Congressmen prefer to clap than to work


Majority of the members of the Commission on Appointments from the House gave priority to attending a ceremonial submission of a bill in Malacañang over attending a confirmation hearing of diplomats by the CA’s Committee on Foreign Affairs headed by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago last Wednesday.

These congressmen obviously wanted to be seen by President BS Aquino in Malacañang when he submitted the bill on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress Wednesday morning. That the submission of the bill had to be done in Malacañang reflects the legislator’s subservience to the executive department and the President’s contempt for their supposed independence. The congressmen should have received the draft measure in their own turf.

The National Expenditure Program or the President’s budget is always submitted to the House. No congressional leader ever goes to Malacañang to receive the proposed budget, so why did they make a pilgrimage to the Palace just to receive a bill less important than the budget? I can understand the presence of senators and congressmen if the Malacañang ceremony involved the signing of a bicameral conference committee report, but this was not the case.

At the ceremonial turnover of the draft BBL, the legislators were mere spectators and clappers, which they chose to be rather than perform their work at a constitutional bicameral body. The congressmen-members of the CA in particular must have been so enthusiastic in clapping and clapping after every utterance by the President that they failed to attend the confirmation hearing at the Senate of numerous diplomats.

Senator Miriam was prepared to preside over the confirmation hearing at 11am as scheduled when Rep. Rodolfo Farinas of Ilocos Norte, an ex-officio member of the committee, asked her to wait for congressmen who were still in Malacañang. Couldn’t she wait until the congressmen were done clapping and applauding the President? Surely, the CA committee and the 50 nominees of the Department of Foreign Affairs would understand that paying obeisance to the President is of higher priority to congressmen who adhere to his “tuwid na daan” than working and using their brains.

When she appeared bent on going ahead with the confirmation hearing, Farinas questioned the quorum. This precipitated the outburst of her famous mercurial temper and walked out. I think that’s the first time a committee chairman had ever walked out of his or her own hearing. She said Farinas was using the CA rule on committee meetings while the more appropriate rule was that on hearings where the chairman’s presence is sufficient to constitute a quorum.

Senator Miriam cooled down later and wrote a conciliatory letter to Farinas. Nevertheless, the incident wouldn’t have happened if only majority of the committee members from the House had attended to their duties at the bicameral body rather than to bootlicking at the Palace.

While we’re with the lady senator, she also believes that Vice President Jejomar Binay should answer questions about the alleged overpriced Makati city hall building rather than dismiss it as “politically motivated.”

Sen. Nancy Binay, the Veep’s daughter was quoted as saying she felt sad that while her father was merely out to serve the country, some people were trying to pull him down. So, since the Veep merely wants to be of service to the people, he should no longer answer nagging questions about the costing of the Makati government building? Is a front-runner for the presidency exempted from explaining to the people a questioned deal?

The Binays and their supporters—and they are legions—would help their cause better by defending their assertion that the Makati building is expensive because it is world class and green. If they can show that it’s really worth the P2.25 billion spent for its construction, then they have successfully rebutted charged that the Veep got a 13-percent kickback out of the building contract and that the bidding was rigged.

Emerging TV powers
It looks like 9TV is joining ABC5 in breathing down the necks of GMA 7 and ABS-CBN. They could give a good competition to GMA’s “24 Oras” which I consider the best news program in the land. This augurs well for viewers who have grown tired of teleseryes and inane entertainment programs.

Oh yes, 9TV also has the best-looking newscasters and reporters in the country, notably Pia Hontiveros (I consider her and ABS-CBN’s Lynda Jumilla the best political reporters on TV), Mai Rodriguez and Mitzi Borromeo (I wonder if she’s related to the former beauty queen Myrna Panlilio-Borromeo.) The two could rival Channel 5’s Grace Lee in beauty. This new outfit also has veteran broadcasters Jing Magsaysay, Gani Oro and Linda Veloso. I wish them the best.


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  1. Teresita B. Encarnacion on

    The right-thinking tax payers of Makati know for the longest time that . . .very very little goes to the people . . .what goes to the people is peanuts but the bulk of the money goes to the Binay clan and their allies. We will welcome investigations from the BIR as to their assets and properties here and abroad. They are worst than the Marcoses who were in power for almost 20 years but they . . they are nearing 30 years now and still counting . . .maybe up to time that their grandchildren will be able to hold government positions. I pray to God that their lust for power and money be stopped.

  2. Chief Executive on

    Kahit na anong paikot ikot na tanong ang gawin kay VP Binay, kung wala siyang ginawang hocus pocus, wala siyang dapat ipag-alala!
    Ganon lang kasimple yun, panahon pa ni GMA, kapag kinalabit siya sasabihin niya, pinupulitika siya. Dapat sagutin ang mga paratang, tell you – di titigil ang mga senator hanggang di mapatunayan ang corruption na ginawa niya sa Makati, kaya ang mangyayari kay Binay, lulubog na siya sa kumunoy ng tuluyan. CP Binay, I am an engineer and I myself was a Civil Engineer, an Estimator, a Structural Engineer – and to me, may nangyari kabalustugan sa presyo ng Building!
    That’s my point…. Kahit anong tulong ko sa iyo to raise the unit prices of each work items, ayaw lumabas ang 2.2 Billion cost of the edifice. I don’t how the pther bidders were able to estimate the bids OR simply there was rigging that happened.

  3. Your observation on how things go between Malacanang and members of the Philippine congress are among the signs of the times; a subservient and confused members congress who know not their consitutional roles. That’s what “tuwid na daan” really means; members of congress ‘toeing’ the straight line set by the president. However, it is expected because their respective leaders, the senate president and the speaker of the house are leading the line, anyway.

    These are the same people who conducti committee hearings not “in aid of legislation, but in “aid of re-election”; these are the same people who make it easy to deny (most likely lie) for political convenience, allegations of corruption against them, rather than face their accusers in an investigation to clear their names and fare well before their Creator, if ever they One. Sad.

    While I do not agree that these members of congress do not have the brains, except for some; they do, but many don’t have the balls. Pathetic!

  4. Ever since the Congress was re-instituted after Martial Law, the quality & caliber of congressmen and senators of the Phils has deteriorated exponentially and in it’s present state, is alrady in the gutters. Puro mag-kakamag-anak silang lahat! Si Juan dela Cruz hindi na kasai!

  5. But isnt that always the case here. never does any politician ever think they have to answer to anything. Their well rehearsed standard answer is its politically motivated. Well in a way that is probably true but in a positive way. If he is guilty of over pricing & getting a kickback, then if the other party proves it then he will be removed from running against those opponents, so that is political. Now if he were totally innocent of the charge he would answer it with showing where all the money was spent, like comparing per square meter with say car parks or condominiums. But just like ex chif justice corona they dont think they need to show any evidence, just their word should be good enough. Binay has time after time said its a green world class building, yet all the experts that went to investigate it said just the opposite. Are they all wrong & being political in their assertions. Of course they arnt they are just doing the job they were paid to do.

  6. Mr. Danao, those representathieves are just attending the surely unconstitutional BBL presentation to show to the mischievous one their faces so PNoy will not forget those who he will be bribing with Christmas gift envelopes for continuing to be his puppies. This is the plain and simple truth.