Enrile reprises MacArthur: ‘Old politicians never die…’
OLD politicians never die, they will just fade away.”
This was how Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile bade goodbye on Monday as he ended his 27 years in Congress —serving four terms or 24 years in the Senate and three years in the House of Representatives.
Congress will adjourn its session this Monday but Enrile’s term will expire on June 30. A new Congress will open on July 25.
“Like what MacArthur said, old soldiers never die, they just fade away. I’d say today, my last appearance in this chamber, old politicians never die, they will just fade away. My head was bloody but never bowed,” he said in his short speech on the floor.
While he thanked the people who supported and helped him in the chamber, Enrile also asked for understanding from those whom he had hurt unwittingly during the heated debates at the Senate.
Before this, Enrile recalled the years that he had spent in government service since January 1966.
“This will be my last day to visit this chamber because when we adjourn at midnight today, I shall have closed my public service to the nation, a service that spanned more than half a century when I began to work for the government in January in 1966,” he said.
“I served more than 20 years in the executive department in various capacities, and handled the financial system of the country. I handled the justice system of the country when at that time all courts below the Supreme Court were under the Secretary of Justice where I have been assigned. And then I handled the security of the country where I stayed as a management of our security for 17 years of my career in the executive department,” he said.
“And all those years, Mr. President, I tried my best to serve the people because I felt that my call to the service was something that I never intended in the first place but I was impressed into the service of the people and as a consequence thought that it was a mission for me to do,” the senator added.
After his speech, Enrile’s colleagues approached him and shook his hand. Among them were Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano, whom Enrile had a tiff over various issues.
Aside from Enrile, two other senators, Pia Cayetano and Serge Osmeña whose terms expire on June 30, also attended the last session day of the chamber.
Cayetano, who was elected representative of Taguig, also took the floor to thank her colleagues and staff.
“I’d be in the lower house so I’m sorry, my dear colleagues, some of you will still see me and hear of me…Rest assure that I’d still bug you with the bills that are close to my heart,” she said.
While he did not give a farewell speech, Osmeña told reporters before the session that he has no plans of returning to the Senate after three years.
“Pagod na ako, I’ll give myself a break,” he said.
He, however, admitted that he would miss the policy making process in the Senate. AC/rga/AC
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