Just few hours ago, Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile announced his resignation as the President of the Senate. I wasn’t surprised with his announcement as the ruling party of President Benigno Aquino III has gained an upper hand in the upper house during the recently-concluded senatorial elections last 13 May where 9 senators from the ruling party have won over only three from Enrile’s United Nationalist Alliance. His own son, Jackie, never won the election because of allegations that he killed a certain a certain Ernest Lucas had unveiled during the campaign season that doomed his own candidacy. On Senator Enrile on his part, he faced several criticisms on what he did of giving “cash gifts” to some senators including Miriam Defensor Santiago during Christmas season. He also gained several ire from his younger colleagues like Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV where he unveiled the former’s father debt obligations when he was alive while for the latter, he exposed his “connivance” with the Chinese government regarding the Spratly and Scarborough issue which of course, Trillanes was angry on Enrile’s revelations.
During his resignation speech as the Senate president, he expressed on regrets on what he did during his 5-year Senate presidency which I think a typical political warrior should say. He lambasted of course, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV. He defended his actions like giving cash-gifts to some senators. He defended his son, Jack from accusations that doomed his candidacy like killing certain Ernest Lucas Jr. and Alfie Anido during Martial Law days. He also vowed to clean-up his name for the remaining three years as a senator.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said that Enrile should explain his issues on Senate funds. Senator Antonio Trillanes said that Enrile’s resignation speech as the Senate president was just a “Drama for the media” to gain sympathy for him.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada as the Senate president Pro Tempore, was designated as the Senate president for the meanwhile.
Senator Franklin Drilon, a close ally of President Benigno Aquino III, was rumored to take over the Senate presidency by the start of the 16th Congress session in July.
I think his resignation was honorable way to give-in to the newly elected senators and of course, to the strengthening PNoy coalition in the Senate. His resignation has signaled the beginning of the end of long and colorful political career of Juan Ponce Enrile from being a Defense minister during the Martial Law years of Ferdinand Marcos, being one of the protagonists of EDSA I, and up to the present senatorial career. His resignation should be a reminder that we cannot last forever in a certain position in the government and have to give way for younger and yet deserving ones to lead our government. I would like to say, good hindrance to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.