Issue: Sen. Enrile’s Cashgifts to the senators
The house of senate was abuzz with rumour. Different issues were come out, and one of which is the unequal issuance of MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses). The said issue started when Senate Pres. Juan Ponce-Enrile gave Php. 1.6 million pesos to the 18 senators, while the remaining 5 senators were only given Php. 250,000, one of his colleagues described this thing as “unconscionable, unconstitutional and bribery". But is it right and just to described it as such? Sen. Enrile defended himself; he described his action as Cash gifts that were 'lambing' and not bribe. In his news interview, he said that those senators who think that he is bribing anyone with additional budgets in order to keep his post as senate president must have a very low opinion of their own colleagues. "I stand by the exercise of my sole discretion not to authorize any further releases of additional MOOE last December to the (four) senators....It is time to call a spade a spade," he said. Enrile confirmed that he gave all senators a P250,000 Christmas bonus each, which he sourced from the savings of his own office. “Regarding the P250,000 checks from my office which I gave to all the senators, that was a result of the “lambing”of some senators who I will no longer name, if I had some “pamasko” (Christmas gifts) for them. I decided to give to all, not only to those who were teasing me about “pamasko”, out of my own office’s savings and not from the Senate President’s discretionary funds. I was told that Sen. Santiago sent me back a check for the same amount of P250,000 with a letter from her Chief of Staff explaining that the check I gave was inadvertently deposited. So Sen. Santiago gave back my gift, as I gave back hers. Fair enough. I was elected as Senate President twice and I can look at anyone straight in the eye in saying that I did not buy this position. Not one single centavo of the people’s money is spent just to enable me...
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