dito. Meron ding natutuwa, meron ding medyo nadidismaya sa aking pamamalakad. Talagang ganun," he said. 
 
"Meron lang mga tao siguro hindi nagugustuhan 'yung aking desisyon dahil hindi ko mapagbigyan ganun - dagdag ng budget, mga posisyon sa Senado," he said.
 
"Siyempre 'di ko naman mapapaligaya lahat ng tao kahit sinabi ko gusto ko happy ka. Mahirap natin magawa na happy lahat ng tao," he added.
 
Coup will fail?
 
But Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a separate interview, said he doubts whether the supposed Senate shake-up will push through.
 
"Ang Senate coup, parang military coup. Pag kumalat, nawala ang element of surprise, almost always, it will fail. Ngayong out in the open, alam niyo na, alam na ng lahat sa Senate, you ask any senator, lahat sila magde-deny. At lahat mahiyain na," he said.
 
Lacson also said he thinks the LP has a "sense of gratitude" to Enrile because he is supportive of the administration's legislative agenda.
 
"We’ve been through the impeachment trial, naipasa ang batas sa ARMM. Siguro naman they will be humane enough para hindi sila makipag-conspire sa isang plano para alisin ang Senate President," he said.
 
Enrile, however, maintained that he is willing to step down anytime.

"Bakit ko naman ipagkakait 'yung puwesto sa sinuman na gusto ng Senado," he said.
 
"Ako mismo pag nakuha nila 'yung mayorya dito iboboto ko 'yung gusto nilang iboto," he said.
 
"Okay lang, thank you. Thank you dahil napakabigat ng obligasyon ng SP... ‘di ka makapasyal," he said in jest.
 
"Siyempre I'm always expecting that.  Everyday I'm expecting to be relieved," Enrile added.

This is not the first time that there have been talks concerning a supposed Senate reorganization. The first reports came out in January last year, while the most recent one was rumored in July this year. In both instances, no Senate coup actually took place. — KBK/KG/YA, GMA News
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