Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday fired away at minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile, depicting him as the mastermind of the pork barrel scam, a smuggling king and a “psychopathic hypersexualized serial womanizer.”
In a rare appearance in the Senate, Santiago, who is suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, delivered a scalding speech in response to Enrile’s own broadside against her last week.
“This man, contrary to logic and common sense, hopes to evade criminal prosecution and public outrage over his plunder by resurrecting campaign dirt against me which are over 21 years old! Dream on, old man, a.k.a Tanda,” Santiago said, pointing to Enrile who sat impassively in front of her.
Santiago repeated her indictment of Enrile as the brains behind what she described as the biggest plunder case in Philippine history—the pork barrel scam.
Enrile was the biggest recipient of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)—P1.189 billion—from 2005 to 2013, Santiago said.
She said several persons close to Janet Lim-Napoles have testified that Enrile gave non-governmental organizations (NGOs) linked to the jailed businesswoman access to his pork barrel in 22 instances amounting to P641.65 million.
Despite of the mounting evidence, Santiago said, the minority leader has kept silent as a “cowering mouse” and came out with a speech containing “rehashed black propaganda.”
Santiago also resurrected the alleged relationship of Enrile and his former chief of staff, Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, saying it the reason why Enrile’s wife left him in 1998.
Enrile, according to Santiago, was behind the appointment of Reyes’ husband, Rodolfo “Inky” Reyes, to the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).
“At one point in his glittering career as Senate President, Enrile had the audacity to throw a birthday party at a five-star Makati hotel for his concubine, to which he was able to drag President [Benigno] Aquino [3rd],” Santiago said.
She accused Enrile of running a smuggling and gambling empire in CEZA, for which Enrile insisted on an appropriation in the 2014 budget of P80 million.
All throughout Santiago’s harangue, Enrile sat without saying a word, sometimes smiling and tinkering with his tablet.
Santiago reserved some of her vitriol for former Sen. Panfilo Lacson whom she described as “cunning and scheming.”
She said Lacson once gave her a dossier on then Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno whom Lacson wanted to replace.
In his privileged speech last week Enrile called Santiago “deranged” for coming out with baseless accusations against him during a recent Blue ribbon hearing on the PDAF scam.
Towards the end of her speech, Santiago challenged Enrile to a televised debate on the plunder charge against him, including his illegal and immoral use of the Senate President’s discretionary fund to distribute nearly P2 million as Christmas bonus last year to favored senators.
“No matter how devilish his power and no matter how fabulous his ill-gotten wealth, I refuse to be coerced by Enrile! Justice should be done, though the heavens fall. I am fortified by my faith,” she added.
After Santiago left the session hall, Enrile said his colleague’s performance confirmed what he thought of Santiago’s mental health.
“I thought she was going to answer them point by point but she did not because everything I said is covered by evidence,” he added.