Congwrestlemania 2007

Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror June 6, 2007 edition, p. A6.

I’ve stopped paying attention to the senatorial canvass. I don’t care if Tonypet Albano, Ben Evardone, Migs Zubiri, and Ben Abalos still insist we should wait for the fraudulent votes from the usual suspects to come in.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s over. It’s 8-2-2, no ifs, buts, or a 13th senator.

I’ve turned my attention to the battle for Speaker of the Lower House. It’s fun because members of the same camp propping up Gloria Arroyo are at each other’s throats.

The Speaker’s mace was secure in De Venecia’s hands until Luis Villafuerte decided to put it in play. A mano-a-mano between the four-time Speaker and Villafuerte’s candidate ensued.  There was a lot of trash talk and hyperbole between the two contenders, and, before long, a couple of onlookers, a congressman from Nueva Vizcaya and a congresswoman from Quezon City, decided to join the fray.  Now it’s a “free-for-all” and everyone claims to have numbers that, if you add them all up, will make the Lower House look like Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur– more votes than registered voters.

“What’s going on?” I asked myself.

My first impressions ranged from “it’s arm-twisting over committee chairmanships” to “the majority also wants to be the minority” to “it’s a real split in the coalition.” Obvious, hence boring.

So I phoned my daughter for a deeper look.

“What do you see?” I asked her.

“It’s a professional wrestling match, dad.  It’s Congwrestlemania 2007!” she replied.

I’ll let Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, explain what that “sport” is all about. “Professional wrestling is the performance, management, and marketing of a form of entertainment based on simulated elements of catch wrestling and theater.”

Professional wrestling matches follow a storyline. “The modern professional wrestling is commonly associated, within a company (often referred to as a fed or promotion), where the participants create an entertaining show simulating a dueling match.”

The level of realism varies, depending on the storyline and fight promoter. “The question of whether professional wrestling is a sport comparable to its freestyle, Greco-Roman, and collegiate counterparts can seem irrelevant, maybe even impossible, to compare as the key difference between both concepts is that professional wrestling’s main focus is maintaining its audience and profiting as a business rather than as a form of athletic competition….As opposed to more mainstream combative sporting events like boxing, a professional wrestler’s athletic prowess and skills are utilized more to prevent injury than to inflict it.”

So there you have it.

But wait.

Professional wrestling matches do not always go according to script. Sometimes, for some reason or another, professional wrestlers do get hurt.

A staged political match is even more risky. That’s why one does not promote a family feud match just for the heck of it.

Consequently, when such a match occurs, especially when there is no obvious need for it, I begin to wonder if there’s more than meets the eye.

I start looking for another angle—a more exciting storyline as it were—like a plot that involves some very aggrieved parties in that shadowy and shady multi-billion peso broadband deal between the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and ZTE, a Chinese company.

If you know the wronged parties and who caused them harm in the DOTC-ZTE deal, you might see that Congwrestlemania 2007 is not all fun and games. There’s a very worried queen somewhere in there trying to scare someone into placating someone quite angry and very hurt.

That’s what I see behind all the trash talk, suplexes, and body slams of Congwrestlemania 2007.

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