MANAY, Davao Oriental, Philippines—Senatorial candidate Jack Enrile on Wednesday asked critics who have raised doubts about the shooting of a police car in his convoy or have branded it as a campaign gimmick to look at the police report and ascertain the facts for themselves.
Enrile, who is running under the United Nationalist Alliance, also said that if a candidate wanted to stage a stunt, he would have had his own vehicle shot at.
“For our conspiracy theorists, what will a Jack Enrile attain if a police car would be shot at? If a candidate will do something doubtful, I think he would have had his vehicle hit,” Enrile told reporters on the sidelines of a campaign rally in Manay town.
According to him, having people questioning the incident was to be expected.
“Doubt is part of human nature; we expect that. We have an informed electorate. Some members of our society can be quite jaded,” he said. But he said these doubters could check the facts for themselves.
“My advice to them is to study the facts, call the PNP, call the Compostela Valley provincial police to know what happened and base your opinions and your points of view on the facts,” he said.
A police car trailing Enrile’s convoy was fired upon in Mawab, Compostela Valley, on Tuesday afternoon while on its way to Tagum, Davao del Norte. Nobody was hurt in the incident.
Enrile has said that he did not think he was the target of the shooting, and that it was probably the police vehicle that was the target.
He has also said that it had no similarities at all to the ambush of his father, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. The elder Enrile’s 1972 ambush was one of the incidents cited by Ferdinand Marcos when he declared martial law in 1972.
The Senate president said in his latest book that his 1972 ambush was real, but his critics noted that he admitted it was fake when he sought public support in the days leading to the People Power Revolution that ended Marcos’ rule.
Some of the users of the social network Twitter appeared to recall the 1972 ambush issue in doubting the shooting incident involving the younger Enrile.
On Wednesday the senatorial candidate said that since the shooters were not aiming for him, and he has not received any threats to his well-being, he did not feel the need to take additional security precautions.
He continued with his Mindanao campaign on Wednesday, joining fellow UNA candidates in Manay and Mati towns in Davao Oriental. A gun-enthusiast, he said he was not carrying any firearm on the stump on Wednesday.
But he said his father had told him to be careful after learning of the incident in Mawab.
Other UNA candidates in the campaign also did not see the need for any additional security after Enrile’s experience.
Nancy Binay said she had just her usual police escort, and added that UNA has always been careful about the safety of its candidates.
“We’re always on alert when it comes to the safety of its candidates,” she said.