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VP Binay must be laughing himself to tears

  • Written by Itchie Cabayan
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 106

Before anything else, let it be fully clear. I do not personally know former Vice President Jojo Binay and Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV and vice versa.

The recent developments which led to Cayetano and Trillanes being pitted against each other must be sending Binay rolling on the floor, laughing.

It is still fresh in our memories how the two good senators jointly ‘pilloried’ Binay via a supposed Senate inquiry for about a year or so on the latter’s alleged corrupt practices when he was mayor of Makati City.  Needless to say, that definitely hurt Binay’s shot at the presidency, at a time when he was a mere heartbeat away from it.
   
During the first -- and as it turns out, only -- hearing of the Senate committee on justice under the stewardship of Senator Leila de Lima held Thursday last week, we saw what could have been the beginning of yet another series of hearings ‘ala Binay’. It was just nipped in the bud.
   
An election after, there is already a notable difference and it was that, during the hearings on Binay, both Ca-yetano and Trillanes stood side by side. This time around, they are clearly on opposite sides of the fence. 
   
So what happened between then and now? After the Binay hearings, we all know that Cayetano and Trillanes, who were reportedly both members of the Nacionalista Party, also both ran for vice president and lost.  Trillanes ran as independent while Cayetano was the running mate of then Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
   
During the campaign period, Trillanes accused Duterte of not following the law by failing to declare in his 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth his bank account which he alleged to contain P211 million.  Trillanes also went after Duterte’s children by digging into their supposed assets and bank accounts too but apparently, did not cause a dent as we all know that Duterte won via a whopping, unprecedented majority.
   
Anyway, Cayetano took it upon himself to defend his running mate Duterte, to the extent of accusing Trillanes of ‘protecting’ Senator Grace Poe, who was running against Duterte. Cayeta-no even branded Trillanes as a ‘Poe-tector’ at that time. This angered Trillanes, who was quoted by the media as having told Cayetano to get out of the way or he (Trillanes) will run after him, too.
   
After the two lost, Trillanes and Cayetano went back to the Senate to finish their respective terms, only to have a showdown on Thursday last week at a Senate hearing on extra-judicial killings, where Edgar Matobato, who claims to be a former militia man and a former hitman for Duterte, testified in an apparent effort to pin on the President’s previous instances of killings in Davao during Duterte’s rein.
   
As we all saw on live TV, Cayetano was grilling Matobato and Trillanes showed dislike for it. The two senators had an exchange of words.
   
What made the scene ugly was when Trillanes practically ‘bullied’ Ca-yetano. He not only turned off the latter’s microphone unceremoniously but also repeatedly told Cayetano, “’di kita papopormahin dito” with the tone, facial expression and all.
   
Of the two, I laud Cayetano for maintaining his composure and high degree of professionalism while asserting his rights as a senator and letting Trillanes know that he won’t be bullied just like that. He was also careful with his choice of words.
   
While it was good that Trillanes manned up and apologized via a letter the following day, his lack of decorum and respect for a colleague should not have happened in the first place. Can you imagine what could have taken place if he was dealing with a lower being or if the hearing was closed-door or done in the absence of the media? Scaryyyy….

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