A monument of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile in Cagayan province was subject for destruction this Monday, July 4, following the order of the local government. The demolition of the said structure, which stood in front of the provincial capitol, is among the first instructions of newly-elected, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba that day.
According to a press release posted at Cagayan Provincial Information Office Facebook page, Governor Manuel Mamba said he does not believe that Juan Ponce Enrile deserves to have a monument in their province because of his involvement in the P20-billion PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scam, or the pork barrel scam.
In June 2014, Enrile along with senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr and Jinggoy Estrada were indicated was charged for plunder and for the violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, wherein the alleged mastermind is Janet Lim Napoles. He was detained on 3 July 2014, but was released in August 2015 after posting P1-million bail
Enrile, 92, who served as Secretary of Justice, and was later appointed as the National Defense Minister under the administration of the late-president Ferdinand Marcos, became a prominent figure in Philippine politics after the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. He was elected senator in 1987, and became Senate President from 2008 until 2013.
Mamba, a member of the Liberal Party (LP), noted that Enrile’s influence in Cagayan led to rampant corruption and violence in the province. The former senator was also known for helping then-Governor Justiniano P. Cortez win the election. And as a token of gratitude, Cortez ordered the building of the Juan Ponce Enrile monument in 1984.
In addition, the newly-elected Cagayan governor emphasized that Juan Ponce Enrile is still very much alive, and that under the law, building of monuments is only for deceased personalities and politicians. As of posting, there is no official statement or reaction from the camp of Enrile and Cortez regarding the destruction of the controversial monument.