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Business Mirror - No NP coup plot vs JPE, says Marcos

In The News
20 September 2012

By Butch Fernandez | Business Mirror

businessMirrorSEN. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a Nacionalista Party stalwart, on Thursday assured there is no NP-led ouster plot to topple Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who is locked in a bitter feud with neophyte NP Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV over a bill to split Camarines Sur and Trillanes’s role in backchannel talks with Chinese officials during the Scarborough Shoal standoff in April.

Marcos, who was implicated in text messages as a ringleader of the alleged NP plot against Enrile, said “it makes no sense.”

He said he just laughed when he saw the text messages and said whoever was sending them did not know how the Senate works and the relationships of the senators, the parties. “It is the handiwork of somebody who has nothing else to do.”

Marcos said that from what he gathered, it was likely that Trillanes got fed up with the majority and said he would join the minority. “That’s it. That’s all that happened. Did we [in the NP] move?”

Marcos said the five-member NP bloc led by Sen. Manuel Villar, which also includes Senate Minority Leader Alan Cayetano and his elder sister, Sen. Pia Cayetano, are not cooking up a leadership coup. “There is no conspiracy here. Senator Trillanes got angry and left the majority. That’s it.”

Marcos said the NP was not taking any action to pursue the matter. “It [NP] is not a part of a bigger move. It’s not. I know it is much more interesting if it was, but it’s not. I’m sorry,” he told reporters a day after Enrile and Trillanes clashed in plenary session, exchanging harsh words.

This developed as Senate President Enrile, in a separate interview, denied pushing the CamSur bill after getting a call from former President Gloria Arroyo.

Leaders of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), led by former President Joseph Estrada, also took up the cudgels for Enrile in questioning Trillanes’s key role in backchannel talks with China over the territorial conflict with the Philippines without informing the Senate.

“This guy [Trillanes] wants to get the attention of the Filipino people. He has not done anything in the Senate. So, just to ingratiate himself with President Aquino, he volunteered. The President did not even ask him to go to China, but he volunteered himself,” Estrada told Senate reporters in a phone interview.

He also cited a “disrespectful act” of Trillanes in calling Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario a traitor. “This guy is out of his mind huh. He has not done anything as a senator.”