MANILA, FEBRUARY 16, 2012 (INQUIRER) By Maila Ager - On his 88th birthday, all that Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile’s wish is that he would be given “divine” light to do what is right.

Enrile plans to celebrate his birthday this Tuesday, which also falls on Valentine Day, with his family in a simple dinner at home.

“I prayed this morning as I usually do.

Then I will have dinner with my family tonight,” said the Senate leader, who promised to suspend the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona before 6 p.m. to allow everyone to spend Valentine’s Day with their loved ones.

[PHOTO - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is greeted by his staff at the Senate during his 88th birthday celebration yesterday.]

Asked about his birthday wish, Enrile said, “My wish is for God to give me the stamina and the divine light to do what is right in the remaining years of my life.”

And his wish for the Corona trial?: “Gusto ko happy ka! (I want you to be happy)” said Enrile followed by a hearty laugh.

That was his campaign slogan during the last senatorial elections.


JPE's Greatest Wish: Country's Progress By HANNAH L. TORREGOZA February 14, 2012, 7:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — If there is one thing Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the country’s greatest legal luminaries, wishes for on his birthday, it is stamina.

“My wish is for God to give me the stamina and the divine light to do what is right in the remaining years of my life,” said Enrile, who turned 88 years old Tuesday, the 17th day of the impeachment trial of impeached Chief Justice Renato C. Corona.

But Enrile said his greatest wish is for the country to step forward into progress despite the issues and controversies the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches of government are embroiled in.

“I wish the country will be happy and the country will be well, country will be peaceful, the country will be stable, will remain stable, and the people will go their ways happily, acting according to the laws of our country to pursue their individual desires, ambitions, plans and dreams,” he said.

The veteran lawmaker, who is now leading the entire Senate into tackling one of the most tedious and anticipated trial proceedings, expressed plans to cut short Tuesday’s impeachment proceedings “so everyone can celebrate Valentine’s day.”

“I want to end (today’s trial) at 5:30 or 6 p.m. para kayo makapag-Valentine’s Day,” he said.

He also chose to celebrate his birthday with less fanfare, saying he would be with his family at home.

The Senate President has two children: Cagayan Rep. Juan “Jack” Ponce Enrile Jr. and Katrina. His wife Cristina Ponce Enrile was former ambassador to the Vatican.

He had won four Senate terms, and his fourth term ends in 2016. Prior to being senator, Enrile served as secretary of finance, justice, and national defense under the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

He is recognized as one of the most prominent figures during the 1987 People Power revolution that saw the ouster of Marcos.

“I prayed this morning as I usually do then I’ll have dinner with my family tonight,” Enrile said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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