In coming out with his autobiography, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said he had no intention to revise the country’s history or even wash his hands over wrongdoings in the past but that he was merely out to present the events from his vantage point.
The upper chamber leader relayed this to his audience, led by President Aquino and also attended by Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Fidel V. Ramos and other top government officials at the launch of his book titled “Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir” at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City, Thursday night.
“Since many of the events in this book are events that not only I but the whole nation witnessed and experienced, I lay no claim to a monopoly of the truth. This book is simply my own rendition of what I know to be true because I was there, and I lived through and survived all these events.
“The people I mention and the events I depict here were those that I had personally encountered and witnessed along my journey. I have no intention to make myself look good at the expense of others, or to settle old scores with anyone,” he said in his speech.
Enrile admitted that in the course of writing his memoir, it proved to be an emotional roller-coaster ride as it reopened old wounds and revived “past bitterness and enmities bedeviled me, even as I hoped my recollections could somehow contribute in rendering the truth about myself and about events that have become part of our nation’s history.”
“To be honest, revisiting my humble beginnings and the details of the cruelties I suffered in silence became all too painful for me to recount. I stopped many times because I simply could not bear the pain of remembering. Yet, a lot of memories that flooded my mind were both gratifying and sobering. I gained more valuable lessons and deeper insights as I looked back,” he said.
While his colorful past afforded him to work with some of the best and brightest minds and leaders of the country, in hope of reversing the nation’s backwardness, it was not enough to overcome corruption, greed and stronghold to power, Enrile said.
“We failed miserably, not for lack of good intentions, but for lack of a strong will to resist the temptations and corruptive influences of power, money and privilege. I have witnessed how the selfish ambition and avarice of some have incessantly obstructed the road to meaningful change and reform.”
But more than his role in shaping the country’s political history, the Senate chief said his book is just a personal account of his humble beginnings, struggles and experiences in some significant events in the nation’s history.
“This is the story of my life... the story of Juanito Furagganan... the story of Juanito Ponce... the story of Juan Ponce Enrile.
The Senate President said his book was “culled mostly from my memory, the events narrated here describe the personal terrain that I travelled and the indelible mark that all that happened to me has left in my mind, my soul and my being.”
“They portray my struggles with fate and adversity, my encounters with triumph and defeat. They describe the wisdom and folly of my acts, and the boldness and perils of my decisions and actions as I waded my way through all of eighty-eight years to where I find myself today.”
According to Enrile, his book is about “my thoughts and reflections on my own experiences.
It also contains “the fidelity and steadfastness of friends and loved ones, the inconstancy, ingratitude and betrayal of people I have encountered, the meanness, cruelty, cunningness and wickedness of enemies, and the emptiness and frustrations of unfulfilled dreams.”
“It describes the uncertainties, the risks, and the twists and turns of human events, and how all of these have invariably tested the strength of bonds and friendships,” he added.