How low can they go?
Senator Ping Lacson calls it “ugly,” this squabble at the House of Representatives over, of course, money. Not just any amount, but mind-boggling figures.
Who knew there were billions of pesos at hand but which COVID-affected Filipinos cannot use?
Just the thought of shelling out P5,000 weighs so heavily on a worker who has to get a swab test to keep working, but can’t afford it.
And here are our congressmen, heaven help them, warring over enough amounts of money one cannot ever spend in a lifetime.
Perhaps another word to use is “despicable,” this behavior being so blatantly displayed by some of the (dis)respectable leaders of our land.
And “shock” is no longer something that applies to how people feel about this... utter depravity.
Too tame — as tame as the word “bickering” that is being used to refer to the ongoing word wars.
One supposes such skirmishes are nothing new in the halls of power. We note, too, that these days, there are no longer such things as “word of honor” and “gentleman’s agreement.”
There is only one-upmanship and scheming — and a despairing lack of integrity (not to mention class).
We are desperate to believe we are wrong. We would like to hear President Rodrigo Duterte releasing some of those famous blistering remarks whenever someone angers him.
Lately, he was fuming at Vice President Leni Robredo for commenting, in an interview, on the “lack of system” in the government’s way of addressing the pandemic.
Can Mr. Duterte be angry this time at golden boy Alan Peter Cayetano and all the rest of “them representatives” who are fighting over funds and potentially delaying the passage of the 2021 budget?
It all began when Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. questioned infrastructure funds supposedly allotted between congressional districts, particularly those of House Speaker Cayetano (Taguig City) and Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte (Camarines Sur).
According to Teves, P11.8 billion of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ proposed 2021 budget is for Cam Sur’s infrastructure projects, while P8 billion would go to Taguig.
An incensed Villafuerte claimed it was “hearsay,” then brought in the issue of the speakership row into the argument, saying “Teves’ questioning reveals a supposed plan hatched by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco’s camp to disturb the current leadership’s track to pass the 2021 national budget ahead of time,” as a news report goes.
Other congressmen joined the fray, infusing our pandemic-induced peace with disquiet. Is this what we are living for, we muse — a world led by such men?
With Solomonic wisdom, President Duterte had brokered a term-sharing deal in which Cayetano would serve as House
Speaker for 15 months before Velasco replaces him and lead Congress for the remaining 21 months.
Even then, people knew it would be a temporary peace. The boys would come out to play one day, and it seems we are seeing the game once more.
Senate President Vicente Sotto says the Chief Executive will likely not interfere this time “unless his perspective is sought.”
Well, this corner is mighty curious about what he thinks at this point. How low can the House go in this time of the pandemic?
The game isn’t over until it’s all over, Mr. President.
“Even then, people knew it would be a temporary peace. The boys would come out to play one day, and it seems we are seeing the game once more.
“We note, too, that these days, there are no longer such things as ‘word of honor’ and ‘gentleman’s agreement.’