MANILA - Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday arrived at the Commission on Elections to file a new certificate of candidacy for senator after being included in the political party of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada.
Enrile's first COC, filed through lawyer Joseph Sagandoy, went viral after it mistakenly noted that the former military general was currently working as a "business woman." The document was corrected Tuesday.
"Yesterday, I was still running as an independent. I forgot that I was member of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) during last elections," Enrile told reporters.
"Jinggoy called me up and said, 'Manong you have to carry PMP,"" he said.
The veteran lawmaker had to come to the poll body's headquarters because "the Comelec requires the personal appearance of a candidate in case of replacement of COC," Sagandoy said.
Enrile said his public appearance would "ease the mind of the people" and show he can still serve another 6-year term at the Senate.
"My blood pressure is 120/60," the 94-year old politician said when asked if his doctors issued him a medical clearance to run for public office.
Enrile was jailed in 2014 for allegedly pocketing billions of public funds through bogus organizations.
In 2016, the Supreme Court granted him a P1 million bail due to "instability of his health and his advanced age."
Enrile said his health improved after he was granted temporary liberty.
"When I was in Camp Crame I was really physically immobile because I was confined. I could not exercise. If I stayed there until today maybe I am dead now," he said.
"Every month I go home to my province. It added to my stamina that's why I still stand today, can still walk erect," he said.
"I leave if to the court if they want to cancel my bail," Enrile said.
Enrile, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' former defense secretary, drew flak last month after he said in an interview with Marcos' kin that no one was arrested during martial law.
The former military man said "it is up for the public to judge" if that would affect his chances of winning in the 2019 polls.
"All I said was that we did not adopt a policy of killing of impunity. I never said, 'No one was arrested during martial law,'" Enrile said.
"I did not do that to gain happiness. I have my own story as others have their own stories," he said.