TACLOBAN CITY—An underground rebel group that waged an armed struggle against the Marcos dictatorship slammed what it said was a delusional image of martial law that Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile tried to paint in his now controversial memoir.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which continues to wage a protracted war against the government, said the people should reject Enrile’s account of martial law, which the dead dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared 40 years ago to keep a solid grip on power.
“Enrile’s revision of history is an extremely execrable act meant to delude the Filipino people, especially the present generation of young Filipinos, who have been fed with false or incomplete information about martial law,” said the communist group in a statement sent by e-mail last Oct. 8 and carrying the pseudonym Roy Santos, CPP spokesperson in Eastern Visayas.
In his memoir, in the form of a book recently launched in a party attended by President Aquino and former first lady Imelda Marcos, the Senate president portrayed himself as a critic of Imelda, as an outsider in Malacañang under the dictator and a reluctant enforcer of martial law.
CPP said it was a “vain attempt” to elude historical judgment on the part of Enrile.
“Enrile’s memoir seek to polish his image as a statesman, assuming the role of the political baton wielder,” said the CPP statement.
Contrary to his claim that he was a reluctant enforcer of martial law, CPP said Enrile was Marcos’ hatchet man and the one who signed countless arrest warrants that led to the capture and detention of thousands of farmer leaders, workers, students, activists in the Church and other critics and opponents of martial law.
“Enrile’s hands are forever stained with the blood of close to 4,000 people ‘salvaged’ during Marcos’ reign of terror,” CPP said. Salvage is a term referring to summary executions.
Enrile, the communist rebels said, was equally responsible with Marcos and military officials, including former President Fidel Ramos and the dead general, Fabian Ver, for grave abuses of human rights during martial law and the reign of the Marcoses.
Enrile, CPP said, also benefited financially from his loyalty to the Marcoses and martial law. The communist group said the Senate president had been awarded vast logging concessions that he used to destroy hundreds of hectares of timberland.
Enrile, CPP charged, also accumulated hundreds of millions of pesos when he served as an official of the Coconut Producers Federation (Cocofed), which controlled the coconut levy fund.
CPP also noted that in his biography, Enrile had exposed himself as a liar when he said there was no reason to stage a fake ambush in 1972 in Mandaluyong.