• Trivia on Lapid, the graduate

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    THE province of Pampanga has produced such illustrious sons as Rufino Cardinal Santos, President Diosdado Macapagal, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Gov. Jose Lingad, etc. Then there’s former action star, former Vice Governor, former Governor and now Sen. Lito Lapid who’s about to end his second term on June 30, 2016.

    Lapid won over then reelectionist Gov. Bren Guiao, who was supported by President Cory.
    Would you believe that in 2004, GMA picked him over ex-Sen. Sonny Alvarez in the Lakas senatorial slate? He won (those from other countries wouldn’t believe it). Then, in 2007, he ran for mayor of Makati City. That was the only defeat he had suffered in his political career.

    Much has been said about his lack of skills in the English language. Many may have forgotten that this didn’t stop GMA from inviting him to join her official party in her state visit to the United States.  Oh well, he’s actually a frequent US visitor, especially when Manny Pacquiao has a fight there.

    He didn’t give voters enough reason to justify his election in his first term. Fortunately for him, voters ignored this and gave him a second term in the Senate in 2010 under GMA’s ticket. Unfortunately for GMA, he was nowhere to be found when she was in great distress at the Senate and elsewhere.

    Lapid’s shifting loyalties

    “Senator Lapid!” the Senate Secretary said in November 2008.

    Lapid, who was then talking with Sen. Bong Revilla raised his hand. He was then listed among the 14 members of the new Senate majority who voted for Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and unseated Sen. Manuel Villar.

    “I thought that was a roll call,” he said later as he voiced his desire to join his fellow members of the Wednesday Group in the minority. Senators Nene Pimentel and Kiko Pimentel shared this belief.

    The following day, JPE said that Lapid voted for him and that he would retain the chairmanship of the Committee on Games and Amusements, the panel that has jurisdiction over sports and illegal numbers games like  jueteng. Lapid was then absent but Pangilinan doubted that this would make Lapid change his mind.

    Well, on the next session day, Lapid ended debates by declaring that he was joining the majority.

    Lapid and jueteng

    In 2005, Lapid and Villar of the Senate Committee on Oublic Order and Illegal Drugs, conducted a joint investigation into jueteng operations. Lapid said he would be calling all the 27 persons identified by Sen. Nene Pimentel and the suspected masiao operators from Visayas and Mindanao.

    “It’s not right that we concentrate only on jueteng in Central Luzon,” he said.
    He later tangled with Pimentel when the latter asked him to inhibit himself from the hearings on jueteng.

    Pimentel said he was seeking Lapid’s inhibition “not because he’s a Kapampangan but because by his actuation and by his words, he had provided proof that he won’t be able to give the investigation free rein for truth to come out.” He cited reports quoting Lapid as clearing his friend Bong Pineda of Pampanga from any connection with jueteng.
    Lapid was not cowed.

    “Ako lang ba ang sinasabi ninyong hindi malinis ang kamay? Si Sen. Jinggoy Estrada ho ba ay malinis ang kamay? Si Sen. Ping Lacson po ba ay malinis ang kamay? Kung mag-i-inhibit ako, sino kaya sa magi-imbestiga ang walang jueteng sa kanilang probinsya? Kayo mismo ang nag nagsabing may nag-alok so inyo ng P5,000 a month para masiao!” Lapid retorted.

    In August, the two committees ended their inquiry without calling all the identified witnesses and suspected jueteng operators. Oh yes, the two committees didn’t even come out with a joint report on their findings and recommendations.

    Lapid the legislator

    Except for those conducted on jueteng operations, Lapid was seldom seen in committee hearings. I am sure would have wanted him to attend a hearing of his Bill No. 2640 titled “Promoting Aeroponics Technology in Agricultural Production.”

    Lapid’s sudden technical expertise stumped Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, a former agriculture secretary and leading proponent of science, engineering and technology education and expertise.

    “I know hydroponics but I’m not conversant with aeroponics,” Angara said.

    Unfortunately, Lapid never got to demonstrate his technical expertise in committee or on the floor.

    Oh well, he does have one law to his name, The Legal Assistance to the Poor Act, that’s now called the “Lapid Law.” This encourages lawyers and law firms to render pro bono services to poor clients and to get tax deductions of up to 10 percent of their gross income for rendering such services.

    If I’m not impressed, this is because he never stood up on the floor to defend the measure. What’s more, the “Lapid Law” is a virtual copy of an archived bill of Sen. Franklin Drilon.

            19espiloy47@gmail.com

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    11 Comments

    1. I’d rather conclude that “we deserve” what we get. We have our so-called leaders and power brokers who choose candidates to support, in order to perpetuate their personal agenda. To be able to do this, they select not so smart, but moneyed and popular candidates, with the expectation that these selected candidates will help in the election of their main candidates’ (say, Veep and President) election to office. In addition, if these ‘mediocre’ candidates are also elected, they are prone to be “tools” of these power brokers.

      The absence of a strong middle class voters is contributory to this problem in the country. The population is predominantly poor that they expect too much personal favor from these candidates and from the government. In effect, they go for the candidates whom they think could provide their immediate personal needs. These are the voters who are willing to sell their votes. This is where the cycle of corruption starts, which is exactly what’s happening in the Philippines. As of now, there seems to be no end in sight.

      May God bless us all..

    2. Carlos de Castro on

      That is why we keep saying that Filipinos deserve what they are getting because of this happening. Here in the USA out of more than 200 legislator only one that I know off that came from showbiz, a senator from minessota by the name of Frank,

    3. Oh what will happen to my country ? That is the reason for widespread poverty and corruption. Filipinos selling their votes, voting for candidates that do not have college degrees. Even waiters and table servers needs an HRM degree. I am not saying movie actors and actresses are not qualified. I am saying to look for their track records, their education, work experience. Remember they running a country not a small carinderia.

    4. Si manny pacquiao kahit papano marunong mag English,kahit bisaya marunong ding magtagalog, matapang, pumasok sa pulitika mayaman na di nangurakot maraming natulungang mahihirap at may utak para maging kwalipikadong maging senador kumpara kay Lito lapid.

    5. Balimbing yan.pinasikat ni PGMA naging senador pero nung kinasuhan,winawasak na ang pagka tao ni ex-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, at na hospital arrest siya nasan ka Lito Lapid? bumalimbing ka di mo man lang pinagtanggol si Gloria sa senado nakaupo ka lang doon habang winawasak, sinisiraan si Gloria sa mga senate imvestigations..Ganon din ginawa mo nung inimpeached si chief Justice Corona, ikaw at mga kasamahan mong mga senador kumita ng tig P75milyong suhol ni Pnoy para maimpeach si Corona, mabuti pa mamahinga kana bilangin mo na lang mga kayaman mo sa Pampanga at deposito mong pera sa banko., wag ka nang umasa pang mananalong senador ang anak mong si mark na tumatakbo sa pagka senador, talo yan at wasak na apelyido mo dinawit mo pa yung Lapid chicharon baka wala nang bumili nun dahil sa bulok mong apelyido.

    6. Lapid is the typical answer why the Phils is in dire straights. How can we have decent governance when our bobotantes just keep elcting these type of people. Why can’t we have a law that requires politicians from municipal levels and up must have a university degree, a public service qualifications too.

    7. Well, at least, may naisabatas na kanyang pinasimulan. Ikumpara mo naman yan sa naging senador na ang pangalan, if I am not mistaken, sounds like benino or benigno yata – wala bill, wala batas, wala man lang ni isang naisulat na committee report.

    8. Watch out for Pacquiao if he will be elected as senator. He will be again be absent from the senate sessions at approximately 95%. Listen to him on how he introduce (if ever there are???) bills in the senate. He will be worst than Lapid.

      • And don’t forget Alma Moreno. With Pacquiao and Alma Moreno under the Binay ticket, expect the unexpected. Without them knowing it, Binay is using these two popular candidates to boost his chances.

      • I thought for a moment something is legendary and spectacular in our country the Philippines if Pacquiao, Sotto, Moreno, Dante or Pangilinan (If I am not mistaken this is the person who authored a bill about juvenile murderers being freed) wins and Gordon, Kapunan, Colemares, Zubiri, De Lima or Drilion loses.