Pharisees in the Senate

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“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy – full of greed and self-indulgence!” Matthew 23:25

We all know that during the past week, the mainstream media got their hands dirty by making a controversy on federalism, the featured topic in the game show I hosted with blogger Andrew Olivar.

Many chipped in their two cents. I was expecting a barrage of paid trolls by my opponents to use this issue as soon as the game show ended on Facebook live, even after we repeatedly stated a disclaimer that that episode is not part of the campaign on federalism. In fact, the show took place before I was scheduled to meet with DILG and ConCom spokesperson Conrado Generoso. (Inquirer and rappler tag him as concom spox.)

To be clear, no government funds were used explicitly for the game show. This is in direct contrast to what news outlets are saying, that a P90-million budget has been allocated for the federalism campaign. Also, only 10 million will be endowed to PCOO for the said campaign, but I chose not to have funds channeled to the Social Media Office, to which I am head of.

It is likewise apparent that I did not dance in that episode. I was not even the one who sang the now sensational jingle, but my co-host Andrew Olivar. He was also the composer of the jingle. Ironically, all the stones are being thrown at me. Indeed, you can say that it took place in my page, there’s no denying that. But it was also a Facebook Live show, where events may take place spontaneously. And while we co-hosted the show, it doesn’t necessarily equate that Andrew and I share the exact same views. Like me, he is entitled to his own opinion. The same also applies to traditional media, where anchors do not always agree with each other on the topics they are discussing. And yet at the end of the day, we respect each other’s opinion.

And this is the real beauty of democracy. Oh, wait. You yellows don’t see it that way.

This is where the mystery arises. Where are these senators getting their drama from when they started to ride on this issue? First, those who are blabbing are those who are anti-federalism. They are even saying that federalism is already dead in the Senate, so why are they also stating that “federalism should be taken seriously”? I thought you shunned the idea, so why think that I am trashing federalism when to think you should be happy about what happened because from the outset, it seemed like I did you a great favor. But no, you didn’t. Why? Because you are just there to keep a negative watch on PRRD and everything that has to do with the President.

Meanwhile, those who are in favor of federalism but were quick to criticize the game show which is not part of the federalism campaign, how could you be so quick to condemn Andrew Olivar but are so mum about your colleague who allegedly had an affair with a married subordinate. How frail of that colleague but so hypocritical of you.

There is also another senator who seems to be clean and righteous, but in fact has been declared guilty by the ombudsman for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to public interest after being involved in a pork barrel scam. You should be out of your post already, had you not been saved by the Senate President. So yes, don’t lecture me about morality or decency.

Lastly, there are these senators who are so quick to condemn me using this issue to divert people from the Senate hearing on election fraud. Let me narrate a timeline of the events that happened:

It was on Aug. 2 when we hosted that game show where Andrew Olivar did the “Pepederalismo” jingle. The weekend went by quietly, hearing no drama from anybody. But then came Monday, the day of the 2nd Senate hearing on election fraud. These senators know that the public is already enraged because the broadcasting of the hearing on social media has been previously halted, and now they have no choice but to air it. Bloggers even went to the Senate to cover the hearing themselves! Of course, they have to find a bigger issue to divert the attention of the Filipino audience, and that’s also the same time they made a big deal about the “Pepedederalismo” jingle. It was four days after the jingle was aired on Facebook Live and it was only then that they fussed over it? Wow, just wow!

According to Atty. Glenn Chong during my interview with him, the people behind Smartmatic are highly skilled in creating diversionary tactics and they’ve been doing these in the past. Now I ask: is Smartmatic conniving with the Senators and the media?

But then again, it is the people who will decide. All I know is that PEPEDEDERALISM was a bigger concern for them than ELECTION FRAUD. Atty. Glenn Chong himself said he was not given a chance to have enough time to talk during the second hearing.

Pepedederalism didn’t harm anyone. Sure, we can say that in a way it hurt the campaign, but in the first place, those who criticized the jingle are the same ones who do not like federalism at all. Sabihin na natin it hurt the campaign, but in the first place this people who criticize don’t like federalism at all.

Pepedederalism did not waste the money of the Filipino people. But this ELECTION FRAUD surely did great harm to our nation. It cheated the people’s will. It cheated our democracy. And wasted a lot of money. And like what Atty. Glenn Chong said that those who tried not to make him talk have something to do with election fraud last 2016.

But before this article becomes misconstrued, I believe that not all senators are hypocrites. We have sincere ones, like Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Sen. Miguel Zubiri who I believe are serving the country with a great heart.

What really pisses me off are these senators who exercise nonsensical double standards and outright hypocrisy. People know who you are. They know you have other more important issues to focus on, but you chose to use this issue because you are protecting someone.

Like what I’ve said at the start of the article, our Senators are so good in condemning people but the truth is they have a lot of dirty laundry that needs to be washed. As the scripture says, “...they don’t practice what they teach.” This is the same hypocrisy these senators have.

I am not justifying what I did but in all honesty, I am proud that it happened. This is because it served as a catalyst for what I call “queso de bolas” to emerge – red on the outside but glowing yellow on the inside. We have so much of that right now not just in the Senate but in the Executive branch as well. Yellow doesn’t mean that one is an Aquino fan but Yellow means being an entitled hypocrite elitist who is always right and is never wrong.

Our nation doesn’t deserve this. We deserve to be free. Free to be heard. Free to speak. Free to discern. And most of all, free to get hold of the truth.


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