Juan Ponce Enrile (born February 14, 1924) is a political figure in the Philippines. Originally a protege of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos he later became one of the leaders (along with then General Fidel V. Ramos) in the 1986 People Power Movement that drove President Ferdinand Marcos from power. Enrile has been the President of the Senate of the Philippines since November 2008.
Ponce Enrile was born as Juanito Furuganan in Gonzaga, Cagayan to Petra Furuganan, the daughter of a poor fisherman. He was born out of wedlock–his father was the already married powerful regional politician and renowned lawyer Alfonso Ponce Enrile. He was reunited with his father by the time he reached his high school years.
He graduated cum laude in 1949 with an Associate of Arts degree at the Ateneo de Manila University. He then attained a Bachelor of Laws degree and graduated cum laude at the University of the Philippines College of Law. Upon graduation, he was elected to the prestigious Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Kappa Phi international honor societies. He achieved the 11th highest score with a 91.72% rating and a perfect score in Taxation Law in the 1953 bar examinations. As a scholar at the Harvard Law School he earned a Master of Laws degree with specialized training in International Tax.
He taught law at the Far Eastern University and practiced as a partner in his father’s law firm before taking responsibility for then-senator Marcos’s personal legal affairs in 1964. After Marcos was elected president in 1965, Ponce Enrile became part of his inner circle.
Johnny, as he is often called, is married to Cristina Castañer, a Filipina of Spanish ancestry who in 2008 was named Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See. They have two children: Juan, Jr. and Katrina. Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr. is currently a congressman representing the 1st District of Cagayan. Katrina Ponce Enrile is the current CEO of Jaka Group, Ponce Enrile’s company. The Jaka group owns the Philippine Match Company, the Philippines’ leading match maker.
Arturo Ponce Enrile (1940-1998), a cousin, was a former secretary of Department of Transportation and Communications and former general, with her wife Mara Enrile. Olivia Ponce Enrile-Tirona, is a jazz singer and daughter of Brenda Ponce Enrile Tirona.
- Birth name : Juanito Furuganan
- Birthday : February 14, 1924
- Birthplace : Gonzaga, Cagayan
- Political party : Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (2001-2008)
- Other political affiliations : Nacionalista (1965-1972; 1987-1995), KBL (1978-1986)
- Schools Attended :
- Associate of Arts degree, Cum laude, Ateneo de Manila University (1949)
- Bachelor of Laws, cum laude, University of the Philippines College of Law
- Father : Alfonso Ponce Enrile
- Mother : Petra Furuganan
- Spouse : Cristina Castañer
- Children : 2
- Juan, Jr.
- Profession : Lawyer, Civil servant
- Religion : Roman Catholic
- 26th President of the Senate of the Philippines, Incumbent (November 17, 2008)
- Senator of the Philippines, Incumbent (June 30, 1995 – June 30, 2001), (June 30, 2004)
- Representative, 1st District of Cagayan (June 30, 1992 – June 30, 1995)
- Senator of the Philippines, (June 30, 1987 – June 30, 1992)
- Regional Assemblymen, Region II (June 12, 1978 – June 5, 1984)
- Secretary of National Defense (January 4, 1972 – November 23, 1986)
- Secretary of Justice (December 17, 1968 – February 7, 1970)
- Acting Secretary of Finance (1966 – 1968)
- Marcos’ inner circle (1966-1968)
- People Power ‘hero’ (1986)
- Conflicts with Aquino (1986)
- Election bid (1992)
- EDSA II (2001)
- 2004 elections
- One of the architects of martial law (1972)
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