What kind of senators did we elect into office?

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila () - January 29, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - That people are still talking about last Saturday’s Presidential Forum dubbed “Choices and Voices for 2010” is mute testimony of the success of that forum. I also got it from certain friends that because of that forum (now replayed by SkyCable) they are able to clearly discern who should be the next President of this country. In fact I was greeted by a few people at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) that they saw my tv show on Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro and Rep. Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos and have decided that they would vote for these two candidates.

What people are now expecting perhaps is a Vice-Presidential forum and including a forum for local candidates at least for the Mayoralty race. How that can be achieved depends largely if the organizers of the recent forum, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. and the Cebu Business Club would prepare for one and still get sponsors like the Aboitiz Group of Companies, as packaging such an event and scheduling the time for the participants was a tremendous undertaking. But it truly was worth it!

Now with regards the Senatorial race, let me say that this is as important for us as choosing the right President. Why? Just take a good look at what’s been happening at the Senate during the Ethics brouhaha that had former Sen. President Manny Villar censured for his role in the C-5 controversy. Many people believe this is nothing but corruption that has been turned into a political circus, simply to eliminate Sen. Villar. This is the problem when the Senate investigates its own peers and ends up crucifying the guilty or innocent party because he or she doesn’t belong to the majority bloc. In the end, it is the Filipino people who lose!

A couple of days ago, this controversy took a turn for the worse when no less than Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile revealed that Sen. Villar tried to bribe him. Then came Sen. Miriam Santiago and almost all the others began using gutter language, including a sexual reference to the word “insertion” that brought Sen. Mar Roxas demanding an apology from Minority leader Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. Is this the kind of Senators we elected into office?

In the past a highly volatile incident like this would have demonstrators marching up the streets bearing placards and demanding the resignation of the guilty parties. But strangely, the streets of Metro Manila are seeing no such demonstrations, not even a whimper of righteous indignation! Where are those people who cry out so much against corruption? Why is their silence so deafening?

I can only reckon that the leaders of the leftist groups, headed by Partylist Reps. Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza who are already allied with Sen. Manny Villar in the Nationalista Party (NP) have asked their friends to stand down. In their desire to become Senators, they chose to shut their mouths against this affront against the Filipino people. I can just imagine what the Senate would be like when the likes of Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza will be in the Senate chambers. God forbid if they become Senators!

We should no longer vote for incumbent or re-electionist Senators so there will be less problematic Senators. Let’s put in more sensible-minded people who can truly help this country and not help themselves in our nation’s coffers!

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There is no question that this country needs a lot of overhauling to do. One of them is the Reservist programs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). I was quite amused by the report that our good friend, the late Press Secretary Cerge M. Remonde finally got his wish and became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve but he never got it until after he died when this commission was bestowed upon him posthumously.

Cerge applied for this last October, but it got mired in the bureaucracy, especially in getting his authenticated birth certificate from the National Statistics Office (NSO). Cerge was one of the highest ranking officials in Malacañang and yet it got snarled in the bureaucracy? How much more for small fries like us? I, too, volunteered to join the Army Reserve then later on for the Air Force Reserve years ago. However, my papers are stuck between heaven and earth or lost within the bureaucracy!

The last person to help push for my documents was the late Atty. Richard “Dick” Sison who was murdered almost a year ago. Clearly the folks running the Army Reserve are no help to people like me who would like to help our country; after all, I’m a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) graduate and can really help our country through the reserves!

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Email: vsbobita@mozcom.com

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