MANILA—Incoming chief presidential legal counsel Juan Ponce Enrile has asked to be excused from attending the inauguration of president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on June 30 as he disclosed testing positive for COVID-19.
In a post on his personal Facebook account on Monday, the 98-year-old former Senate president said he has been hospitalized at the Makati Medical Center for 3 days after the positive diagnosis.
He said he only felt “dry intermittent, sometimes intense” coughing, which was later shown to be mild pneumonia in a CT-SCAN.
“I never had any discomfort. No chills. No fever. No headache. No malaise. My body temperature ranges from 36° to 36.8°. My body oxygen ranges from 96 to 99. All my physical vital signs and blood chemistry readings were normal,” he wrote.
Enrile added he has informed executive secretary-designate Vic Rodriguez of his condition and asked to be allowed to skip Marcos’s oath-taking on Thursday since he has to complete the anti-viral regimen prescribed by doctors.
The former defense minister of Marcos’s father Ferdinand Sr. also took a snipe at critics.
“To my critics and enemies: Do not clap with glee. I am not going to die yet. Far from it,” Enrile said.
“God gave me very good doctors. He want me, I humbly think, to stay here for some time more to engage you to help clear and clean up, if possible, your distorted narrative of our history for the benefit of the uninformed innocent people,” he claimed.
Enrile previously admitted to staging his ambush in 1972 as a pretext for Marcos Sr. to declare martial law.
He and former constabulary chief Fidel Ramos broke off with Marcos Sr. in 1986 which led to the EDSA People Power Revolution that ousted the late dictator.
In June, Enrile accepted the offer of Marcos Jr. to head his Palace legal team.