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Enrile ignores Miriam, plays Bejeweled

MANILA, Philippines - Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile smirked, shook his head, and played “Bejeweled” on his iPad Mini as he listened to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s tirades at yesterday’s Senate session.

Enrile has been playing the popular social media game to help keep his memory sharp. When at mid-speech Santiago glared at the 89-year-old senator, Enrile ignored her by turning to his iPad. 

He also laughed as Santiago unleashed her fury, calling him names such as “king of smuggling,” “mastermind of the pork barrel scam,” and “king of gambling.”

When he eventually took the podium after a few minutes’ break, Enrile said Santiago’s actuations merely confirmed his earlier declaration on the floor about her true mental state.

“”She only confirmed everything that I said in my privilege speech regarding her mental health, her propensity to make unfounded, baseless accusations, personal attacks, personal assaults,” he said.

He also criticized Santiago for her propensity to launch “personal attacks against innocent people without any proof or iota of evidence to back her up.”

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Enrile pointed out that he had asked Santiago about her previous consultation with a neuro-psychiatrist when the latter faced the Commission on Appointments as agrarian reform secretary in 1989.

At the same time, he defended himself from accusations on martial law. “I would just like to add that my record about martial law is open to the scrutiny of anybody, even historians can check.”

Enrile reiterated what he mentioned in his previous speech that he could walk throughout the country, in daytime or nighttime and still feel safe because he never oppressed anyone.

He also shielded his former chief of staff, lawyer Gigi Reyes, over accusations that she was his concubine, which was also subject of a Chicago Tribune article in 1998 wherein his wife, Cristina, complained of Enrile’s alleged philandering.

He also disputed insinuations that he mistreated his maids.

“I’m sad that she attacked some innocent people who are not here, especially my chief of staff who, I believe, is innocent of all the charges against her,” Enrile said.

Reyes has gone into hiding after she was included in the plunder complaint filed before the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged pork barrel fund misuse.

“Even my maids, even my security, I treat them like my buddies. I eat with them, I do not consider them as my maids or my security and that’s the way I treat even my people here in the Senate,” Enrile said.

He expressed belief that Santiago may have mistaken his kindness for something else.

Also in response to Santiago’s speech, Enrile explained that he had no personal interest in pushing for the creation of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, which he pointed out was created by law.

“I have no interest there except to develop the place to give jobs to the people where I came from, and this chamber is open to scrutinize the operations there, there’s nothing being hidden from anybody.

“The law was passed. It was the late Sen. Raul Roco I think that sponsored that bill.”

Meanwhile, former Sen. Panfilo Lacson refused to dignify Santiago’s accusations.

“I won’t waste my time on rubbish. I’m busy organizing and networking because of my impending appointment (by President Aquino) as rehab czar,” Lacson said in a text message to reporters.

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