Here's the thing: Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is not new to all the playful (and not so playful) banter that commonly percolates during senate hearings. On the other hand, Senator Antonio Trillanes has long been notorious for standing up against higher authority, given his participation in two coup attempts against the Arroyo government.
However, it still came as a shock to us that the principle-driven senator engaged in a war of words with the highly-respected veteran lawmaker, more so after seeing Trillanes walk out in the middle of Enrile's speech. But that walkout also gave us our new political drama to follow. So how did this whole shebang took place anyway? Grab yo' popcorns as we let you in on its history. Also, we give you three of the most recent wildest bagsakans in Philippine politics!
Note: The sound bites cited below were exclaimed at different timelines.
Antonio Trillanes vs. Juan Ponce Enrile
Last Wednesday, Septmber 19, Enrile read confidential notes about Trillanes. This was the Senate President's angery response to Trillanes, who had earlier accused him of being a lackey of the former president Arroyo (because he supports a bill to divide CamSur) and observing a non-democratic leadership style. Enrile's act drew Trillanes's ire, and led to the bagito senator's ultra-dramatic walk-out. Trillanes has since declared his intentions to start a movement to oust Enrile from the senate presidency.
Enrile: “In the Philippines, no one cares about Panatag Shoal,’ he told (them). Is that patriotic? Pilipino ba yan, makabayan ba yan? My God, what kind of a senator is this?”
Trillanes: “I got out of that caucus feeling trampled upon by a bully determined to get his way. My neophyte instincts were telling me then to just keep the peace and get out of his way. But then, the public servant in me just couldn’t let this thing pass.”
Enrile: “He told the Chinese that we cannot enforce our own coastal protection. That our fishermen are living on subsistence living. That they cannot go too far so they can give the (disputed) part of the waters to us.”
Trillanes: "Why would our Senate President be particularly interested, to the point of straining relations with members of the very Senate that he leads? Is it just to please (CamSur) Congressman Villafuerte? And why would he rush it to the point of dictating on a chief of staff of a fellow senator on what his principal should do and when he should schedule his committee hearings? Worse, our Senate President didn’t even cancel the session at the height of the habagat rains when all government agencies already did, just so this bill (CamSur's division) could be tackled."
Enrile: “My God, this guy is a fraud!”
Trillanes: “There remain only two possibilities: that our Senate President is deeply indebted to GMA; or that he is a GMA lackey. Either way, I have lost trust, faith, and confidence in Senator Enrile’s capability to lead the senate along the path consistent with the reform agenda that I espouse.”
Miriam Defensor Santiago vs. Vitaliano Aguirre III
During day 26 of former Chief Justice Renato Corona's impeachment trial earlier this year, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago condemned the unconventional ways of the prosecution in her usual shrill demeanor, prompting lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre III to cover his ears throughout the whole speech. Said behavior inadvertently irked the senator-judge, intensifying the hearing even further. Just look at it this way: people had to pull madam Miriam away from Aguirre even after the session. Blood boiled at its peak that day.
Santiago: “I charge this private prosecutor with contempt of this impeachment court! I have evidence right here taken by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and to say that nasaktan ang tenga ko should have been a cause for you to walk out of this impeachment court. But you cannot make those contemptuous gestures in front of a judge, and get away with it.”
Aguirre: “That’s true because my ears were already hurt. This happens every day. The fact is that this is the first time that I experienced in my 40 years of practice that a judge would lecture his lawyers. That’s not proper.”
Santiago: “I’m too old to take this thing personally. I think he has just a mental disorder. A lawyer will never, never aggravate the judge. Maybe he just wanted the prosecution to lose, or to publicize himself.”
Aguirre: “May I say something? If my actuation has hurt somebody, I really did it purposely because my ears were hurting from her shrill voice. My point here is that even if we’re mere lawyers, we also deserve respect. If you demand respect, respect also these lawyers because human dignity has no equal.”
Santiago: “Imagine if all the lawyers did that in front of the impeachment court, if all of the senator-judges took the (floor) to express his opinions…(if) you don’t agree with (us) then don’t listen to us, get out of the courtroom!”
Aguirre: “I was about to leave but …”
Santiago: “Granted! If that is in the form of motion, go ahead! You’re challenging me!”
Next: Arroyo vs. Ejercito! Moreno vs. Lim!