Senators should embrace Garin, Catapang


ACTING Health Secretary Jannette Garin may be faulted for many things, such as being careless and a publicity hog, but certainly not a coward. Who else in their right mind has the cajones to possibly stare down Ebola as she visited without wearing any protective gear the Filipino peacekeepers in quarantine after recently returning from Liberia? No less than Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Catapang that’s who. Not even the more than 2,800 death toll in West Africa scares these two intrepid and dedicated public servants. After all, Garin told the media that she had consulted with the World Health Organization (WHO) about quarantine protocol, and naturally, Catapang relied on military intelligence.

Evidently, the senators and perhaps many members of the House are made of less sterner stuff. After Garin carelessly risked her life, she may be made to secure a medical certificate before going to the Senate for her Department’s budget hearing. Perhaps the senators were not impressed that she and Catapang spent only 10 minutes with the quarantined troops. In order to fully evaluate their condition, visiting officials should have spent the entire day with them or at least slept there overnight. Any public official worth her so-called salt would not do anything halfway.

The same should apply to the country’s present batch of lawmakers, particularly some senators. They should not only welcome Garin at the budget hearing scheduled next week. They also should show her some love and appreciation by embracing her and giving her a beso-beso. As their televised hearings and populist bills suggest, the senators are keenly aware that the 2016 election is practically around the corner, a mere 18 months away. They cannot afford to appear spineless in the public’s eye now.

Still, the lawmakers should not forgo prudence altogether. For efficiency’s sake, the senators should hold two hearings at once – one for the budget, another for the pork barrel scam that has dragged Garin’s name to the growing list of alleged recipients of misappropriated public funds. This will not only save time but also provide the public with double the entertainment value.

Of course, the holding of combined Senate hearings will require more lawmakers to attend. Great, right? Even better is the idea that doing so will require the Senate to also summon Janet Lim Napoles to the same hearing. Her presence is required so that she may confirm or deny knowing Garin. We recommend they sit together, very close together. Napoles has nothing to fear, given that she will be wearing a bullet-proof vest.

Along this line of thought, the Senate might as well conduct the budget hearing for the Armed Forces on the same day as Garin’s. It is highly doubtful that the senators would muster enough courage to mingle with Garin and Catapang on separate occasions. The media should not worry about covering three consecutive hearings that might last a long time, because it is fairly certain that the senators will want to conclude any encounter with those two public officials as quickly as possible. This allows lawmakers put up a brave front and at the same time minimize their contact with those two geniuses.

And just in case the lawmakers do not exhibit any fever, nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea in 21 days after Monday’s hearing, they should look into preventing a similar threat from happening again. To be specific, they should visit Liberia and examine the peacekeepers’ living quarters there. They should also consider a side trip to Guinea and Sierra Leone. We hear that the weather in those countries is lovely this time of year. And like Garin and Catapang on Caballo Island, the senators should also shun wearing any protective gear. But just to be on the safe side, Garin should first consult with the WHO.

Of course, the peacekeepers should not accompany the senators to West Africa. Why not? They are in quarantine.


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  1. Senators are idiot why their so much afraid of Ebola but are not afraid to lie, steal and corrupt Millions of money’s people, but easily judge and fire at person who cares and show compassion to these isolated soldier in their loneliness in the eye lands. Ebola is transferable by direct contact of fluids, semen, blood, and perspiration not by not wearing mask. Uneducated senators again shows how to ride the cottage of politicking where most of them rated King and Queen, mga balasubas mag trabaho kayo.

  2. Garin from the very first time I saw her face on TV I knew she is shallow and a bungalow (no upstairs). She is an expert in doing publicities because she is a politician not a physician at all. What she lacks are good advisers, kasi sobrang katangahan na yung ginawa nya…saang lupalop kaya ng Pilipinas galing ang doktor daw na to?

  3. there is hope after all from the clutches of the amoral gang if garin attends the hearing and all of them make beso beso to garin especially lolo(ng). he he he joke joke joke

  4. I think is should be mandatory for all corrupted Senators to show their support for the idiot Garin by giving her a hug and a kiss. It is in time likes this that idiots should support one another.

  5. Ha ha ha. Your sarcasm and irony are impressive as they succeeded in conveying the message of Garin’s and Catapang’s mindless courage without patently unmasking the two officials. As it is, Ebola is a serious, nay a deadly concern, made more so by the obviously unprepared DOH as shown by the lack of understanding by its own chief of its very lethal infectious nature. Quarantine the peacekeepers and keep them from infecting their families. It would be the height of irony if the high official who ordered it is herself infected!

  6. What a fool you are, so you say she certainly isnt a coward, i would have worded your statement a little differently, something like this. What is this stupid woman doing going onto an island where people are isolated just in case they have the ebola virus. Let me tell you all these doctors that caught ebola do not know how they caught it, they thought they had taken all precautions, but still they caught it. Its just 21 days then they will be safe & off the island. Its a stupid act by that woman & a stupid person here saying how brave she was, i think they teach stupidity here in the philippines.

    • I think the editorial was meant as sarcasm rather than a true praise for garin and catapang a duo better described as “dumb an dumber”, although I agree with everything you said about the stupidity of these two characters.

  7. Since the PDAF/DAP issue has hounded Congress, many Filipinos are already disenchanted with our lawmakers and in fact want the Senate and House of Representatives be abolished. If perchance Garin is infected with Ebola without knowing it and mingles with the senators and congressmen and infect them as well, then the wish of many Filipinos will be appropriately answered by the Divine Providence. Perhaps, one of their kind, given the fact that Garin is a former congresswoman and a pork barrel beneficiary as well, will initiate the divine retribution and make possible the isolation of these Congress inhabitants in Caballo island.