MANILA- Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III hit back at former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Friday for claiming that his mother late President Corazon Aquino knew nothing in governance.
"He (Enrile) is not the expert in terms of governance," Aquino told reporters Friday. "He was part of the misrule for such a long time."
Enrile, in an interview with former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr on the eve of the 46th anniversary of martial law, expressed his disappointment over the Aquino matriarch's leadership.
"Having been involved in the Cabinet of President Marcos, and I'm not saying this to denigrate anybody, I was dismayed in my first Cabinet meeting with Cory. She did not make any decision," Enrile told the younger Marcos.
"I'm sorry to say this but I realized in that first meeting that I had in that Cabinet that the President that succeeded your dad did not know anything about governance," he added.
A self-proclaimed plain housewife, Corazon became the Philippines' first female president after a peaceful revolt ousted late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
Her presidency signaled a new chapter in the country's history following the dark days of Marcos' martial rule.
Enrile also claimed that it was the Aquino matriarch who "restored" the communist insurgency problem, noting that it was the reason he "parted ways" with the female leader.
"We were able to arrest all of the leaders, including Jose Maria Sison, Juliet the wife, and several of the leading commanders of the communist party, and emasculated the organization. Until later on, after EDSA, Cory restored the problem because she released all the leaders of the communist party," he said.
The 94-year-old Enrile served in the administrations of both Cory and Noynoy.
He worked briefly as defense chief under the late president and was Senate President under the bachelor Aquino.
On Friday, the Philippines marked 46 years since late dictator Marcos declared martial law, a period marked with human rights abuses such as extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances.
-with a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News