SEVERAL opinion makers have speculated that Sen. Pia Cayetano, a lawyer, voted in favor of Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) to protect the rights of her adopted son. I disagree because her adopted son, unlike Poe Llamanzares, isn’t a foundling. And, as pointed out by her younger brother Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, they know the father of her adopted son, which can’t be said of Mrs. Llamanzares.
In the absence of a published concurring opinion by Sen. Pia that could explain why she didn’t side with the magistrate-members of SET on this issue, I’ll give my own take: She voted for Llamanzares to propel the candidacy of her brother Alan for president.
As a result of her vote, former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte decided to run for president. He had previously declared that he would run only “to prevent an American from being elected president.” I don’t believe it’s purely coincidental that Duterte eventually named Sen. Alan as his running mate.
Had Sen. Pia voted with law experts at SET, Duterte would have no reason left to run for president. And without Duterte’s coat-tails to hang on to, Senator Alan would be waging a lonely campaign for vice president.
Ah, but Sen. Pia’s being her brother’s keeper didn’t end with her SET vote that ultimately benefited him. Now, she has to go all out for Duterte or else he will junk Sen. Alan. Sure, she had previously called Duterte her “idol” but she might paint herself in a corner in the light of his latest gaffes.
To continue supporting Duterte, she has to ignore/swallow his admission that he has two wives and two girlfriends. Sen. Pia, chairman of the Senate Committee on Women and Children, has been a long-time advocate of giving equal rights and greater protection for women. She often spoke of the need to give more respect to women. How will this advocacy fly in the face of Duterte’s unrepentant statement that he’s a womanizer? Will she ignore this now for the sake of younger brother Senator Alan?
My heart also ached when I heard Senator Alan defend Duterte’s cursing of Pope Francis, as if this was just a small thing being blown out of proportion. Duterte was inconvenienced by the Roman Catholic faithfuls’ show of love and reverence for the Pontiff but this was not the latter’s fault. Yet Duterte damned the Holy Father and his mother.
Sen. Alan wears his religion up his sleeves. He can be expected to cite verses from the Holy Bible whenever the opportunity presents itself. He could have kept his trap shut instead of defending Duterte’s mindless self-righteous cursing of the Pope.
Or, he could have advised Duterte to apologize and prove he’s unlike the present tenant of Malacañang who has never admitted committing anything wrong. Note that Duterte’s supposed apology came not from him but his children and mouthpieces.