Mud and slime in the Senate

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


SO what if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte last Feb. 3 threatened on the Senate floor to gun down suspected rice smuggler David Tan a.k.a. Davidson Bangayan and not a squawk from the senators?

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Miriam Santiago in separate speeches last Nov. 28 and Dec. 4 hurled slime and mud at each other -- and no senator was scandalized.

It can't be said the Senate, reputed to be advocate of the rule of law and individual liberties and model in parliamentary decorum, has become a bar or wet market where a guest can behave like a gangster and two senators can verbally claw at each other.

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The Duterte case and the Miriam-JPE squabble just didn't offend the senators. So no contempt warning or ethics probe from them.

They even praised Duterte, saying it was "bravado in colorful language," "a figurative expression," "an outburst against crime."

They forgot the hundreds of vigilante murders in Davao, which have remained cold cases despite global outrage. As politicians, what could matter more to them than the Davao vote controlled by the Dutertes?

Only neophyte Sen. Grace Po worried over how the mayor's talk of killing "gladly" a crime suspect would affect the young. Yet she didn't cite the grossness of a high official bound by oath to enforce the law talking like a lawless lawman.

Sharp knives

And how to justify such slander as "plunder mastermind," "lecherous sexual predator," "psychopath" and "murderers" in Miriam and JPE speeches, which were like sharp knives clashing in hallowed halls?

Some senator could've said: "This is the Senate. We are senators."

(paseares@sunstar.com.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 18, 2014.

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