Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jackie Enrile, up close and personal: " I have nothing to do with Alfie Anido's death"

Alfie Anido, dead at 22

It was  a day before New Year's eve when residents of Bel-Air in Makati heard a shot, then cries and shouts of agony. Alfie Anido, the 22 year old who just celebrated his birthday with his girlfriend, Katrina Ponce-Enrile, lies dead, with a bullet wound in the head. Initial results of the investigation by the Makati police indicated that it was self-inflicted. Anido, who was then in the prime of his showbiz career, shot himself with a 38 caliber pistol. An alleged suicide note was discovered, addressed to Anido's dad and saying how Alfie wanted to end his life. It was December 30, 1981.

For those who still remember that fateful date, it was as shocking as Kris Aquino's public revelation of her ill-fated relationship with Joey Marquez. Alfie was that generation's Phenom kid, a handsome rich guy who was not just a pretty face, but an accomplished and recognized thespian as well. The local showbiz was then recovering from years of creative infatuation and low sales. Alfie Anido's entry in  showbizness revived its glory days.

Alfie’s contemporaries back then, are today’s highly respected and accomplished actors and actresses. Alfie Anido was a Regal Baby, along with Gabby Concepcion, Jimmy Melendrez (father of actress Aiko), Albert Martinez, Snooky Serna, Maricel Soriano and Dina Bonnevie.

Prior to his becoming an actor, Alfie was an accomplished commercial model like Gabby Concepcion (father of KC Concepcion). He was taking up Management at the Ateneo de Manila University. His family is quite well-known especially in social circles. He’s supposed to take over the family business upon his father’s retirement.

Dina Bonnevie was then a very young actress who caught the public’s imagination with her classic beauty. Publicly, Dina was Alfie’s rumored girlfriend. Unknown to many, Alfie had a girlfriend, and she happened to be the daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos’ defense minister, Juan Ponce Enrile.

Katrina Ponce-Enrile was that era’s equivalent of a rich girl turned social Phenom. Many desired her beauty. At the time of Alfie’s death, Katrina had a date with the matinee idol. They reportedly spent his birthday at a church in Antipolo.

Reviewing the case file, and numerous accounts way back at that time, it was said that Katrina and Alfie had a spat, which resulted in Alfie slapping Katrina. The episode ended in a separation. Alfie took Katrina back in her house. Alfie then went home, allegedly distraught by the situation.

Katrina Ponce-Enrile
At around one o’clock early morning, a loud gunshot was heard, which was followed by a thud. Relatives found Alfie slumped beside his bed, bloodied, and lifeless.

When news about the incident spread first in social circles and then percolated into the public sphere, many “whispered” (because at that time, it was still Martial Law, and the Enriles were in power) that probably, Katrina’s brother, Jackie Enrile, might have shot Alfie to death.

Those “whispers” are still being traded until now, albeit, not as “heated” like those times. Since this issue was never really clarified in public, the issue is still part of urban legend. Officially, the cause of death is suicide, and in spite of many “suspicions” and “innuendoes”, no one really came forward and disputed the police findings.

At last night’s dinner with Jackie, he was decisively frank about what really happened back then. I asked him, why was his name dragged in this controversial suicide? I even intentionally linked his name with Dina for him to correct it and reveal his true recollections of that day.

(There were rumors that Jackie wanted Dina as a girlfriend but was spurned by the actress. Dina reportedly chose Alfie which reportedly infuriated Jackie.)

Jackie Enrile deconstructed
Jackie Enrile recalled that he was with some of his friends when news about Alfie’s alleged suicide reached him. He recalls that he was equally shocked when he heard about what happened. Jack admitted that his sister, Katrina, had a relationship with Alfie and he heard that they had a spat before Alfie took his life. He was not privy though why they fought and separated, but it appears that Jack knew of the spat. This jibes with official police records.

It was an hour or so before he reached the Anido’s house in Bel-Air. Again, Jack corroborated the fact that the Enrile family and the Anido’s are good friends (some say, until now).

Jack recalls seeing Katrina crying inconsolably beside Anido’s death bed. He also saw the  revolver used by Anido in killing himself.

Jack denies ever having a hand in Alfie killing himself. He said that it was not his nature of using a gun out of anger. Contrary to public belief, Jackie does not carry a revolver.

What actually aroused my curiosity further was the post-events that happened. Jackie reportedly went to the States shortly after that, further inflaming rumors back then on his alleged participation in Anido’s “mysterious” death.

Why do people suspect Jackie Enrile’s hand in that apparent suicide?

Well, people surmised that the alleged “killing” happened shortly after Katrina went back to her house. There were insinuations that Jackie saw Katrina’s face and vowed revenge. People said that Jackie went to Anido’s house, barged inside and confronted Anido which led to the fatal shooting. These of course, are part of urban legend.

Why do I say that? As a veteran police reporter, it was unnatural for someone who just killed somebody to go back to the crime scene. If Jackie really had a hand on this, the most natural thing to do was the opposite.

We may never know what really happened but these facts are not disputed:

1. Alfie had a spat with Katrina.
2. The spat was reportedly part of previous serious altercations between the two lovers. Meaning, it was not the first time that Alfie and Katrina fought over still unclear issues.
3. The spat led to a separation which Alfie reportedly took very seriously.
4. Alfie went to Katrina’s house and she went in. (This is where people surmised that Jackie saw Katrina and got angry when he learned that his sister got slapped by Alfie).
5. Alfie went back to his house and at 1am, got a revolver and shot himself in the head. He left a suicide note.
6. After discovering his lifeless body, relatives of Alfie reportedly called Katrina. Katrina went to Alfie’s house and saw her lover dead.
7. News spread of Alfie’s alleged suicide. It reached Jackie who was spending a night with friends.
8. Jackie went to Anido’s house and saw the lifeless body of his friend and his sister crying inconsolably.
9. After the celebrated scandal, Jackie went to the States. Nothing was heard about Katrina Ponce-Enrile.
10. The scandal rocked the Marcos regime, which was at that time, facing numerous political threats.

This ends the mystery of Alfie Anido's death.