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Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Monday said he doesn't mind being unseated as the head of the chamber amid reports that he may be ousted due to his strong opposition against the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

"I’m at the disposal of my peers. As I’ve said, I have no Torrens title over the position of Senate President but at anytime, one like me could lose a seat if your peers do not agree with you and they have the numbers to unseat you," Enrile told reporters.

"I never imagined that I will be supported by my peers in all the issues and I also hope that they will respect my position as I will respect their position," he added.

Enrile made the statement after media reports quoted Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago as saying that there is a possibility that Enrile may be ousted for his position against the RH bill.

Santiago is a co-sponsor of the controversial bill, a measure also supported by MalacaƱang. On the other hand, Enrile is one of the bill's critics in the Senate.

Another pro-RH bill lawmaker, however, said the chances of Enrile being ousted over his position on the RH bill are slim.

"Wala naman question sa leadership niya. Maganda ang pag-handle niya ng Senado. Maski Senate employees tanungin natin, happy naman sila kay SP JPE. So ang RH bill di sapat na dahilan para matanggal ang SP tulad ni SP Enrile," said Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who favors the passage of the RH bill.
Lacson, who said he will not take part in any coup attempt against Enrile, added that he does not believe there are enough senators who want Enrile ousted.

"Walang numero. Ang coup umuugong lang pag may isang senador na nagsalita. Ang tanong, meron bang 13 boto? Sa tingin ko walang 13 na boto," said Lacson, noting that there had been several coup rumors against Enrile but none succeeded.

Lacson said he is confident that the RH bill has enough supporters in the Senate, adding that President Benigno Aquino III does not have to meet with senators to convince them to pass the measure.The principal sponsor of the RH bill, Sen. Pia Cayetano, said she is not aware of any plan to unseat Enrile. "Wala akong alam (na coup plot)," she said.

While she admitted that support from the Senate leadership is important in the passage of a measure, she said she would continue fighting for the passage of the RH bill with or without suport from the Senate leadership.

"Nakita niyo naman eh pag nagkakaisa kami sa isang batas, pasado. Pag cinertify ng Presidente, kahit na may resistance, papasa. So ganun din yun syempre, umaasa ako na may support ako ng Senate leadership pero with or without, tuloy din ang laban," she said.

Cayetano said she remains hopeful that the Senate would vote on the measure before the Christmas break.

The bill is currently in the period of amendments in the Senate, with Enrile, Senato Ralph Recto, and Senate Majority Leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto III still lined up to propose amendments to the measure. — RSJ/KBK, GMA News

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