Marcos names 98-yr politician, who helped oust his father, as legal counsel

Manila, June 17 (EFE).- President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Friday named 98-year-old Juan Ponce Enrile as presidential legal counsel, appointing to the incoming cabinet his late father’s defense chief, who was instrumental in ousting the dictator in 1986.

Marcos also named General José Faustino Jr. as his defense minister.

Faustino, 57, briefly led the armed forces in 2021. He will replace the current defense chief Delfin Lorenzana.

The president-elect appointed former justice minister Menardo Guevara as his attorney general.

Enrile was a key figure during the military-backed uprising called People Power that forced Marcos Sr. and his family to exile in Hawaii.

But he has now turned into the family’s staunch supporter and thrown his weight behind the incoming president, who will take office on June 30.

He vowed to “devote (his) time and knowledge for the republic and for BBM (Bongbong Marcos),” said Trixie Cruz-Angeles, the press secretary of the president-elect.

Enrile has been among the most prominent figures in Philippine politics in the last 50 years.

He was the justice minister from 1968 to 1970 and then defense secretary from 1972 to 1986 during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos.

He played a key role in planning and executing martial law in 1972.

The dictatorial regime brutally silenced the press as thousands of activists and students were tortured and killed on charges of belonging to the communist insurgency during the martial law.

But he turned against the dictator and played an instrumental role in his downfall when he took over the defense headquarters with General Fidel Ramos to denounce election fraud in February 1986.

He positioned part of the army to support the popular revolution that overthrew the dictator.

Enrile remained in power as a minister in the cabinet of then-President Corazón Aquino.

But he resigned a few months later due to disagreements with the president.

Since then, he has held various positions in Congress and the Senate. EFE


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