Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Juan Ponce Enrile

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Succeeded by
Tito Sotto (Acting)

Juan Enrile

Succeeded by
Filipino politician

Succeeded by
Patricio T. Antonio

Preceded by
Succeeded by
Juan Ponce Enrile Enrile Only military can stop Corona impeachment trial

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2008–2010)Benigno S. Aquino III (2010–2013)

Ferdinand MarcosCorazon Aquino

Cristina Castaner (m. 1957)

Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr, Katrina Ponce Enrile

Jack Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Armida Siguion Reyna

February 14, 1924 (age 97), Gonzaga, Cagayan, Philippine Islands

Juan ponce enrile senador ng buong bayan 1987

Juan Ponce Enrile Sr. ( , born February 14, 1924) is a Filipino Politician and lawyer. He was a protégé of President Ferdinand Marcos, and served as Justice Secretary and then Defense Minister under the Marcos regime. He later became one of the leaders (along with General Fidel V. Ramos) of the 1986 People Power Revolution that drove Marcos from power and into exile. Enrile has continued to be a prominent politician since then; he was Senate President from November 2008 until his resignation on June 5, 2013.


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Early life and career

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Enrile was born in Gonzaga, Cagayan, to Petra Furagganan, the stepdaughter of a poor fisherman. He was born out of wedlock—his father was the already married powerful regional politician and renowned Lawyer Alfonso Ponce Enrile, and his second great-uncle was Mariano Ponce. As a young man, he was reunited with his father in the City of Manila and took his secondary education at the Saint James Academy in Malabon.

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He graduated cum laude in 1949 with an Associate of Arts degree at the Ateneo de Manila University. Afterward, he attended the University of the Philippines College of Law and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Laws degree. While in law school, he joined the Sigma Rho fraternity. Upon graduation, he was elected to the Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Kappa Phi international honor societies. He achieved the 11th highest score in the 1953 bar examinations with a 91.72% rating and a perfect score in mercantile law. As a scholar at the Harvard Law School, he earned a Master of Laws degree with specialized training in international tax law.

Juan Ponce Enrile httpswwwsenategovphsenatorsimagesenrilegif

He taught law at the Far Eastern University and practiced law in his father's law firm before taking responsibility for then Senator Ferdinand Marcos's personal legal affairs in 1964, especially during the latter's term as Senate President. After Marcos was elected president in 1965, Enrile became part of his inner circle. From 1966 to 1968, he was the Undersecretary and sometime 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 was the Secretary of Justice.

Secretary of National Defense

Juan Ponce Enrile Juan Ponce Enrile Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Enrile, like Marcos, comes from the northern Philippines, a region that had become Marcos’ recruiting ground for key political and military leaders during his time. Enrile was with Marcos since his election in 1965. His campaign efforts were rewarded with an appointment as chief of the Customs Bureau and the government’s insurance commission.

The Department of National Defense would expand its power when Marcos assumed the presidency in 1965. Marcos appointed Enrile as his Secretary of National Defense on February 9, 1970, a position Enrile held until August 27, 1971, when he resigned to run unsuccessfully for the senate. He was re-appointed Defense Secretary by Marcos on January 4, 1972. As Defense Secretary, he was the highest ranked commissioned officer of a nation’s Armed Forces.

From the beginning of Marcos’ period in government, Enrile was one of the few that the former president trusted, and was seen by many as Marcos’ protégé. For almost the entire period of Martial Law, Enrile served officially as the martial law administrator as he was in charge of all the armed forces’ services during that time. Furthermore, as early as Marcos’ planning and preparation for the declaration of martial law, Enrile was involved. In his memoir, Enrile recalls Marcos’ careful preparations. He narrates that as early as December 1969, Marcos instructed him to study the 1935 Constitution, specifically the powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief. Marcos had already foreseen a rise in violence and chaos in the country and wanted to know the exact extent of his powers.

At the end of January of the following year, Enrile, with help from Efren Plana and Minerva Gonzaga Reyes, submitted the only copy of the report regarding the detailed nature and extent of Martial Law to Marcos. Soon after, Marcos allegedly ordered Enrile to prepare all documents necessary for the implementation of Martial Law in the Philippines. In August 1972, Marcos once again met with Enrile and a few of his other most trusted commanders to discuss tentative dates for the declaration. By September 22, 1972, Marcos announced that he had placed the entire country under Martial Law as of 9 p.m. via proclamation 1081 which, he claimed, he had signed on September 21, 1972.

One of Marcos’ justifications for the declaration of martial law that year was terrorism. He cited the alleged ambush attack on Enrile’s car on September 22, 1972 as pretext for martial law. At the time, many people doubted that the attack actually took place. Marcos, in his diary entry for September 1972, wrote that Enrile had been ambushed near Wack-Wack that night. He says “it was a good thing he was riding in his security car as a protective measure… This makes the martial law proclamation a necessity.” On the contrary, Oscar Lopez, a resident of Wack-Wack who lived along the street of the alleged ambush, stated that he had heard a lot of shooting on the night of the incident. When he went out to see what was happening, he saw only an empty car riddled with bullets. Lopez’ driver, who had happened to witness the incident, stated that “there was a car that came and stopped beside a Meralco post. Some people exited the car, and another car came by to shoot at the car, to make it look like it was ambushed.”

The doubts surrounding the alleged ambush were further confirmed in a press conference on February 23, 1986 when then Lieutenant General Fidel Ramos and Enrile admitted that the attack was staged in order to justify the declaration of martial law. Both radio and television media covered this and millions of Filipinos witnessed the said confession. Furthermore, in several interviews, Enrile was reported as indeed confirming that the attempted assassination was faked in order to justify the declaration of Martial Law. Conflicting accounts arise in his book, “Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir”. In the said book, Enrile accuses his political opponents of spreading rumors of the ambush being staged despite having already admitted several times that the attempted assassination was indeed fake.

Despite later controversy, at the time, Enrile remained one of Marcos’ most loyal allies. In 1973, under the new modified parliamentary system then in place under the country's new constitution under Martial Law, Enrile's title became Defense Minister. Enrile focused his efforts on a broad review of defense policies and on dealing with pressing social unrest. The abolition of civilian institutions such as Congress, the weakening of the judiciary, and the outlawing of political parties, left the military as the only other instrumentality of the national government outside of the Presidency.

On November 28, 1978, Marcos issued the Letter of Instruction no. 776, which stated that “No changes of assignment of senior officers including provincial commanders, brigade commanders, division commanders, and special unit commanders shall be made without clearance from the president.” By the 1980s, Marcos began to bypass Enrile’s authority. He clipped the powers of the Minister of National Defense and the Chief of Staff over the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

After opposition leader Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. was assassinated on August 21, 1983, Enrile started to break away from the increasingly unpopular Marcos dictatorship. He began aligning himself with dissident elements in the army, particularly the Reform the Armed Forces Movement - which was then headed by his Aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Colonel Gregorio Honasan. On February 15, 1986, Aquino’s wife, Cory Aquino, gained mass support through her oath taking in protest of Marcos being announced president. This then led to many leaders joining the revolution and fight against Marcos.

Officers from the group, with Enrile's support, launched a coup d'état against Marcos in February 1986. Marcos was alerted to the plot by Ver, and the conspirators took refuge in two military camps. From there, Enrile and then Lieutenant General Fidel Ramos, the head of the defunct Philippine Constabulary (it had been integrated with the INP to form the Philippine National Police) and concurrently vice-chief of staff of the armed forces, rallied opponents against Marcos in a citizens' revolt that became known as the People Power Revolution. They called on the people to gather in Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) to support on February 22. The next three days, they continued their rally in EDSA now containing two million people in support. The growing number encouraged many more leaders to support the movement against Marcos. Enrile stated, "It was funny.… We in the defense and military organizations who should be protecting the people were being protected by them."

Enrile then served as the Secretary of National Defense under Corazon Aquino, who had replaced Marcos as president, but he increasingly differed with Aquino, specifically on the administration's handling of insurgent leftist opposition. Aquino sought to make peace with the communist party of the Philippines through the use and promotions of ceasefires during which peace talks were to be held between the government and the leftist opposition. Because of such tactics, Enrile was not the only person dissatisfied with Aquino administration. Many of the younger officers in the military who had been identified as members of Reformed Armed Forces Movement and Marcos Loyalists sought to oust Aquino from the presidency with the many coups that were plotted from 1986 to 1990. The earliest and most prominent one was the "God Save the Queen" plot that was to supposedly be executed on the November 11, 1986. The investigation of the coup done by the Fact Finding Commission found that Enrile and some members of the RAM as the primary instigators of the coup. After revealing the fruits of the investigation findings, Aquino forced Enrile to resign as Defense Secretary in November 1986 as she had lost confidence in him. Enrile was then replaced with Rafael Ileto.

First Senate term

In May 1987 Enrile won a seat in the 1987 election as one of two opposition members in the country's 24-member Senate (the other being Joseph Estrada), finishing 24th. He was unable to be proclaimed until August, when the electoral protest filed by Augusto Sanchez was dismissed. He formally assumed office on August 15, 1987. In the same month, an attempted coup against Aquino escalated and led to the destruction of the Armed Forces General Headquarters (AFPGHQ) in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. He was detained in Camp Aguinaldo over suspicion of planning the coup with Lt. Col. Gregorio Honasan, but was released days later for lack of evidence.

Member of the House of Representatives

In 1992, before his term in the Senate had ended, Enrile predicted that he might lose the senatorial election or win, but only serve three years in office. Under the transitory provisions of the 1987 Constitution, the 12 candidates who receive the greatest number of votes serve a six-year term, the next 12 only three years. He ran instead for the House of Representatives of the Philippines. He was elected and represented the First District of Cagayan.

Second to fourth senate terms

In 1995 Enrile ran in the senatorial race as an independent candidate for senator and was also a guest candidate under the Lakas–Laban coalition. He won as senator and held the position until 2001. During his term as senator, he ran as an independent candidate in the 1998 election for the position of President. He lost to then Vice President Joseph Estrada.

On January 13, 2001 he was one of those who voted against the opening of the second bank envelope. That vote led to the second EDSA People Power Revolution that eventually ousted President Estrada. From April 30 to May 1, 2001, together with Miriam Defensor Santiago, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III, he led the EDSA III protests in support of Joseph Estrada. May 1, 2001, the protesters stormed Malacañang Palace. In May 2001 he was indicted by the military for the investigation of the unsuccessful siege of the Malacañan Palace by pro-Estrada forces. He was released a day later. He ran for reelection as part of the Puwersa ng Masa coalition. Due to the issues that haunted him over the failed siege, he lost the election.

In the 2004 election, he made a comeback bid for the Senate under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) banner. He actively opposed the imposition of the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) on consumers' electric bills. Due to his exposé of the PPA and the Supreme Court decision in favour of a refund on electric bills, the public responded positively and elected him. He thus became a senator in three non-consecutive terms. He was reelected as senator in the 2010 elections. As of 2013, he is the oldest senator of the 15th Congress of the Philippines. Enrile is affiliated with the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). Technically he belongs to an opposition party, but in the Senate, he stands as an independent and is part of the administration bloc. The minority bloc includes all of his party's members.


On November 17, 2008, Senate President Manuel Villar resigned due to lack of support, and Enrile succeeded him the same day. Enrile was nominated by Panfilo Lacson; 14 senators supported the nomination and five abstained. Enrile accepted the position, saying that "To lead the Senate with its great minds, strong advocacies, varying and independent political beliefs and leanings, is not an easy task. But it is precisely this variance in points of view and the battle of great ideas that provide the dynamism we need to craft legislation that takes into account and balances the competing interests involved – with the end in view of serving the greater good of the people to whom we owe our mandate."


Under his leadership, the Senate passed vital pieces of legislation such as the CARP Extension, Anti-Torture Act, Expanded Senior Citizens Act, Anti-Child Pornography Act, National Heritage Conservation Act, Real Estate Investment Act, among many others. Institutional reforms were also implemented within the Senate to improve the daily conduct of business as well the welfare of its officers and employees.

Maguindanao martial law

The Senate also collaborated with the House of Representatives on two crucial issues which are now considered historical milestones. In December 2009, it used Proclamation No. 1959 of the previous administration, declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the province of Maguindanao, while in May 2010, Congress convened to constitute itself as the national board to canvass the votes for president and vice president, and proclaim the winners.

Re-election as Senate President

Enrile was re-elected to a fourth term in the 2010 Senate election. On July 26, 2010, he was re-elected President of the Senate. Enrile committed himself to "discharge my duties and responsibilities with honor, with total devotion to our institution, and with fairness to all members. No partisan consideration will blur or color the treatment of any member of the Senate. We are all Senators elected by the people to serve them with dedication to their interest and well-being and devotion to our responsibilities." Furthermore, in his acceptance speech, he enjoined his colleagues to "uphold the independence and integrity of this Senate, without abandoning our duty to cooperate with the other departments of the government to achieve what is good for our people."

Corona's impeachment, various feuds, and controversies

In early 2012 Enrile was the presiding officer of the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona. He was one of the 20 Senators voting guilty for the impeachment. In September 2012 he started a feud with Antonio Trillanes IV when he asked Trillanes why he secretly visited Beijing to talk about the Philippines and the Spratly Islands dispute on Spratlys and the Scarborough Shoal. Trillanes said his visit in China was authorized by the Palace. He also alleged that Enrile was being pushed by former Pres. Gloria Arroyo to pass a bill splitting the province of Camarines Sur into two but Enrile denied the allegation.

In late 2012, Enrile also started a feud with Miriam Defensor Santiago when Santiago authored the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 with Pia Cayetano, which he opposed. In January 2013, Santiago exposed that Enrile allegedly gave PhP 1.6 million each to his fellow Senators, except for her, Pia Cayetano, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Trillanes, who were reportedly to have been only given PhP 250 thousand each. He admitted giving the said amount to the senators, saying it was part of the balance of the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) funds allowed per senator. On January 21, 2013, because of the controversies involving him, he attempted to vacate his position as Senate President but his motion was rejected.


Amid accusations against him, including the alleged distribution of MOOE funds to senators, Enrile stepped down as Senate President after his privilege speech on June 5, 2013.

Enrile Cash Gift

In January 2013, while sitting as the Senate President. Enrile was accused of using Senate funds called MOOE as Christmas gifts to members of the senate who do not oppose him. This led to his resignation as Senate president without sufficiently answering the controversy.

Pork barrel scam

In September 2013 Enrile was again involved in misappropriated funds, this time with regard to the PDAF or what is commonly called pork barrel fund. Twenty billion pesos worth of Priority Development Fund was illegally channeled through various bogus NGOs of Janet Napoles which most of it being used by the Senator.

Enrile, along with fellow senators Bong Revilla, and Jinggoy Estrada, were indicted for plunder and for the violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the Sandiganbayan on 6 June 2014 in connection to the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam. Alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and Enrile’s former chief of staff Gigi Reyes were also charged. Enrile allegedly received Php172 million in kickbacks from public funds. He was detained on 3 July 2014 and suspended from his Senate post on 1 September 2014 for these charges, after his motions to post bail to lift the suspension order were denied

Personal life

Enrile, or "Manong Johnny" as he is often called (manong is an Ilocano term of endearment for an older brother), is married to Cristina Castañer, a Spaniard, who has served as the Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See. They have two children: Juan Ponce Enrile, hijo and Katrina Ponce Enrile y Castañer. Juan, Jr. or Jack is currently congressman for the 1st District of Cagayan and running for a Senate seat under UNA, while Katrina is currently CEO of Enrile's company Jaka Group, which owns the Philippine Match Company. Enrile has a half-sister, Armida Siguion-Reyna, who is a singer as well as a theatre and film actress.

Enrile's rumored affair with his former long-time employee and chief of staff Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, 38 years his junior, came out after reports that Enrile’s wife, Cristina, walked out on him in January 1998 after charging him with adultery. The news made both local and international headlines. Gigi Reyes was regarded as “the door, if not the bridge” to Enrile, referring to the extent of closeness between the two. Enrile’s special fondness for Reyes was again called out by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, after Reyes accused Cayetano in a media interview of hypocrisy for supposedly receiving a “cash gift” from Enrile. The incident led to Reyes’s resignation from Enrile’s office, which Reyes said was also for her criticising on how Enrile responded to the issue of fund misuse. Enrile insisted the resignation was because of rumors of their illicit relationship. Reyes’s name was once again linked to Enrile’s name for signing documents that facilitated the release of Enrile’s PDAF to fake non-governmental organizations (NGOs) linked to Janet Lim Napoles, the woman who is said to be behind the PDAF scam.

Seeking clemency for those convicted of the Aquino assassination

On August 21, 2007, the 24th anniversary of Senator Aquino's death, Enrile stated that the case of the 14 soldiers incarcerated for 24 years for his assassination should be reviewed for clemency. Enrile paid for the legal services of the soldiers during their trial, and said the soldiers and their families had suffered enough. Fifteen soldiers of the Aviation Security Command had been sentenced to double life imprisonment for the double murder of Aquino and his alleged lone communist gunman, Rolando Galman, and one of them had since died. They were all acquitted in December 1985 by the Sandiganbayan's Manuel Pamaran, but when the entire proceedings were invalidated by the Supreme Court and the case retried, the Sandiganbayan's Regino C. Hermosisima, Jr. (promoted to Supreme Court Justice) convicted them again on September 28, 1990.


Juan Ponce Enrile Wikipedia