Enrile tags Angara as Villar emissary to Gordon
By Christine Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The emissary sent by Sen. Manuel Villar to convince Sen. Richard Gordon to withdraw from the presidential race in exchange for certain favors is Sen. Edgardo Angara.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile “surmised” this Wednesday, and said Gordon had confirmed to him the offer made. He said Gordon was “furious and insulted by the temerity and gall of Villar to think that he can be intimidated by money, much less lured by an offer for a position of power.”
On Tuesday, Gordon said in a live radio interview that an emissary of Villar’s had offered him a Cabinet post as well as reimbursement of his campaign expenses if he would pull out of the presidential race and withdraw his signature from a Senate committee report censuring Villar in connection with the C-5 road extension project.
Enrile had earlier claimed that Villar was behind a plot to oust him as Senate president because of the committee report, and that Villar had planned to have Angara replace him.
On Wednesday, Enrile said: “My recollection is that when I filed the report of the committee of the whole on the ethics complaint involving the C-5 controversy, having been signed by 11 senators with myself as the author acting as chairman, my chief of staff relayed to me by phone that another senator, whom Villar was supporting to replace me as Senate president, had approached Senator Gordon to join the plot to oust me and install a new leadership in the Senate.
“As things developed and the co-perpetrators of the coup plot against me began to show their real colors, I surmised that the emissary to Senator Gordon and Senator Villar’s nominee could be no other than Sen. Edgardo Angara.”
Enrile said Angara had “feigned ignorance” of the plot and “professed loyalty” to him.
“But I know first-hand from the senators themselves who signed the resolution to remove me that he was Villar’s nominee as my replacement,” Enrile said.
Angara, however, said Enrile’s statement was “an absolute lie.”
“That’s false and untruthful,” he said on the phone. “I never talked to Senator Gordon on any of those matters.”
As for Enrile’s claim that he was to have been installed as Senate president by Villar’s camp, Angara wondered why he was being blamed for Villar’s moves.
“That’s [Villar’s] thinking. That’s his action. It’s nonsensical to attribute to me [Villar’s] statements,” Angara said.
Villar has denied sending an emissary to Gordon.
Over radio dzMM Wednesday, Gordon himself denied that the emissary was a fellow senator.
But he continued to refuse to name the emissary, and said Villar should face him so he could do so.
He challenged Villar to take a lie detector test with him to see who between them was lying.
Gordon also said the emissary instructed him “not to tell Enrile that I talked to you.” With a report from Cathy C. Yamsuan