February 17, 2016 at 12:01 am
THE Aquino administration stop tagging candidates as “dictators” since the only official dictator the country has ever had is no other than the deceased President Corazon Aquino, the mother of incumbent President Benigno Aquino III.
“She dissolved the 1973 Constitution and then she established a revolutionary constitution,” Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile said on Tuesday when asked about campaign rhetoric about dictatorship in the country.
“What was the Revolutionary Constitution? She arrogated unto herself, the power of legislation and the power of the presidency,” Enrile said, who served as defense minister of Corazon Aquino and her predecessor former President Ferdinand Marcos.
The 92-year old senator noted that the only counterbalancing force to Aquino’s revolutionary government was the Supreme Court.
“But, even then, those people were beholden to her. But in fairness to the Supreme Court at that time, they did not follow all that the President wished to be done, “ he said.
“They did not want me to be confirmed or to be proclaimed as a senator in the election of 1987. Who proclaimed me as senator was then Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee. He went to the Supreme Court to administer the oath of office to me,” Enrile said.
Enrile made the remarks in response by the declartion of Malacañang that Marcos’ son Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is now running for vice president, should apologize for the abuses committed during Martial Law.
“What sins of Martial Law are they talking about?” Enrile said. “Why don’t they file charges? Why did they go to another country to file a case against Marcos?”
“Because, they know that Martial Law was a constitutional act,” Enrile said, answering his own question.
“It was authorized by the Constitution. They have to specify the individual cases. They can’t just talk of so many things that happened because I can also say that if that’s the case, then all Filipinos can ask repatriations from the Japanese,” Enrile added.
Enrile also questioned why every administration that succeeded the Marcos administration continue to use the Presidential Decrees issued by Marcos if they believe he was a dictator.
“What are we to apologize for?” asked Enrile, who was the principal enforcer of Martial Law as defense minister. “What did Marcos do? We irrigated the whole country, electrified the whole country, created the highways that were extended.”
“I’ll tell you. All the plans that this government is introducing, nearly all the plans, are plans prepared during the Marcos years. There is nothing new, including the basic policies,” he said.
“Now, one thing that they have not done is to protect the people. That’s why I said in the bicameral conference when we met on the budget, ‘What good are all of these trillions of expenditures if you cannot protect it?’” he said.
“Security. Security. Security. That’s the foundation of a country. If you cannot secure yourself, I will repeat, you do not deserve to be in this planet as a state,” said Enrile.