A contrite-looking Roger Cimafranca faced media colleagues the other day and apologized for his abusive behavior when he was flagged down by a traffic enforcer at the South Road Properties on May 20.

“I’m not boastful or barbaric or arrogant,” he said. “I got carried away.”

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim president Toby Tiangco did not say any of those things. In fact, he did not give the media a chance to see how he looked when he said sorry for straining the relation between Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay. He sent word about his being sorry through text messages.

Both men apologized on the same day. Whose “sorry” sounded more authentic and credible? Go, figure out.

Cimafranca apologized to Citom enforcer Lyndon Ocampo for berating and threatening to have him transferred for crossing a media man (Cimafranca is a blocktimer, not a regular staff member, although it seems unnecessary to make a distinction).

Tiangco did not apologize to anyone, only “for having caused damage to the friendship of the Poe and Binay families.” He had dared Poe to practice the honesty that she preached by admitting that she was not qualified to run for president in 2016 because she was short on the 10-year residency requirement.

When Tiangco, who is also a Binay spokesman, did that, he dared anyone to “shoot him now” if he is proven to have lied about Poe’s supposed ineligibility. So why should he care that in speaking his truth, he had caused damage to a friendship?

Cimafranca read from a script, that he wrote, when he apologized. Could Tiangco’s apology have been scripted, too?

The radio blocktimer’s story about having gotten carried away is easier to believe than Tiangco’s tale. It is consistent with human nature. Many of us do that. We find ourselves in a fix, try to wiggle out of it by pulling rank, dropping names or at least pretending to be a significant someone and, if it doesn’t work, pretend some more.

But Tiangco’s? First, he wanted us to believe that what he did to Poe was his own and that Binay had nothing to do with it. But when he sent his “apology,” the UNA president said that he was following the advice of a Binay daughter “to stop speaking on the matter as this is an issue for the Court to decide.”

The truth is that, as with Cimafranca, adverse public reaction forced Tiangco to say sorry. Cimafranca was mercilessly bashed in social media after a video of his confrontation with Ocampo went viral. In the case of Tiangco, it was not only he but Binay who people jeered for pulling the stunt.

Cimafranca said he has learned his lesson and would not do it again. Since he did not specify, I suppose it to mean that he’d tell, as calmly as possible, the next traffic enforcer he gets entangled with, “you are Joy Tumulak’s and Rene Mercado’s man and I am Philip Zafra’s man and because Tumulak, Mercado and Zafra are Mayor Mike Rama’s men, together we can make things happen; that’s the rule of law.”

On the other hand, even if he did not say it, I believe that Tiangco also did learn a lesson from his experience which is that when you think you have a bombshell, make sure the fuse is long enough before you light it lest it would explode in your face.

Finally, Cimafranca was kicked out of the radio station where he bought air time. The station deserves of its people nothing less than the qualities of being professionals, well-mannered and dedicated,” dyLA said.

Tiangco could resign as spokesman if only to lend credibility to his and Binay’s claim that attacking Poe’s supposed lack of qualification was his own initiative. But he’ll never get fired.

(frankotherside@gmail.com)