Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms.This was published in the February 10, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.
“Fight fire with smoke. And mirrors. And a lot of spit.” – from “The Firefighter’s Manual of Politics” by Philip Gilmore
I dreamed that I interviewed Sen. Manny Villar on the morning after his privilege speech.
“Good morning, Senator.”
“Good morning… Coffee?”
“No thank you sir, but thank you for granting this interview. May we start with your priv…
“Hindi ako duwag.” (I am not a coward).”
“… your privilege speech …
“Walang makapagsasabi na hindi ako sumagot sa mga paratang sa Senado (No one can say I did not answer the charges made by my fellow senators).”
“… but, you ran off bef…
“Nasagot ko na ang lahat ng isyu noon pa sa lahat ng uri ng komunikasyon (I have answered all the issues a long time ago, through all means of communications).”
“… before the interpel…
“I’ve done hundreds of interviews for TV, radio, (and) print.”
“Nagsalita na ako sa daang-daang mga forums ipinapaliwanag itong C-5 issue.(I have explained the C-5 issue in hundreds of forums.)”
“Butwhydyourunawayfrominterperllation?” I blurted out.
“Why did you run away from interpellation?”
“Sinagot ko na sa aming website na MannyVillar.com.ph.” (I already answered the issue in my website).”
“… but a website is not the Sen…”
“We printed tens of thousands of pamphlets explaining the C-5 controversy.”
“Nag-advertise kami sa aking hangarin na maipaliwanag sa tao ito diretso. (We advertised, I wanted to explain the issue directly to the people).”
“Dinala ko na din ang napakaraming peryodista sa lokasyon upang mapaliwanag ang katotohanan (I have also invited so many press people to the location to enlighten them on the truth).”
“Why did you go forum shopping instead of facing your accusers in the Senate hearings, were you afraid of testifying under oath?”
“Ako’y dating mahirap; di ko ikinahihiya ang aking pinagmulan (I used to be poor; I’m not ashamed of my humble beginnings).”
“Natatandaan ko pa noon, isang banig lang kami siyam, isang kulambo (I still remember, we were nine kids sleeping in one mat under one mosquito net).”
“But Senator Vi…
“Sa murang edad, nalaman ko agad na di ako kakain kung di ito pagpapawisan (I learned at a very young age that there are no free lunches).”
“Wala akong minanang yaman. Hindi ako haciendero (I did not inherit riches. I am not landed gentry).”
“Wala akong kilalang apelyido o tanyag na kamaganak (I don’t have a well-known surname or a famous relative).”
“Sir, the documentary evid…”
“Nililinaw ko–ang aking pananahimik ay hindi pagkaduwag (I’m making it clear, my silence is not from cowardice).”
“Kung tinikom ko ang aking bibig nitong mga nakaraang linggo o buwan, ito ay dahil di ako madaldal na tao (If I’ve kept my mouth shut these past weeks or months, it is because I’m not a talkative man).”
“Didn’t you just say that you gave hundreds of interviews and spoke at hundreds of forums?”
“Pero uulitin ko na tila ang kasalanan ko sa mata ng ilan ay di ako pinanganak na mayaman (But I will repeat that perhaps my sin in the eyes of some is that I was not born rich)”.
“Mahirap lang ba ako kaya ako’y hinuhusgahan? (Am I being persecuted because I’m poor?)”
“Aren’t you the richest member of the Senate?”
“I can explain my wealth. Alam ko kung paano tapusin ang kahirapan (I know how to end poverty).”
“Great! So, how exactly did you end your poverty?”
”Look a bird!”
*Sen. Villar’s responses are direct quotes from the privilege speech he delivered last week, except for his first and last sentences.