Fearful Senators

At the Senate hearing on the Mamasapano encounter, present among the senators were Grace Poe, chairman of the committee investigating the incident, Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, Teofisto Guingona, Sergio Osmeña, Bam Aquino, Francis Escudero, Pia Cayetano, Bongbong Marcos, Loren Legarda, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Gregorio Honasan, JV Ejercito, Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes and, Koko Pimentel. Prominent in the proceedings because of their inquisitorial postures were Senators Poe, which is to be expected as she is chairman of the hearing committee, Drilon, Guingona, Escudero, Cayetano, Trillanes, Marcos, Legarda, and Honasan.

The ever trying hard Sen. Tito Sotto tried to squeeze in into the discourse. The first time was pronouncing “Mamasapano” with the accent on “sa” and asking “Isn’t that the correct pronunciation?.” The second time was when he asked SAF Director Napenas what the window he referred to was. Napenas was beginning to explain when he was cut-off by Committee chairman Poe who said it was a detail of little significance to the discussion. So, the Iskul Bukol graduate was denied once again his “sublime” moment.

What is intriguing about the presence of these senators and the active participation of some of them is their conspicuous absence from the Blue Ribbon Committee hearings these past months on the allegation that the construction of the Makati parking building was overpriced. For all of them are also members of the Blue Ribbon Committee. Drilon, as the Senate President, and Recto, as the Senate President pro tempore, are ex officio members of the Blue Ribbon body. Guingona and Osmeña are chairman and vice chairman respectively of the committee. But only Senators Pimentel, Cayetano, and Trillanes have been present at all those sessions of the Blue Ribbon Committee.

The absence of Sen. Nancy Binay is understandable as her father has been saying that the hearings are not in aid of legislation. The absence of the younger Binay is in demonstration of her support of her father’s stand. So is the absence of Senators Honasan and Ejercito, political allies of the Binays, in those hearings. Sen. Escudero endorsed Jojo Binay for Vice President in 2010. So, his absence is also understandable.

But there is no reason for Senators Drilon, Recto, Guingona, Osmeña, Legarda, Poe, Marcos, Villar, Aquino, and Pia Cayetano, to snub the Blue Ribbon investigation. Unless what Karen Davila has been saying in her afternoon TeleRadyo program – that the senators are afraid of Jojo Binay for he could hit back at them if he is elected president in 2016 – is true. Davila kept on saying she was only joking. By saying that, Karen only manifested her fear of the Blue Ribbon senators.

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