For Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Filipinos have nothing to fear about a Rodrigo Duterte presidency. Enrile made the statement in an interview with reporters after he cast his vote at the Aparri East Central School in this town in Cagayan on Monday, May 9.
He was asked about the prospects of Duterte's possible win, given his continued lead in the pre-election surveys and fears of extrajudicial killings, among others, if he is elected president.
Enrile said the tough-talking mayor is still governed by "organic law" and could not place the law in his own hands.
“I do not fear his presidency. We are governed by organic law. They cannot go beyond that because if they go beyond that they rogue presidents. We are operating under a principle of government of laws and not of men,” Enrile said.
He also hit those who fear another Martial Law, saying it was imposed in the past to protect the Filipino.
But Enrile said he pitied the next president as he would allegedly inherit the problems created by the Aquino administration.
“I would say I pity the guy who will win in this election. Because the problems that they encounter will be so tremendous that it will take a real brain," he said.
"Martial Law is better than what we have had in the last 6 years – the most stupid government we ever had,” Enrile added.
The senator was deatined until last year for plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam, but was granted bail by the Supreme Court due to poor health. Enrile, however, has been active in the Senate, participating in hearings, since he was granted temporary liberty.
His former chief of staff, lawyer Lucila "Gigi" Reyes, is also in detention for plunder charges in connection with the same scam.
‘No more politics’
Enrile, 92, reiterated his plan not to enter politics anymore after his term ends this year.
Asked for his plans in Cagayan province, Enrile said it is now upon his son, Jack Enrile, to continue his legacy.
Enrile said he trained his son well in order “to handle any development and political problem.”
“No more (politics). It would be foolish to run again. I cannot even run myself physically. I have no plan for Cagayan. It will be my son if he will be elected. That’s his responsibility and not mine anymore. He is trained to handle any development and political problem. I have trained him,” he added.
Enrile also cleared that he will not request for a presidential pardon because he believes he will not be convicted to begin with.
“I don’t think I will be convicted. I’m sure of the strength of my case. I’m not asking a pardon from anybody….The burden of proof is of them and I know that they can’t prove anything because I haven’t done anything wrong to anybody,” he said.
Even if he is convicted, Enrile is not likely to serve jail time for humanitarian reasons, as he is already over 90 years old.