Is Otso Deretso still game?
TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - July 5, 2019 - 12:00am

Last Wednesday, July 3, the seemingly male version of Karen Davila on ANC interviewed Florin Hilbay on matters mainly dealing with issues on the South China Sea. Hilbay has just emerged from a terrific beating in the May 13 senatorial elections, where he placed number 29 in a race for 12 seats.

Of the 12 winners, four are lawyers, if lawyers are deemed the most qualified to talk on legal matters pertaining to the South China Sea. The four winning lawyers are senators Pia Cayetano, Sonny Angara, Francis Tolentino, and Koko Pimentel. Hilbay has lost all credibility following such a humiliating loss. Why, he is even just a notch higher than Freddie Aguilar at number 30.

Cayetano, Angara, Tolentino, and Pimentel could have proven to be much better resource persons for the interview considering that they are now sitting senators and thus could actually do something about the South China Sea issue than just talk about it.

But as everyone knows, Hilbay was chosen as resource person for the TV interview for exactly the same reason why he and his seven fellow candidates under the so-called Otso Deretso band were soundly repudiated at the polls --they are expected to talk only along a particular anti-Duterte line. It is a line that seems to suit ANC just fine.

Hilbay and the rest of the OD team have not been found wanting of opinions on the South China Sea. They have harped on the Duterte administration's handling of Philippine-China relations as part of their campaign strategy in the last election. But as the results would glaringly show, the strategy painfully backfired.

And yet Hilbay is still being interviewed about matters over which the Filipino people have already clearly spoken. What is ANC doing? Or if it has no control over the antics of its staff, why is it allowing such an insult to the collective intelligence of its viewers?

If there is any reason at all to interview Hilbay, maybe it is to ask him if he still plans to confront China by going to one of the disputed islands out there in the South China Sea. Because if memory serves me right, it was Hilbay and some of his OD mates who, just before the elections, tried to go to the South China Sea to stir things up a bit.

But of course they knew they would be stopped from sailing, not for anything, but for the sake of their own lives. But now the elections are over. They have all lost badly. Now they have nothing to lose. Maybe it is time for Hilbay et al to revisit their antic. That should have been the interview, finding out if they are still willing to go.

FLORIN HILBAY
Philstar
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