MANILA, June 6 (Mabuhay) – Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s health was deteriorating while he was presiding over the Senate impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona, his son, Jack Enrile, said Thursday.
The younger Enrile said the whole family had been urging his father to quit because the responsibility of being Senate President was taking a heavy toll on his health.
“He is 89. It sort of takes its toll on you regardless of what age you are. There is a heavy burden [placed] on the Senate president, the head of any institution. For a man who is quite advanced in years, it is a little bit more difficult. We saw a little bit more deterioration in his health during the impeachment of Renato Corona last year and it sort of got more pronounced in the last few months,” he said.
“Undoubtedly it was a feat for any man, more so a man who was 88 at that time. While people may admire his wit, his intelligence, his lucidness, and the way he was able to handle the entire proceedings, we members of the family saw the toll it was taking on him,” he added.
The younger Enrile described his father as “very meticulous and a stickler for details” especially during the trial.
He said his father would review his notes and study at night after the trial, go to sleep, wake up early and then review his notes again before going to the trial.
The younger Enrile said his father’s decision to irrevocably resign his post will give him more elbow room on what positions to take on certain issues and will give him more time to build his legacy for posterity.
“I guess now that this decision has been made, he has delivered his speech and stepped down, he can now take the long view and maybe step back a bit and say, ‘What is it that I, Juan Ponce Enrile, a man who has served this country for 45 years, what can I accomplish in the last 3 years of my very illustrious political life?’ He is probably looking at that right now,” he said. (MNS)