- Juan Ponce Enrile
name = Juan Ponce Enrile
office = Senator of the Philippines
June 30, 2004
office2 = Senator of the Philippines
June 30, 1995
June 30, 2001
office3 = Representative, 1st District of Cagayan
June 30, 1992
June 30, 1995
office4 = Senator of the Philippines
June 30, 1987
June 30, 1992
office5 = Regional Assemblymen, Region II
June 12, 1978
June 5, 1984
office6 = Secretary/Minister of National Defense
term_start6 = 1970
term_end6 = 1986
office7 = Secretary of Justice
December 17, 1968
February 7, 1970
office8 = Acting Secretary of Finance
term_start8 = 1966
term_end8 = 1968
birth_date = birth date and age|1924|02|14
birth_place = Gonzaga, Cagayan
* Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (2001- )
* "Independent" (1995-2001)
* Nacionalista (1965-1972; 1987-1995)
* KBL (1978-1986)
spouse = Cristina Castañer
occupation = Civil servant
religion = Roman Catholic
Juan Ponce Enrile (born
February 14, 1924) is a political figure in the Philippines. Originally a protege of late dictator Ferdinand Marcoshe later became a leader in the 1986 People Power Movement that drove President Ferdinand Marcosfrom power. He is a current senator of the Philippines.
Early life and career
Enrile was born in Gonzaga,
Cagayanto the daughter of a poor fisherman. He was born out of wedlock--his father was the already married powerful regional politician and renowned lawyer Alfonso Enrile. In 1949, he graduated cum laudewith a degree of Associate in Arts at the Ateneo de Manila University. He took a degree of Bachelor of Lawsand graduated cum laudeat the University of the PhilippinesCollege of Law. Upon graduation, he was elected to the prestigious Pi Gamma Muand Phi Kappa Phiinternational honor societies. In the 1953 bar examinations, he ended up at the 11th highest score with a 91.72% rating and a perfect score in Taxation Law. He became a scholar at the Harvard Law Schoolwhere he earned the degree Master of Lawswith specialized training in International Tax.
He taught law at the
Far Eastern Universityand practiced as a partner in his father’s law firm before taking responsibility for then-senator Marcos’s personal legal affairs in 1964. After Marcos was elected president in 1965, Enrile became part of his inner circle.
Marcos' inner circle
From 1966 to 1968, he was the undersecretary and Acting Secretary of the Department of Finance. He concurrently became acting Insurance Commissioner and Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs. From 1968 to 1970, he became Secretary of the Department of Justice. In 1970, he was appointed Secretary of the Department of National Defense.
In 1972, one of Marcos' reasons for the declaration of martial law was terrorism. He cited the bombing of Enrile's car. In 1973, Enrile's title became Defense Minister. As Defense Minister, he presided the Executive Committee of the National Security Council, making him one of the prime architects of Marcos' martial rule.
As a requirement for his position as part of the cabinet under the parliamentary system, he ran and won as Assemblyman and represented Cagayan Valley for the Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978.
People Power 'hero'
After opposition leader
Benigno Aquino, Jr.was assassinated in 1983, Enrile became fearful for his safety. As the Marcos dictatorship became increasingly unpopular, Enrile began aligning himself with dissident elements in the army, particularly the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM). Officers from this group, with Enrile’s support, moved to launch a coup d’état against Marcos in February 1986. Marcos was alerted to the plot, and the conspirators took refuge in two military camps. From there, Enrile and Fidel Ramos, the head of the Philippine Constabulary (now the Philippine National Police), rallied opponents against Marcos in a citizen revolt that became known as the People Power Movement. At the same time, Enrile revealed details of the public deception he had perpetuated while serving in Marcos’s government. This included being aware of fraudulent votes in the 1986 presidential election and faking an assassination attempt on his own life in 1972, which helped provide Marcos with the justification for declaring martial law. Enrile emerged as one of the perceived 'heroes' of the People Power Movement, although the reasons for his involvement with the movement were highly disputed. In the post-martial law era, rumors had spread that Ramos and Enrile were among the two think tanks in the assassination of "Ninoy" Aquino. It is alleged that in order not to be accused with the Marcoses, the two plotted a coup against the president.
Conflicts with Aquino
He served as minister of national defense under
Corazon Aquino, who replaced Marcos as president, but Enrile increasingly differed with Aquino. She forced Enrile to resign as defense minister in November 1986. In May 1987 he won election as one of two opposition members of the country’s 24-member Senate (the other one is Joseph Estrada). In August 1987, a coup against Aquino escalated and it brought to the destruction of the Armed Forces headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. He was detained in a house-type quarters in Camp Aguinaldo over suspicion of planning the coup with Gregorio Honasan. He was released days after due to lack of evidence.
In 1992, Enrile predicted that he may end up losing the senatorial election or winning but only serving three years in office. Under the transitory provisions of the 1987 constitution, the first 12 candidates who receive the highest votes wins a 6 year term, the next 12 would only serve 3 years. He ran instead as congressman. He won the election and represented the 1st District of
Cagayan. In 1995, he ran as independent for the second time as senator under the Lakas-Laban coalition. He won and held the position until 2001. While active in his position as senator, he ran as an independent in the 1998 elections for the position of President. He lost however to Vice President Joseph Estrada.
January 13, 2001he was one who voted against the opening of the second bank envelope. That vote led to the second EDSA People Power Revolution that ousted President Joseph Estrada. In May 2001 he was indicted by the military for the investigation of the unsuccessful siege of the Malacañang Palaceby pro-Estrada forces. He was released a day after. He ran for reelection as part of the " Puwersa ng Masa" coalition. Due to the issues that haunted him during the failed siege, he lost the election.
In 2004 elections, he made a comeback bid for the Senate under the
Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino(KNP). He was actively opposing the imposition of the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) on the consumer's electric bills. Due to his exposé on the PPA and the Supreme Court decision for a refund on electric bills, he received a positive response from the public and won the election. He became one of the senators who won the position in three non-consecutive terms.
He is affiliated with the
Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino(PMP). Technically he belongs to an opposition party, but at the Senate, he stands as independent and is part of the administration bloc. The minority bloc includes all of his party mates.
Johnny, as what he was often called, is married to Cristina Castañer, a Spanish national. They have two children: Juan, Jr. and Katrina.
Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr.is currently a congressman representing the 1st District of Cagayan. Katrina Ponce Enrileis the current CEO of Jaka Group, Enrile's company. The Jaka group owns the Philippine Match Company, the Philippines leading matchmaker. While Arturo Enrile(1940-1998) is a former secretary of Department of Transportation and Communicationsand he is the cousin of Johnny.
One of the architects of martial law
Political writer Alexander Remollino cites Juan Ponce Enrile as one of the architects of martial law. In a TV interview in 1991, Enrile claimed, "I am the author of martial law." He had boasted in a number of media interviews of having himself issued a number of arrests, search and seize orders during the Marcos regime against oppositionists, including political figures, members of the media, student and labor activists, and members of left-wing groups. Whether these orders were also for torture and execution is being argued by both his friends and enemies alike.
Political writer and analyst Alfred McCoy in his speech, "Dark Legacy: Human Rights Under the Marcos Regime" of
September 20 1999, said that because of the peculiar state of Philippine culture and politics, the country has been "turning cronies into statesmen, torturers into legislators, and killers into generals." [http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/54a/062.html]
August 21, 2007, (Aquino’s 24th death anniversary), Enrile stated that the case of the 14 soldiers incarcerated for 24 years now, due to the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.should be reviewed for clemency. Enrile paid for the legal services of the soldiers during their trial, and said the soldiers and their family have suffered enough. 15 soldiers of the Aviation Security Command were sentenced to double life imprisonment for the double murder of Aquino and his alleged lone communist gunman, Rolando Galman, and one of them had died. They were all acquitted on December 1985, by the Sandiganbayan' Manuel Pamaran, but the Sandiganbayan's Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr., (promoted to Supreme Court Justiceand incumbent 3 termer Judicial and Bar Councilregular member) convicted them on Sept. 28, 1990. [ [http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=83821 Inquirer.net, Enrile seeks clemency for soldiers in Aquino slay] ]
* [http://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/sen13th.htm Senate of the Philippines]
* [http://www.i-site.ph/Databases/Congress/13thSenate/SALS/enrile-SAL.html Juan Ponce Enrile's Assets and Liabilities]
* [http://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/former_senators/juan_ponce_enrile.htm Juan Ponce Enrile's Official Philippine Senate biography]
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