I cannot help but note the irony in Senator Manny Villar’s current situation.
Villar was a recent victim of a Senate coup, a coup never been seen in the Senate since Cory Aquino’s term. This dethronement, so to speak, was just preparatory to his current situation.
The senator is currently subject of the Senate Ethics Committee’s investigation of alleged double insertion in the budget for the extension of C-5. The insertion was allegedly made by Villar, and his real estate company allegedly benefited from the insertion. Senator Jamby Madrigal then made a privileged speech, which was then referred to the Ethics Committee for investigation. Nothing happened to it until the recent reorganization.
Too bad for Villar, it was Ping Lacson who became chair of the committee after the coup.
Now, Villar is crying foul, saying that the committee is biased against him, the committee having as its members some senators with presidential ambitions. In a privilege speech, he assailed the committee members without naming them. He is basically planting a poisonous seed that will bloom poisonous fruit – if the decision of the committee is detrimental for him, he can always say that the decision was politically motivated.
History has a nasty habit of parlaying karma.
Villar should be cautioned to go slowly and rationally. Of all people, he should know that all actions of a political body are politically-motivated. He should know.
He should remember what he did back when he was Speaker of the House of Representatives. That day, everyone was expecting a long day debating on the impeachment of then president Joseph Estrada. And what did Villar do? In lieu of the prayer, he transmitted the articles of impeachment to the Senate, . What he did was not against the rules, but it was a shortcut. And it was politically motivated. Well, he did lose the speaker’s chair afterwards, but for those who supported Erap’s impeachment, he was a hero. At a terrible cost, as we all know.
His pa-martir shtick won’t work. By throwing mud against some members of the committee, he is actually telling the people that he does not believe in due process, and that he does not want the facts to be brought out.
In order for his pa-martir act to succeed, what Villar should do is to submit himself to the committee’s scrutiny. If he is really innocent, he can always prove it in the proper forum. He should have said instead the following:
“Alam ko pong may bias laban sa akin ang ilang miyembro ng komite, ngunit ako ay naniniwalang wala akong ginawang mali. Ako ay naniniwala sa integridad ng komite at due process. Pumapayag ako na sumailalim sa imbestigasyon, bagamat alam kong magiging masama para sa akin ang magiging hatol ng komite, dahil alam kong isa ito sa tamang paraan upang ipaalam ang katotohanan.”
With the facts that absolves him in the open, any adverse decision against him by the ethics committee will actually win him more sympathy from the people. Saka lang siya magiging martir.
Karma is a difficult enemy, Senator Villar. Good luck.
(Photo from the Manny Villar Web site.)