Mention the name "Jack Enrile" and for those who lived
during the seventies will immediately say, "mysterious". Yep, Jack's
name is indeed, mysterious because, unlike other scions of established
political personalities of today, he stayed away from the glare and the
limelight and shone in the field of business rather than politics. Jack Enrile
is the Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's son, and he's supposed to follow
the footsteps of his illustrious dad.
|Me and Jack Enrile|
For Jack, who
spent dinner with me last night at Petra and Pilar, a restaurant his family
owns, the allure of politics is nothing compared to the excitement he gets as a
businessman. For forty years, Jack Enrile quietly built a strong reputation as
a businessman. During the eighties, Jack went to the States and brought back
here ideas that he thinks would help him in his business, yet, at the same
time, ideas that would help improve the lives of his kababayans in Cagayan.
|Jack talking to his constituents|
Jackie Enrile is
no ordinary entrepreneur. He is, to my mind, a social entrepreneur, one who not
only do business for the sake of profits, but, does things for the sake of his
fellow Filipinos. In Cagayan, Jackie Enrile worked with farmers. He tried very
hard to understand their lives. He went out of his way researching the things
That's how Jackie
Enrile described his life for the last four decades. When Jackie told me about
this, I suddenly remembered one of my closest and most admired friends, Joey de
Venecia III, a namesake of former Speaker Jose De Venecia and another one, Owen
Singson. Incidentally, all of these friends of mine belong to illustrious
political families in Regions 1 and 2 who, at the onset, did not follow the
footsteps of their highly popular dads.
|Cool, collected and highly magnetic personality|
Joey, as you know,
is really a businessman. He just ran for the Senate in 2010 because he thinks
that it was his duty as a citizen to correct the monumental errors in
governance. Many people thought that the political road is where he will
dedicate his life to, but he remains dear to me because he chose not to. Many
people thought he will be running as Senator in this election, but he chose
Same case with
Owen Singson, who for many years, managed the businesses of his family. When,
however, his dad, Congressman Eric Singson of Ilocos Sur ended his term, Owen
had no choice but to run for the post. At first, Owen was reluctant. When he
won (he will be serving his second term if he wins this year), Owen dedicated
all his life to the service of his people. The last talk we had, Owen intimated
to me that he now enjoys serving the people.
|" We lost our capability to feed ourselves."|
Jackie Enrile was
raised in a different era. This is the reason why I wanted to interview him. He
could be our country's game changer (BY the way, I'll be writing a piece about
Jackie Enrile in my new blog http://pinoygamechangers.wordpress.com. That would
be more in depth).
Anyway, for middle
aged and older voters, the name Jackie Enrile still strikes someone cold or it
is still clothed in mystery.
seventies and early eighties, mention the word "Jackie Enrile" and
someone would say that he's a brat. There were rumors back then that Jackie
Enrile always carries a gun and surrounded by heavily armed security guards.
|Visionary, loves the masses|
Last night, I
found nothing unusual with the number of people securing him. Fact is, his
security detail is not as big as others.
When I asked him
several "controversial questions", Jackie Enrile was calm and
helpful. He is far from the "Jackie Enrile" that people once feared
because he is the son of Marcos' former defense minister.
Ask him about the
Enrile political brand name and he will tell you what it is---people like what
his father did to them, to improve their lives, and other people hate his
father for what he did during Martial law. The Enrile name is still highly
popular, says Jackie. However, people feel ambivalence whenever they are asked
what they feel or think about the legacy of his father, Juan Ponce.
|The Will to serve is there|
appears to be a very honest person, a good trait for a person who wants to be
different in Philippine politics. I had the pleasure of interviewing his father
many times as a Senator, and the Senate President's style is unique.
Juan Ponce belongs
to the era of the old politics, while Jackie exudes the kind of politics that
this generation needs---honest, brutally frank, intelligent, visionary and
driven by a desire, a passion even, of giving true service to the people.
politics are the prime-bang, ornate style of speaking while Jackie's style is
more of the masses--he speaks when asked to, and has so many ideas in his
head and is passionate about what he believes that it is next to impossible for
someone to ask him to stop explaining because he speaks animatedly and with
Jackie Enrile, by
the way, is the only Senatoriable right now, who advocates for food
sovereignty. The term is heavy, but Jackie Enrile says, farmers and the poor
folks in the rural backwaters of Philippine society understand this quite
Because he spent
many years with farmers, Jackie Enrile sees their condition differently. I
suddenly remembered Tita Midz (Tita Armida Siguion-Reyna). Tita Midz was with
me during the struggle against the electoral injustice Arroyo did to FPJ. I
shared the stage with her during the protest stage when we both got splashed strung
with dirty water by Arroyo's police minions and nearly got arrested.
Because of his
strong advocacy for the farmers, Jackie Enrile, I believe, has his aunt's
political convictions, his dad's strong political will, and his mother's heart.
He is strong willed yes, but his style is really consultative, a style that
suits the Senate.
Now that we have
"unmasked" the true Jackie Enrile, how about asking him about his
true "role" or "participation" in the mysterious death of a
former matinee idol, Alfie Anido. Read on.
(First of two
blogs about Jackie Enrile. I will likewise write something about him in my
other blogs, http://peepeeps.com and http://pinoygamechangers.wordpress.com. TO
those who want me to write about their candidates, email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 09175395320)
Labels: cagayan congressman, jack enrile, jack enrile sa senado, jackie enrile, senator, senator juan ponce enrile's son