The editorial “Hubris in the Senate” (Inquirer, 9/24/12) was a picture-perfect description of the real stuff Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is made of. While Senator Antonio Trillanes IV may have his own hubristic tendencies, Enrile’s “infallibility complex”—e.g., his arrogant suggestion that his being a senior legislator exempts him from committing a mistake—is something that his colleagues in the Senate and the Filipino people, for that matter, should be wary about. I should know because I once did some protocol work for him abroad. I remember he was always the “bida” (the hero) in all his stories (or tales) to us.
Does the Senate President think that one “gallant” act in a high-profile impeachment trial can easily blot out from the minds of the Filipinos his administrative role in the world of lies and abuses during Marcos’ martial law years and beyond? The reason I don’t intend to buy, let alone read, Enrile’s recently launched memoir is that, I’m almost certain, it contains unbelievable accounts.
And one more thing, if you wish to confide some secret to somebody, be sure it’s not Enrile. Or he’d announce it on the Senate floor, then brandish your supposed-to-be confidential letter, with the word “SECRET” stamped on the cover page of the document, during a morning television talk show. And then even letting the TV host read some salient points of the letter on air. I can only wonder whether the actuations were a sign of serenity or plain senility.
Perhaps, the Senate President should be reminded of these words of Elihu from the Book of Job: “I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.”—HENRY O. AVELLANOSA, firstname.lastname@example.org