Enrile ‘threatens’ to write 2 more books
He estimated 10,000 copies of his book, “Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir,” had so far been sold since its launch almost four weeks ago. Of this number, he has autographed 3,000, including 200 in one day, he added.
Some fans follow him to restaurants, or the 365 Club in a Makati hotel, where he hangs out regularly, and ask him to sign their copies.
Enrile, 88, who served as customs commissioner, finance undersecretary and defense minister under President Ferdinand Marcos, isn’t complaining.
“It feels good to sign your own book. It means the book is selling well and I would rather have that,” he told reporters on Monday.
“I don’t think it’s proper to simply put my initials. Sometimes I tell the reader, “this is my story, how I started with life, the struggles and frustrations and the risks that I encountered.’ Whatever I could think of at the moment like ‘Mabuhay,’ ‘Thank you,’ ‘God bless you,’ ‘Salamat,’” he said.
Some tell him what to write. One copy was a birthday gift to a loved one and he was made to write the greeting.
According to Enrile, ABS-CBN Publishing plans a third printing to cope with the demand. An e-book or electronic copy of the memoir is also being planned. “E in e-book stands for Enrile,” he said.
He had originally planned to write his memoir and leave it to his only daughter Katrina to decide what to do with it when he is gone.
“Some people read the manuscript and they said, ‘It’s better for you to publish it while you are alive so they can ask you questions about the contents.’ I said, ‘sure.’”
For some, the book was a letdown. Critics attacked his claim that his “ambush” in Wack Wack subdivision on Sept. 22, 1972, on the eve of Marcos’ declaration of martial law, was for real. They noted that Enrile confessed during the 1986 Edsa uprising that his ambush was staged to justify dictatorial rule.
In turn, Enrile challenged leftist leaders to face him so they can confront each other about the incidents that might have triggered the nation’s descent into dictatorship, specifically the Plaza Miranda bombing in August 1971, and the communist attempt to smuggle firearms into the country aboard the MV Karagatan the following year.
Communist leader Jose Maria Sison has dismissed the challenge and called Enrile the “cheapest shyster” whose “systematic lying” about martial law was meant to erase his direct link to it.
Enrile remains unperturbed. “There’s nothing that I cannot defend in that (book),” he says.
Life in court, the Senate
“There are many, many details about my life that I have not written (in my memoir). In my law practice alone, if I probably write a book … somebody else has already thought of the title ‘My Life In Court,’” he says.
“Before I joined the government, I was in extensive law practice and I handled many sensational cases in this country and I encountered a lot of bright, brilliant, capable, seasoned lawyers. But some people think of me as a shyster,” he notes with a guffaw.
A third book would be on his life in the Senate. He plans to start with his loss in his first bid for a Senate seat as a Nacionalista in 1971.
Enrile says public furor over the Plaza Miranda bombing then blamed on Marcos caused the Nacionalista debacle in that balloting. “No regrets. That’s life. (But) I won in 1987 although I was No. 24, which by itself is a story.”
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