‘In your anger — do not sin’
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2019 - 12:00am

The “race” for the Speakership of the House has taken a turn for the worse. What started out as a numbers game quickly turned into a backroom wheeling and dealing all the way to trying to use the President and his family’s influence for the candidates to get the advantage. But when that did not work, the gloves and the muzzles came off and we now have a dogfight and one candidate publicly trashing relatives and people associated with his opponent. Even the neophyte and low profile Presidential son reportedly called out such misconduct online:

June 30, 2019

Pakiusap lang po. Kung sino man ang gusto na idamay ako sa usapin ng speakership sa House of Representatives — huwag po ninyo akong gamitin. Huwag po ang pangalan ko.

Ilabas po ninyo ako sa inyong marumi, mapanghamak, bastos, at nakakawala ng respeto na uri ng pulitika.

Magkaibigan tayo, pero ang pagkakaibigan na ito ay may limitasyon.

Ang pagkakaibigan natin ay hindi lisensya para gamitin ninyo ako upang sirain ang inyong kalaban, bastusin ang kanyang asawa o ang kanyang pamilya.

Sa mga kapwa ko mambabatas, ako po ay baguhan lamang, pero sa tingin ko, ang nangyayari ngayon ay dapat na magsilbing paalaala sa atin sa ating pagpili ng ating lider sa Kongreso.

Piliin po natin ang lider na may respeto sa kapwa, lalo na sa babae — kahit na asawa pa man ito ng kanyang kalaban.

Piliin po natin ang lider na ang interes ay hindi pansarili, tiyak na maninindigan at tunay na aalalay kay Pangulong Duterte at sa kanyang administrasyon para isulong ang tunay at positibong pagbabago sa ating bansa.

Paolo Duterte is clearly a gentleman refusing to mention details about whose wife was being disrespected and how. But most people in media know that the wife being referred to is Rowena Velasco, wife of Congressman Lord Allan Velasco who now has the upper hand in the speakership race over Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano. Rowena Velasco has become the target of a smear campaign and branded as a lobbyist or “Girl Friday” of SMC COO Ramon Ang in an effort to create validity for claims that the speakership race has gone down to plain and simple vote buying. Cayetano himself has not been circumspect about the matter and has expressed his alleged concern that a vote for Congressman Velasco would be tantamount to handing Congress on a silver platter to big business. In short Cayetano slugged Velasco but it is now Ramon Ang and the business community who has the black eye because Cayetano’s statement suggests that anyone who solicits help or gets campaign contribution from any businessman, organization or family will be under their control.

I don’t know if Cayetano realizes that many if not all Congressmen or Senators even Mayors cannot possibly mount a decent campaign without contributions from supporters and businessmen both big and small. It is public knowledge that prior to every local and national election, candidates try to find ways and means to solicit campaign contributions, borrow equipment, vehicles, or get them to sponsor events or rallies in their localities. Aside from getting support for logistics, many Senators and Congressmen also pay visits to certain Church leaders in order to get their endorsement, support plus photo op. It is as they say reality. In spite of it all, claims of supporters cashing in their chips or big business trying to dictate on Congress in an overbearing or scandalous manner is rarely heard of. Some politicians might have gone out of their way to favor this group or that but it is often the politician using their position and not business.

To be brutally frank, businessmen give contributions to ALL simply as an insurance so no one is offended and no one gets back at them. Some friends in business often make it a point to leave the country just before the campaign period simply to “cut their losses” or campaign contributions.

To be honest many people who know or who have watched Alan Peter Cayetano through the years are in shock with his combative style. Even when in the right, Cayetano has always been gracious and careful but in his recent interviews, it would seem that his quest for the Speakership has engulfed him like a fire that burns his soul. Some say that it is a desperate act especially after Paolo Duterte issued his statement calling upon fellow members of Congress to chose a leader who has respect for others, respect for women – even the wife of your political opponent and not someone who merely has his self interest in mind. Perhaps, Cayetano is so frustrated that those whom he relied upon to carry him to the third most powerful seat in the country did not deliver as he expected. Not the Dutertes, not his political party. But who’s to blame? As my Pastor, Steve Murrell regularly reminds us: “If you put your hope in men – You will be disappointed.”

I’ve known Cayetano to be a spiritual person in the past and I’m sure that some of the following verses will be very familiar to him; I close with these hoping he comes to realize that sometimes we can be our worst enemy.

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James1:9 / “In your anger do not sin” – “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for building up according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” – Ephesians 4:26 and 29 / “Wise people think before they act; fools don’t” – Proverbs 13:16. Finally, from 1 Timothy 6:10 – “For the love of money (power) is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

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