By Vince Jacob Visaya and Javier Joe Ismael | The Manila Times
TUGUEGARAO CITY: Former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile has gone full circle. After he helped topple the president whom he served for most of his political life more than three decades ago, Enrile has returned to raise the hand of the son who is determined to follow in the footsteps of his father.
Enrile and his daughter, Katrina Ponce Enrile, forged an alliance with the Partido Federal Pilipinas (PFP) standard bearer Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during a meeting at the former senator's home in Metro Manila on Friday, according to a statement released by the Enriles on Saturday.
Enrile, 97, and his 61-year-old daughter, along with board member Perla Tumaliuan, met with Marcos during the endorsement of the younger Enrile, who is aligned with the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), as congressional representative of the first district of Cagayan.
The Enriles said they discussed with Marcos common aspirations and programs of the Lakas-CMD and PFP where Katrina Enrile is an adopted candidate. The PFP is also supporting Tumaliuan, the party's vice gubernatorial candidate and its provincial chairman.
Katrina Enrile had described herself as a "young political aspirant" despite tagging along with her father when she was a child in campaigns and political meetings "to learn the ropes of politics early."
Juan Ponce Enrile was the then Defense minister of the late president Ferdinand Marcos and one of the alleged architects of martial law. In 1986, Enrile and Fidel Ramos, a cousin and former head of the Philippine Constabulary, now the Philippine National Police, joined forces with the people in a "bloodless revolt" that ended Marcos' 20-year rule and install Corazon Aquino, widow of former senator Benigno Aquino Jr., as president.
Nuisance petition slammed
The PFP called the petition seeking to cancel or deny the Certificate of Candidacy of Marcos as nothing but a "nuisance" case.
Lawyer George Briones, PFP general counsel, viewed the petition as a desperate move by some groups trying to derail Marcos's candidacy for president in next year's elections.
Briones also referred to the petition as a mere "scrap of paper" since the protesting groups failed to attach a certified true copy of a final judgment showing Marcos was guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude.
He added that before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) allows the petition to proceed and ask the respondent [Marcos] to comment, the poll body should at least order the petitioners to provide an "actionable document".
Before the Comelec gives due course and requires the respondent to answer or comment on the petition, the poll body must, at the very least," order the petitioners to attach a certified true copy of this final judgment. For how can the respondent intelligently answer the petition, if the judgment upon which his alleged ineligibility is based is not even attached to it?" said Briones.
"Since the penalty or penalties you are looking for in the Decision of the Court of Appeals are not there, then Marcos Jr. is eligible to be a candidate for President and did not commit a crime involving moral turpitude. That CA decision has long been final. It is now immutable and cannot be changed to favor this nuisance suit," Briones said.
Meanwhile, Marcos's chief of staff, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, said the petition filed against Marcos was part of the alleged "dirty tactics" being used by his opponents.
"Kitang-kita ng sambayanang Pilipino na patuloy ang pang-aapi ng iba't-ibang grupong dilawan kay Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos (The Filipino people sees the continued bullying of the different 'yellow' groups against presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos)," Rodriguez said.
"Let's not play along the propaganda line of the yellow-wannabe political assassins," he added.