“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” –Abraham Lincoln
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has always been an enigma to me.
Ever since Enrile, as Defense Chief, staged that fake ambush attack that paved the way for the declaration of Martial Law by his benefactor, the strongman, Ferdinand Marcos, only to turn his back at him when his life was seemingly in danger for plotting a coup and joined the People Power crowd of Cory Aquino, who later prized him with the coveted position of Secretary of National Defense, only to abandon the head of state again, made me wonder who Enrile really is.
It has always been a feeling of distrust and admiration – now you like him, then, you don’t.
One of the last admirable deeds he performed was leading the senate, as an impeachment court, in ousting former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. I wrote highly of him and mentioned his handling of the court as his crowning glory (https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/enriles-fitting-career-ending/).
But ever since he has been having a verbal tussle with Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago my positive perception of him gradually diminished negatively.
It kept me thinking again on whether or not the real Enrile was a good, but misunderstood person, or Machiavellian and without scruples even to this day when he is nearing 90 years old.
The very controversial PDAF or pork barrel scam, said to be masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles, where Enrile, together with Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr, is facing plunder charges before the Ombudsman for allegedly conniving with Napoles in siphoning billions of pesos of taxpayers money to private pockets, including his, has convinced me now that Enrile is skillful and competent, but also a corrupt person.
I am not saying that Santiago is herself an exemplar of good virtues, but she is known for being outspoken in describing black as black, white as white and no shades of grays in between.
Now, what seems to confirm further Enrile’s alleged wickedness is the latest fulmination of Miriam against Enrile accusing the latter of being behind the armed conflict launched by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction of Nur Misuari in Zamboanga City.
It was reported that in an interview over the radio, Miriam said intelligence reports from her “own circle of sources” showed that around P40 million was spent to finance the rebel group’s attacks in Zamboanga.
She said she is certain that the supposed money came from the pockets of Enrile himself, who is being linked to the multi-billion pork barrel scam.
She claimed that Enrile did this to divert the attention of the public from his involvement in the anomaly.
What bothers me about all these is that Enrile has remained silent, which can be considered also as being out of his character since he normally answers back serious accusation like this, and especially if it has something to do with his integrity.
Enrile’s silence does not augur well with the people’s apprehensions in wanting to know more about the scandalous PDAF scam as well as wanting to ensure that Nur Misuari and his MNLF faction, or what remains of it, are apprehended for the atrocities they have wantonly committed in Zamboanga and for their rebellious acts against the government.
Does his silence means a show of his guilt or has it made him more of a coward in his ripe age?