TagJuan Ponce Enrile

Enrile’s ‘friendly fire’

Enrile’s ‘friendly fire’” was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Feb. 6, 2016 (Pilipino version: “Ang ‘friendly fire’ ni Enrile“)

People expected a bombshell blast from Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile at the Jan. 27 Senate hearing on the Mamasapano incident, the probe of which was reopened at his request to present his new information proving President Benigno Aquino III’s culpability for the deaths of the SAF 44. Mainstream media was not impressed; the Inquirer pronounced the bombshell a “dud.”

Enrile presented no new information not already accessed by one or any of the nine bodies that independently investigated the incident. Neither did he raise new questions or accusations that had not earlier surfaced in congressional hearings or in the media.

No one has disputed that P-Noy knew and authorized Oplan Exodus, the last of a series of operations in a decade-long effort to capture Marwan. Or that he permitted the continued involvement of suspended Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima in the planning and implementation of Exodus, the basis of the criticism that P-Noy broke the chain of command.

P-Noy himself had repeatedly acknowledged that he bore the ultimate responsibility for the Exodus failure. But Enrile wanted to prove that P-Noy directly caused the Exodus disaster and then compounded his guilt by denying assistance to the beleaguered Special Action Force commandos.

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Edilberto de Jesus
Edilberto de Jesus is a former Secretary of Education. He is also professor emeritus at the Asian Institute of Management.

The Enrile legacy?

The Enrile legacy?” was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Sept. 6, 2013 (Pilipino version: “Ang pamana ni Senador Juan Ponce Enrile?“)

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?

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Edilberto de Jesus
Edilberto de Jesus is a former Secretary of Education. He is also professor emeritus at the Asian Institute of Management.

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