MANILA—Juan Ponce Enrile said he denies "manufacturing" facts about the events under former President Ferdinand Marcos' martial rule.
"I do not manufacture facts. I have not lied to the people. I have not manipulated events. I dealt with them as I faced them," Enrile said in the second episode of his one-on-one conversation with Marcos' son, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., which was posted on Facebook Saturday.
Enrile has come under fire for his version of history, with Martial Law victims disputing his claim that no arrests were made under the late dictator's rule.
Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. slammed Enrile and said the latter must have forgotten him.
“Siguro nakalimutan na niya ako. That’s part of aging," he said.
Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, among those jailed and tortured during martial law, said Enrile had admitted during the 1986 uprising against the late dictator that the 1972 assassination attempt on him, cited as a reason to impose military rule, was a setup.
"How can you believe him now when he talks about history, when he himself was part of making the lies, the scenario that helped create the justification for martial law?" she said.
In his interview with the younger Marcos, released online on the eve of the 46th anniversary of the martial law declaration, Enrile also said the country was in fact peaceful during its first years and government forces only executed a Chinese drug lord, not dissidents.
Five years ago, Enrile, as then Senate President, signed the law granting reparation to martial law victims - an implicit recognition of abuses during what many regard as one of nation's darkest days.
Enrile affixed his signature on the “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013," a law that former President Benigno Aquino III signed on Feb. 25, 2013.