BONG REVILLA, Jinggoy Estrada and who’s next, Tito Sotto and Lito Lapid?

They are the four movie stars whom we, the Filipino people, elected to the Senate. I don’t watch their movies so I can’t tell whether they’re good or bad actors. But I knew that they were reading from a bad script when Revilla and Estrada delivered their privilege speeches one after the other this week.

Estrada’s speech didn’t end with a song as Revilla’s did but it was no less dramatic.

I’m going to take a short leave from the Senate, he said, but promised that, like MacArthur some 70 years ago, he shall return. There was going to be no swan song from Erap’s son.

Like Revilla, Estrada professed his innocence. I am not a thief, he declared but the disavowal didn’t seem to resonate with those who heard him because they flooded newspaper websites with derisive remarks. Even as I was writing this, the insults continued to pour.

Sotto and Lapid were not among those who were charged in the first batch of complaints that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima filed with the office of the Ombudsman. There is no indication that they will be sued at all for the plunder of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

In the event that they are, I hope that they swear off the Senate microphone and instead leave the arguing to their lawyers in court. We have had enough of bad scripts already.


Mayor Mike Rama has vetoed the solo parents ordinance because, according to him, it is discriminatory, ultra vires and impracticable. Maybe, it is in the law that the mayor’s veto message should be couched in legal gobbledygook. Otherwise, he could have just said that the ordinance is unwise and still be correct and convincing.

The city councilors, particularly Gerry Carillo, who authored the measure, are, without doubt, well-intentioned. Taking care of single parents so that they can take good care of their child or children is a social responsibility that the city should take seriously.

But all the wisdom that prompted the conceptualization of the ordinance flew out of the window when it was finally crafted. What it painted of the city was a giver who was not willing to give. The conditions that the ordinance set for a solo parent to qualify for assistance are so stringent that by the time he gets the cash aid, his child shall have been ten years old.

Why? Because the ordinance requires that a solo parent must have voted in the city in at least three elections. Since elections are held every three years, that means a nine-year wait for first-time voters. The need for assistance is most urgent during a child’s infancy but the child cannot enjoy it because of the silly three-election requirement.

Rama therefore acted correctly in disapproving the ordinance although I have to disagree with his basis in saying that the Carillo law is impractible because it encourages promiscuity and premarital sex among the youth.

Come on, Mayor Mike. Are you serious in making us believe that when a young boy and a girl have sex, they do so in anticipation of the cash bonanza coming from the city government? The current generation of young people may be more sophisticated than ours but goodness gracious, don’t tell me that when they strip from the waist down, they have Gerry Carillo’s proposed annual bonus of P5,000 or thereabouts in mind!


Cebu Maternity lawyer Cornelio “Sonny” Mercado called to clarify that he was close to having angioplasty but fortunately escaped the heart procedure. Sonny also sought to punch holes in the story of the mother of the baby whose lips were allegedly taped at the hospital.

The time that the photos were taken indicate that the taping, if any, occurred after the baby was breastfed by the mother and in her presence, Sonny argued.