Enrile and the ‘72 fake ambush

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
—Winston Churchill

ON SEPT. 22, 1972, a Friday night, Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE), then the defense minister, was ambushed near Wack Wack Subdivision in Manila. Or so media reported the Palace claim. And martial law began.

Unidentified shooters peppered bullets on a car in the convoy heading for his Dasmariñas Village home.


JPE was in another car. No one was injured in the attack.

In February 1986, while barricading with then PC police chief Fidel Ramos in Camp Aquinaldo, after president Ferdinand Marcos learned they were plotting against him, JPE told the nation the ambush was staged.

On radio, he confessed that Marcos ordered the bogus attack and called it the “final act” by his enemies and, as the president said 14 years earlier, the “last straw” that made him declare martial law.

In his autobiography “Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir,” launched last week, JPE insists the ambush was for real, arguing that whether he was ambushed or not, martial law, “postponed several times,” was “irreversible.”


Which is more believable: JPE’s 1986 public confession, with his 1972 diary entry, or what he writes in his 2012 book?

Marcos propagandists needed to justify the scuttling of people’s freedoms and the coming of the country’s dark era.

JPE himself told the nation about the fake ambush, a story he now calls “preposterous” and “ridiculous.”

He may be taking Churchill’s cue but the British leader didn’t flip-flop in his version of history.

JPE apparently does.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 01, 2012.


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