MANILA - Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has graduated from being an administrator of martial law under the late former President Ferdinand Marcos into a "purveyor of lies and fallacies" about his regime, opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Sunday.
In an interview by Marcos' son, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, Enrile claimed that "very few" of the dictator's critics were arrested during martial rule and that they were detained for "criminal acts."
The former lawmaker, who was Marcos' defense chief, also said that the 1986 EDSA revolution was an attempt to stop a military junta and was not meant to overthrow the late dictator.
"Senator Enrile has graduated from being the administrator of martial law to a purveyor of lies and fallacies of martial law," said Lagman, whose brother is among thousands of vicitms of alleged enforced disappearances during martial law.
Speaking to ANC, he noted that "titans of opposition" like then Senators Jose Diokno, Lorenzo Tañada, Ninoy Aquino, Ramon Mitra Jr. and Jovito Salonga were detained shortly after Marcos declared military rule.
The government also granted reparation to some 11,000 martial law victims - an implicit recognition of abuses during what many regard as one of nation's darkest periods, said Lagman.
The 94-year-old Enrile, he said, "was completely lying" when he joined the EDSA revolt to stop the supposed military junta that allegedly wanted him dead.
"He demeans the People Power Revolution which was a culmination of years of struggle for freedom under the Marcos dictatorship. How can he possibly put to naught the efforts of the Filipinos who joined the EDSA revolution and then he would say that it's a military junta?" Lagman said.
"He really was there in order to protect his neck because he was certain that the People Power Revolution would succeed," he added.
Enrile's téte-a-téte with the younger Marcos' is "pathetic propaganda" and "a futile attempt to deodorize and revise the 14 dark years of martial law," the congressman said.
The Marcoses, he said, should admit culpability for the alleged oppression under their patriarch's rule and return plundered public funds.
Life under Marcos: A fact-check
Enrile has denied distorting facts about Marcos' 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," said the former Senate President.