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Ronald Roy — Feb. 25, 2014

It is quite obvious that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (SBRC) — in connection with the ongoing investigation of Ruby Tuason’s sworn statements implicating senators on the Janet Lim Napoles-related pork scam — has been used for purposes other than to conduct hearings “in aid of legislation”. Instead, its hearings have become occasions for errors to be committed…sometimes “in aid of legislators”.
I did write last week it was high time that we fuzzy-headed simple folk demanded a just and speedy resolution of the pork charges against the senators, consistent with their right to due process and a presumption of their innocence. Unfortunately, the SBRC has been moving at a snail’s pace and for reasons alien to its raison d’ être — alas, in a manner symptomatic of what has become of our once-respected upper chamber, if the larger picture is considered!

Sen. Teofisto Guingona lll
Caught right now under the eye of the pork storm is Sen. Jinggoy Estrada who, over a week ago, challenged the Senate Ethics Committee to discipline his colleague, Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona lll, for unparliamentary behavior when the latter, in describing Tuason’s testimony against the former, said that the same was a “buzzer-beating winning three-point shot” which, for Jinggoy, amounted to an unwarranted “prejudgement” by TG of the final outcome of the SBRC investigation.
Well, it was not correct for Jinggoy to claim he was “prejudged” by the SBRC Chair since TG was not presiding over a trial. TG was presiding over an investigation in aid of legislation. The error that TG committed, whether intended or not, was fanning the flames of an already growing public opinion against Jinggoy. Wasn’t that unbecoming of the Chair?!
TG’s error, even assuming his remark was unintentional, was as unexpected as it was monumental. A friend of mine, TG Is not only a lawmaker and a lawyer. He is the SBRC Chairman himself! In a tit-for-tat mood, Jinggoy cannot be blamed for calling the assault an “offensive foul” which, under basketball’s rules, could merit ejection from the game. Be that as it may, TG ought to have issued an apology to Jinggoy in particular, and the senate in general, then altogether resigned the SBRC Chairmanship. Doing this would’ve restored his good standing as a Senator of the Republic.
It bothers me no end that such a blunder was committed by TG, of all people! Well, in my reckoning, one or two things could’ve triggered his booboo: bias and/or “pogi points”. TG might’ve been biased against Jinggoy and/or biased for the witness, Ruby Tuason.
This goes without saying that TG might have been also motivated to earn “pogi points” from the gallery, sensing that Jinggoy had already lost favor with the public, in the face of what has been generally accepted as “damning evidence” so far presented against him. No, I don’t think TG made the controversial remark at the height of playful exuberance, and even if he did, his mischief would’ve been as unwarranted.
Oh, I wouldn’t be overconfident if I were Jinggoy who has downplayed corroborated sworn testimonies against him as “empty allegations”. Under the Rules and pertinent jurisprudence, the POSITIVE ASSERTION by Ruby — that she directly and personally gave him kickbacks from his own PDAF allocations — will send him to jail unless he refutes the same with convincing evidence.

Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes lV
Sen. Sonny Trillanes’ well-documented visceral dislike for former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) subtly reared its ugly head throughout his aggressive questioning of Tuason. His tact was perhaps a mild error, but no, I did not see as “badgering” Sonny’s interrogation of Ruby, whose evidence she brought against JPE he viewed as virtually nil, compared to that which was incriminatory to Jinggoy.
A Philippine Military Academy cum laude graduate, the former naval officer is best remembered for his valorous “insubordination” against his commander-in- chief, the then spurious president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He spent a few years in jail for his fully-armed defiant stunts resisting arrest, but was later rewarded by the electorate with a senate seat.
Last week, he was back in his element, his devil-may-care truculence flashing in his eyes and quivering in his voice, as he labored to squeeze out from Ruby damning evidence against his 90-year-old arch nemesis. In the end, he deemed Ruby’s evidence as “generally acceptable”. It now remains to be seen if the legal luminary, the nonagenarian respondent, will even bother to fully use his defensive arsenal, given what appears to be a weak case against him. No Gigi, no guilty verdict. What?! She’s coming home to clear her name?!

Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino lll
No, no error, diplomatic or otherwise, was committed by Pres. Noynoy when he described China’s leaders as “Hitlerian”, in reference to Adolf Hitler’s insidious 1938 acquisition of Czech land after the West failed to give Czechoslovakia ample protection despite the beleaguered country’s feverish entreaties for succor.
P-Noy deserves our fullest commendation for pleading for global support to resist China’s bullying tactics in territorial disputes over the West China Sea, even as he lambasted China’s leaders. Under the circumstances, being rude and cheeky — his usual attitude toward people he intensely dislikes — was His Excellency’s most proper mien! Congratulations, Sir!

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