MANILA, Philippines - Aside from his war with four senator-critics, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile also has his war with ad veteran Yolanda Ong.
Carmela Fonbuena filed this report.
I really felt, ‘The nerve. The nerve! You’re the one who owes us an explanation.’
Advertising veteran and newspaper columnist Yolanda Ong is at war with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
She is facing a 31.5-million-peso damage suit for writing a column that Enrile says is libelous.
Her column points out inconsistencies in claims Enrile made in memoir about his role in the Marcos regime.
She also links Enrile and his son Jack, a senatorial candidate, to alleged smuggling syndicate in Cagayan.
First, I was unnerved. And then I got angry. Now, I am able to look at it from both a Zen perspective and at a same time a wide view. I think things are happening for a reason.
Ong makes a bold move. She files a counterclaim demanding Enrile to pay her 88 million pesos.
It’s actually two counterclaims, in effect. The first one is for unfounded libel case. And the second one is for harassment and for impinging on my freedoms. The sum of which happened to be 88 million pesos. But I guess you could put many symbolisms behind the number. One for every year of existence.
Ong feels Enrile is singling her out. She believes it may have something to do with a political ad she produced for the 2001 senatorial elections, the first and only elections that the 88-year-old Enrile lost.
It was a part of a series of negative ads aimed at discrediting candidates who supported of ousted President Joseph Estrada. It shows Enrile calling on Filipinos protest against President Gloria Arroyo a few days before the so-called Edsa Tres.
JUAN PONCE ENRILE IN OLD ADVERTISEMENT
Ilipat natin ang ating demonstrasyon doon sa malapit sa kanila para marinig nila ang tunay na tinig ng bayan.
The ad reminded voters of Enrile's alleged role in the violent and unpopular protest that was meant to reinstall Estrada.
Turned down by many lawyers, Ong finally gets human rights lawyer Chel Diokno to defend her against Enrile.
It’s no longer just about the damage suit. Ong likes to believe her own battle with the Senate President and the unfolding Senate drama are part of the so-called "grand design" to unmask Enrile.
I am a great believer of serendipity and synchronicity. I’m thinking all these is happening for a purpose.
Ong is in a fighting mood. Even if the senators kiss and make up as politicians are wont to do, she says she will keep on with her own little fight.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler Manila. - Rappler.com