Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror, June 21, 2006 edition, p. A6.
Two years ago, I wrote an article that never quite made the deadline of the defunct Today. I had forgotten all about it until a few days ago when a hysterical Congressman Prospero Pichay started shouting “Shut up!” at Sen. Rodolfo Biazon.
The Comelec was done counting. Congress had begun its canvass. Candidate Fernando Poe’s camp cried foul and raised procedural questions at every turn. Civil society, in turn, accused Poe’s camp of delaying tactics and Suzette Pido made a dramatic appearance.
Here’s part of that article which I titled, “Vox Bobolus: Suzette and the Pido-philes.”
“Suzette Pido was in the Batasan gallery observing the debate on canvass procedure. She wanted Mrs. Arroyo proclaimed posthaste because, like the rest of civil society, she found the debate insufferable. She claimed, ‘I’m just echoing what most of the Filipinos want. For them to start counting, not talking.’ Vox bobolus.
Echoes ring loud in vast empty caverns so Suzette Pido became the hero of the bobolation overnight. Columnists and editorials from Manila’s two major dailies fell all over themselves praising their new hero.
A former activist writing for the Philippine Star wrote, ‘I know the term ‘silent majority’ is an oxymoron: if it is silent, how can we determine if this is the majority? But if there is such a constituency, Suzette Pido’s short note must now be its battle cry. And what a battle cry that was!’
Another columnist for the same paper wrote, ‘The public’s disgust with the proceedings was well expressed by Suzette Pido’s shut-up note to Representative Didagen Dilangalen. Her note spoke for us.’ She characterized Dilangalen as ‘this funny guy’ and his appeal for a transparent canvass as ‘antics and unbearable behavior…’
Still another columnist, this one from Philippine Daily Inquirer, demanded that everyone ‘Shut up and begin canvass.’ She said, ‘Suzette Pido has articulated for many citizens the frustration they feel after following the deliberations in Congress.’ She accused Representative Dilangalen of leading the ‘opposition’s blocking force in the House.’
Her colleague from the same paper described the debate in Congress as ‘wrangling and grandstanding’ and added, ‘bravo to Suzette Pido and her daughter Joanna. They said what any number of people, not only in the gallery of the House of Representatives plenary hall, but those watching on TV, wanted to say: ‘Shut up! You are wasting our time. It may not have been elegant language, but it expressed the general sentiment accurately.’ A sentiment that was as inelegant as Pido’s language.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer itself editorialized, ‘She [Pido] got that right’ and called the debate in Congress ‘Wasted Time.’ It even praised the chair of the congressional committee on human rights for reminding Dilangalen that Suzette was only exercising her freedom of speech. And it betrayed its own ignorance of House Rules by praising the congresswoman’s ignorance.
The Palace couldn’t be stopped from agitating the Pido-philes. Ignacio Bunye, referring to what he called ‘media grandstanding’ said, ‘The insistence of some quarters to make electoral fraud a purely media issue betrays the weakness of their so-called evidence. If the opposition refuses to lay their charges before the proper forum, there will always be a nagging belief that their supposed evidence consists of duds, fakes or fabrications. It is not the business of Congress to look into these matters while it is engaged in the canvassing.’”
That was two years ago and, in a way, Suzette Pido’s battlecry became the mother of all cover-ups.
One year after the orgy of Pidophilia, Bunye went on national TV holding two copies of faked Garci CDs and claimed one was authentic. One year after that pathetic attempt at fooling the public, Congressman Prospero Pichay became the Suzette Pido of 2006 when he said, “These people are just after publicity. If Senator Biazon has nothing sensible to say, he should just shut up.”
We have gone full circle—from the “Shut up” of Suzette to the “This might shut them up” CD folly of Toting— to the “This will shut them up” EO 464 of Gloria and back to “Shut up” with Butch “Pido” Pichay.
The Lower House will get another crack at saving whatever remains of its reputation when the new impeachment complaint is filed but they will pass up that opportunity. Instead of saving their reputation they will “salvage” it. Why?
House Majority leader Prospero Nograles says it all, “Pag lumampas sa House ’yan (impeachment), JDV (Speaker Jose de Venecia) is out at pati ang majority leader and perhaps the committee chairmanships will be revamped also. In an impeachment case, all the positions are on the line, including that of the Speaker.”
He added, “The senators are hostile to GMA. If we send the case for trial, GMA won’t stand a Chinaman’s chance. She will be convicted. Do we want it?”
Yes we do. And how.