I will vote for anyone but Villar – TITA MIDZ

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: dumagat89 bulacan
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 2:26:29
Subject: I will vote for anyone but Villar – TITA MIDZ


Armida Siguion-Reyna


The Senate may be on “cease fire” to correctly focus on approving urgent bills on hand before the election break, but it will take longer for the public to forget who said what and how what was said in defense of Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. It won’t help for some to deny their utterances, for it was on TV as it was happening, on TV news later in the evening, and now I hear available for instant and constant replay on the Internet’s YouTube.

I had never seen anything like it, not even during the hearings against President Joseph Estrada close to 10 years ago. Time has flown, and the man who railroaded the opening prayer of the Congress he presided over to transmit the articles of Estrada’s impeachment to the Senate is now the center of it all.

Will Villar get censured? Is he indeed guilty of improper and unethical conduct in the C-5 road extension program? Will he be asked to return “…the realigned P4.28 billion for the extension project, the P1.8 billion spent for the original project that got wasted due to the realignment, and the P141.1 million overpriced right-of-way payments” for Villar-owned properties?

I don’t have enough facts to outright say he’s guilty. I only know that he’s behaving like he is, for really, what else accounts for his refusal to face his peers and have the more ferocious of his allies do the barking for him, na iyon naman pala, he’s holed up in a nearby hotel, and soon after the Senate session is adjourned, he shows up to talk to media? Ano iyan, hindi pa siya halal, kung kumilos, halal na, acting as if he were Gloria Arroyo’s incarnation? He refuses to acknowledge his equals, he’d rather speak to a group reputed to be largely in his payroll?

His defenders, especially the more vocal of them, seem to have so willingly thrown away everything they’ve stood on just to stop a report from reaching the floor, a report that’s in no way the final word dahil pagbobotohan pa naman, pagdidiskusyunang maigi.

Tarnished is the word to define them — except for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, whose support for anyone outside of herself has never been consistent. Once pinned down for not “committing suicide” as she had promised over an issue, she simply shrugged: “I lied.” You call her what you want to call her, I will not be distracted with that.

My disappointment rests with Senators Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Alan Peter Cayetano. I also seek an explanation from party-list Reps. Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza, both running for the Senate under Villar’s Nacionalista Party, even as I’m set to vote for these two on my electronic ballot come May 10.

Ocampo after Monday’s session had stated his preference for Villar to face his fellow senators in the chamber and then after Tuesday changed position as the “gutter language” that Monday made him understand Villar’s absence. But who started the trash talk, really? Who began the trick of throwing mud on everyone else’s face, as if it were a free-for-all?

At 79, I tend to forget some things, but my memory of Monday’s proceedings is supported by other media. So Sen. Jamby Madrigal first called Villar a “coward” for not being there, does “coward” constitute “gutter language?” Pimentel refuted Madrigal’s charge, “Just to call him a coward is unparliamentary language… I’m surprised why we should go down that low in berating and belittling a colleague of ours. He’s still under investigation as far as I know.”

Madrigal called the minority senators “Villar’s choo-choo train.” Pimental shot back, “At least I’ not an abused child,” Cayetano got offended, and tagged Madrigal “saling-pusa.” What, now? Referring to a colleague as an abused child and saling-pusa is acceptable in parliamentary, while “coward” is not?

Pimentel then blurted out that most senators had practiced insertions anyway. Madrigal denied this, and so did Sen. Mar Roxas. Following is part of the Roxas-Pimentel argument, courtesy of Ellen Tordesillas.

Roxas: “No, Mr. President. My name was mentioned in the context that we were ganging up, that this was all political, that we were using insertions — when he said in a blanket statement — that there were insertions, others had insertions. Well, I say no. I have no insertion on any matter. In fact, I have no insertion period, because we were in the minority. Let alone an insertion for a road to pass through any such property.”

Pimentel: “Well, I’m sure that after your marriage you’ve had some insertions?”

Roxas: “Mr. President, I demand that be removed from the record. That is an affront on my wife!”

Pimentel: “Mr. President, I remove it immediately.”

On this alone, I can rest my case, for after this, who said worse and dragged in a fellow senator’s wife who wasn’t even there, for heaven’s sake, was pretty clear. Except that his friends after the incident tried to justify his quip. Former Environment Secretary Jun Factoran on ANC attributed it to their generation’s lack of sensitivity to “gender differences,” but I still don’t buy it. Pimentel was arguing on what was fit to utter in the Senate, and he slipped because he was insensitive to gender differences? Unparliamentary, my foot.

Sure, Pimentel’s apologized, though not directly, during prayers, before Tuesday’s session started. Then again, on ANC, in Pia Hontiveros’ program, maintained that he did not mean to offend Roxas’ wife, Korina. Too late, methinks, for it’s when we act just like so, when we do not mean what we do or speak out and yet go ahead, that we afford people a real glance into our real selves.

And of Alan Peter Cayetano, my goodness. I do not even know how to begin. Nadiskubre ko na lang basta na lahat ng pagtangi ko sa kanya’t pagkabilib mula pa no’ng nasa Congress siya, ay basta na lang naglaho. His gung-ho defense of his party’s standard bearer was a turn-off like no other and I’m not the only one who says this, even the pro-Villar among my friends couldn’t help but conjecture.

As far as voting for Villar goes, Conrad de Quiros said it best, last Wednesday, Jan. 27, in the Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Mahirap is a curious word that translates in English as ‘poor’ and ‘hard’ or ‘difficult.’ The way things are, Villar may have just have found the perfect label for himself. Mahirap: mahirap kausapin, or hard to talk to, refusing to stand before the Senate to explain his conduct; mahirap pagkatiwalaan, or hard to trust, you never know that kinds of extensions he will justify in future; mahirap ang kalooban, or depleted in the inside while endowed on the outside. Someone like that proposes to lead you, you’re bound to say: Mahirap na.”

I will vote for anyone but Villar.


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