Enrile asked: ‘How does it feel to be called a traitor?’
A recent video on the official Facebook page of former Senate President and current Senatorial candidate Juan Ponce Enrile begins by asking him what being called a traitor feels like.
Enrile’s reaction is a thoughtful pause as he considers the question before the video segues into historical news footage of his participation in the EDSA People Power revolution.
To Enrile’s recollection, it was the first time he was ever branded a traitor. “They thought that I did what I did (join the mutiny against Marcos) because I wanted power. Far from it,” he says in the video.
Enrile’s retelling stretches further back into boyhood when he was just 17 years old. In the video, he describes how he fought at that age as a guerillero or resistance fighter against Japanese occupation forces during World War 2. “How can I be called a traitor? I fought for the country from a very young age,” he says, adding that he’s been called other disparaging names such as “magnanakaw (thief).”
According to Enrile’s statements in the video, these critics shouldn’t judge him too hastily, at least not before examining his history, motivations, and proven record of swearing loyalty to the country first and foremost.
He goes on to describe his last incarceration as “lonely” but still a relative “paradise” compared to his 90-day imprisonment by the Japanese. “I was whipped with the tail of a giant stingray, hit by a 2” x 2” piece of wood, water-cured, and electrocuted,” he says in the video. “I could feel the sharp edge of a samurai sword over my neck.”
The video then shows candid moments of Enrile in his study and the later at his garden. Enrile then describes himself as a lifelong scholar. “All my life I was always studying anything: poetry, songs, history, philosophy, political theory, strategy. I read Machiavelli, Sun Tzu…including the Bible and the Koran.”
“I am running because I would like to share this knowledge with my colleagues in the Senate who did not have the time to study like me. I would also like to share it with the public, especially the young because if a war breaks out between China and America, we will be the ones to suffer for it,” he says.
He goes on to say that it is the young people who will suffer the most just as he did as a young man of 17.
Enrile then explains that after retiring from the Senate he did not merely remain idle; instead, he continued to study and learn more about the planet. “I am more prepared now to be a senator than I ever was,” he says. /ee
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