EDITORIAL

Fariñas and the ‘Ilocos 6’

10

THE infamous quote “What are we in power for?” attributed to the late Senate President Jose Avelino has become a cliché representation of the high-handedness of the high and the mighty in Philippine politics, even as a number of writers like Nick Joaquin and Francisco Tatad have debunked it as what is fashionably referred to today as “fake news.” The original spoken Spanish of Avelino during a Liberal Party caucus in Malacañang in 1949 was said to have been mistranslated or even contrived by a rogue newsman.

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Whatever misdeed that quote was attached to, and perhaps many others that came after it, pales in comparison to what is happening today at the House of Representatives, a chamber even more devalued in integrity and stature under Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and his top whip, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.

Fariñas, aided and abetted by Alvarez, has shockingly refused to free six employees of the Ilocos Norte capitol, purportedly for refusing to tell the “truth” over the alleged misuse of tobacco excise tax funds on various vehicles purchased by the provincial government five or six years ago.

Unfortunately for Fariñas, his newfound crusade has not gained traction with the public, which still remembers the supercilious manner with which he led the prosecution (persecution, really) of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona, who died a broken man after his impeachment conviction at the behest of a vengeful and self-righteous Aquino administration.

It doesn’t help that Fariñas is on his last term as representative of the first district of Ilocos Norte, and could probably have a shot at wresting back his old gubernatorial post by undermining the incumbent, Gov. Imee Marcos.

Worse, Alvarez is helping prop up this charade by defying a lawful order from the Court of Appeals to free the “Ilocos 6,” who have been detained by the House since May 29. The House is also planning to arrest Marcos for refusing to appear before a congressional probe, and to sue her brother, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., for advising her to do just that.

Speaker Alvarez has gone so far as to threaten to shut down the appellate court, an absurdity unworthy of the fourth highest official of the land.

The silliness did not end there. Fariñas is now threatening to sue the Ilocos Norte provincial board supposedly for depriving him of his constitutional rights when it declared him persona non grata in his home province.

Well, that statement backfired as that piece of paper from the provincial board is nothing compared with the real constitutional rights deprived of the Ilocos 6 by the House.

To be sure, there must be something in Ilocos Norte’s vehicle-buying spree worth prosecuting. But that should be left to the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court, not to the Batman and Robin of the House, and not at the cost of an unnecessary showdown with the judiciary, a co-equal branch of government.

Fariñas has proven himself to be a political survivor ever since the untimely demise of his wife, the former television actress Maria Teresa Carlson, who jumped to her death from a Greenhills condominium tower nearly 16 years ago.

But his new image as a certified bully threatens to eclipse that still-Googleable episode. And it could finally cost him his political career. More regrettable, however, is that Fariñas’ petty crusade has only succeeded in further bringing down the already tarnished image of the House to perhaps one of its lowest post-EDSA.

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10 Comments

  1. frederick dela cruz on

    wow this a big problem to the incumbent Cong.Rudy Farinas as his days in office is numbered everyday as he has a lot of enemeis not only in Ilocos Norte but the entire northern Luzon is very disappointed with him and he is even declared a Persona Non-Grata right in front of his own backyard.

  2. Atty.. Noel Ramayrat on

    This is going to be classic KARMA case. The demise of a politician bully.

  3. If indeed there was corruption, then the stupid duo of the house should file the case in court and not use congress as it’s political stage. How come with all the hearings from zte, pork barrel napoles etc, none of all those lying resource persons were jailed in the house of representatives?

  4. Farinas is a certified corrupt trapo who changes loyalty to every president in Malacanang.

  5. Manuel Jaime on

    With what Farinas,with the help of Alvarez,is doing against the Ilocos 6 and Gov.Imee Marcos,a faithful and trusted ally of President Duterte,one thing is for sure. It will cost the present administration a huge chunk of supporters that has backed this government against the yellow intrigues and plans. Admit it or not,the Marcos loyalists and silent supporters did play a big role in attacking and condeming yellow fake news and intrigues that they tried to use against Duterte to topple and bring down his administration. We,(i included myself) did not stay silent but in fact fought back all tne negative posts and fake news the yellows and its minions had flooded the internet and social sites. We stayed and defended the Duterte government because we thought that his adminstration is doing what is right for this country and our people. That is to uphold our peoples dignity and their basic human and constitutional rights. Then came Farinas and his detention of the Ilocos 6. We know who the real target of Farinas is and why the congressman is doing all of this. Lest Duterte and Alvarez will do what the law requires and stop Farinas in trampling the basic human and constitutional rights of the Ilocos 6 and their continued illegal detention in the house of representatives,Marcos supporters will surely dwindle and will cost this adminstration. But it is not yet late a0nd the President should make his move and act swiftly. Two things,who should Duterte must consider,the Marcos’ who have remained loyal to him?,or Farinas,who as a political butterfly had play fire with Pnoy and his yellow bigwigs and hatchetmen. The Marcos loyalists and silent supporters are eagerly watching…

  6. What is wrong with squezing the truth from the 6 ilocos official? Who doesn’t want to know the truth except the people who are involved in this anomally. Whatever the reason of the congressman investigating the Ilocos 6 either for political purposes or for POGI points, let them. After squezing the truth they will be set free and the Ombudsman can file a case against the 6 official using the squeeze testimony from 6 Ilocos official as evidence incriminating or not to the 6. The Truth will set you Free ika nga sa english.

  7. aladin g. villacorte on

    The House was able to imprison Sec. de Lima for “advising” her paramour to snub the committee hearing. Alvarez-Farinas duo can do it again – this time with a much bigger “catch”, the Marcos siblings. I dare them to do it.

  8. Farinas sides with whoever is the incumbent president, a trait formerly reserved only for Franklin Drilon, the ultimate butterfly. As such, he became majority floor leader and a close ally of the speaker Alvarez. His bullying everybody that crosses his path, however, has cost the President’s party a bit of its popularity. If unchecked, Farinas antics might pull down President Duterte himself and resurrect the already almost dead Liberal Party of Noynoy and Leni.

  9. The Marcoses will obliterate Farinas in the coming polls in Ilocos. The current Farinas scion, Laoag City Mayor is allied with the Marcoses. Any Marcos ….be it Imee, Bongbong, Michael Marcos Manotoc or Imelda will demolish Rudy Farinas without spending a single cent in any position he’s RUNNING for.

  10. Farinas and Alvarez are no Batman and Robin…they are the Mr. Freeze and Joker of the House