Now that Senator Enrile has resigned, should the ‘Christmas bonus’ controversy die?

juan-ponce-enrileAfter months of speculating on a supposed “plot” to oust him, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has finally resigned as Senate President. We can only hope that the drama in the senate halls will go along with his resignation or at least simmer down a little bit. As Senator Antonio Trillanes correctly pointed out, Senator Enrile “is not beyond theatrics” and proof of this is in his speech outlining why he decided to resign. Here’s an excerpt:

“I refuse to lend my hard-earned name as a convenient refuge to those who cannot face the public and defend their own honor. I refuse to allow anybody, whether in or outside the halls of this Chamber, to just freely trample upon the name that my late father, Alfonso Ponce Enrile, had so kindly allowed me to carry with pride.”

He said he will not allow any senator, specifically a “self-confessed psychological case” and “the son of my former partner, the late Senator Renato L. Cayetano” trample on his name.

“I do not need nor intend to use the powers, perquisites and trappings of the Senate Presidency just to cling to it or to secure this position for myself when the 16th Congress opens in July…Let us all be men and women worthy of being called “Honorable Senators.” And let the chips fall where they may,” he said.

If that is not a classic case of “parinig” (a dig), then I don’t know what is. I mean, what was he thinking when he wrote that resignation speech? If he wanted to gain the public’s sympathy, it didn’t work. If he wanted the public to forget about the reason why he was resigning, which is the controversy regarding the “Christmas gifts” in the amount of P1.6 million he allegedly handed out to some Senators in December 2012, he failed big time. Enrile even blames his son’s loss in the Senate race to the controversy. That’s just pathetic. He only proved that his son was just riding on his popularity. And when this popularity waned, his son’s winnability went down with it.

It’s obvious to a lot of people that Enrile’s reason for resigning is because he wants the controversy to go away. If one reads between the lines of his speech, one will find that Enrile seemingly asserts that as long as he is in the top spot, someone who doesn’t want him to remain there will try to keep the “Christmas gift” controversy alive. And he doesn’t want that. He stressed that he doesn’t want anyone to “trample” upon his name. Well, the thing is, Enrile himself could be his worst enemy. The question does remain: Why did he feel compelled to give the Senators gifts if he “did not need nor intend to use the powers, perquisites and trappings of the Senate Presidency just to cling to it or to secure this position” for himself?

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

Senator Enrile claims that giving away Christmas bonuses using excess senate funds has been a practice long before he became the Senate President. That seems like a lame excuse, indeed. Continuing an old practice just because it has been done in the past doesn’t make it right. For someone who found former Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty of the charges against him, which included the non-disclosure of his assets and net worth, Enrile was quick to declare himself “innocent” of the allegations of improper use of public funds on the grounds of “I just inherited this practice”.

Well, to be fair to Enrile, the Senators who accepted the gifts should not be off the hook. After the controversy broke, I don’t think there was any news of them returning the cash bonuses. So Enrile is right in saying that each of his colleagues should explain directly to the people on these issues and to account for their own budgets. In other words, if he is going down, he is not going down on his own. And why doesn’t Senator Allan Cayetano give the senators who accepted the cash gifts the same grilling? Maybe that’s why Enrile thinks this is becoming personal. Who knows? These senators seem to be good at hiding their real motives.

If you were an Enrile supporter, you would be sad at how his career is ending. It seems like only yesterday that he was receiving praises for convicting Corona. Some even went as far as hailing him a “hero”. Now the tables have turned. After managing to evade countless bullets and dodge imprisonment for his alleged brushes with the law in the last three decades — which includes but is not limited to a string of coup d’etats — it is ironic that “The Original Teflon Guy of Philippine Politics” was brought down by authorizing a “Christmas bonus”.

8 Replies to “Now that Senator Enrile has resigned, should the ‘Christmas bonus’ controversy die?”

    1. if that was true he would get murdered on an airport runway! the old POS is just lucky he paid all of the right people off all these years.

      WHO’s the biggest SCUMBAG of them all?
      HINT:the vote is not even close.

  1. What honor is that Dude talking about. He has no honor. He is a Political Opportunist. He sets his sails, where the wind is blowing.
    Honor, good name, …My ASS…

  2. A coward hides behind lies, without the courage to face the truth, and flees when unmasked, without the honour to face the reality

    Juan ponce enrile – a self serving opporrtunist and illegal car importer. Good riddance.

  3. So, the OLD SCUMBAG quits, huh?

    I agree with this whole article EXCEPT the part “the senators seem to be good at hiding their real motives.”. NO NO NO,they are laughing in the peoples’ faces w/their acts of impunity.
    ANY PESO’s being returned? NO?

    They are all fucking THIEVES! Every single one of them, and even when they get caught RED-HANDED (RED-HANDED!) not a fucking thing happens. So big deal, the guy resigns. WHERE IS THE MONEY? HUH? Ya fuckin old scumbag, where is the money? Give it back you POS or how ’bout the end of a rope!

  4. Previous article about his son having a mistress and apparently the father having a relationship with his Chief of Staff and one of the news agencies reporting this was about to be sued but the news agency filed a lawsuit back and then the father drops the lawsuit, how is it possible for someone to come out unscathed, nose high in the air and proclaiming their honorable actions. Morals, integrity, honor, stop stealing and telling the truth should be hammered upon in schools on an every day basis, fixing the ills has to start at the bottom not top down.

  5. I think Enrile did not resign to put an end to the controversy. If this was the reason, he should have done so long ago, shortly after it broke out.

    I think what Enrile did was a simple theatric to make his exit appear “graceful”. He knew that he will be replaced when the Senate opens and chooses its president. It will be dishonourable and a disaster for him not get a fresh mandate considering a high approval rating during Corona impeachment.

    Kumbga, inunahan lang nya ang kanyang napipintong pagbagsak. Tutal dun din naman pupunta, might as well do it in a graceful way. By doing so, records for future use will show that Enrile “has resigned” and not “was replaced”.

    I like the old man. He may be a trapo at times. He had his share of controversies and ambiguous past. But who isn’t and doesn’t? Senate afterall is a bunch of sinners. At least the man is doing his home work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.