WATCHING the Senate session last Wednesday had me recalling the title of a n old Cebuano radio soap, “Hayop Ka Man, Mohilak Ka Usab.” That session had some senators taking turns lambasting a post in the silentnomore.ph blog that labeled as “Malacañang dogs” the pro-administration senators who did not sign a Senate resolution condemning the current state-sponsored extrajudicial killings.
Okay, I correct that. Listening to those senators speak, their target was not as much the blog administrator/s as their colleagues in the minority. Because if they were only after the blog admins, they wouldn’t have been so emotional as to threaten with harm their unknown targets. As to the emotion, I like how inquirer.net described the senators’ actions (for our purpose, I would pick up only the ones about Manny Pacquiao and Vicente Sotto III.
“Clenching his fist and cracking his knuckles,” noted the report, “Pacquiao said: ‘Sana hindi mangyari na mapatawag siya sa Senado kundi…. If I’m not spiritually renewed, ayaw ko na bumalik sa dati kong buhay. Pinipilit ko magpakabait at gawin ang tama pero kapag ganyang mga klaseng tao, hindi ako magdadalawang isip para…”
Sotto talked about filing a cyber-libel case against silentnomore.ph, describing the post as “fake news” and “stupid and silly.” But he did not stop there. He said he was only being kind in planning to file the case, “otherwise, masalubong ko ‘to sa daan, I will not be able to help myself. I will scatter their brains.”
But to be fair, the writer of the blog post can also be blamed for not digging further and for jumping to conclusion. The pro-administration senators (seven of them) didn’t sign Senate Resolution No. 516 released last Monday and filed by Liberal Party (LP) Sen. Kiko Pangilinan not because they are “Malacañang dogs” but because the document never reached them. Pangilinan admitted he no longer bothered to go to the seven because he thought having 16 signatures was enough. Besides he was in a hurry because of another appointment.
What amused me about the reaction of the seven--Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Sotto, Pacquiao, Migz Zubiri, Cynthia Villar, Richard Gordon and Gringo Honasan--is that they seemed to have been born only yesterday. Bashers are a dime-a-dozen in social media, and their colleagues in the minority, the “dilawans,” have been enduring the bashing daily. Or haven’t they read the blogs of Mocha Uson, Sass Sasot and Thinking Pinoy?
Or are we seeing the slow but sure shift in the positioning of the pro-administration majority in the Senate? The Pangilinan resolution actually also carried the signatures of the rest of the senators in the majority bloc: Ralph Recto, Grace Poe, Francis Escudero, Panfilo Lacson, JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Sherwin Gatchalian, Loren Legarda and Joel Villanueva. And the seven claimed they would also have signed the same resolution.
Are they all now pretending to be independent of Malacañang’s dictates? Why? Because the pendulum of public opinion has started to sway in another direction? Anyway, the seven ended up signing their own Senate resolution (numbered 518) also condemning the EJKs.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2017.
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