Nancy Binay debunks Enrile claim: My dad was arrested during Martial Law

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay on Monday, September 24, debunked the claim of former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile that there was no arrest during Martial Law under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (READ: LIST: False claims of Juan Ponce Enrile on Martial Law)

Binay said it is a fact that her father, former vice president Jejomar Binay, was arrested back then, when he was a human rights lawyer. (READ: Martial Law, the dark chapter in Philippine history)

The senator said her mother, who was then pregnant with her, would regularly visit her father in jail.

"Nakulong din 'yung daddy ko…. Nakulong din siya kaya habang 'pinagbubuntis ako, dinadalaw ng mommy ko 'yung daddy ko sa kulungan. Kaya nga sabi ko, nasa tiyan pa lang ako nasestress na ako," Binay told reporters in an interview.

(My father was also imprisoned. That's why when my mother was pregnant with me, she would visit him in jail. That's why I said, I was still in my mother's womb but I was already stressed.)

Binay also recalled that she and her siblings would join rallies and would walk the stretch of Buendia Avenue (now Senator Gil Puyat Avenue) in Makati City until Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila. She also said the family would visit political prisoners such as Satur Ocampo and Crispin Beltran during Christmas.

"It's a fact nakulong 'yung ama ko. Lumaki ako na nagrarally kami. Tanda ko pa nga, every Christmas bumibisita kami sa political prisoners. Kinalakihan ko pa sila Senator Joker Arroyo, Senator Rene Saguisag. 'Yun 'yung nakikita ko habang lumalaki ako, magkakasama sila at nagdedefend ng human rights victims," she said.

(I grew up joining rallies. I remember that every Christmas we would visit political prisoners. I remember Senator Joker Arroyo, Senator Rene Saguisag. I saw them together as they defended human rights victims.)

Silent on Enrile motive

She, however, refused to comment on Enrile's motive for downplaying the atrocities of Martial Law in an interview with former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

"I cannot speak for Senator Enrile. It's best to ask him kung bakit gano'n ang interpretation niya (why his interpretation is like that)," Binay said.

"Iba lang 'yung kinalalagyan ni Senator Enrile. Iba rin kinalalagyan namin ngayon, kaya nagkakaroon ng difference in perspective (Senator Enrile is in a different situation. We're also in a different place now, so I guess that's why there are differences in perspectives)," she added.

On the eve of the Martial Law anniversary, Bongbong posted on his social media accounts the first part of his interview with Enrile, dubbed "JPE: A Witness to History."

In the video, Enrile made a number of false claims about Martial Law. For instance, he said "none" were imprisoned for their political beliefs or for opposing Marcos.

Marcos' iron-fist rule, however, was marred by killings, torture, disappearances, media oppression, and corruption. Amnesty International reported at least 3,240 people were killed from 1972 to 1981, while around 70,000 were imprisoned, and 34,000 were tortured.

The Binays and Enrile are political allies. In 2013, the Binays' United Nationalist Alliance formed a coalition with Enrile and former president Joseph Estrada's Partido ng Masang Pilipino. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a multimedia reporter focusing on media, technology, and disinformation.