The obvious question


It has remained unasked in an ongoing inquiry at the House of Representatives into the affairs on and off the bed of Sen. Leila de Lima.

A similar Obvious Question went begging 49 years ago during the National Football League championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys.

In his book The Craft of Interviewing, John Brady tells the story: The Packers were three points behind with 20 seconds remaining in the game. They had two downs to go. The question was time. Should they go for the field goal that would tie the game? Or try for a touchdown, and, that failing, rush in with someone to try for a field goal? The question was: Would there be time for two plays? Quarterback Bart Starr took the ball over a Jerry Kramer block for a touchdown. Green Bay went wild. After the game, CBS’s Tom Brookshier and Frank Gifford commented on the game but “[n]either of them thought to ask Starr if he had enough time for two plays” and instead “just oohed and ahhed” at whatever Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi was telling them and again failing to ask him if he thought his boys had enough time for two plays.

Enough of “analysts” who contract blissful ignorance and on prime time television at that.

In the De Lima case, investigators from the House of Representatives (the Senate had its turn last week) obviously were not subscribers to the trigonometric truth that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Seemingly grandstanding one moment and also seemingly sucking up to President Rodrigo Duterte the next, the congressional probers were more interested in unearthing the senator’s supposedly more lurid sexual escapades to titillate the gallery and the TV viewers at home.

Their roundabout querying buys them more radio-TV exposure. But that political motive is pathetic because it does not achieve anything that is worth the time or patience of taxpayers.

Less Obvious Questions to ask De Lima, whom the lawmakers seem to regard as Pamela Lee-Anderson reincarnate (in her Playboy heyday, of course, because she is now wrinkled) are: “Do you and Ronnie have a sex video?” and “Is it only women who have frailties?”

The Casanovas in the House (let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that they have some decency left in them for not asking the two Less Obvious Questions) would make poor copies of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has beaten them to be the “charming” bloke that one important foreign admirer describes him to be.

These macho men in the august lower chamber seemed more lecherous than charming, spoiling what should have been an investigation in, probably, aid of legislation, that they exposed themselves as not having a gameplan to strip De Lima to the bones but only a Hugh Hefner playbook that does not have anything to do with the job of being a congressional investigator or playing the plain gentlemen.

The Obvious Question to throw at the embattled senator is: “Who and what were your sources of campaign and election funds in the May 2016 polls?”

That is not only obvious but also fair to ask De Lima, after all she has been accused of having used drug money to bankroll her senatorial bid.

If she denies, again “categorically,” that she will not dignify yet another attempt to ruin her person, then she must be lying that she does not know or has never met this drug lord or that drug bagman.

Not telling the truth is an electoral offense for which the penalty is severe. Having a driver-security aide for a lover in arthritic Ronnie Dayan is not a violation of the law because it is only a “moral” weakness.

So, the House grill masters had better rephrase their ho-hum questions and go for De Lima’s jugular instead.
Only in so doing would these aspiring Romeos be able to justify the “lawmaker” in their resumes.
We have seen enough inanities in our lifetime.


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  1. Sir!
    Surely there is a lot of questions to be asked. My question to Senator Leila de Lima would be: “Why, if you’re as innocent as you pretend to be, did you ask Ronnie Dayan not to go and answer the questions in the inquiry? He only could have proved your innocence, or – did you know better?”
    Yours sincerely
    Heiko Eckard, GenSan