Senator Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) achieved a moment of historical redemption for his role in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. A short one. He overreached by trying to rewrite history in his autobiography, which only underlined his complicity in the martial law regime.
Entanglement in the pork barrel scam (PBS) poses an even more devastating blow to his reputation. After weeks of silence, he denied involvement in the PBS at a press conference on Aug. 23 and, according to the media, declared his willingness to be investigated and prosecuted, “if only to clear my name.”
This posture contrasts favorably with the initial statements made by Sen. Bong Revilla, who dismissed the charges against him as politically inspired, and by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who disclaimed responsibility for monitoring the use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund. JPE has a longer, more prominent, political record to protect and, at 89, fewer opportunities to overcome any further damage to his image.
We should all understand and appreciate, therefore, his overriding concern for how he will be remembered: “If I were to choose something of value to leave to my family when I depart from this world, I would choose to leave honor and a good name, nothing else.” How can JPE achieve this admirable goal?