At 94, Enrile seeks Senate comeback

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2018 01:45 PM | Updated as of Oct 16 2018 04:30 PM

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. ABS-CBN News File Photo

MANILA- (2ND UPDATE) Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will again vie for a Senate seat in the upcoming midterm elections.

The 94-year-old veteran politician confirmed to ABS-CBN News that he will run as an independent candidate.

His lawyer, Joseph Sagandoy filed Enrile's certificate of candidacy for senator on Tuesday afternoon.

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's certificate of candidacy for senator. Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Enrile could be among the oldest to seek a national elective post since the Commission on Elections opened applications last week.

“I am not going to wrestle with anybody physically, I am going to wrestle mentally,” Enrile said.

Speaking to ANC, Enrile said winning in next year's elections would help him have a platform for his ideas.

“During the last three years that I was out of the Senate, I confined myself at home and studied our national condition..." he said.

Enrile's Senate bid comes barely a month after he drew flak for his interview with former Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr. over what his critics branded as an attempt at historical revisionism of the martial law era.

A former defense minister of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., Enrile recently claimed that no one was arrested under the strongman's rule for their political or religious beliefs.

Enrile joins the late strongman's daughter, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos in the 2019 senatorial race.

He was first elected senator in 1987 and was re-elected for a second term in 1995. In 2004, Enrile made a comeback bid for his third Senate term and was re-elected for a fourth term in 2010.

If Enrile wins, it will be his fifth term in the chamber.

Enrile has also served at the helm of the Senate twice--first under the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from 2008 to 2010, and again under Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III from 2010 to 2013.

It was under his leadership when the Senate first ousted a Philippine chief justice, the late Renato Corona, in 2013.

Enrile was the 20th senator to convict Corona over the latter's failure to declare his wealth.

Along with former Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, Enrile was charged with plunder for his alleged role in the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund scam. 

In 2015, Enrile was released on bail for humanitarian reasons, with the Supreme Court citing his poor health in ruling in his favor. 

Both Estrada and Revilla are also seeking a Senate comeback in next year's polls.