I have never voted for Enrile in the past, and I am not about to change that now. IMHO, this man represents many ill things in our society.
Enrile, to many of those old enough to remember, is the “genius” who crafted Martial Law as the means to perpetuate a dictator in office. He may have been the perceived EVIL ONE behind the #1, but he was a most feared #2 then. Yes, Virginia, #2, way before Imelda.
Many attest that his place in the hierarchy came with a lot of privileges. I am not surprised. His alleged wealth and thriving businesses up North speak for themselves. Yet, he turned his back on his benefactor allegedly for fear for his life. Would history have taken a different course then if his life was not in danger? Enrile in 1986 was running away to preserve himself, to save his life. There was nothing heroic about that. It was pure luck that his departure coincided with the build up in public outrage against the dictatorship, helped along by then Cardinal Sin’s call for the people to save Enrile and Ramos by barricading themselves in EDSA against tanks and soldiers armed to their teeth. Funny how I still remember listening to him confess how he faked his own ambush and how he helped Marcos cheat in the snap elections. When it was all over, this creep was even hailed as a hero, along with a few other impostors. Lucky bastard, you’d say. Yes, say that again. And again. People Power saved his life. For that, he owed his life to many of us.
But Manong Johnny soon forgot he owed us his life. He did not waste much time as he transformed back to his former evil self. Uncomfortable with the less power accorded him in the next Administration, he was cited for rebellion by no less than Cory’s government. Many believed he was the power and the financier behind the many coups which plagued the Administration of Noynoy’s mother. If so, you’ve got to hand it to Enrile for his persistence in trying to boot Cory out of her throne. Not once. Not twice, not thrice. Many many times.
The next 3 administrations after that, Enrile reinvented himself and managed to stay politically relevant. Sure, the man is a genius of a lawyer and politician. Astute even. Every election time, he found a chance to catapult himself to the limelight and endear himself to gullible voters. He rode on issues which appealed to many — from the power bills to cellphone charges. And of late, his flip-flop over the C5 controversy hounding Presidentiable Villar. Amazing how he can very clearly state that the trumpeted charges were twisted accusations and without bases , and then later joining the chorus of the other presidentiables and their allies to crucify Presidentiable Villar. When he sensed impending failure to pin the man , he led the pack in reinventing charges from the original case of “double insertions”, to “realignment”, to “overprice” to “conflict of interest.” Having said that, this sneaky Enrile lost no opportunity to also accuse Villar of trying to bribe him at the height of the investigation of the C5 case. Mamma Mia. The bribing attempt allegedly occurred 5 months before, and this sneak Enrile suddenly remembered! There was a lot of grandstanding, and only Jamby Madrigal, a disillusioned Presidential wannabe , may have stolen more airtime from Manong Johnny. Between the two of them, one is tempted to shut off the tv or the radio than suffer the rhetorics and theatrics. Not to count all that cussing and unparliamentary language and behavior.
I will never trust a man like Enrile. He wasn’t trustworthy then. And he isn’t now. Even in old age, he has not worn out his knack for doing anything to advance his own personal and political interests. He may have succeeded in masking his evil intentions with his sheer genius, his eloquence, and functional relationships with the powers that be, but I am not fooled. I hope neither are you. We saved his life once. Let us save his dignity this time around. It’s time to retire this old dog.