The detractors of Sen. Manny Villar has obviously readied a political trap at the Senate floor with the filing of the official report of the Committee of the Whole that investigated allegations of unethical behavior and conflict of interest.
While talking about upholding the integrity of the Senate, the move by senators belonging to opposite camps clearly seeks to shoot down Villar’s phenomenal climb in the surveys, thanks to the billions he is pouring into television and radio advertisements.
Unfortunately, Villar’s defenders are not themselves objective players. They are also political partisans in Villar’s bid to become the country’s next president.While they object to the political undertones of the anti-Villar move, their defense is also very political. After all, the Senate is a political body.
With that said, I see the advantage clearly enjoyed by the anti-Villar camp. Whether Villar faces his accusers or not, the insertion and C5 issue have been revived with renewed energy that could live a life of its own after this.
Media focus on the P200 million budget insertion and C5 diversion issues now paints him as the most corrupt presidentiable. Without saying it, many now read Villar’s “Sipag at Tiyaga” as helping oneself to the government’s coffers while in power.
With this situation, should Villar continue his path of non-appearance at the Senate floor and refuse to face his accusers?
According to the senator, he does not want to enter a process that is clearly political and biased. As a strategy, this had worked for him.
However, the renewed media attention on the issue and calls on Villar not to be a coward are now taking its toll.
Sen. Noynoy Aquino could always say his father Ninoy Aquino did not believe in getting justice from Marcos but he did not hide. In fact, he returned to the Philippines and was shot to death at the tarmac by the Marcos military. Thus Ninoy became a hero to every freedom-loving Filipino.
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada could also say his father faced the music at the Senate floor when Erap was president at that time and bravely went to jail after he was ousted during Edsa 2.
In the eyes of ordinary folks, Mr. Sipag at Tiyaga is not man enough to face his accusers at the Senate. I hope that the man who said he was once poor could sense this developing sentiment before its too late. Already, allies like Rep. Satur Ocampo are already having second thoughts about this man who prefers to hide.