Among the mayors, the one who governed
Jun, as he was known to his friends, would serve the city for eleven years, counting the term extension granted to him by President Marcos during Martial Law.
Enriquez was born on February 23, 1926, the son of Joaquin Enriquez and Milagros Jaldon. He was the eldest of four children.
He had his elementary education at the
He was still a student at the Far Eastern University when he met Carmen Joaquin, the sister of the famous writer, Nick Joaquin. Right after he passed the bar examination, he proposed marriage to her. The couple would have six children, four boys and two girls. They are Roberto, Ricardo, Maria Lourdes, Renato, Maria Cristina, and Rolando.
Jun worked for a while in
His charisma and performance as councilor gained for the young politician more popularity among the voters of Zamboanga. In 1963, he was nominated to run for the position of Vice-Mayor under the ticket of Dr. Tomas Ferrer, who had assumed the position as mayor when Cesar Climaco ran for Congress. At that time, Enriquez had already assumed the position as vice mayor by succession. Tomas Ferrer lost in the 1963 election, but Jun won overwhelmingly and was retained as the vice mayor, a position he held until 1967.
In 1967, Jun decided to challenge the Nacionalista Mayor Hector Suarez for the chief executive’s job. He became the fifth elected mayor of Zamboanga, serving his term from 1967 to 1971. Because of political differences, Enriquez resigned from the Liberal Party. When he ran for re-election, in 1971, he was an independent candidate. He astounded many observers who thought he could not win without party support. When Martial Law was decreed in 1972, Jun was retained as mayor. In 1976, his term was extended because all elections in the country were cancelled.
The initial years of Martial Law in the
When the Batasang Pambansa was created in 1977, Enriquez decided to run for assemblyman, a position which he felt would give Zamboanga and
In 1981, when elections were held again for the Batasang Pambansa, Jun went for re-election. Unfortunately, this time it was going to be three-cornered fight for Jun. On one hand, he had to contend with his former party mate turned political nemesis, Cesar C. Climaco. On the other hand, there was the rising political star by the name of Maria Clara L. Lobregat.
The divided loyalty of the Zamboangueños took its toll on Enriquez’s candidacy. The oppositionist Climaco only had to play on the growing hatred for the Marcos administration to defeat his opponents. It was Enriquez’s first experience of defeat, which signaled Jun’s retirement from public life.
Carmen said Jun spent most of his retirement years reading, writing and hunting. His blissful life as a private citizen was cut short when he was diagnosed with cancer of the throat. He died on June 25, 1986. The man with a ready smile and a ready helping hand had passed away.