Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror February 6,2008 edition, p. A10.
I watched the entire vote on the motion to declare the Speakership vacant because I wanted to know why all those who elected Rep. Jose De Venecia to preside as Speaker for an unprecedented fifth term just a few months ago suddenly changed their minds.
I listened when they said, “Mr. Speaker, may I be allowed to explain my vote.”
But, after all of the “yea” votes were done explaining, I was not sure anymore if what I heard at the beginning of their short speeches was “Mr. Speaker, may I be allowed to explain my bribe.”
A number of brutes delivered “Not that I love Caesar less but I love Rome more” speeches. Some turned the killing floor into a KTV and crooned “Torn between two lovers” while others either quoted Shakespeare or twisted one of President Manuel Quezon’s most famous lines into “My loyalty to my party ends where my royalty from the Pidals begins.”
But, to be fair, not all 174 representatives who voted “yes” to the motion to unseat the Speaker were bought off; some may have only been for rent. Just kidding.
Rep. Dato Arroyo, son of Mike and Gloria, used his time to attack Speaker De Venecia. The young Arroyo was angry and hurt. He said the Speaker vilified his family with the truth. And the truth hurts. And how.
The Speaker’s valedictory reminded me of something someone once said about truth: “The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.” And the Speaker was pissed. But he was free… and jobless by the end of the evening.
But seriously, the ouster of Speaker Jose De Venecia is the prime example of justice ala Regimen Pidal. Their version of crime and punishment is “We do the crime, you serve the time.” I’m not kidding. And neither are the Pidals.
They made Speaker De Venecia pay the price because his son would not be cowed into shutting up about a crime in progress. They could not return any of the advances they got from the Chinese so they tore off Speaker De Venecia’s head and gave it to the Chinese as a sign of good faith and good face.
I was moved when the Speaker finally stood shoulder to shoulder with his son. Who said a father could not learn from his son?
Joey De Venecia’s courage made his father a better man.
Speaker De Venecia has been called the quintessential trapo. He is. But not in the way the term is currently used and understood. Speaker De Venecia is a trapo in the old- fashioned way.
The politicians of old were no saints. They took. But they did not plunder. That’s one thing that distinguishes the politicians of the past from the trapos of today, the Pidals and their minions.
The new Speaker, Prospero Nograles, will act as proxy not for Gloria but for her little helpers, Mikey and Dato. Jose De Venecia would never permit himself that indignity. For that he was stripped of the Speakership.
Jose De Venecia may have lost the Speaker’s mantle but he stills wears his dignity and self-respect, unlike his successor, who, although covered in all the trappings of his new office, is really nothing more than a naked runner for Gloria’s spawns.