Spotted: Enrile trending on local social media alongside Queen Elizabeth

September 9, 2022 - 5:29 PM
Chief presidential legal counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, then campaigning as a senator in the 2019 elections, in the Zambales Provincial Capitol in this photo from his Facebook on May 2, 2019. (Facebook/JuanPonceEnrile)

The name of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s nonagenarian chief legal counsel trended on local social media amid reports of British Queen Elizabeth II‘s death.

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died peacefully at 96 in her summer home at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, leaving her firstborn, now King Charles III, to ascend the throne.

According to reports, the queen had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.

She also caught COVID-19 last February and shared her experiences two months later, saying the virus left “one feeling very tired and exhausted.”

Current and former world leaders paid their tributes to the British figurehead following her death, describing Elizabeth as a “steadying presence” in a “world of constant change.”

The queen reigned for seven decades as head of state of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

While her death expectedly trended on social media, others were quick to think of the Philippines’ own nonagenarian, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile.

Enrile is 98 years old, two years older than Queen Elizabeth II.

His name quickly entered the Twitter trending list of the Philippines following the announcement of the monarch’s demise.

“I can’t believe Enrile outlived the queen,” a Pinoy Twitter user wrote.

“No, but I cannot believe Enrile outlived Queen Elizabeth,” wrote another user, sharing screengrabs of a Google query on their ages.

“Once again, Juan Ponce Enrile outlived your [fave] person,” commented another account.

“Enrile outliving the queen is something else,” tweeted a different Pinoy.

Just this June, quips about Enrile’s longevity were talked about on social media when he was appointed to his latest government position.

Some said that he has been outliving his “own retirement” while others joked the appointment was a “stellar move” since he “drafted the Ten Commandments,” a play on how long he has been living.

Enrile has encountered eight presidents in his political career —Ferdinand Marcos Sr, Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Noynoy Aquino, Rodrigo Duterte and Marcos Jr.

In a 2019 interview, he attributed his longevity to maintaining a good sleeping habit, regular exercise, and eating jute or “saluyot.”

Enrile also said that he controls the amount of rice he consumes.

The nonagenarian previously admitted to undergoing stem cell therapy, a breakthrough that can delay the body’s aging process.

Enrile was among the principal architects of Martial Law in the ’70s. It facilitated the consolidation of power of Marcos Sr.