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‘Want me to die? You’ll get your wish’

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – His hearing and eyesight are going and he needs to be assisted while walking.

As he turns 92 on Valentine’s Day, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile has a message to his critics and political enemies: “To those who are wishing I were dead, you will have your wish one day.”

Enrile, who recently slammed President Aquino over his actions as commander-in-chief during the Mamasapano operation, also lamented that the gains of the 1986 people power revolt, in which he played a pivotal role, have “evaporated.”

 “Thank you very much. For those who love me, thank you very, very much. For those who hate me, thank you. For those who don’t care for me one way or the other, thank you just the same. Trabaho lang ito at para sa bayan, por la Patria (This is just work and for the country),” he said.

Asked about his state of health when he appeared at the weekly Kapihan sa Senado forum yesterday, Enrile admitted that age has caught up with him, but he remained abreast of issues, including legal procedures. 

“I am having a hard time hearing you. I can hardly see you. I am having a problem walking because my balance is bad. I have people beside me,  so I can hold on to them,” Enrile said.

Enrile is on his last term as senator of the 16th Congress and will “graduate” along with President Aquino who ends his term on June 30.  He was first elected senator during the term of former president Corazon Aquino.

Enrile also downplayed a parody report where medical specialists were supposedly studying his “miraculous” recovery when the Supreme Court cited his age and sickness in allowing him to post bail last August.

“That is silly. That’s baloney, I actually read it,” he added, noting that the first photograph was when he was accompanied and being assisted by his aides to his car from the Philippine General Hospital. The second one was when he attended a State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives.

“That is contrived, a left-handed compliment, and thank you for saying that I have Lazarus syndrome. I am rising from the dead and I don’t like to compete with Jesus Christ,” Enrile said, before breaking into laughter.

Lazarus syndrome is also known as auto-resuscitation after failed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. “The only regeneration that I have is eating pako (fiddle fern) salad and ashitaba (tomorrow’s leaf),” he added.

Facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan, Enrile said he is confident that he will be able to defend himself and be absolved of the charges.

ACIRC CORAZON AQUINO ENRILE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES JESUS CHRIST KAPIHAN PHILIPPINE GENERAL HOSPITAL PRESIDENT AQUINO SENATE MINORITY LEADER JUAN PONCE ENRILE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS SUPREME COURT
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