Enrile forgets his political party, forced to personally refile Senate candidacy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 17) — The 94-year-old Juan Ponce Enrile trooped to the Commission on Election main office on Wednesday to refile his certificate of candidacy for a Senate comeback in 2019.

When Enrile's lawyer filed the COC for him on Tuesday, he was listed as an independent candidate. But Enrile forgot and had to be reminded that he's under a political party.

"Yesterday, I was running as an independent because I thought -- I forgot that I was member of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino during the last elections when I became a senator. Jinggoy Estrada called me up and said, 'Manong you have to carry Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino,'" he recalled.

Comelec requires the personal appearance of a candidate in case of replacement of COC.

Enrile said his appearance at Comelec will prove he is healthy enough to run and perform in the Senate should he be elected. The former Senate President earlier said he is "physically and mentally fit" for his comeback.

"My blood pressure is 120/60," he said.

Enrile was among lawmakers slapped with plunder and graft charges for alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam. Also implicated were former Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla - who are also running for the Senate.

Enrile was ordered arrested in 2014 after he was implicated by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, who was accused of funneling ₱10 billion in public funds funds into fake nongovernment organizations. In 2015, the Supreme Court allowed Enrile, who was 90 years old then, to post bail due to health considerations.

He said his detention for more than a year at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City could have led to the further deterioration of his health.

"I was confined. My little room was so limited that I could not exercise. If I stayed there until now, maybe I would be dead now and I wouldn't be running for the Senate," he said.

Enrile, if elected once again in the Senate, hopes to tackle the issues of criminality, insurgency, and the deteriorating value of peso.