Chismissing The Point

Earlier this week, Cristina Ponce Enrile, wife of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and former ambassador to the Vatican, corroborated rumors of an affair between Enrile and his former chief-of-staff Gigi Reyes, a revelation that is about as earth-shaking as it is in the public interest (i.e. not at all).

Here is a Rappler transcription of Mrs. Enrile’s supposed tell-all interview aired over GMA News TV:

“I had heard that she was already too long. He has had many girls before Gigi but they don’t last too long. With Gigi, it lasted long. Somebody told me that it’s not only this time but more years that you don’t know. That’s what got me…,” she said.

While marginally significant because Reyes has been accused, along with Enrile, of plunder for supposedly diverting money from the Priority Development Assistance Fund, there is nothing in the interview that moves the case against the former Senate president either forward or back.

Neither does it actually confirm that Enrile and Reyes had an affair. Enrile has denied it and Reyes, who has since resigned from his staff and has also left the country, has not even commented on it at all.

Actually, there isn’t even any allegation of an affair to confirm or deny, if you go by Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, who had a spat with Enrile over Reyes’s supposed inordinate influence in the Senate:

At a press briefing, Cayetano said: “I didn’t link him [Enrile] romantically or anything like that.  Lumabas na lang yun, it took a life on its own.”

This, after, saying on the Senate floor that he knew “a hundred truths” about Enrile and Reyes.  He clarifies later, in the typical Senate fashion of stringing words together and not saying anything of note, that “I meant ang dami kong alam sa kanya, ang dami kong alam kay Atty. Reyes, ang dami kong alam sa kanilang dalawa. (I meant I know many things about him, I know many things about Atty. Reyes. I know many things about both of them.)”

On matters that are actually of public interest, however, like maybe how Enrile screwed over the Filipino people (as opposed to who Enrile is screwing or not screwing), Mrs. Enrile says little more than what a supportive wife is expected to say.

Like, for example, whether Enrile is involved in smuggling in Port Irene in Cagayan province, a rumor that has existed longer than the one about the affair.

She said in an interview on GMA News’ current affairs program “Bawal ang Pasaway” that Enrile had “definitely nothing” to do with smuggling.

From the very beginning, he said—I was present at that meeting—he said I do not want to know that anybody tries to smuggle anything even a toothpick,” she said.

She offers no evidence except for saying she can “vouch” that Enrile isn’t into smuggling, which isn’t any sort of evidence at all.

In yet another transcription of the interview, this time on, Mrs. Enrile tells all about what she knows about the PDAF scam, which is apparently a lot less than what the Department of Justice does:

Still, the wife came to the husband’s defense in the face of allegations that he channeled huge portions of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus organizations put up by Janet Lim-Napoles.
“I don’t think that Johnny is that stupid,” she said. “I don’t think so, I don’t think so, I don’t believe that he’s involved at all.”

True, talk of Enrile’s affairs with at least 38 women can potentially hurt him, but only as much as being “ambushed / not ambushed / ambushed by mysterious terrorists /henchmen / gunmen” in those heady days before Martial Law.

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