The valedictory

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Sunday, June 22, 2014


BONG REVILLA the senator to run for president in 2016? Who does he think he is, Ronald Reagan?

Before his arrest, he was all smiles for anyone, sometimes by himself or with two other co-accused from the Senate--Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada. And he’d direct those chinky eyes at all reporters covering any activity he was in.

Him pocketing close to a billion pesos from PDAF funds? How can anyone with those chinito eyes and Hollywood smiles be guilty of such?

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So, he huffed and puffed, protesting what he called trumped-up charges meant to shoot down his presidential ambitions. But last June 9 saw a mellow, even conciliatory Revilla as he delivered his privilege speech.

And that speech was just perfect--for the movies! One must applaud the scriptwriter/speechwriter for the effort at least. The substance left very much to be desired, though, especially where he directly addressed his fellow senators.

One can imagine the silent dialogue going on in his colleagues’ minds, which could have gone like these:

“Senate President Drilon… Ipaglaban mo ang institusyong ito.” (Drilon: Right! Your hand was caught in the cookie jar and so, you’ve confirmed to Juan de la Cruz that the Senate is a den of thieves.”)

Other statements were downright inaccurate, if not grossly blundering.

“Senator Enrile… Your brilliance, your experience, brought a culture of excellence… You are undoubtedly the ultimate statesman.” (Excuse me, what culture of excellence, what statesmanship? Statesmen don’t ridicule fellow senators for their low bar rating and mouth slurs about their womanhood.)

“Senator Bongbong… Pare, nakita ko sa iyo ang sipag mo, ang galing mo at ang talino mo. May aabangan pa ang bansa sa iyo.” (How ominous! How terrible for the Philippines!)

“Senator Honasan… I look up to you. Your humility is worth emulating. Your patriotism is beyond question. I salute you.” (Let’s jog our memory. He led various unsuccessful coup attempts against the late president Cory Aquino. In 2006, he avoided arrest for allegedly masterminding the failed 2003 Oakwood mutiny, and turned fugitive. He was eventually detained but not because he surrendered; rather, he was captured. Turning fugitive is no mark of humility.)

“Sen. Jinggoy Estrada… Hindi ito ang katapusan natin, pare. God is just preparing us for something better.” (C’mon; where was the thought of God when the PDAF billions of pesos beckoned?)

And then there were the left-handed compliments.

“Sen. TG Guingona--Kaibigan pa rin kita no matter what.” (Read: “Et tu, Brute?”)

“Senator JV… Isa lang ang hiling ko, sana magkasundo na kayo ng kapatid mo.” (Read:

“What have you done? You’re family! Yours is the most unkindest cut of all.”)

“Sen. Sonny Angara–I look up to your father. Continue his legacy.” (Read: “For now, you’re just riding on his coattails. Make a name for yourself, man!”)

“Senator Chiz–Please be careful with your Heart. Kidding aside, your passion is without equal.” (Passion for? Heart?)

“Senator Miriam…Get well soon. Ma’am. The Senate needs your expertise.” (Read: Pursue the rest, Ma’am. Hindi ako nag-iisa.)

Other senators’ roles he downplayed and thus, sounded patronizing.

“Senator Alan Peter–I wish you good luck in all your endeavors.” (How empty!)

(lelani.echaves@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 23, 2014.

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