Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms.  This article was published in Business Mirror September 26, 2007 edition, p. A10.

Today, we will know whether or not Romy Neri still remembers what he was taught at the Ateneo— to be a man for others— in the heterosexual sense, of course.

Will he remain a Blue Eagle or will he join those buzzards in Blue Eagles’ clothing?

Neri’s testimony is the missing link between the commissioner from the Comelec and the grand commissioner from Malacañang. He can confirm that Benjamin Abalos offered him a P200 million bribe and that he told Gloria Arroyo about it but she ordered him to approve the project anyway.

That’s why Gloria Arroyo torpedoed his appearance at last week’s Senate hearing —anxiety from too much pressure causes an uncontrollable attack of the shits in some people.

Last Saturday, Gloria thought her problems would go away when she announced she was suspending not only the ZTE deal but also the juicier cyber-ed project.  Nice try.

So, what’s next?

Gloria can re-invoke EO 464 or she can coerce Neri to check into a hospital and claim that his intestinal flu turned out to be something more serious than he thought it was.

If Neri does check into a hospital, I hope it’s not the National Kidney Center. He just might end up with Raul Gonzalez’s discarded kidney.

Neri should just come forward and reveal everything he knows, if he knows anything.

“I can’t prove it” does not hold water because no one makes a written bribe offer. Romy will have to trust the public. But seriously, whom will the public believe, Abalos and Gloria, or Neri?

Meanwhile, Malacañang beefed up Neri’s security detail because of reported threats to his life. Daw. It’s for his protection. Daw.

But who would want to kill Neri, the ones who want to hear his testimony or the ones who don’t want him to testify? And, who’s been trying to stop him from testifying?

Neri should realize that the threats are meant to prevent him from speaking out. Once he speaks out, he becomes untouchable. I hope he sees his best protection is to speak truth to power. We’ll see.

At any rate, let’s replay the buffoonery…

At a press conference, Miriam Santiago characterized Joey de Venecia’s behavior as “exceedingly strange,” “bizarre,” and “against human nature.”

Miriam sitting in the psychoanalyst’s chair instead of lying out on the couch, I love it!

At the Senate hearing, Juan Ponce Enrile accused Joey of deviousness and bad faith.

Johnny, who faked an ambush on himself to lay the false predicate for martial law, rides a high horse on the eve of the anniversary of his deviousness, Giddyup-a-dingdong!

After the Senate hearing, Iggy Arroyo wondered if drugs damaged Joey’s mind.

Don’t bogart that joint, Iggy!

At her mother’s speaking engagement, Luli Arroyo did an impression of Annabelle Rama on Yilmaz Bektas in “The Buzz.”


And then Abalos denied the Wack Wack incident ever happened.

“It’s a big lie. There was no such meeting,” he said.

And he challenged anyone to prove otherwise, “Why don’t you ask Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza if there [was] such a meeting?”

But before anyone could ask Leandro Mendoza, Mike Arroyo, Querubin de la Torre, Jimmy Paz, Ruben Reyes, and the attending waiter if indeed such a “no-meeting” occurred, Mike Arroyo’s lawyer, Jess Santos, jumped out of the woodwork and repeated Abalos’ denial… only to turn around and admit,

“Mr. Arroyo had gone to Wack Wack that day simply to play golf when the young De Venecia arrived and sat beside Secretary Larry Mendoza. Mr. Arroyo overheard the young De Venecia following up his project proposal with Secretary Mendoza.”

And then?

“De Venecia continued to follow up his project proposal to Mendoza prompting Mr. Arroyo to remind the young De Venecia that he cannot be involved in any government transaction because he is the son of the Speaker.”

And all that can be summarized in two words: “Back off!” Right?

Santos studiously avoided the part about the “finger in Joey’s nose” so I will spin it for him.

“Mr. Arroyo noticed a smudge in the young De Venecia’s nose so his paternal instinct made him reach out with his finger to remove it. He then stood up and asked the group of Jimmy Paz for a napkin so he could wipe his dirty finger clean. That’s why Joey was left talking to no one.”

Ayus ba, ‘pañero Jess? Do I get to ride in the ambulance with you next time?

Romy Neri can bring the curtains down on Gloria’s dog-and-pony show. I hope he does.

It’s time somebody did.