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Opinion

Sen. Bong Revilla - his antics

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

In its entirety, I did not see, on television, nor hear, on radio, Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla deliver his privileged speech few days ago even if I primed myself to watch out for it when he announced last week that he was making a stand on the senate hall. This was supposedly in connection with his being accused of plundering the people's money with one Janet Napoles. But, because he is one among the country's highest elected officials, his speech rated a good copy such that all media outlets covered his talk and showed me what I missed.

It is probably the old man in me that continues to hold the senate in highest respect. There were such great intellectuals as Nacionalista Party's Sen. Arturo M. Tolentino, and Sen. Jovito R. Salonga, of the Liberal Party, whose participations in the senate sessions were most enlightening. Each time they took the floor, they showed depth in thought and profundity in learning. And so, I anticipated that the short clips of the privileged speech of Sen. Revilla would be in that profound context.

I forgot that the senator was (is) an actor, not an intellectual. Yes, I failed to consider that in movies, an actor only projects a character and makes believe of one's fictional life. Even those films that are supposedly based on actual life, the actors themselves overdo things to capture the imagination of adoring fans.

Indeed, because of the respect I have for the learned lawmakers I enumerated above, I expected too much from Sen. Revilla. In the end, I was totally dismayed by what I witnessed from the tv footages of his "privileged speech".

I was looking for an attempt by the senator to explain a previous quote alluded to his wife. When the PDAF scam exploded in our midst last year, his lady, Congresswoman Lani Mercado, also a movie star, met the press. In answer to questions from reporters she was quoted as saying something that could be considered as part of what lawyers call as res gestae. I could not remember the exact words she uttered. But the context was something like this: "Where should we get the money to give to our supporters, but the PDAF. We should not spend our own earnings blah blah blah.

Sen. Revilla chose to forget the statement of his wife. His privileged speech was his best opportunity to clarify what his lady said. He could have declared that reporters quoted her wrongly and that to rectify the purported mistake, he was going to court versus such media men for any criminal infraction. His silence on that incident was a deathly confirmation of our initial suspicion. 

Also, rather than tell the nation why he believed he and the two other senators, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, were singled out by the administration of His Excellency President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, he made a comic out of himself in sounding like some unwritten lines of a movie in the process of production. If he intended his speech to be his preliminary defense against the serious indictment of pocketing millions upon millions of public funds, he succeeded in reminding us that in real life, he only memorizes scripts written for him for entertainment.

Towards the end of the tv footages of the privileged speech, of Sen. Revilla, I could ask myself why our country is so unfortunate in the choice of our leaders. I could not escape from the perception that if the senator has destroyed the image of the institution where he belongs with the kind of antics he gave last Monday, he was only manifesting his absence of understanding of what legislation is all about. And if we were to trace the roots of such situation, we only have ourselves to blame.

ARTURO M CONGRESSWOMAN LANI MERCADO HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C JANET NAPOLES JOVITO R JUAN PONCE ENRILE AND JINGGOY ESTRADA LIBERAL PARTY NACIONALISTA PARTY REVILLA SEN SPEECH
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