Cagayan governor orders removal of Enrile statue in capitol
CAGAYAN, Philippines – Newly-elected Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba has ordered the demolition of the statue of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile at the capitol grounds, saying it "violated the law."
Mamba, who served as presidential legislative liaison officer of the Aquino administration, explained his decision in a news conference on Tuesday, July 5.
"Nakita n'yo kahapon, pinatanggal natin 'yung rebulto ni Enrile sa harap ng Capitol. Nagtataka ako na pinapayagan na magkaroon ng rebulto ang isang taong buhay pa," Mamba told reporters in the press briefing on the recent confiscation of P900 million worth of illegal drugs in Claveria, Cagayan.
(You witnessed yesterday that I ordered the removal of Enrile's bust in the capitol grounds. I was wondering why they have allowed a statue of someone who's still alive.)
He said the law prohibits the public display of statues of living persons.
Mamba added, "How could we or in any way idolize a man who is now indicted of plunder and whose province is left behind because of his leadership and whose province is notorious as far illegal activities is concerned?"
Mamba is a Liberal Party stalwart and a known nemesis of Enrile. His campaign messaging has been focused on "eradicating" the Enrile clan from Cagayan.
Their tiff was blamed for the number of bills vetoed by then President Benigno Aquino III as Enrile, during his time as Senate president, refused to deal with Mamba.
Enrile has been charged with plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam and was detained in Camp Crame until August 2014, when the Supreme Court granted his bail request, citing humanitarian reasons. (READ: Timeline: Enrile and the pork barrel scam)
Mamba's camp also released released a statement explaining the demolition of the bust.
"Bukod dito ay ang walang patumanggang pangingibabaw ng kultura ng walang napapanagot sa ilalim ng pagha-hari-harian ni Enrile at alipores nito sa lalawigan kaya’t naglipana ang isyu ng korapsyon, katiwalian at karahasan," the Mamba camp said.
(On top of all of this is continued culture of impunity under the reign of Enrile and his henchmen in the province, that resulted to the spread of graft, corruption, and violence.)
Then Cagayan Governor Justiniano Cortez ordered the statue built in 1984 to thank Enrile for his support.
Mamba said Enrile helped Cortez win against former governor Teresa Dupaya in the 1984 Cagayan gubernatorial race, allegedly through fraudulent means. During the time, Enrile reportedly had a political feud with Dupaya.
Enrile's son, Jack Enrile, failed in his comeback bid as Cagayan First District Representative in the May elections, losing to Ramon Nolasco. It was the Enriles' first loss in their home province.
Mamba called the loss a dawning of a new era in Cagayan. – Rappler.com