MANILA, Philippines—For Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, learning is never too late.
In his own words, he said he was taking a crash course on how to use the computer and the Internet “at the ripe old age of 88” and put his new knowledge to good use in discussing the controversial Cybercrime Law.
Addressing the alumni of the University of the Philippines College of Law as its homecoming’s guest speaker Friday night, Enrile, a member of the class of 1953, admitted he was no techie.
Enrile said that after he defended a “colleague” against charges of online plagiarism, referring to Senator Vicente Sotto III, he had to ask his staff to brief him on what “blogging” was all about.
“I don’t know how to Google; I don’t know how to tweet and how to use Facebook. All these are inventions of the new world that has emerged rapidly and now engulfing this country,” Enrile said.
“The only thing I knew about my computer was to use it like a typewriter but it served me well in the four years it took me to write my memoir. And so… at the ripe old age of 88, I know I have to take a crash course on… these new and fantastic ways of communication and publication via the Internet,” he added.
“I promise you, I will soon have more enlightened views on the issues and controversies that the Cybercrime Law has spawned,” Enrile told the UP Law alumni, many of whom were non-tech-savvy lawyers like him.
The Supreme Court has issued a temporary order stopping the implementation of the Cybercrime Law in light of charges it infringed on the freedom of expression.
Aside from Enrile, other prominent alumni seen by the Philippine Daily Inquirer at the homecoming were former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, GMA-7 owner Felipe Gozon, Supreme Court Justices Antonio Carpio and Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, and former Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz.
Also present was newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen.
Enrile congratulated Leonen, the youngest to be appointed to the high court at 49, in his speech.
He said that Leonen’s appointment came on the heels of another “historical first for the UP College of Law,” the appointment of Ma. Lourdes Sereno as the first woman and youngest chief justice of the Supreme Court.
“Justice Marvic Leonen made us all proud,” Enrile said. “The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro raised much hope… for lasting, peaceful solutions in Mindanao.”
He said President Benigno Aquino III made a “good decision” in appointing Leonen to the Supreme Court.
Enrile said he believed the President would designate a new government chief negotiator with the same qualities as Leonen.