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Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday bid his colleagues farewell and asked for patience and understanding for those whom he had displeased throughout the years he exercised his mandate as a lawmaker.
Enrile delivered his last privilege speech just before Senate President Franklin Drilon made the closing remarks and highlighted the Senate’s achievements in the 16th Congress.
The 92-year old politician had been a formidable foe for some of his colleagues in the Senate and numerous times have engaged in a heated debate with most of his peers.
Enrile recounted that in all his 50 years of service to the nation, he spent most of his time in public service as a member of Congress.
“And so, looking back, Mr. President, I would like to thank all of my colleagues and all those people that worked with me and beg their forbearance and understanding if in the heat of debate, I somehow helped them unwittingly or displeased them,” Enrile said.
“Likewise, I would like to thank all of those who supported me and those who helped me in this chamber – the Senate President, the majority leader, the Senate pro tempore, and all the staff and employees. And I would like to thank the Filipino people for having given me the opportunity, the privilege and the honor to serve them,” he added.
“Like what McArthur said, old soldiers never die, they just fade away. I would say today, my last appearance in this chamber, old politicians never die, they will just fade away. My head was bloodied but never bowed. Thank you Mr. President,” Enrile said.
After his speech, senators approached Enrile and shook hands with the lawmaker. Among those who approached him were Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Pia S. Cayetano, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III, and Alan Peter Cayetano.
Apart from Enrile, other senators whose term expires in June 30 are Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Osmeña, Lito Lapid, Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Pia Cayetano, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Incoming senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Manny Pacquiao, Leila de Lima, Joel Villanueva, and Risa Hontiveros, come-backing senators Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Richard Gordon, and re-electionists Ralph Recto, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and Drilon will join the rest of the remaining senators in the 17th Congress. (Hannah L. Torregoza)