Enrile: Beware of bets with deep pockets

Enrile: Beware of bets with deep pockets

CEBU, Philippines – Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday warned Filipino voters to beware of candidates who are spending a fortune to attain an elective post.

Enrile issued this warning amid claims by presidential candidate Richard Gordon that a rival, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar, tried to bribe him to withdraw from the race. (Read: Gordon says Villar tried to buy him out of race)

“Alam mo eh hindi na ako nagtaka dahil ako rin eh ganun ang nangyari,” he told reporters.

Enrile, who is attending a Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino sortie in Samboan, Cebu, said Gordon told him about the incident in January at the height of the Senate Committee of the Whole’s report recommending the censure of Villar for unethical conduct in connection with the C-5 road project. He said he kept quiet about the incident until Gordon mentioned it in the media on Tuesday.

The Senate president earlier accused Villar of also trying to buy him off before the Senate took up last January the Committee of the Whole’s report recommending Villar’s censure for unethical conduct in connection with the C-5 road project. (Read: Enrile claims Villar tried to buy him off )

He said voters should think twice about voting for Villar who has been reported to have spent over P500 million on ads from October to December 2009 alone, landing him in 14th place in the country’s top 20 advertisers.

“You know it’s dangerous for people to spend too much money to attain an elective position. I cannot believe that a person who will spend almost a fortune or is not almost but a fortune which cannot be attained by so many Filipinos, would do it only for public service. There must be something, more interesting motivation behind it,” Enrile said.

Enrile also expressed doubts about Villar’s claim that he could help Filipinos rise from poverty since he himself came from the poor.

“Why not before? Before, he should have shown that before you are aspiring for the elective position. You should have shown your bent to really improve your kind, if you really came from the poor. I came from the poor. There’s no question about it if you go to my province. They will tell you how poor I was, poorer than an ipis (cockroach) but I never talked about it,” he said.

“I did what I could to alleviate the problems of my own kind,” he added.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.