Espinoza: Fight for a seat

“KAPALMUKS” is the Tagalog slang for “kapal ang mukha,” or thick-faced. But to his clique, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas is an “idol.” He asked the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to give lawmakers “parliamentary immunity” on minor traffic violations.

Fariñas made history as the first legislator to come up with such a folly. He used a constitutional provision for a very narrow and crooked purpose. Because of his super ego, he forgot the principle that we are “a nation of laws and not of men.”

Malacañang’s statement that President Duterte abides by the law and does not seek favor is a slap on Fariñas’s face. His explanation that lawmakers should not be late in attending sessions does not justify the intention.

There is another easy and fast way for lawmakers to attend sessions in Congress. Let them take a police car or ambulance. The ambulance is even better because they travel while lying in bed.

•••

Many people want to put in the dustbin the memory of the declaration of martial law on Sept. 21, 1972. (Because of martial law, I quit college for five years.) But today, groups belonging to the left left and the right are commemorating the 45th anniversary of martial law by protesting against extrajudicial killings that are a consequence of President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.

Not to be outdone, President Duterte, in anticipation of the nationwide protest, declared today as “National Day of Protest.” There will be no work in government offices and no classes in schools.

This is what makes PDu30 different from past presidents. Instead of preventing protests against the state, he encourages them. But Bayan calls this as the president’s demagoguery.

•••

The departure of Cebu City Councilor Hanz Abella left a big vacuum in the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK). Without Abella, opposition councilors could outnumber the BOPK during voting on crucial issues in the city council. Abella is now commissioner of the National Labor Relations Commission.

It’s not unusual, therefore, for Mayor Tomas Osmeña to look for Abella’s replacement. He wants someone who belongs to the BOPK or who could work for the agenda of his administration.

Mayor Tomas is not only fighting to get the majority in the city council but also for his real existence as mayor.

Abella ran and won under Team Rama-UNA in last year’s polls. Abella’s transfer to BOPK after his election as councilor is immaterial because the law on substitution provides that the first party of Abella has the right to nominate the replacement.

Opposition Councilor Joel Garganera exposed the move of Mayor Tomas to replace Abella with former SK Federation chairperson and ex-oficio member of the city council Rengelle Pelayo, who reportedly works for Councilor Margot Osmeña.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao, a friend of Mayor Tomas, allegedly asked former vice president Jejomar Binay, president of UNA, to sign Pelayo’s nomination. In Tagalog, they call it “suntok sa buwan.”
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