What makes Congress stink?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-02-07
Last Sunday, during an interview with ANC’s Lia Andanar, I was aghast at what Manila Representative Amado Bagatsing said to explain the reason why he and his Kampi co-plotters want House Speaker Joe de Venecia (JDV) replaced.

Among the things that Rep. Bagatsing stated in that interview were the following:

• Kampi wants change. Kampi wants to redeem the bad image of the House which was accumulated during the successive terms of Speaker Joe de Venecia.

• Kampi does not want anything to do with the bad things of the past and wants a fresh start for a new Congress.

• GMA (Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) does not meddle in the affairs of the House.

As it turned out, these points were the same things that the Malacañang stooges in Congress expressed last Monday when they finally ousted JDV as House Speaker and replaced him with Davao Rep. Prospero Nograles.

This Chair Wrecker is no fan of JDV. As a person, I find Joe quite likable and that is something I cannot say about many of the other congressmen with or against him. A visit to my website and archives will show how many times I’ve slammed Joe for a whole range of justifiable reasons. Joe can be most charming but his politics, as far as I’m concerned, stinks.

But for other quintessential traditional politicians — trapos — like Amado Bagatsing and his ilk, saying those things about JDV is like a demon calling the devil bad. When you’re as guilty as the guy you are shafting from behind, and when you are just as much a contributor to the stinking image of Congress, isn’t this nothing but a demonstration of bad taste on the part of JDV’s accusers?

Who among us can believe that the likes of Amado Bagatsing, Mikey Arroyo, Louie Villafuerte, Prospero Nograles et al will offer change? Can you say that one more time please, just in case repeating a lie can make it true?

I still distinctly remember Villafuerte and Nograles leading the charge to ram down our throats that self-serving Charter Change (via Constituent Assembly or Con-Ass) in December 2006. Surveys already clearly conveyed that the people did not want Charter Change, especially one via Con-Ass. Did they respect the people’s sentiments at all? Having seen how they disregarded the people’s sentiments, can we now believe that they will actually bring about the kind of change we want in Congress?

Majority of Filipinos wanted an impeachment trial of GMA in order to bring closure to the 2004 election scandal. Instead, they killed the impeachment move twice and then flaunted it to all and sundry that all the fuss and fury had been nothing but a numbers game.

They would have us believe that GMA does not meddle in the affairs of the House. Go ask Mahar Mangahas of SWS to check how many Filipinos will believe that.

Joe de Venecia has a lot to account for with respect to befouling the image of the House. In reality, the stinking image of the House has a lot to do with its lack of spine during those times when they chose to acquiesce to the wishes of the Malacañang residents.

In contrast, the Senate and the Supreme Court enjoy the highest public ratings among the major institutions. By no coincidence, most Filipinos see the Senate and the Supreme Court as institutions that check the excesses of the Executive branch.

I’ve always tried to explain how our politicians and government officials have been exploiting our people’s lack of knowledge and understanding of the important issues that affect their lives.

Just recently, I wrote a series of columns that exposed the emerging Generic Drugs Mafia in this country that could place many Filipinos at very serious risk if and when fake and substandard generic drugs are allowed to flood the country. That expose has sent the Generic Drugs Mafia on the defensive, even altering their original posture.

Kampi and its allies should at least spare us this bovine ordure about shafting JDV in the name of change and reform in the House.

Why can’t they be honest about their motives? Why don’t they admit that this was all about vendetta for the damaging testimony of Joey de Venecia, JDV’s son, at the Senate ZTE hearings? Many of us are familiar by now just how vindictive this ruling family can be and that reason won’t surprise us at all.

Why don’t they admit that they are angling for another attempt at Charter Change and Con-Ass so GMA can stay awhile longer? We can at least believe that they want to do this because they want to extend their partying and merry making.

Or why don’t they say that there were new rounds of gift giving ceremonies in Malacañang and that they could not resist the offer? Most Filipinos will understand how congressmen can sell their loyalties for the right price.

By being honest with their real motives, these congressmen can at least claim to have done one honest act during their term.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

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