Enrile's wife stands by her man
MANILA, Philippines - Behind this successful man is a woman who says she has tolerated his dalliances, and survived.
Cristina Ponce Enrile, former ambassador to the Holy See and wife of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, is standing by her man amid rumors of his affair with his resigned chief of staff.
“We’ve been married for almost 55 years,” Mrs. Enrile told The STAR the other night. “In the beginning, it was hard to tolerate it, but then I said, I leave it all in the hands of the Lord. And so I survived. I am happy. No regrets.”
Last week the Senate President publicly denied that he was having an affair with Jessica “Gigi” Gonzales Reyes, a married mother of two who quit as his chief of staff after being criticized for throwing her weight around in the Senate.
Enrile, accompanied by his wife, received the Lifetime Achievement award from People Asia magazine the other night at the Dusit Thani hotel in Makati.
“My life has been a roller coaster. Sometimes it’s up; sometimes it goes down,” Enrile said, adding he did not expect to receive the award.
Seated beside his wife, Enrile initially tried to stop her from talking with journalists, but she shushed him.
“You know, all men are the same. It is up to the wife to be tolerant and accept things. I am one of those wives,” Mrs. Enrile told The STAR. “Probably not all women can take what I have taken, but I always pray to God and I always ask God for help.”
She said God always gave her the “proper outlook to think, to accept things, and to live with them.”
Enrile had said he had been linked romantically to several of his staff, but with his 89th birthday approaching, he insisted he was too old for romance.
Rumors that he was having an affair with Reyes surfaced about 15 years ago, and intensified when Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano accused her of running the chamber together with Enrile.
Without mentioning Reyes’ name, Mrs. Enrile said she turned to God in dealing with the controversy.
The Enriles have two children: Jack, currently a congressman representing Cagayan who is seeking a Senate seat in May, and Katrina who is in the food business.
Asked if she was standing by her man, Mrs. Enrile replied quickly, “Of course. Yes.”